Transformers Titans Return: Ominus and Sky Shadow by Hasbro

Well, I said I’d be getting to one of the bigger bots sooner or later, and it looks like it’s finally happening. I stumbled across Sky Shadow last weekend and while I had planned on passing him over for the Overlord redo, I found that he was too cool looking to pass up. Also, he’s an homage to Black Shadow, a certified badass among badasses and I really needed that character in my collection. I’ll call you Sky Shadow for the purposes of this review, big guy, but behind closed doors, you’ll always be Black Shadow to me!

Here’s a quick packaged shot. While I haven’t been dipping into the bigger figures in this line all too often, this is actually my third Titans Return Leader Class, with Powermaster Prime and Blaster being the others. Let’s start out with his alt mode… whoops, I mean alt modes PLURAL. As in TWO INDEPENDENT AND SIMULTANEOUS alt modes. Does that make him a Duocon? Sure, why not! Although, I doubt even Hasbro would repaint a Leader Class as Flywheels unless it was some crazy Con or Club exclusive.

So first off, we’ve got this totally bitchin’ Decepticon tank. It’s a very conventional-looking Earth tank, but it also reminds me of the drone that came with Energon Megatron/Galvatron way back when. Now, as far as toy tanks go, it doesn’t do a hell of a lot. The turret doesn’t rotate, the gun cannot elevate, it’s treads are molded faux treads, but it can roll along on its concealed wheels. You do, however, get some tiny foot pegs on the back and on the turret so you can load him up with a bunch of Titan Masters. OK, maybe not the most exciting of toys.

But, with all that having been said, I still really love this little death machine. There’s a ton of sculpted detail on the body, including all sorts of panel lines and hatches. The black body with red trim is a fantastic color combination for a Decepticon and the silver paint on the gun barrel and the two Decepticon insignia stickers are all gorgeous. In fact, I’d say this is a case where the deco carries the day and totally sells this stubby little tank mode.

The translucent red hatch on the top of the turret can open and fit a Titan Master, which makes now as good a time as ever to introduce Ominus. He’s cast in black and gray plastic, and is just your typical tiny head robot, albeit with a great name. Alas, there’s no paint on him at all, which really peeves me off on these Leader Class toys. Hey, Hasbro, I spent some real monies on this thing, how about a dab of paint on this robot’s wee little face? Ah well. We have another alt mode to look at…

While Sky Shadow’s tank patrols the ground, his other half takes to the skies in what is a superb nod back to Black Shadow’s jet mode. This is the air and ground version of robot surf-and-turf. Eh, forget that, that doesn’t make any sense. That was the Jameson talking. But, this is one sleek and sexy aircraft, featuring the same style of angled wings that we’ve seen a few times in Titans Return, and a pair of chunky blasters under those wings that look like they mean business. The profile alone on this bird makes it one of the fiercest looking jets in the entire Decepticon fleet.

The deco here is mostly the same as the tank mode, and that’s a very good thing! It features all that lovely black plastic with red and silver trim, but here you also get some gold paint on the back rear section and a little dark gray plastic too. The striping and Decepticon emblems on the wings are actually pre-applied stickers and they look straight and sharp. They’re loads better than the ones on my Broadside figure. I only hope they don’t start peeling too badly over time.

Ominus can fit into the cockpit and he can also pilot the drone that’s stored under the nosecone. I actually prefer the look of the jet without the drone attached, but it’s still a cool little bonus. Here’s where I wish Sky Shadow came with more than one Titan Master. I mean, I realize he can only have one head at a time, but Ominus can’t operate both alt modes and a drone at once. Maybe he pilots one alt mode while Sky Shadow focuses on controlling the other. Maybe I still don’t fully understand the dynamics of the whole Headmaster/Titan Master relationship. Maybe I’m overthinking it and should just move on…

Sky Shadow’s jet mode can also pick up his tank mode and carry it with him. There’s a fairly strong tab that locks the two together. Naturally, this looks fairly ridiculous, but it comes in handy. Nothing is more embarrassing than flying a couple hundred miles, wanting to transform, and then realizing you left half of your body back where you were. Also, being able to fly over a battlefield and drop a tank right into the middle of the action sure is quite an attention getter. But wait… did I say Sky Shadow had two alt modes? Well, I lied, because he also has one of those tertiary base modes.

Ok, so as far as bullshit tacked-on base modes go, this one isn’t terrible. It’s got the typical robot leg pylons in the front and robot arm pylons in the back. There’s a central deck area with a big cannon and a jet nosecone that passes for a control tower. It can almost work as some sort of super-tank mode, since the tank treads are on the bottoms of the pylons. There are plenty of Titan Master foot pegs if you want to load it up with occupants. There’s a place for the cannon operator to sit, and also a control room on the right pylon to seat another Titan Master. But enough with the alt modes, let’s check out Sky Shadow’s robot mode.

The tank transforms into Sky Shadows legs and robo-groin…

While the jet transforms into the upper half, and the two connect in the middle.

And once fused together at the waist, he is a shining pillar of Decepticon magnificence. There is nothing that I don’t like about this guy. He sports a ton of sculpted detail, carried over from his alt modes, and I’m in love with the giant cannons that angle up and outward from his shoulders. This guy can shoot Autobots out of the sky while just standing around! He’s also so satisfyingly big and bulky in all the right places. The deco carries over a lot of the black and red from his alt modes, but adds some dark and light gray plastics, as well as a lot more of that beautiful silver paint on his chest and shoulders. He’s also sporting a bold Decepticon sticker on each of those shoulders. This dude is fabulous!

From the back, he looks nice and clean. The backs of his legs are mostly filled out by the two halves of the tank turret. His bent wings angle off his back, Seeker-style, and the nose cone of the jet rises up behind the back of his head to make him look even more imposing. The drone can peg into his back, like I have it in the above shot. I think it looks good back there, even if it does give him a bit of a stubby tail.

Just as we’ve seen with the other Leader Class Titans Return figures, Ominus transforms into Sky Shadow’s head, but actually fits inside a helmet. Overall, this has worked pretty well on these bigger toys and it works great here as well, allowing Ominus to work with the smaller Deluxe Class figures as well as the big boys. I’ll also go ahead and say that this is my favorite Titan Master head of the entire line. The fierce angles, the piercing yellow eyes, and the beautiful silver paint conspire to make it a work of art. Combine it with a very traditional G1 style “helmet” and those pointed blades rising off the sides, and you’ve got Titan Master perfection.

Sky Shadow’s extra bits, the drone from his jet and the cannon from his tank, can be pieced together to form a gun, but I really don’t like the way it looks. I dislike it so much, I didn’t even bother shooting a picture of him holding it. I’m much happier just stowing the drone on his back and giving him the tank cannon as a gun. It isn’t a terribly imposing gun for a robot this size, but it’ll do.

For what is essentially a sloppy seconds figure based on a mold that was designed to be Overlord, Sky Shadow is an absolutely stunning figure. I’ll confess on the ride home from the store, I was having second thoughts about buying him. After just selling off a bunch of old Transformers from the Unicron Trilogy, I’ve been trying to be more picky about the ones I buy, especially when it comes to the larger figures that take up more room. But once I had this fella out of the box and in hand it was pretty much love at first sight, and having him has only whetted my appetite for Overlord.

Transformers Combiner Wars: Skywarp (Leader Class) by Hasbro

I honestly didn’t plan this, but it’s almost exactly a year to the day since I Featured Combiner Wars Leader Class Thundercracker here on FFZ. Crazy, how time flies! I followed it up last October with a look at Starscream, and here I am finally completing this Trinity of Seekers with Skywarp! Today’s Feature will be easy-peasy-quick-and-breezy, as this is of course just a repaint of the toy I’ve already looked at twice. And that’s a good thing, because it was a long day at work and I am drinking heavily.

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The box is more or less identical to the other Leader Class Seekers, albeit with updated character art. Skywarp looks more pissed than I’ve ever seen him on the front of the box. I must have found this toy dozens of times languishing on the shelves without picking him up. It’s not that I didn’t want him. Skywarp is easily my favorite Seeker deco and I am fond of this as a Seeker mold, but truth be told, shelling out $45 for a repaint of the same toy twice isn’t something I relish these days and so I was waiting for a sale. It’s hard to believe that I’m the same guy who used to hit Walmarts at 2am looking for Armada repaints. Anyway, I got nothing else to say about the package, so let’s take a look at his alt mode…

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Yup, this is still a mighty attractive jet mode, and it still boggles my little change-a-bot loving mind that this is remolded from¬†Jetfire. I really dig the sleek contours and all the sculpted panel lines. And as good as this jet looked the last couple of times I showcased it, it looks all the better for wearing Skywarp’s glorious black and purple. The base black plastic isn’t as glossy as I would have liked, but you can get a nice sheen off of it when viewed in the right light and at the right angle. Both the purple paint and plastic are nicely matched and really add that extra pop, along with that sumptuous silver paint that Hasbro seemed to discover solely for the Combiner Wars line.

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Skywarp features three sets of folding landing gear, and lest you forgot… the canopy opens revealing a fully detailed cockpit with two seats.

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He’s also loaded with guns. There are six guns in total that can find a home on his jet mode, and there’s even a couple of places you can stick his missile launcher, but as a champion of symmetry, I prefer to leave it off of his alt mode. With three sets of cannon one each wing, I’d say he’s armed well enough. As far as jets go, Skywarp is one sexy beast, so how’s that robot mode?

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I still dig it! The transformation here is ridiculously easy, so if you’re someone who equates value with complexity in your converto-robos, this mold may feel like a cheat. As far as I’m concerned, it gets the job done and the relatively quick conversion does make him fun to play with. As I’m sure I’ve already pointed out a couple of times with his brothers, the robot mode here isn’t perfect. There’s a lot of ugly under-wing showing. Damn, this would have been an amazing looking figure if they could have added a swivel to allow those wings to turn around. Eh, but then they’d be pointing down. Either way, it’s not a deal-breaker for me and there’s still a lot to love here only now it’s fortified¬†with 100% pure Skywarp Deco Goodness.

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Of course, he’s still wearing a collapsed jet on his back, which isn’t a big deal to me. Yeah, it showcases that the “cockpit” in his chest is a fakeout, but c’mon, that’s pretty obvious anyway.

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The head sculpt is also the same one we’ve seen all along. I’ll concede that at the Leader Class level, maybe Hasbro should have ponied up for some new head sculpts. Nothing drastic, but maybe just different expressions. Selling the same toy to idiots like me without a stitch of new sculpting seems like dirty pool. But, whatever!

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All those guns that Skywarp wore in his alt mode can find a home on his robot mode, or you can just pull them all off. Granted, only a couple can actually be wielded as weapons, unless he’s shooting in some real weird angles. The leg guns do a nice job of bulking out his lower legs, without getting in the way too badly. The smaller guns can stay pegged to his wings. I’m not a big fan of them there in robot mode, but I accept it as a place to store them. His arm cannons are the ones that mean business. He can aim them well, although they’re rather bulky and can get in the way of posing his arms.

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Skywarp also comes with the same missile launcher gun that the other two Seekers have. It’s a damn good gun, but handguns and Seekers don’t really fit together in my head, so this will probably join the others in a pile at the back of the shelf or be inherited by some other lucky robot.

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One year after being introduced to it, I still love this mold… possibly more than it deserves. It looks great, it’s fun to play with and when you get all three Seekers together with Generations Megatron and MP Soundwave, it’s an impressive sight. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I picked these up as my Masterpiece Seekers. It may sound like sacrilege, but MP Seeker mold just doesn’t cut it for me, not at the asking price. Granted, there’s a lot of compromise here, but for the money, I’ll happily have these guys stand in for now.

Transformers Combiner Wars: Starscream (Leader Class) by Hasbro

It’s the first Transformers Thursday in a while that I’m not talking about Protectobots, but I am still sticking with the Combiner Wars line this week. Back in July, I checked out Hasbro’s bold new take on the Seekers with their Leader Class Thundercracker, built from the Generations Jetfire mold and if you haven’t read that Feature, I suggest glancing back at it. Starscream is, as expected, a repaint of the same figure so I’m going to try to be brief and focus on the minor differences.

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Not much different to say about the box. It’s the now standard Combiner Wars deco with Starscream packaged in robot mode. There is no comic book included, but you do get a nifty art card. While there are some troublesome twisty ties to remove, the package is totally collector friendly. Let’s start with his alt mode.

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Yup, the mold is identical to Thundercracker and it’s basically the Jetfire mold without the booster pieces and with a brand new pair of wings. This is a very attractive jet mode and works beautifully for me as a Seeker. I’m also still impressed that the cockpit actually opens. Nice! The new deco is very pretty and looks appropriate for Starscream. The off-white plastic is a little light, but not too bad, and the striping on the wings coupled with the Decepticon insignia look outstanding. All the paint is crisp and clean and when you toss in a little blue plastic trim and the yellow tinted cockpit and I’m very pleased with how this jet came out.

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Transformation is identical to Thundercracker and Jetfire and I like the engineering here a lot. It’s relatively simple, but there’s some clever stuff happening. Probably not the depth of engineering everyone is going to be expecting from a Leader Class toy, but in my old age, I’m getting to appreciate figures that can convert back and forth without too much frustration.

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Obviously, the robot mode is also identical to Thundercracker, except for the new deco, which carries forward the same red, blue, and off-white as the jet mode. Again, I think the colors here are great and this robot mode makes for a fantastic updated Seeker. The only thing I’m really missing are the shoulder scoop towers, and I’m throwing it out there to all you third-parties… if you want to make a set of shoulder scoops for these guys, I’ll buy them. There are even obvious crevices where they could be made to fit. Easy money! I’m just saying!

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Of course, the cockpit on the chest is faked out and Starscream actually wears the nose of the jet mode down his back. It’s the biggest departure from the traditional Seeker look, but it doesn’t bother me all that much. I still would have liked it if the front of the wings were finished like the back, but I’m sure that would have added a lot of cost to production.

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The only real disappointment here is that the head sculpt isn’t new. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great looking noggin, and at least the face is painted differently, but for a Leader Class repaint, I would have thought Hasbro could at least pony up for a new head with a douchebag Starscream smirk. I would have much preferred it to the dopey crown.

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Yes, the crown is the only thing really new here and I’m really tired of this running gag based off such a small scene in the original movie. It can go into the Tote of Forgotten Accessories and rattle around in there with my MP Grimlock crown.

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Of course, you also get all the guns that came with Thundercracker. I like the null rays, but I still wish they pegged into the biceps rather than the forearms. You can get them into some great positions, but they sometimes impede articulation more than I would like. The smaller blue guns can still be mounted on his legs and wings, or just leave them off if you think they pollute the Seeker homage. I’m actually fine with them. Lastly, you get the same missile launcher handgun that came with Jetfire and Thundercracker, this time in black. I’m definitely giving this one to Jetfire so I can deep six his red blinged out gun. But be warned, this thing has a hair trigger and I’ve already had to wrestle the missile away from the cat a couple of times.

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There are no surprises here at all. Starscream is the straight repaint we all expected and I imagine he’ll be as polarizing a figure as CW Thundercracker. As someone who doesn’t like the Masterpiece Seekers enough to pony up the coin for them, I’m content for now adding Starscream to my MP Decepticon shelf, alongside Combiner Wars Megatron and Soundwave (and soon Shockwave!). I think he’s a great looking figure and now all that’s left is to sit back and wait for Leader Class Skywarp. And man, do I think this mold is going to look amazing in the deco!