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Dead End

Transformers Legacy
by yo go re

Loading Stunticons... 80% complete...

Dead End thinks it's pointless to keep fighting in the Cybertronian war. When he's not being forced to fight, he spends his time shining himself.

Considering that Hasbro is no longer printing bio information on the packaging - instead having pulled a Lego and forcing you to go to their website if you want to see it - there's no reason they couldn't have written Dead End an entire hagiography. No need to skimp, team, there's no space limit online.

Dead End's head is not as perfectly cubular as Breakdown's, but neither does he get ear-antennae like Drag Strip or Wildrider. The G1 Stunticons used their heads as their Scramble City combiner connection points, so any superfluous details on them would have been in danger of breaking or getting worn off, but that's not a concern today. The released 1986 toy had a full face, but the original prototype, created before "Scramble City" was a thing, had a visor instead of eyes, and a large lower jaw that was misinterpretted as a faceplate for the comic and cartoon. That's the look this toy references.

All the Stunticons were generally very "straight up-and-down" robots back then, but the modern take on Dead End has a surprisingly broad chest. The long hexagonal shape in the center of it is from the old model sheets, but the angled insets below that could be found both there and on the actual toy - how rare! Converting the old Dead End involved flipping his legs around sideways, so the car's tires ended up on the insides of his shins; that doesn't happen here, but they have sculpted some rounded bits in the same spot, to at least reference that bit of kibble a bit. It would help if they were black instead of red, though. I bet Toyhax has a kit to fix that! Although the car's hood was originally planned to just flip back, designer Mark Maher had the idea to fold it over as well, so it sits closer to the back.

The wide chest and the kibble on the arms make for a Transformer who feels rather ungainly. Not having promient feet also adds to that. He stands fine, and moves decently (angkles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, elbows, biceps, shoulders, head), but be sre you don't lean him too far forward, since he doesn't really have the toes to deal with it. His weapons are a pair of "compressor-air blasters" that can launch blasts of air at 40,000 psi; they're molded in black, but get metallic purple apps on the sights and the barrel. They can't combine into one single weapon, unlike many of his contemporaries'.

Thankfully, Dead End is not a halfassed copy of one of his fellow Stunticons. Funny, that! That means a unique conversion: rotate the doors on the forears down, then the wheels on the shoulders; hinge the back open, pull the arms to the side, and flip the head back; raise the arms up over the rest of the chest and join them together; put the hood into place and point the feet down to form the back of the car; open the shin panels, put the legs together, fold the legs away, and close the panels again. Technically you're all done, but odds are the back of the car (the bit made from the feet) won't fit together properly, leaving various gaps and misalignments. When this happens (not if), it can be fixed by just pressing really hard, until the bits click into where they're supposed to be.

The original Dead End turned into a Porsche 928, precisely the kind of reliable, workmanlike, affordable car someone would be fine using in ways that were likely to damage or destroy it. Licensing is different these days, so STBLDF is the best we can do. Although the cartoon showed Dead End as a solid red car, the toy had an off-center gold stripe running over the top, which this new version matches. It does extend all the way to the edge of the roof and rear spoiler, though, when it should stop a bit before them (matching the portion on the hood). Bet Toyhax has a fix for that, as well! The windows are all painted black, rather than being translucent for no reason. Imagine!

(Oh, wait, you haven't read that review yet; spoilers!)

Dead End's guns can plug into the back of the car, pointing foward over the roof. The purple blends in with the car's maroon pretty well. The robot kibble under the front of the car (the part that used to be chest/shoulders) stick down low enough to touch the ground in this mode, so they could get scraped if you're trying to roll the car around.

Dead End is a big step up in quality from Breakdown, which is a relief. Plus, unlike every other release, there wasn't a season-long gap between them - just two months, instead of four. Considering that Deluxe Class Transformers come eight to a case and there are four Stunticons, why did they not all ship together? Eh, whatever, we've got all the cars, now, so all that's left is to wait for any store any where to finally put Motormaster on the shelf, and we'll be all done with this multi-year-long set of reviews.

-- 05/16/23

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