So I went into this thinking Dreadwind was going to be a boring repaint. He’s not.
Granted, he is a retool from Combiner Wars Skydive, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Aerialbots had some of the strongest molds from Combiner Wars, and Dreadwind is retooled almost entirely for his upper half. Mainly just his shins and inner joints are from Skydive. Also the jet bits, but they’re both F-16s so meh, no complaints here.
The retooled parts are fantastic. His head sculpt is spot on, with his helmet-esque look and his Robocop visor. His new shoulders are nice and secure and gives him a better profile than Skydive for sure.
He also features a flip down panel on his chest that allows the Prime Armor to secure in a far better way than his wave-mate’s designs. He also doesn’t look so derpy with the Prime Armor attached, which is a nice change of pace too.
Dreadwind himself is a bit of a b-lister in the Decepticon ranks. He’s not super well known, and for those of us who much prefer the Japanese continuity, he’s the US version of Buster, one of the PowerMaster brothers.
But that could be what I like most about him. See once again, the guys at Hasbro are giving us updates to toys we haven’t seen in a long time. Sure they could have farted out some half-assed, plain Jane Aerialbot repaint, but instead they gave us Dreadwind (and his buddy Darkwing coming in a later wave)!
Sadly, Takara looks to be the one that will drop the ball here. It’s, of course, very premature for me to actually comment on the initial picture scans seen here and there, but it looks like they’re just sticking to the “we’re the same as Hasbro now” plan, and NOT giving us a proper Buster colored version of the toy. This one stings a bit because I think there’s a strong market for both versions and tossing a Prime Master figure as his “Power Master” representation would be an easy thing to do.
BOTTOM LINE: Would I recommend Dreadwind? Yes, I think so. While over all he’s not super essential for a collection, I think his over all design through retooling and general appeal as a toy we haven’t gotten a lot of surely bring him into the “yes” category. If you’re a Masterforce fan, you might be out of luck, but for those who had the Power Master toy from Hasbro back in the day, this is a fun update.
He also is a combiner, naturally, though he hides it fairly well considering his parent mold (the chest plate helps a ton). Because of his Skydive-y ness, he makes a very strong limb, more than Jazz certainly.