Ten grueling days straight of work without a day off? Murder Storms coming to kill me? Psshaw! I’m still here cranking out the reviews! Besides, it’s Transformers Thursday and all you change-o-bot fans have been gracious enough to sit through two weeks of Voltron, so I thought it important that I deliver up some hot and toasty Transformers action this week. And I just so happened to get a couple of new Transformers in this week and they’re the Voyager Class Triple Changers, Octone and Blitzwing! I’m pretty excited to finally have these in hand and while I’ll be honest and say that Blitzwing is the one I’m most anticipating, I’m going save him for later and open up Octone today.
And yup, his name is Octone. Goes to show you that Hasbro still hasn’t cleared up the copyright issues that forced them to call him Tankor back when the character was released as part of the Universe 2.0 line. That Deluxe Class figure was OK for its day, but it hasn’t aged well, and I sold it off the moment I had a whiff that this new Voyager Class was heading our way. Also, I’m calling him Octane for the rest of this review. Hasbro’s lawyers can call my lawyers. Actually, don’t. You’re a big corporation and probably have pretty good lawyers, my guy mostly deals in accident cases. Where was I? Oh yeah, Octane. I never owned his G1 toy, but he was certainly an interesting character in the Sunbow cartoon. His best appearance was in the fan favorite episode, “Starscream’s Ghost,” where his traitorous ways caught up with him and Galvatron hired a bounty hunter to take him out by planting a bomb in his spaceship. We also learned that Octane liked looking at robo-porn on those long space trips. Not gonna judge!
Here he is in robot mode and I am extremely happy with how he turned out. As you probably know, this mold was originally released as a Triple Changing Optimus Prime, but I passed on that one, because I knew Octane couldn’t be far behind. Now, one thing worth pointing out is that the “official” bot mode gives him shoulder pylons that extend upward, similar to that G2 Optimus Prime look. I knew those were going to bug me, but fortunately, you can fold them back and out of sight without compromising articulation. Now he looks more in character, especially with that black chest slab and those wings coming off of his back. The tires on his forearms are a little unsightly, but I can live with those. The legs, on the other hand are packed very neatly, especially considering they’re sporting truck tires on the outside and half an airplane nosecone inside each of them. Not bad at all!
From the back, he looks super clean with only his folded up tail fin jutting off in the way of kibble. The coloring on this guy is right on the mark too. He’s comprised mostly of pale gray plastic with with some darker gray wings. He also has some black and purple bits to give him a hint of that perfect Decepticon deco. You’ll also note that he makes use of stickers, which helped facilitate the use of the mold for the two characters. These include a Decepticon emblem sticker on his chest, striping stickers on his legs, and more on his wings. They look fine here, but I’ll come back to that in a bit when we check out his alt mode.
The head sculpt is terrific. It’s very Sunbow cartoon accurate. I really dig the angling crests on the top of his “helmet” as well as the silver paint for the face and red for the eyes. Like most of these Titans Return Voyager figures, he has that gimmick where you press a button on the chest and two pylons pop up on the sides of his head. I still don’t really get these and I prefer to leave them down. Naturally, Octane’s head detaches and transforms into the tiny Titan Master, Murk. Murk is cast in the same pale gray and purple plastic as his larger robot mate, and he has a pretty interesting little head sculpt.
Octane comes with two weapons, one is a pretty impressive looking rifle and the other is your standard “this gun is meant to seat a Titan Master, but sure let the robot hold it if you want” kind of weapon. Let’s move on to the alt modes, and I’m going to start with the tanker truck.
Of the two, the tanker is obviously the “priority” mode and there’s some cool stuff going on here, as well as one thing that aggravates me to no end. No matter how much I try to finesse it and study the nuances of the design, I cannot get the cab to pack together properly. It always feels mushy like everything isn’t seated correctly and there’s always a seam between the two halves of the cab. Most pictures I’ve seen of him seem to show the same problem, so I’m assuming it’s not a case of operator error. With that having been said, it’s a cool looking truck with some solid detail. There are panel lines in the tank, cages on the sides, and little ladders leading up to the doors of the cab. I think what I like the most about it is what you can’t see… the wings are almost totally concealed within the tank.
Yup, only the tips of the wings peek out the back. For a Triple Changer, I think this is a remarkably clean alt mode. The coloring is more or less the same as we saw on the robot mode, only those stickers are now more front and center on the sides of the vehicles. And just look at that one is already peeling at the corner near the back. I’m generally not a fan of Hasbro’s return to stickers for these toys and seeing this kind of peeling straight out the box isn’t about to change my mind.
The tanker truck mode has a place for Murk to sit in the compartment under the translucent purple hatch. You can also set up a weaponized outrigger for him on either side if you want to add a bunch of firepower. And now that we’ve seen the land mode, let’s see what Octane looks like when he takes to the skies.
Ehhhh, it’s a plane, sure, but it’s not a terribly great one. Clearly, the airplane is the alt mode that sacrificed the most on the drawing board. I actually think it would be sort of OK if it weren’t for the two halves of truck cab grafted to its ass.
I mean, look at what’s going on back here! I’ve had my share of gripes about Titan Return’s Astrotrain’s train mode that looked like some kind of land-based battleship, but it was sheer poetry compared to this tomfoolery. Hell, if Octane and Broadside entered a jet mode beauty contest, I think Octane here might actually lose it, although in fairness, nobody would really win. Now, I don’t want to come down too hard on it, because I doubt I could do it better at this price point, but it doesn’t make Octane’s jet-butt look any better.
I do dig the wings! When I think of Octane’s jet mode, the first thing I tend to think of are those broad angled wings and these look great. Even the stickers are applied smoothly and I’m not seeing any sign of peeling like I do on that one strip along the side of the body. I’ll also point out that the Titan Master compartment is also available on this mode, since the jet is just the truck backwards.
And, if this thing doesn’t look quite ridiculous enough for you, you can always peg in the rifle and outrigger, because “F’CK IT! WHY THE HELL NOT?” No point in pretending any longer, right?
I find myself coming down on Octane about the same way I came down on Broadside. Love the robot mode, and I’m split on the two alt modes. On the other hand, as a character Broadside means nothing to me, whereas I’ve often wanted a decent Octane on my shelf. Does this one fit the bill? Yeah, I guess so. I mean, I like him well enough to not go blowing $140 on the KFC Stratotanker figure. Octane is cool and all, but he’s not a three-digit price point kind of character to me. If I’m not living in the middle of a storm-ravaged disaster zone, I’ll likely take a look at Blitzwing next week before turning my attention back to some Voltron lions.