Transformers Titans Return: Flameout and Twin Twist by Hasbro

I was supposed to be going back to Voltron content this week on Transformers Thursday, but then I stumbled across Top Spin and all bets were off! Finally, my Neo-Jumpstarters are complete and I couldn’t wait to start gushing about this Titans Return update to the other half of my favorite Transformers Duo! So, sorry Voltron, maybe next week.

Here’s a quick peep at Twin Twist in the package before I savage it to get at him. I won’t bore you with more tales about how I loved the G1 Jumpstarters and about how I was ostracized on the playgrounds because of it. Don’t worry, the subsequent therapy did wonders for me and I can now admit in public again that I am and have always been Pro-Jumpstarter. Also, I can’t believe that I neglected to mention the bio on the back when I reviewed Topspin, but these fellas’ Titan Masters give them some pretty cool powers. Freezeout gives Topspin the ability to freeze his foes in whatever mode they are in. Flameout overloads his foes transformation mechanisms triggering a “mode-switching meltdown.” Yeah, I don’t usually bother with the bios on these figures, but that’s some rad shit! Anyway, let’s start with Twin Twist’s alt mode…

Yup, Twin Twist retains his good old drill tank mode, which does a fairly good job of hiding that it’s a remold of Topspin’s Cybertron fighter mode. Well, apart from the back, which is mostly identical from the top, although from the back you can see that Topspin’s quad thrusters have been removed. The cockpit and surrounding area are the same, but Twin Twist trades in the angled wings for a pair of tank treads and the twin pylons on the front for drills.

Twin Twist’s deco is basically a palate swap of his Jumpstarter bro, although instead of white those parts are more gray. The intakes on his back are now painted yellow and framed in red, which looks quite nice. The silver paint used for the drills looks great too. Honestly, I have to confess to liking Topspin’s alt mode a little more, but that was the case with the originals as well. I mean one is an alien starfighter and the other is a drill tank. I don’t know what we were smoking in the 80’s to formulate such a love affair with drill tanks. They turned up in every goddamn cartoon property I can think of. I think 12-year old me would be heartbroken to find out that even as far in the future as the year 2017, nobody gives a shit about drill tanks. Seriously, they never even come up in conversation.

Because giant drills aren’t always useful in a shooting war, Twin Twist sports a couple of guns, which can be fitted in two different locations on the tank mode. You can attach them above the treads, which is where I prefer them, or lower on the treads. I like the fact that you can elevate the guns to lob shells at the enemies. It makes this alt mode feel a little more tank like.

Flameout, Twin Twist’s Titan Master, is cast all in one color plastic, but he does have a painted visor, which is pretty cool. Of course, he can sit inside Twin Twist’s cockpit and looks damn fine doing it. Twin Twist’s transformation is nearly identical to Topspin’s. Nope, no instant jump transformation here. Let’s check out his robot mode!

So, once again we can see that Twin Twist shares a lot with Topspin. In fact from the front the only evident differences in the mold from the neck down are in the upper arms. And that’s fine because it carries on the tradition of the original toys. Of course, the Twin Twist mold trades in the shoulder wings for shoulder treads. They’re certainly not as elegant, although I think they add some nice bulk to him from the side, and don’t look too bad from the front. The palate swap also does a nice job of distinguishing them apart and I especially like the yellow and red paint operations showing on Twin Twist, along with that silver painted hatch on his chest. I get just a hint of Gundam RX-78-2 off of this deco. Just a whiff.

From the back, those shoulder treads are a lot more unsightly to me and the crisscrossed cockpit and drills don’t look quite as refined as Topspin’s pylons. Still, plenty of Transformers aren’t going to win any prizes when viewed from the back, so I’ll cut Twin Twist here a little slack. At least his lower legs fill in with back plates.

The head sculpt is pure poetry. It’s everything I loved about the original, including a stout bucket head, a classically noble Autobot face, a nice clean silver paint job and some perfect blue eyes. Flameout, you make a fine head and you’ve got nothing to apologize for… except maybe your name.

Twin Twist’s guns are identical molds to those carried by his brother Topspin. I love these designs, although the hollow-sided nature of many of the Titans Return guns continues to irk me just a bit. And yes, you can still combine them into one big gun for when you need to deal…

QUAD DAMAGE, bitches!!!!

And so, I finally have my Titans Return Jumpstarters and I am a very happy little robot collector. I love these guys and I imagine they will be Wreckin’ and Rulin’ my desk for quite a while before they finally make the journey to the display case. They really are that much fun. And if you’re wondering why I did comparisons to the Mech Ideas Not-Jumpstarters in my Topspin review but not here, it’s because I already sold those third-party figures off. They were not bad little bots, but this is an instance where I think the cheaper, official ones are just that much better.

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