Woah, what’s this? A Transformers review? And the very week after I do away with Thursday content? Yeah, it just kind of worked out that way. While hunting the aisles for the new Power of the Primes figures and coming up empty, I actually stumbled upon Slugslinger, the [second to the] last Titans Return figure that I needed and I was pretty damn happy about it. Lets’ take a look!
And here’s the Titans Return Deluxe packaging once more for old time’s sake. Yeah, it hasn’t changed much for Power of the Primes, but not having to show the Titan Master head attaching to the body does give them a little more to work with when it comes to the character art. As usual, you get the Generations logo in the upper right corner and the Titan Master’s name takes priority over the main robot. I always thought that was a little weird. I really don’t have anything else to say about the packaging, so let me get him out and transformed and we’ll start with his vehicle mode.
Of course, Slugslinger is based on his G1 namesake, along with his Targetmaster, Caliburst, who has now been re-made into a Titan Master. Hasbro was really experimenting with some cool and original ideas at this point in the G1 timeline and Slugslinger’s distinctive twin-nose and cockpit configuration is a fine example of that. Everything about this jet is a wonderful recreation of the original G1 toy, just a little sleeker and more detailed. And if this jet mode looks more than a little familiar, that’s because the legs that form the engines are recycled from Misfire and Triggerhappy and hence the transformation is very similar as well. Keep in mind, I’m not complaining. If you’re going to borrow from other Deluxes, you might as well borrow from two of the best. I also dig the uniformity it gives these three and they look great flying in formation together.
The deco stays pretty close to the blue and gray plastics used for the original toy. The blue here is a little bit darker, but it looks great I’m not going to split hairs. You get tinted blue canopies over the cockpits and some tampos for detail on the tops of the engines and on the wings, including some crisp Decepticon insignia. If you’re not a fan of symmetry, the weapons can be attached under each wing, although I really wish they had made it so you could attach their combined mode to the top of the jet, like you could with Caliburst and the original toy. The sculpt is pretty solid, with lots of panel lines and other little details, and you get some tiny foot pegs in case you want to have some Titan Masters riding on his back.
As I mentioned earlier, Caliburst was G1 Slugslinger’s Targetmaster, but here he’s a Titan Master and he turns into Slugslinger’s noggin. He stands a league above most other Titan Masters as Hasbro actually spared some paint for his tiny face. He’s cast in the same blue and light gray plastic as Sluggo and he ranks pretty high among my favorite little head robots. So which of the two cockpits does he ride in? Neither, because those two are fake outs and there’s a third cockpit centered behind them. That’s the one that opens up to give Caliburst a place to sit. If you can’t tell, I really dig this alt mode, but let’s see how he fares in robot mode.
Hell, yeah! The robot mode not only looks fantastic, but also has just as many wonderful nods back to the G1 toy as the jet mode does. Most notable are the very distinctive four circular devices on each side of his chest. These give off a cool battlemech vibe to me and between those and the dual nosecones rising up behind his head, there’s no mistaking who this is supposed to be. The blue and gray plastic that makes up his deco looks just as good here as it did in his jet mode, and the tampos on his lower legs and shoulders do a fine job of recreating the look of the stickers on the original toy. This is the way to do it, Hasbro… tampos! Never stickers! I hope you learned your lesson with the Voyagers Class figures from this line.
The head sculpt is where this guy varies most from the old toy, as it’s more stylized here, particularly the eyes. The original toy had a visor, but here you get two very narrow and angled peepers that go well with his mischievous grin. The “helmet” is smoother and less detailed than the original Sluggo’s head, and it’s possible that older fans will take issue there, but I think it works fine.
From the back, Slugslinger still looks pretty good, so long as you’re like me and enjoy your robots having jets hanging off their backs. That’s not sarcasm… I really do enjoy jets on my robots’ backs! The dual cockpit assembly folds down a bit in the transformation so that they still creep up over his shoulders, but not too high. I think the wings would have looked better flipped forward, but what’s here is faithful to the G1 toy and who am I to argue with that? Slugsy does suffer from some hollow leg syndrome, but I’m not going to hold that against him.
Slugslinger wields two very distinct looking weapons. One is a blue double-barreled gun with squared off barrels, while the other is a gray, single barrel blaster. I think both are excellent looking weapons, and offer up a bit of variety to the usual guns from this line, which are often just two halves of a combined gun.
Of course, they can still be combined into one beefy gun, and I think I like this option the best. Instead of two halves going together, the gray one mounts on top of the blue one. I think G1 Caliburst would be proud.
I don’t know if it’s because he released pretty late in the line, but Slugslinger was a tough little bot for me to track down. He’s been available at some online stores for a while, but going for way above retail at my usual haunts. I was getting ready to pay premium for him, so imagine my delight when I happened to run into him on the pegs at Target, especially since this line has been gone from stores for a little bit now. He’s yet another variation on an absolutely fantastic base figure and when grouped up with Misfire and Triggerhappy. I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it once more, the Deluxe Class figures in this line were absolutely fantastic. Some of the best Transformers Hasbro has put out in years, and I’m still sad to have seen it end.
I’d say that’ll finally do me for Titans Return, but I still have a certain Leader Class figure to track down.