DragonHawk XH-1 with Wild Bill (RoC) Review

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ahh yes, the DragonHawk. When images of this first showed up, everyone was excited to see a modern update on the classic Dragonfly. Now that people have it in their hands, many were... disappointed.

The DragonHawk is designed after the AH64 Apache helicopter with some features of the RAH66 Comanche and of course, given the classic GIJoe flair. The sculpting is very detailed and really reminds one of the classic vehicles of the early Joe line. The DragonHawk is equipped with a turreted six-barrelled Gatling gun system under the nose (rotates left to right but not up and down) and a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems (non-movable).

The vehicle is molded in Army green plastic, again harkening back to the classic Joe line. The rotor blades, wheels, and hydraulics are molded in black plastic, while the canopy is tinted green. The decals are all very detailed and realistic with the all too familiar "NO STEP" and "BEWARE OF BLAST" warnings, again, another throwback to the classic era.

The DragonHawk has one action feature: Like the Comanche, the DragonHawk carries its weapons internally and has a weapons bay on each side of the fuselage. The missiles are mounted on the weapon bay doors which slide out sideways. The internal weapon bay is fitted with AG202 missiles. Each door holds two missiles. Unfortunately, the DragonHawk's stub wings are not fitted with weapon pylons unlike the classic Dragonfly or the Apache. Pulling on the base of the tail slides out the weapon bays. Pressing on the button behind each weapon bay fires the missiles.

Sounds pretty cool so far, right? Now comes the biggest drawback of all, its size. The RoC DragonHawk is tiny! On its own she's a beautiful helo. But when placed alongside her older sisters, especially the Delta class gunship Wildfire (Night Attack Chopper), it immediately becomes apparent that the RoC DragonHawk is out of scale. She's dwarfed even by the very slim Dragonfly from 1982. The toy is very light and small and feels very much like the classic SkyHawk (GhostHAWK to you newer fans) and the 1994 Razorblade. The RoC DragonHawk is 1:35 in scale instead of the 1:18 scale of GIJoe.

The DragonHawk includes the pilot Wild Bill. Yes, the fourth Gen3 Wild Bill figure (single pack 25th, comic pack in cartoon colors, SRO 3pack). Many fans say that this is Resolute Wild Bill but this is NOT. Resolute Wild Bill is colored very much like the classic & 25th figure in an Army green flight suit with a brown vest. This figure is in an olive drab (almost gray) flight suit with a new black flight vest.

Wild Bill has a new enlarged head and new enlarged shins. The figure uses the unmodified Ace body without the cowboy belt buckle, buttpack, and cowboy holsters for the twin revolvers Wild Bill is known to carry.

Wild Bill comes with no accessories other than the tan cowboy hat (another new mold, not the Air Cavalry hat of the previous G3 versions) and the black flight vest. No guns. No stand.

In the US, these are $25 and people are already complaining. Here inthe Philippines, they are ₱2,000.00 or $41.60. Whoah. For a vehicle this size, I don't think so. The scale issue alone is a dealbreaker for me.

- JM