As Transformers G1 reached a fever pitch in 1986, Hasbro and Takara rolled out a plethora of new designs. Almost half of the new releases were combiners, such as Dead End, a Stunticon who transforms into a maroon 1985 Porsche 928S.

US Patent for G1 Dead End

Origins

Dead End was originally conceptualized for a Diaclone subseries called “Jizai Gattai”, or Free Combination, which would have included the Stunticons, Combaticons, Aerialbots, Protectobots, and Metroplex. Each team had a theme, each limb figure could combine with any other team leader as any limb, and each leader figure had some sort of base mode, usually, with a spring-loaded vehicle launcher. All the figures could also interact with Metroplex. However, Transformers’ imminent success put Diaclone and Jizai Gattai on ice. It was Transformers’ long term success that saw these designs to completion, however. Dead End was designed by Kaoru Matsumoto and the US Patent titled Reconfigurable¬†toy¬†vehicle (aka Transformers G1 Dead End) was filed on July 31, 1985 (U.S. Patent No. USD294610 S).

Origins

Dead End was originally conceptualized for a Diaclone subseries called “Jizai Gattai”, or Free Combination, which would have included the Stunticons, Combaticons, Aerialbots, Protectobots, and Metroplex. Each team had a theme, each limb figure could combine with any other team leader as any limb, and each leader figure had some sort of base mode, usually, with a spring-loaded vehicle launcher. All the figures could also interact with Metroplex. However, Transformers’ imminent success put Diaclone and Jizai Gattai on ice. It was Transformers’ long term success that saw these designs to completion, however.

Description

Dead End transforms into a maroon Porsche 928S with a yellow racing stripe down one side. His car mode is relatively accurate to the real-life vehicle, including the blended front and rear spoilers, and molded trim lines, headlights, and other details. He features plastic wheels riveted tot he body (as opposed to the usual pins). The rivet heads are decorated with a concentric ring to give the appearance of hubcaps, though not accurate to any particular vehicle. Dead End's transformation is very simple. The hood flips back to reveal his blocky head, the legs are rotated out sideways and down at the knee from the rear of the car, and the thighs are shortened into his body. His arms are slices of the car that can pivot upwards at the shoulder. His chestplate is an unpainted die-cast piece, though it is decorated with stickers. He can wield his pistol in a blocky hand in robot mode, or a large dual cannon can be attached to the back of the car to form an “Attack Car”. His instructions do not depict the step where his legs are slid up, leaving him humorously lanky, even in the stickering diagram. As a “Scramble City”-style combiner, he can also transform into any combiner’s arm or leg by connecting a hand or foot to the rear of the car and pivoting his head down, or his hood back, respectively. He typically forms Menasor’s left arm.

Collector Notes

Dead End is a fairly sturdy figure, but as with all combiner limbs, care should be taken when removing his head from a combiner team leader. Paint wear on his face is almost inevitable for a Dead End that has ever been combined.

Variants

Dead End has no production variations, other than a date stamp change when production was moved to Macau.

Availability

Dead End was available in 1986, either individually carded, or as part of a Menasor giftset. Due to the popularity of the combiners, Dead End was available again in 1987, with or without a random purple Decepticon Decoy. He was available again in 1990 in Europe’s extension of G1, as part of the Classic Stunticons.

Redecos & Retools

Dead End’s mold has not been re-used, but a prototype redeco was produced for Generation 2. Several of these prototypes exist, including some sealed production mockups. Although transformation is identical to his team-mate Breakdown, but the only piece shared between them is the plastic tire.