Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Dead End

Rounding off the Stunticon limbs on a rather depressing note is the resident nihilistic pessimist of the squad, Dead End. The Dead End of my childhood was that little spherical Mini-Con that came with Unicron back in Armada, but I have to admit that the Stunticon Dead End is a bit more interesting of a character, even if he hasn’t ever really done much. Many have said that Dead End is the best of the Combiner Wars Stunticons, so we’ll see how accurate that is.

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Vehicle Mode

While Breakdown kept the basic inspiration of his G1 altmode, Dead End has upgraded from a Porsche to a Ferrari-ish car. Specifically, it kind of looks like a 458 Italia. Like Breakdown, Dead End is dead solid and feels nice and hefty, though the car overall looks a bit cartoony and stylized to me. It’s a really nice altmode and the metallic red plastic is de-lovely. It’s a shame the grey pieces of his arms on the sides of the car couldn’t be painted to match, but that looks like a perfect Reprolabels fix. You can also stick his exhaust pipe onto the side, but Ferraris don’t have that, so… don’t. No HFG integration, either, but it’s a Ferrari, so why would you?

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Transformation

Dead End takes some cues from Breakdown, but manages to remain distinct enough to not be a case of Aerialbot syndrome. His transformation scheme also lends itself well to ease rather than the frustration of Breakdown. Unfortunately, plastic quality is pretty awful from the waist down, with loose hips, rarely-locking leg tabs, and that peculiar port that barely stays onto his right leg.

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Robot Mode

Air Raid was my favorite-looking of the Aerialbots, and Dead End is my winner out of the Stunticons. I just think he looks fantastic. The colors are great, his headsculpt is sharp and distinct, and his proportions are excellent. Though his legs feel a bit flimsy and hollow, they hold together well and provide an excellent foundation for standing him up.

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Dead End is one of the most nicely-articulated Stunticons, not because he has any more joints than the rest (he doesn’t), but because they all work so well. Ball-jointed head, shoulders (plus a faux-ratchet shrug joint), and hips; swivel thighs, waist, and biceps; and single-joint elbows and knees that bend just beyond the standard 90. Props to Dead End: I think he’s the only CW Deluxe that can properly kneel.

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Not only does Dead End look the best, but he also comes with the best weapon: a lead pipe. It’s technically an exhaust pipe, but come on, it’s the perfect weapon for a street thug to use! I love it. He also comes with the prerequisite HFG, but we all know what to expect from those by now.

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Overall

Dead End is probably the strongest of the four Stunticons, which is great since we’ll be seeing this mold again as Streetwise and Brake-Neck (Wildrider) in the future. Between his great design, lovely colors, and hilariously awesome weapon, Dead End comes out as the real winner of Combiner Wars’ second wave. His only major flaws begin to become a problem when he combines to form Menasor, but we’ve got one more team member to cover before we get to that. Ooooooh, yeeeeaah!

Where to Buy

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