Transformers Titans Return: Caliburst and Slugslinger by Hasbro

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.

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Transformers Titans Return: Trypticon by Hasbro

Today’s Transformers Thursday review is brought to you by the motto, “Better late than never.” I’ve had Hasbro’s latest beast of a figure since around Christmas time when Amazon had him as a very appealing Deal of the Day. He’s been out of the box and on my shelf since then, but reviewing these Titan Class figures takes a lot out of me, so I really had to build up to it. Also, I’m fresh out of other Transformers to look at right now, so it was either Trypticon or nothing. I also want to preface this review with the disclaimer I have up on my past two Titan Class figures. My staging area is not big enough to handle these guys, so I have to make do with a sheet for a backdrop and a lighting rig that is not at all ideal. Also, unlike the previous Titans, I’m doing this one all in one part. There were a few pictures I would have liked to retry, but time didn’t allow it. In other words… sorry for the picture quality on some of these. With that all being said, let’s check this guy out!

Like Metroplex and Fort Max before him, Trypticon comes in fully enclosed box with some really nice artwork on the front and plenty of pictures of him on the back. It’s collector friendly, but you have to be willing to risk pulling him apart again if you want to put him back in the box. For me, taking him out of the box was a one way trip. In addition to the big guy himself, you also get the Deluxe Class Full-Tilt figure and his Titan Master, Necro. Also included in the box is a character card, a folded instruction sheet, and a massive sheet of foil stickers. I put most of those stickers on, but there are a few that I didn’t bother with, and a few others that I’m just too scared to attempt. I may finish stickering him up someday, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve got. Let’s start out with a quick look at Necro and Full-Tilt!

Full-Tilt’s alt mode is a pretty cool looking purple car. I’m assuming this is supposed to be a Cybertronian vehicle, because there are no windshields and it looks like a futuristic armored car. There’s a decent amount of sculpted detail here, mostly in the form of panel lines, some bolts, an engine on the back, and he’s got four rugged looking wheels. What’s missing? There’s absolutely no paint showing on this mode at all, which makes it feel rather unfinished to me. Trypticon is expensive, Hasbro, splash some paint on there, would ya, please? Full-Tilt comes with a black double barreled gun and it can be pegged right into the top of the vehicle.

Necro is Full-Tilt’s Titan Master and he too escaped the factory without any paint, which is a shame. He’s cast mostly in purple, but his head is cast in black plastic. You get the usual points of articulation, with ball joints in the neck and shoulders. The legs are fused together, but they have hinges at the hips and knees. Full-Tilt’s auto mode does open up and has a compartment for Necro to sit in, but since he’s nearly all purple, he kind of blends in with the rest of the purple plastic.

While I’m not overly impressed with Full-Tilt’s car mode, I really dig his robot mode. It’s still woefully lacking a lot of paint, you just get some silver on his chest grills, red for his visor, and a little silver on his “helmet.” But he’s a good, solid and clean design and kind of fun to play around with. He also displays really well with the other Deluxe Class figures on my shelf. So, yeah I dig him, but I can’t dwell on him much longer, because I’ve got a lot more to look at. So, let’s move on to Trypticon’s space cruiser mode!

I have to be honest, I did not expect to like this nearly as much as I do. This is a bruiser of a ship and it’s bulky, ugly, no-nonsense design is exactly what I expect out of a Decepticon space cruiser. Forget the dainty curves of The Nemesis, Starship Trypticon looks like a warship that can take a beating, and it’s stacked with firepower and carrier capabilities too. There are just a few things I don’t care for about the design. First off, what’s the deal with those stubby wings? Who are you kidding Trypticon? Those can’t possibly serve any purpose! Also, the instructions show them angled up a bit, but the wings on mine are a little floppy and will only lay flat. Secondly, the gigantic translucent dome looks like a cockpit and that kind of throws off the whole scale of it. Indeed, it’s kind of hard for me to not see it as a cockpit, making this look more like a fighter-sized ship. At least until I start stacking it with Titan Masters. Oh, and how about the fact that the nose of the ship actually looks like Trypticon’s head. Wait, did I list that with the things I didn’t like? Forget that. It’s awesome!

Space Cruiser Trypticon is absolutely loaded with sculpted detail. There are vents, panel lines, cables, hatches, and Titan Master foot pegs littered all over this thing. He’s also got two massive cannons on his back, which can elevate, another cannon in the middle of his back, where you can also mount Full-Tilt if you want, and finally he has a set of two smaller guns right up front at the nose. He also has three massive reactors exposed on either of his broadsides. It’s probably a good idea put some armor up over those, but then I’d like to think they just piss out so much radiation that it’s better out then in. It’s also probably the bubbling molten hell where all the Titan Masters he eats go to be converted into fuel. But we’ll get to snacking on Titan Masters later on.

The sides of the space cruiser can be used to launch Deluxe Class Decepticon spacecraft, complete with ramps that can extend to make an elongated runway. Both Triggerhappy and Misfire fit really great in these areas. Here’s where you can also get a nice sense of the scale of this space cruiser mode. I particularly love the little doorway that leads into the ship. It’s just the right size for the Titan Masters to pass through. These two carrier sections really make the star cruiser mode a lot of fun to play with.

And just when you think you’ve seen it all the front of the ship can open up to transport Full-Tilt in his car mode. And since the front of the ship looks like Trypticon’s head, when Full-Tilt launches, it looks like he’s barfing him out. Simply awesome. Yup, I absolutely love this mode and it’s various little design elements. It’s fun to mess around with, but a little too big and heavy to be whooshing it around the room. All in all, I’d say this ranks better than most of the third modes on the Voyager Triplechangers in this line. Let’s move on to his city mode!

The city mode is not a whole lot different from the space cruiser mode, and I kind of dig that. It’s like Trypticon can just fly to another planet, transform while he’s landing and BOOM! There’s a Decepticon City in your neighborhood now, bitches! DEAL WITH IT! All he really has to do is unfold his legs into pylons, drop three ramps, raise the cannons into towers, and tweak a few other things. But despite it’s simplicity I think it’s definitely on par with the Fort Max/Metroplex cities, and probably even a wee bit better. High-Tilt can now launch from the top and roll all the way down the ramp and into battle. You can also park Deluxe Decepticons on the side platforms or continue to use them as aircraft strips. Honestly, while I really liked the interaction between the space cruiser mode and the Deluxes, this is a CITY mode, and to really show it off, I’ve just got to bust out the Mini-Cons!

These Titan Class cities are just about the only occasion I get to use my giant bag of Mini-Cons any more. There are still plenty of sweet spots to pile them on, but Trypticon doesn’t really have the same amount of useful surface space as Metro or Fort Max. He’s still plenty of fun, though and while the Titan Masters are tinier, I think the Mini-Cons also do a nice job conveying the intended scale of this thing. Of course, you still have the option of converting the twin towers into cannons by angling them forward, and there are plenty of covered areas under him where you can park more cars.  So, while I’ll give the space cruiser mode a bit of an edge as my favorite of the two, I like this one quite a bit. But now that we’ve been through both the alt modes, as fun as they are, the real attraction here is Trypticon’s T-Rex mode, so let’s get him transformed and check him out.

Oh, mama! As much as I dig the two alt modes, here’s what I bought my tickets for, and I am not disappointed. While Trypticon’s T-Rex mode is not as tall as Metro or Fort Max, he’s still a powerhouse of a figure and an absolutely spot-on update to the original toy. I know I made this comment when dealing with the space cruiser mode, but nearly every bit of his surface area is covered with some kind of sculpted detail. There’s so much going on with this guy that it’s easy to get lost in all the minutia, and I think the hyper-detail in the sculpt helps to accentuate just how big he’s supposed to be.  The deco is an instantly familiar combination of gray, teal, and purple that matches my memories of my old childhood friend, and he’s got all the points that I consider to be iconic, like the translucent orange discs on his hips, and the “teeth” on the insides of his feet that served the walking gimmick in the original toy. I’m also suitably impressed by the articulation in his not-so-little arms. They’re actually quite useful for picking up Autobot fools.

As awesome as the body is, the head is a damn work of art, with powerful jaws, light piping in the eyes which I did not want to cover up with stickers, and those massive shoulder cannons. Once again, all the detail in the sculpt blows me away. I really should have posted this review yesterday on Valentine’s Day, because I’m in love with this big guy. Trypticon’s noggin also holds a few fun play gimmicks.

For starters, if you plug Necro’s head mode into the little compartment on the top of Trypticon’s head, the translucent orange panel between his eyes flips up to reveal a hidden laser cannon. Sweet!

Next up, if you open his jaws up all the way he’s got a double barreled cannon hidden in his mouth. He also has a throat which lets him swallow Titan Masters, sending him to that hellish gut I mentioned earlier where they can be melted away into fuel. But not to worry, Hasbro knows those things cost $5 a pack, so you can open his chest and retrieve them from his stomach compartment easy-peasy. Above we see poor Fracas emerging in the fetal position muttering, “I’ve seen things!” I really love the hazard striping stickers that go around these chambers, even though they were a bitch to put on straight.

With three of these Titan Class figures on my shelves, you’d think the impact of their coolness factor would have waned a bit, but that is definitely not the case with Trypticon. Indeed, in a lot of ways he’s even more impressive than Fort Max, because he’s all new sculpting, and he’s everything I could have wanted in a modern Trypticon update. Every now and then I stare at him on the shelf and still can’t quite believe Hasbro is turning out toys this amazing. Hasbro gets a lot of shit from collectors, and sure some of it is deserved, but it’s hard for me to not acknowledge them as my favorite toy company when they’re turning out works of art like this guy, not through Kickstarters or Comic Shop Exclusives, but right on the shelf at your local big box. Will we get a Scorponok in this scale? That would be cool. But even if they retire the Titan Class line after this third release, nothing can take away the fact that they delivered this trio of amazing giants. I think I can speak for most of us when I say, Good on you, Hasbro! Unless you got a Trypticon with shitty hips. Then you’re probably pissed.

FigureFan’s Disappointments 2017, Part 1

Well, I hope everyone has been enjoying my Ten Favorites of 2017. There were a lot of items that came close to making the cut, but I tried to be good and stick as close to the self-imposed confines of my list as possible. And now it’s time to embark on the flip-side and look at my Ten Biggiest Disappointments of the year. I’m happy to say this list was a also difficult to assemble, but not because it was hard to whittle down, but rather it was tough to come up with ten acquisitions that really didn’t live up to my expectations. And that’s a good thing! So let’s kick off today with the first five…

Marvel Legends Astral Projection Doctor Strange: Hey, remember this turd? Generally speaking, 2017 was another fantastic year for Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line, but when you put out a lot of figures, at least a few of them are inevitably going to be crap. And this Doctor Strange variant was the cream of the crap. But this isn’t so much a case of a poorly made figure, indeed it’s a great sculpt, but rather a bad idea. Not only is it just a rehash of the regular Doctor Strange figure (FROM THE SAME GODDAMN WAVE!) cast in milky translucent plastic, but it was an obligatory purchase if you wanted the head for your Dormammu Build-A-Figure. And that’s what really earns this figure a spot on my List of Shame. If you’re going to toss this in as an extra in a three-pack or something, do what you gotta do, but don’t make him mandatory to complete a BAF. That’s just mean.

Star Wars Black Series Jawa by Hasbro: Just a reminder, that a figure doesn’t have to be bad to be on this list, just disappointing. And to be fair, I could say that Star Wars Black as a whole has been disappointing this year. It’s not that the figures are terrible, and yes there have been some great ones, but in general this line seems content to be average. It doesn’t feel like the “Collector’s Line” we were promised, but rather just a new scale set up to make idiots like me buy the characters all over again. The Jawa for me was a prime example of that. There’s just nothing here that hasn’t been done as well, if not better at a smaller scale. No tailored softgoods, a plastic robe that renders half the articulation useless, and he can’t even hold his guns properly. Need more? Well, this figure is also too small to justify this price point, it was really hard for me to get one, and in the end, it just wasn’t worth all the effort. If it weren’t for me trying to fill the Early Bird stand with the Original Twelve, I wouldn’t have bothered.

DC Multiverse: “The Dark Knight Returns” Batman and Robin: I’ll admit, I kind of feel like cheating by listing Multiverse figures in with my Disappointments. Truth be told, I didn’t have high expectations from this line at the time. But I was looking forward to getting these DKR figures on my shelf, only to be flabbergasted at how sub-par they turned out. Yes, flabbergasted! My monocle popped right out of my eye, as I exclaimed, “My word, what rubbish!” It’s hard to believe this is the same company that delivered so many great DC action figures in the past. This pair should have been a slam dunk, instead, they feel more like knock-offs. So much so, that I still haven’t bothered to complete this wave to build my goddamn Doomsday. Maybe next year.

Transformers Titans Return Murk & Octone by Hasbro: Just to prove that Titans Return wasn’t entirely made up of rainbows and kittens, here’s one that made my Disappointments List. 2017 was a stellar year for Deluxe Class Transformers, but maybe no so great for the Voyager Class figures. Figures like Broadside and Blitzwing made for solid robot modes, but their alt modes ran from somewhat lacking to downright terrible. And yet it was still pretty easy to single out Octone as the worst of the bunch. I was really looking forward to getting this guy in my collection, and I’ll still admit the robot mode is fine, but neither of his alt modes worked for me at all. Also, I hate what they had to do to his name. It’s OK, Hasbro, you’re still way ahead of the game for 2017.

And I do believe I’ll break for the day and tally up how much money I spend on these less than stellar purchases, some of which I regret and some I’d probably still buy just to have them in my collection. Join me again tomorrow as I round out this List of Disappointments and wrap up this week of lists.

 

FigureFan’s Favorites 2017, Part 1

Welcome, Toyhounds, to the first part of my Favorites from 2017 and I’m not really here. In fact, I’m probably out on my patio smoking a cigar and getting caught up on my stack of comics. If you’re confused about why you’re reading some kind of canned bullshit and not an actual review, I’ll refer you back to yesterday’s post where I explain everything. If you’re up to speed, then we’re going to dive right in to my first five favorite additions to my collection from 2017. These are in no particular order, so let’s go…

DC “Designer Series” Frank Cho Wonder Woman Sixth-Scale Statue by DC Collectibles: There was never any doubt that I’d have a statue from DC Collectibles on my Favorites list this year, because I picked up some great ones. But which one to choose? I waited a long time to get a version of Adam Hughes Wonder Woman in my collection and she turned out great. Likewise both the Babs Tarr Batgirl and the Deluxe Harley Quinn Bombshell were superb releases. In the end, I went with Frank Cho’s Wonder Woman because it’s just such a wonderful representation of the character, and it is executed flawlessly. I love the costume design, the paintwork is nearly perfect, and I really dig the materials DCC is using for flesh tones on these pieces. Cho’s Wonder Woman is not only my favorite DC Statue pick up in 2017, she may very well be my favorite statue of all my collection.

Transformers “Titans Return” Jumpstarters by Hasbro: This is only the second item on my list, and I’m already cheating by giving one slot to two figures. But that’s OK, because I couldn’t break up the Titans Return Jumpstarters by showing preferential treatment to one and ignore the other. If I wanted to really cheat, I could have taken up a lot more spots on my Favorites List just from Titans Return alone, so getting me down to just two was quite the achievement of willpower. It’s no secret that I loved this line, and there were a lot of figures that could have landed on this list, but in the end I had to go with Topspin and Twin Twist as my favorites. Not only are these great figures, not only are they superb updates to their G1 toys, but the fact that we got official Jumpstarters from Hasbro still boggles my mind. These are so good, that I ended up selling off my far more expensive third party Jumpstarters.

Ghostbusters Firehouse by Playmobil: If you had told me a few years ago that we’d be getting a Ghostbusters Firehouse playset in 2017, I’d have called you a raving lunatic and poked out one of your eyes as a lesson not to f*ck with me. And yet here it is! What’s even more baffling is the fact that it came from Playmobil. Now, I may be a little biased, because PlaymoSpace and Playmobil Pirates were my jam growing up, but even if I wasn’t already sold on the brand, I probably would have jumped at this. With their track record for going nuts on parts and accessories, and their easy to customize figure buck, Playmobil turned out to be the perfect fit in this otherwise unthinkable union. Yes, I could have just as easily listed the Ecto-1 here, but c’mon… this is the freaking Firehouse! And Playmobil did a beautiful job with it. It’s almost a pity this set didn’t come out closer to Christmas, because it would have been a perfect review for Christmas Morning!

Epic Marvel Quarter Scale Deadpool by NECA: I’ve been trying to stay away from NECA’s Quarter Scale figures. They’re amazing figures and very reasonably priced, but I really don’t have the space for them. Nonetheless, there are some releases that are no-brainers, and when they first revealed Deadpool, I knew I had to make an exception. And I’m glad I did! This figure truly lives up to the name Epic. The sculpt is phenomenal, the accessory count is over-the-top, and despite being such a big figure, he is loads of fun to play with. NECA absolutely surpassed themselves with this figure and it is some of the best work I’ve seen out of anyone all year long.

Star Wars Rogue One TIE Striker by Hasbro: I’m probably as surprised as you are to see this on the list, but this toy just impressed the hell out of me. I wasn’t expecting much, and I didn’t even buy it until it hit deep clearance. Star Wars vehicles aren’t what they used to be, but this one feels like it belongs among the best of them. Sure, I could have done without the Nerf gimmick, but apart from that this is a quality toy and a cool design from what has become one of my favorite Star Wars movies of all time.

And that’s it for my First Five Favorites of 2017. Come on back tomorrow and I’ll wrap up my list of the good stuff!

Transformers Titans Return: Revolver and Six Shot by Hasbro

Hasbro has been rolling out their new Power of the Primes line at retailers this past week, and yes I have already picked up the first wave. But, I’m not ready to give up on Titans Returns just yet. Maybe next week I’ll start busting into some of those Deluxes. For now, I’m checking out Six Shot, a Leader Class figure that I would have probably skipped if I didn’t come across him at half price. I know, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but let’s see if this big bastard can surprise me.

Six Shot and I do not have a history together. His original toy was released pretty late in the game, when I was around 15 and just not into toys anymore. Yeah, it sounds crazy, but it would take me another 15 years and a healthy amount of disposable income, to come back around to buying toys again. But even if I wasn’t taking a toy-buying sabbatical back in 1987, I don’t know that I would have been interested. I’m just not all that into the law of diminishing returns that tends to apply to Transformers with more than two alt modes. And so with that context being laid out, let’s open this beast up. As a Leader Class, Six Shot comes in a nice big window box and packaged in his robot mode, and in this rare occasion I’m going to start there before working my way through his various alt modes.

And yes, I know I’m in store for some pretty iffy alt modes, but let’s first take this time to enjoy how great this robot mode looks, because I think it’s going to make up for a lot of those sins. I can feel the G1 styling coming off this guy in waves and I love it. He’s big and his design hails from a time when robots weren’t ashamed of their boxy bodies. It doesn’t look like Hasbro tried to reinvent him or ultra-modernize him. They just rebuilt him with better articulation, improved proportions, and better sculpted detail. For fans of the original, all the points are still there. He’s got wheels and treads mounted to his arms and beautiful wings rising up from behind his back, not to mention chest wings! There’s a decent amount of sculpted detail to the body, including some panel lining and details intended for his many alt modes. There’s also a delightful generic nature to his robot mode that doesn’t give away much about what he’s going to turn into. Wings? Wheels? Treads? Holy shit… is that the undercarriage of a wolf head hanging off his ass? We’re in for quite a ride!

The coloring is really tight too and a damn near perfect homage to the original toy. You get that distinctive green plastic for the torso and upper shoulder pylons, the white for his arms, the purple for his lower legs, and the rest all filled in with black. The wings on his back are painted with that gorgeous silver that Hasbro has been using lately, and also includes some green and purple paint hits. There are some foil stickers too, and unlike some of the other stickered figures in Titans Return, these aren’t placed in areas that are likely to cause problems down the road. Sure, all stickers eventually peel, but these look like they have a chance to go the distance.

Six Shot’s Titan Master is called Revolver, which is a perfect name for him. He’s a pretty typical little HeadBot and mimics Six Shots green and white color scheme. There’s no other paintwork on him and he features the typical robo-noggin articulation with a swivel in the neck, ball joints in the shoulders, and hinges in the hips and knees of the fused legs. Also like the bigger Bots in this series, Revolver’s head mode sits inside a larger helmet to help him scale out for the larger robots, but still make him workable on the Deluxe Class figures. As for his head mode, it’s all white with red eyes and a big mouth plate, and as cold and featureless as ever.

Six Shot comes with twin rifles, which can fit into each of his hands. It’s worth mentioning that these are a really tight fit. His articulation allows for some fun action poses, but since he lacks ankle articulation, or really ankles of any kind, he can look a little clunky in some of those poses. Yes, the chest wings do get in the way of his shoulder articulation, but you can hinge them out to move them out of the way. Likewise, his pelvic flaps are also hinged so as not to impede that hip articulation.

You can also combine his guns together for when you want to make a stronger statement. Dual wielding Six Shot is definitely a more iconic image for me, but I kind of dig the way this combined gun looks. OK, so we lingered long enough on what an awesome looking robot Six Shot is. Let’s move on to those alt modes.

First up is the truck and it’s not too bad. It has a clearly defined purple cab with silver windshields, a very boxy front and two angled pieces that look like a snow plow or maybe some kind of ramming scoop. It’s kind of weird how the drivers sit in the open cabin area, but at least I can tell what they were going for here and I don’t hate it. It hints at some Earth truck designs, but it works best as just a squat Cybertronian transport. It rolls pretty well on four wheels and there are a few different places you can put the guns.

When viewed from behind, it can get a little confusing as to which is the front and which is the back, because there’s a little driver cabin facing the back as well. Honestly, it looks just as good driving this way as it does the other. Indeed, if you point the guns to the back, you can practically make a new mode out of this. A big part of that is because the back of this truck mode is pretty close to the front of the tank mode, so let’s check that one out next.

I don’t know that the word tank really describes this thing. It’s more of a general attack vehicle. Like the truck, it’s not too bad. It would have been cool if they could have had the top pieces open up to reveal rocket packs or something. This vehicle kind of reminds me of a cross between some of the Transformers: Cybertron designs and Transformers: Animated Blitzwing’s tank mode.

The driver’s cabin can open and Revolver can sit inside. There are also some pegs scattered around so you can load it up with other Titan Masters before sending it into battle. In all fairness, I can’t say this thing is all that much worse than Broadside’s jet mode, and he was just a Triple-Changer not a Six-Changer. I’m going to give this one a pass too. The truck and tank modes take care of the land-based vehicles, next we take to the seas with the submarine mode.

Yes, this is the submarine mode.. I’m stating that clearly up front because there’s absolutely no reason that any sane person would come to that conclusion without being told first. This mode can also be termed a goddamn abstract leap of faith. Now, I’m willing to cut Hasbro a little slack on this, because it’s really just G1 Six Shot’s pistol mode turned upside down, but you can’t go around making robots turn into guns in this day and age. That would be crazy and irresponsible. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Doesn’t Hasbro sell Nerf guns that look a lot more like real guns than this stupid thing. Guns that actually shoot projectiles and are called guns? Stop trying to apply logic to the situation. There’s definitely a double standard going on. Let’s just accept that and move on. Anyway, this mode is crap, but I’d probably be a lot cooler about it if it weren’t so blatantly obvious that the front is just the truck mode with guns stuck on the front, and if there were some way to reconfigure the clearly visible wheels on the back into some kind of propellers by just having them point to the rear. Next up, we take to the skies with the Space Cruiser mode.

The space cruiser mode is really solid, and definitely my favorite of all of them. This mode alone justifies Six Shot as a Transformer to me. I dig how the front portion looks like it could be a carrier deck for receiving fighters. There’s a tiny cockpit in the center, but the actual cockpit is behind that where Revolver can sit inside the translucent panel. Or, you can keep him as the head and just fold the helmet inside to get it off the back of the ship. There’s a single fold down landing gear to help this thing stand, and the guns tab into the ends of the wings to give it some added firepower. OK, that leaves us just one mode left, and I saved the best for last.

Just kidding, it’s the Winged Wolf mode! This mode is not only crap, but it makes me really angry, and I’ll tell you why. The other modes may have been so-so, but they more or less incorporated generic components into them to make them work. It’s almost like they’re just ancillary fan modes that the designers were able to come up with in order to make Six Shot a Six-Changer. In this case, they literally sculpted and added a wolf head just for this goddamn terrible mode, so there’s no excuses. What I’m trying to say is: THIS IS ARGUABLY THE MOST INTENTIONAL MODE SIX-SHOT HAS AND IT LOOKS AWFUL! Not only does it look bad from all angles, but from the side it just looks like the robot mode bending backward with a dick gun and a wolf head coming out of his chest. Yes, this mode triggers me. Sorry, but I can’t help it.

In the end, Six Shot does not change my feelings toward Six-Changers, but I don’t want to end this review on a sour note. There is undeniably a lot to love about this figure. In fact, I think Six Shot is arguably one of the most faithful G1 updates that Hasbro has ever done, and that alone is worthy of celebration. The robot mode looks great, has fun articulation, and while his alt modes are understandably a mixed bag, they follow those of the original toy almost perfectly. I have to imagine that anyone who has fond memories of Six Shot as a kid is going to absolutely adore this figure… even his goofy and f’ugly Winged Wolf mode! Granted, that’s not me, and I still think I would have ended up skipping this bot at full price, but at the $25 that Amazon was blowing him out for, I can’t say that I’m sorry to have picked him up. If nothing else, he’s another big bruiser to add to my Decepticon shelf, and he looks mighty fine towering over the Deluxe Class figures.

Transformers Titans Return: Gatorface and Krok by Hasbro

I honestly never buy stuff just for the sake of reviewing it here. A couple of decades ago, I was guilty of doing that with my old website when there was a KayBee Toys Outlet a couple towns over and it lead to boxes and boxes of figures and toys I really had little interest in. I just bought them because they were there and they were cheap and I could write about them. So, why bring that up now? Because I pretty much just bought Krok for the sake of having something new for Transformers Thursday. I’m not proud of myself right now.

Here’s the packaging and yes, this is a straight repaint of a figure that I wasn’t terribly impressed with when I reviewed him over a year ago. I found Krok while hitting up a Walgreens looking for Marvel Legends figures and coffee creamer. There were no new Legends, so rather than come home empty handed I grabbed Krok and a bottle of Dunkin Donuts Extra-Extra. Neither the brand nor the flavor of creamer is relevant here, but I think I’m going to need to pad out my word count on this one. OK, let’s take a look…

Gator mode! Everything I loved about the sculpt last time still holds true. And to my surprise, this one pegs together a lot better than my Skullsmasher does. I still love the G1 mecha-animal aesthetic, and this guy captures it beautifully. And imagine this, I think I even like the deco on this sucker better than Skullsmasher’s. No, I’m not digging those Mountain Dew claws, but the rest of the colors are black and purple and as Decepticon as you can get. I also really love the translucent yellow-green plate on the head and hatch in the body. The whole thing is very reminiscent of those lovely Insecticons. If only the claws were painted silver, this would have been a home-run, homage be damned!

For a bit, I thought Krok’s mouth didn’t open like Skullsmasher’s does, but it was just really stuck. I eventually got those jaws apart and to my delight the teeth and tongue are all cast in transparent yellow-green plastic, which I think looks really cool. Are you taking notes? opaque Mello Yello plastic is bad. Translucent Mello Yello plastic is good. I can’t rationalize it for you, I can only tell you how it is.

The unfortunately named Gatorface is exactly what I’ve come to expect from these little Titan Masters. For some reason, I actually don’t mind the obnoxious coloring here, but it is really hard to make out any of the sculpted detail in his head. Just like Grax, he can sit in the hatch and pilot the giant robot gator. Well, so far, I’m not too upset that I bought Krok. Let’s get him transformed and see how the other mode is…

Krok’s robot mode is still a decent mold, but the deco introduces a whole hell of a lot more Mello Yello plastic, and that’s a shame. If we got some silver instead, this would have been a repaint that I could get behind. I know, I’m missing the point of the homage to the G1 Action Master Krok, but whatever. I do, however, love what they did with his abs. The red down the middle and the silver on the sides really brings out the sculpting in there. It’s something I didn’t really notice in the Skullsmasher release. Beyond the coloring, my figure is also spoiled by the loosey-goosey hips. They were a little annoying on Skullsmasher, but here they’re just intolerable. Shooting pictures of this guy was an exercise in frustration, not only because the yellow-green plastic was befuddling my shitty camera’s sensor, but because the figure kept doing the splits.

And this head! Even with a better deco, this sculpt isn’t winning me over. I can’t figure out what’s going on with the mouth plate. It looks like he’s constantly surprised. The pink on his head crest, eyes, and in his chest panels is kind of a weird addition too. Nice Decepticon logo, though. I wish Skullsmasher had that on his chest.

You get the exact same weapons that came with Skullsmasher. Well, obviously, since one is his tail.

Krok is a veritable roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. The deco here is aimed very squarely at all those Action Master fans out there, and I’m not really one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I would actually love a modern day sub-line of 6-inch scale Sunbow designed G1 Transformers that focused on accessories and super articulation at the expense of transformation. But this fellow is too obscure even for my tastes. Toss in the fact that I’m going to have to treat his hips with some nail polish, and I’m pretty much regretting having picked him up. I think I’ll just leave him in gator mode and set him in the back of my display shelf.

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.

Transformers Titans Return: Hazard and Blitzwing by Hasbro

Howdy, folks! It’s Transformers Thursday again and as promised I’m here to check out the second of the new Titans Returns Voyager Class Triple Changers! A couple weeks back, I looked at Octone and the feeling was overall one of Meh. I felt he had a really solid robot mode, but I was split on his two alt modes. Here’s hoping that Blitzwing can break the trend, because he’s one of my favorite Triple Changers and I really need a solid version of this guy represented on my shelves. Let’s have a look!

And here’s the packages shot. It’s worth noting that this is the second time we got a Voyager Class Blitzwing in the last four years. The Generations one came close to getting the job done, but ultimately stumbled so badly on the little things (like functional shoulder tabs) that it incurred all my rage. I’m hoping against hope that this one sets things right. I’m going to start with his robot mode.

Well, alright! This is a Blitzwing I can get behind and is overall a solid recreation/compromise of the G1 toy and Sunbow cartoon design. The torso sells it to me the most, which was one of the issues I had with the Generations figure and the exposed cockpit on the chest. This is just a slab of purple, boxy goodness. There’s plenty of sculpted detail, especially in the pelvis, while the upper chest features the faked-out partial nosecone with yellow segmented sections on the sides, flanked by red panels and triangles. The lower legs are pretty free of kibble, just the jet tail fins folded neatly on the sides, although feel free to fold them down to face the front and mimic the G1 toy’s look a little more closely. The arms are pretty complex as the tank treads are folded up into them. They’re not as streamlined as I might have preferred, but they’re not really anything I’m going to complain about either.

The back ain’t too shabby. He features the tank cupola on his back. You can leave the cannon barrel in place to simulate the G1 look, but I think it extends a little too far up, so I opt to remove it. The official transformation suggests his wings should be folded up, but I prefer to leave them out, which mimics the look of the original a little better to me. Little heel spurs help keep him standing up.

The Titan Master Hazard forms Blitzwing’s head and I really love the sculpt here. I would have been OK if they went for for a silver face to match the Sunbow look, but I’m also fine with the purple toy-inspired face. My only complaint on the head is that the yellow paint around the “helmet” is a little splotchy on mine. I can’t remember the last time I had a gripe with the paint on a Transformers figure. Oh, and have a look at that Decepticon sticker on his chest. It’s already starting to peel at the edges. That makes me sad.

Blitzwing comes with a standard gun for a Titan Master to sit in, but in this case it can be combined with the tank cannon to form a long rifle. It looks like a suitable weapon to use for his “Long Bomb” strategy!

And he also comes with his rather unique looking sword. I like the design, but it feels a little on the small side, but not bad. So, all in all, I think Blitzwing is a pretty fantastic robot, but then I could say the same thing about all the other Titans Return Triple Changers. The real proof is in the alt modes. Let’s have a look at Blitzwing’s jet mode…

The transformation from robot to jet mode isn’t too bad and I’m really digging the results. From the top he’s appropriately purple with most of his tan bits relegated to the undercarriage. As with the robot mode, you get some really nice sculpted detail, including panel lines, flaps, and all that jet jazz. And then you’ve got the foil stickers on the wings. So, in a perfect world, these look amazing. The foil is reminiscent of the old toy, the red arrows have been streamlined a bit, but they’re still there as are the Decepticon emblems, proudly displayed on each wing. Practically, however, these stickers are problematic. I had to smooth mine out straight out of the box to get the air bubbles and folds out of them. They look great now, but I don’t expect them to last the test of time, especially when they’re positioned so closely to hinged plates. This was an issue with Octone and Broadside, and here we go again. I realize it’s to help re-purpose the molds, but they worry me. OK, enough about the stickers…

Let’s talk kibble! If you expect a Transformers jet to not be packing some major kibble on its undercarriage, well you haven’t been in this convertorobot game for long, have you, son? In this case, I think Blitzwing’s jet makes good use of it. Obviously, you have a giant upside down tank cupola, but it not only provides the molded landing gear to rest the jet on, but also a nice big under slung cannon. The robot arms are also tabbed away fairly well under the wings. I mean, sure I can tell there are tank treads there, but it’s nowhere near as bad as Octone’s, “Look at me! I’m a plane with two halves of a truck cab under my armpits!” Nope, from top to bottom, I am totally fine with this jet mode.

The jet also has a couple of options for Titan Masters. Despite the compact size of the canopy, you can indeed fit a Titan Master in there, although the method of getting him in there is a little unorthodox. You can also attach one of Blitzwing’s guns to the back of the jet to make a gunning seat for another Titan Master. So far, so good. You haven’t disappointed me yet. Shall we go for three out of three? Let’s have a look at that tank mode!

Ok, so obviously the jet was what I like to call the priority mode and this is what I’d call the compromise mode. There’s plenty to pick at here. The front of the tank is showing some major jet ass, the back side armor plates are obviously folded jet wings. The treads don’t lock into the body well at all, leaving gaps in the middle where they’re unsupported. I’ve found that slotting the folded wing tips into the sides makes them a bit more stable, even if they do angle out a little more.

To make matters worse, almost every facet of this “tank” feels like its at odds with another. And therein lies my biggest issue. I’d actually be OK with the way this thing looks if it locked together into a decent toy, but sadly it does not. And I’ve got to call foul when the robot and jet modes on the box look like actual product images and the tank mode looks like a 3D computer model downplaying the tank’s flaws.

As for play value, the turret does at least turn and there’s a place for Hazard to sit at the top of the cupola, which even provides a clear shield for him so Autobots can’t snipe him while he’s riding his f’ugly tank. They can still laugh, though. It can’t shield him from that. And yet even with all that scorn heaped upon it, I’d still say this is a better compromise mode than either Broadside’s jet or Octone’s cargo plane. Is it better than Astrotrain’s train mode? Well, if we’re talking keeping in spirit with the G1 original, I’d say Yes. If we’re going strictly based on its merits as an alt mode, than definitely not.

And so, the pattern I’m seeing with these Titans Return Triple Changers continues to hold true. We’ve had some great robot modes, each with one very solid alt mode, and one not so solid alt mode. And yet, I still dig Blitzwing a lot, even with his hideous and phoned in tank mode. In fact, I’ll just go ahead and say that I think he’s the most successful of all the Titans Return G1-based Triple Changers and a worthy replacement for the Generations one. Next week, I’ll be steering Transformers Thursday back to Voltron to check out the Legendary Red and Green Lions!

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 Titans Return: Aimless and Misfire by Hasbro

Folks, I have a sad. Hasbro showed off their new convertorobot line at SDCC and it’s called Power of the Primes and I hate it so much because it means that Titans Return is ending. Now, I still have plenty of Titans Return figures to pick up, and I’ll concede that I passed on some of the Voyagers (Like Optimus Prime and Megatron), but the Deluxe Class figures in this line can do no wrong in my book, and today I’m opening one that I am particularly excited about. The sadness is lifting, as I try to live in the moment.

Misfire! He’s one of the handful G1 Targetmasters that I actually owned in the past, and I was so happy to see the character get a slot in one of the Titans Return Deluxe assortments. Yup, this is another example of a Targetmaster changed into a Headmaster and I don’t care FIGHT ME!!! I have nothing to really say about the packaging, so let’s jump right in to his alt mode.

I’ve been a huge fan of the Cybertronian jets that have been turning up in this line, so it should come as no surprise that I really dig Misfire’s alt mode. The designers basically took the look of the original toy, sucked out all the boxiness, and streamlined it into a sleek fighter craft. The back isn’t as hunched as it is in the original design, but the jet still sports that distinctive forked nose with the little fin stabilizers, and the angled, bent wings. This is a phenomenal update, with my only real gripe being that it looks a little unfinished from the back. It doesn’t really bother me, but hmm… who does that remind me of?

Yes, Misfire and Triggerhappy share the same hind quarters in their alt modes, which means they have the same legs in their robot modes. Hey, if you’re going to borrow parts, might as well be from Triggerhappy, because he was one fine looking toy.

The coloring gets by with mostly a pinkish-mauve plastic that fits the character fairly well. I swear I’ve seen the original toy in red as well, but I’m pretty sure my old one was closer to this color. There’s a little pale gray showing here and there, but not much, and you get the blue tinted canopy over the cockpit. There are some beautiful tampos on this toy, which include red and silver wing stripes, some little silver panels to the front sides of the cockpit, and some more panels between the two rear fins. All of this is accompanied by some lovely sculpted panel lines. For a toy that makes due with a very stagnant deco, Misfire look amazing.

Misfire’s handguns mount under his wings to give him some much needed firepower.

Aimless is Misfire’s head robot partner and… Holy shit, is that paint on his little face that I see? It is! Primus knows, these Titan Masters look so much better with a few microscopic licks of paint. I can’t figure out why Hasbro decided to start painting faces again, but I’m not complaining. Oh, and obviously, Aimless can sit inside Misfire’s cockpit and serve as a pilot.

And here’s the robot mode! Misfire features a pretty simple transformation. The coolest thing is the way the front of the jet folds down to become his back. This figure hits so many great design points for me, it’s hard to know where to begin. I suppose my favorite thing is the way the wings protrude out from his back, Seeker style. Even from the back, this dude looks very polished, and I dig the way the dual points of the front of the jet, along with the fins, peek up from behind his back. Very cool! As already mentioned, those are Triggerhappy’s legs and they look good on him, with the fins protruding out below the knees. The deco remains largely unchanged, although it does add more of that pale gray to the mix, as well as some red paint on his chest. I think we have a new contender here for my favorite Decepticon Deluxe robot mode in this line.

Aimless forms a great looking noggin.  I dig the blue visor and the lavender paint they used for his face is pretty distinctive. My figure has a few smidges of blue transferred onto the face, but nothing too bad.

The articulation here is very standard for the Titans Return Deluxes. Sometimes I forget to even cover it, since it’s pretty much the same throughout most of the Deluxes in this line. The shoulders swivel and are hinged, elbows are hinged and there are swivels in the biceps. The hips are ball jointed, the knees are hinged, and there are hinges in both the foot and the heel spur. Misfire can swivel at the waist, and his head can rotate.

The wing guns that we saw earlier unpeg and can be used as Misfire’s hand guns. As usual, they’re mirror images of each other and can combine to form a double-barreled gun with a seat for a Titan Master. There’s really no good way to use the combined gun on Misfire’s alt mode, but there are plenty of other figures you can add it to.

As you can no doubt tell, I can’t stop gushing about this line’s Deluxe Class figures! Misfire is everything I’m looking for in a Transformer. He’s a solid update to a G1 character, his transformation features simple but effective engineering, and he looks absolutely bitchin’ in both his alt and robot modes. He’s also loads of fun to play with, shoulders not withstanding. I’m currently on the hunt for Twintwist and Windblade, and I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on Slugslinger. In the meantime, I’m hoping to have one of the bigger bots to look at next week, but I can’t make any promises yet.