Well it's been a while, so I thought I'd show a little more love to the Brave toy line with another figure that was originally a Transformer. After my articles about Red Geist, and Goryu, I really didn't think I'd have much opportunity to write about this line again, but I was wrong. A recent collection purge has blessed me with the opportunity to own not one, but two of the last remaining Brave figures that were on my list; Thunder Dagwon, and Hiryu. I'll cover Hiryu in another article, but for now lets take a look at Thunder Dagwon from the Brave Dagwon line.
I'll be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about the Brave toy line or show; I'm a Transformers collector, why would I? What I do know, is that there were several Transformers molds that were reused by Takara for this toy line, and that's what interests me! Thunder Dagwon is based on the ultra-rare Galaxy Shuttle mold. For those of you who are familiar with Galaxy Shuttle, you'll notice quite a bit of re-molding on this figure. Superficially the wings, head, and chest are very different. You'll also notice the inclusion of another small robot, motorcycle, grey bracket, and staff that the original didn't have. In addition to the obvious re-molding one of the things that I noticed right away, was that the wings weren't just aesthetically different, but had been modified so that they were no longer detachable. I thought this was pretty cool, considering how many Galaxy Shuttles I'd seen that were missing wings; two less parts to lose! The wings have a double-hinge that allows them to just swing into place, verses removing them ala the G1 Seeker-style that Galaxy Shuttle uses.
Aside from the difference in how the wings attach, transformation is pretty much the same as his G1 Transformers counterpart. The only exception is that the chest flips down, and rotates to reveal the gold chest shield that is so distinctive to the most of the Brave line. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of the all the "chest-bling", but luckily you can just leave it hidden if you want... and I want to. The small motorcycle transforms into another small robot, and a backpack for Thunder Dagwon in robot mode. The transformation of the motorcycle is pretty simple, and doesn't really add, or detract, from the figure at all.
One of the coolest added features (in my opinion) is the grey bracket, weird that such a small part could impress me much, but it does. In the figures robot-mode it combines with the gun, and turns it into a larger gun, but that's not where this part shines. In vehicle-mode this part attaches to the bottom of the space shuttle, and allows it to attache to Fire Command Dagwon (a jumo-jet airliner) for an assisted take off mode. I know it's a small thing, but this really impresses me. I'd been looking at Fire Command Dagwon for a while because of his compatibility in base-mode with a couple other figures I own, but I'm pretty sure this has cemented the fact that I really want him to go with Thunder Dagwon.
As another added bonus, Galaxy Shuttle was engineered to be compatible with Countdown's Rocket Base, so consequently Thunder Dagwon is compatible with the MicroMan L-26 Rocket Base. Inter-playability is a big bonus for me, so the fact that this figure can interact with so many other figures really impresses me.
Overall this is a pretty cool figure, and if you're looking for an affordable(-ish) way to experience the Galaxy Shuttle mold, this is a good way to do it. The compatibility with other figures is a huge bonus, and the sheer size of this figures is pretty impressive. I wasn't under the impression that this figure was small, but I didn't expect it to be anywhere as large as it actually is. This figure gets the Plastique Freak Seal of Approval!