Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 22, November 1986 / Issue 41, June 1988
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 63, May 31st 1986 / Issue 289, September 29th 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 56 (Season 2 #40), November 25th 1985 / Episode 94 (Season 3 #29), February 24th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1986
Click here to see Figure Details and review
AKA 'Last Chance'
Manufacturer - FansProject
Toyline - Causality
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the chest
Dead End always struck me as one of the more unremarkable Stunticons, lacking the visual appeal of Breakdown, Drag Strip and Wildrider. I think it was a lot to do with his rather muted colour palette. Also his placement as Menasor is the left arm doesn't smack me as 'MVP', unless the combined form happens to be a southpaw. Anyway, this figure was the 3rd of the 5 components to arrive, and as FansProject delivered great results with the first two figures, is this a case of more of the same?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
Whilst this figure doesn't quite hit the heights of Breakdown aesthetically, this is still a very nice looking 'bot. For some reason, he is considerably taller than the other three released so far - about a head or so. His jagged silhouette has also caused some consternation amongst the fandom, given that there is no way to move his shoulder kibble into a different position. Whilst I quite like the effect, I can see why it would have been nice to have the option to dip the shoulders down if preferred. The chest area looks great, being comprised of the hood which I prefer to the underside of the chassis comprising the chest. His lower legs seem a bit too long for my tastes. He has a very neat, if slightly undersized pistol and a very decent headsculpt which is yet again led down slightly by the lack of light piping. Oh how I long for the day when FansProject adopt this novel(!) concept.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 9/10
Finally Dead End gets a chance to 'shine' and I mean this quite literally. For the plastic used here sparkles and really makes this feel like a prestige car. The signature stripes running off-centre have been perfectly realised as well. This is definitely my favourite car out of the 4 other Stunticons, and probably one of my favourites in my collection. It is a shame then, that he can't be 'posed' with the likes of Runamuck, due to his diminutive status. Although otherwise we would have a rather enormous (and prohibitively expensive) combiner on our hands. It can be a bugger to align all of the panels which is something I neglected to get right in my photos, d'oh!
This is another FansProject transformation which I feel is slightly too ornate for it's own good, but then this is exactly what I expect of them anyway. The rear of the car unfolds to reveal the lower legs - this step feels a bit scary ad you are almost scraping plastics against each other. The front wings of the car pull away and the arms are unfolded at several points in sequence, which I do think is very clever and allows them to stow in a tiny space under the chassis. The head has to be rotated 180 degrees as well, because the parts do not all fit together without carrying out this important step. It also has to be carefully pulled up into position. The hood folds over to reveal the chest. This figure lacks any heels so handy flip-out stabilisers have been made available. Even the gun transforms, well it is part-formed from 2 separate components, as with the other Stunticons revealed thus far.
As per usual, FansProject doesn't disappoint although this chap is not quite as dynamic as Breakdown and Wildrider. His neck is ball-jointed and his waist also allows a similar range of movement. His shoulders and hips are both ball-jointed. He has bicep and thigh swivel. His knee and elbow joints allow the limbs to be folded up to about 45 degrees. His feet are also ball-jointed, and while the heel stabilisers look quite odd in all honesty, they are absolutely essential, endowing this figure with decent balance. Without them, he would struggle to hold any poses. But to be honest, if I were to display this figure individually, I would use zero of his articulation, because he would be in car mode.
There are no terrifying moments with this figure, but as mentioned there are still some scary moments during transformation, and the panel alignment in car mode is difficult to get right. However, I love the plastic used on the bodywork, which really sets this figure aside from the somewhat disappointing finish of, say, Breakdown. This figure definitely has a more luxurious feel to it.
Overall - 39/50
This incarnation of Dead End has really grown on me, and as I have said the alternate mode is fantastic. The robot mode doesn't quite hit the same heights but it is not without its charm, despite the rather controversial shoulder pads, which put Nightbeat to shame. But then FansProject never just replicate existing characters entirely - they always put their own unique spin on them which is why they appeal to me. Bring on Motormaster!