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Dead End didn't really change much between G1 and G2, did he? Just a different shade of red. But as we established with Drag Strip, keeping things simple and tasteful is far from the worst way to go.
Dead End is much like Brake-Neck, but color swapped. But Dead End does everything in vehicle mode completely right. The red has that same swirly translucence, but it works a lot better and more visibly on red plastic.
The silver windows are set off brilliantly against the red car body. And this time all four windows are the same color!
The hood is basically the same paint job as Brake-Neck. Dead End has the bumper area painted blue, though. This seems to be in trade for the roof tampograph Brake-Neck has. Works for me since it keeps things cleaner looking.
But where this really stands out is the side panels. Not only are they as closely color matched to the surrounding plastic as possible, but the side deco starts behind them. So this is I'm pretty sure the one and only US release of this mold that does not in some way or another have its looks compromised by the unpaintable plastic in the doors.
The paint work here is nice enough, too. The tiny G2 symbols in the stylized fire trails is a simple but eye-catching element.
That's really the order of the day with Dead End: simple and effective. It's really taking to heart the idea of less is more. That may be out of sorts for something G2, but I can hardly complain about the end result here.
As we go to the robot mode, I'm quickly thinking Dead End might really be my favorite of the Deluxe decos. It's nice and bright, but still contrasty, there's neutral grey to smooth it out, and a little blue to confuse your eyes just a bit. Plus since he's red-on-black, that means he isn't venomous! Seriously though, something about this really speaks strongly to me, and I can't quite put my finger on what. Maybe it's just the bright colors, maybe it stumbled on a good ratio or something, but I just like it a lot.
What I like less, however, is the attempted use of yellow on the face. Yellow paint over darker colors doesn't work. That includes blue. And it would look good if the paint had covered solidly, but of course it didn't, and the bleed through makes it look bad.
Another thing with the head, the joint is extremely tight. I won't even turn it to the toy's left much because it feels too risky to go past this point. I'm glad it's not needed to rotate the head for transformation.
Dead End has looser fits in the ball joints than Brake-Neck. Fortunately in the legs that only significantly presents with outward movement. Forward is stiff enough that combiner arm use should still be okay. The other hinge and swivel joints feel about the same as on Brake-Neck, so it's in pretty good shape.
Dead End also has his pipe club painted over blue. But you don't need to worry about confusing it with Brake-Neck's. The secret is to look in the open spaces underneath. Dead End's is cast from the same red most of the body is, and that shows through where the paint didn't cover very thick. Brake-Neck's seems like it might be cast yellow, so the original color doesn't really show through, but as long as Dead End's does, you've got no problems.
Dead End's pipe fits the various 5mm ports about the same as Brake-Neck's does, including initial hesitation going in the hand.
There is a bit more distinct difference between their hand/foot parts.
Dead End's fits securely enough in the body ports, or the roof port. Definitely better than the G1 colors Dead End did, too.
The fit in the hand is also good.
But you will notice that it is a lot less snug than Brake-Neck's. You might remember in that case I said I thought it was a problem with the part itself, and this seems to support that theory. If I try fitting Brake-Neck's accessory to Dead End, it's just as tight and difficult to fit as it was on Brake-Neck. Closer examination reveals slight differences to the 5mm posts on these parts. It may not show clearly on camera, but Brake-Neck's has added shallow vertical grooves in the recess in the middle of the post. Those themselves aren't necessarily the cause, but they indicate there is a difference between the parts, and it's more than just random plastic curing variances.
So don't get me wrong, I like all of the Deluxe G2 Stunticons. Even Breakdown who just didn't quite hit the deco correctly. But Dead End is really standing at the front of the pack for just how simply good it looks. There's not a whole lot I can say about this since physically it is very much like Brake-Neck. It simply stands out for having but a single visual flaw between two modes and looking really sharp otherwise.
The Deluxes are done now, but before we can go up, first we must move down...
|Date||March 18th 2016|
|Score||(9 out of 10)|
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