It’s hard to believe Combiner Wars has come and gone already, eh? No, actually it’s not. While I enjoyed the line quite a bit, seeing those same molds over and over was beginning to wear out its welcome. Thankfully, we have a brand new line coming in, and like Combiner Wars, I’m happy to say that it is slavishly beholden to Generation 1. I hope you like Headmasters, because that is indeed the main gimmick of Titans Return. I know, these figures are old news to a lot of people, but they’re still hard to find in my area and I’m quite excited to be looking at my first one. So I’ll warn you ahead of time I’m going to talk about this figure a lot.
Alas, the packaging hasn’t changed all that much. It’s still mostly black with Transformers running vertically up the side. This overall design grew on me a little over the last year or so, but I was hoping for a change up. It still bears the Generations insignia in the upper right hand corner and the cards still feature character specific art at the top. Unfortunately, the art here is not really grabbing me. I appreciate that it’s emphasizing the Headmaster gimmick, but it just looks goofy to me. Also, the fact that I have to title these Features with the Headmaster’s name first like the actual figure is an afterthought is going to irk me every time. In the end, I’ve never even been tempted to keep carded Transformers packaging, so it’s not a big deal to me. Into the rubbish bin with you, foul packaging! OK, let’s start with the alt mode…
Hey, did I mention it’s Blurr? I love Blurr! Always have. He was one of my favorite characters from the movie and post-movie season of the Sunbow series. This is about as close to G1 Blurr as we’ve had in forever and it’s making me very happy. The vehicle is a beautiful homage to the G1 toy right down to the engine/exhaust/fin thing on the back and the gap behind the cockpit. It holds together tightly, rolls along fine, and the robot mode’s gun mounts under the nose of the car. As far as alt modes go, this one is simple, you can kind of see what’s going to happen with the transformation, and all that is just fine with me. I adore this.
The coloring is solid as well. The bulk of the car is cast in an ever so slightly metallic blue plastic. You get some gray, as well as a little minty blue all of which conspire to replicate those instantly recognizable colors from the G1 toy. The brilliant silver paint used for the gun is easily the stand out attraction here. An Autobot emblem on the hood and a translucent blue tinted cockpit helps seal the deal.
Blurr’s little chum is Hyperfire, which is a name that sounds more suited to a Targetmaster than even the name of G1 Blurr’s Targetmaster, Haywire. As a kid buying toys, I was already growing out of Transformers by the time the Headmasters hit. I enjoy the gimmick now, but I think I would have been confused by it back then. I didn’t want to worry about how that whole symbiosis worked and who’s personality was who’s. I just wanted robots that changed into stuff and fired lasers at each other. Anyway, my rambling should tell you that I don’t have a whole lot to say about this little guy. He’s cool for what he is: A very tiny robot that turns into a head and can also ride in Blurr’s alt mode. His legs are fused together, but they can bend together at the hips and knees. His shoulders are jointed, and since his little head is also the connection to the robot, it is also articulated. Hasbro made a valiant effort at painting this tiny guy, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s got a giant screw right in the middle of his chest.
Hyperfire can indeed sit comfortably in Blurr’s car mode and the cockpit closes perfectly. I would dare say that my favorite thing about the Headmaster gimmick is having these little guys to interact with the vehicles. Speaking of which, those pegs beside the cockpit are there so you can attach more Headmaster riders via the peg holes in their tiny feet. Oh yes, Blurr also has a second alt mode, and to show it off, I’m bringing in one of the individually packed Headmasters, Nightbeat.
You basically take the hood section, flip it upside down and peg it into the side to form an outrigger with a cannon. This is not the most clever of designs, but I have to say, I love this concept probably more than it deserves. Something about this just reminds me of the old Micronauts toys, where you could pull pieces off of them and remake them into different things. Blurr’s sidecar doesn’t quite measure up to that level of complexity, but I really appreciate what they did here in terms of added play value. Well, enough of the alt modes… can Blurr’s robot mode live up the same level of ungodly G1 goodness?
Yes it can. There isn’t a whole lot to transforming Blurr, but damn do I dig the results. Like the alt mode, this robot mode just pulls at all the right nostalgia strings for me. This figure is as Blurr a Blurr as we’ve had in the modern era and I am in love with him. A lot of early reports have scared me about how loose the joints on these figures feel, but I’m fortunate that my Blurr has no such issues. He’s perfectly proportioned and there is an impressive amount of sculpted detail on him. But as complex as some of the detail is the overall feel of this figure is positively elegant in his simplicity.
Unfortunately that simplicity follows through on his coloring, where it is less of a selling point. There’s precious little paint on this figure and in robot mode he shows a lot less variety than in his car mode. What’s here is good. I really like the way they painted the look of the original toy’s stickers above the feet. You also get a little of the lighter blue trim around the cockpit, but the bulk of that coloring winds up on his back and the backs of his forearms. Other than that, it’s just a whole lot of that metallic blue plastic. His deco (or lack there of) is not unattractive to me, but arguably on the bland side. It’s also worth noting that there is an obvious place on his lower chest intended for an Autobot insignia, but Hasbro didn’t bother printing it in there. That bugs me more than anything else, and I’ll likely wind up digging through my sheets of repro stickers to find one to put there.
Blurr has a hood-shield similar to his G1 counterpart. I was never a fan of that design and I’m delighted to say that the piece on this figure can store on his back to fill out the torso a little more. The result is no obvious car-part shield and no extra part lying around. The silver gun can be held in either hand and goes a long way to spruce up the otherwise sameness of the coloring here.
Like all Headmasters, Hyperfire just rolls up into a ball to form the head and it works just fine. The head sculpt is great. It’s undeniably the Blurr that I grew up with and the head stays together even when I manipulate it on the neck. For people who aren’t into the whole Headmaster thing, I don’t think the look of the head will be an issue, other than having to attach it after transformation.
And yes, all Headmasters will work on this guy. I pulled out Nightbeat once again to illustrate. The idea of swapping heads is a big one in Titans Return, but not one that really interests me a lot. Heaving a Headmaster for Nightbeat doesn’t make me want to put it on Blurr, it makes me want to have a proper body for Nightbeat. And if there were such a body and the head was called Nightbeat, than why isn’t Blurr’s head called Blurr? See… this is exactly the sort of shit that would have fried my child brain if I had these way back when. Granted, I seem to recall that in the original concept, the Nebulons were bonded to specific robots, so this perverse practice of head-swapping wasn’t possible. Nonetheless, I bet this is fun for the kids and I’ll admit to already own eight of the individually packaged Headmasters, four Autobots and four Decepticons. I will eventually do a very quick Feature on them when I run out of the regular figures to talk about.
You need only look at how long I droned on about a simple Deluxe Class figure, to know that I really love this toy. In fact, apart from the lack of paint apps in robot mode, I’d say he’s very nearly perfect to me and he’ll definitely be replacing that Blurr that was recycled from Drift a few years back. This is my new Classics/Generations Blurr and I find that he even scales fairly well with Classics Rodimus and most of the gang from the Generations line as well. He was a great choice for me to usher in this new line and I can already tell that I’m going to be into Titan Returns in a very deep way.