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.

 

Advertisements

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.

Transformers Titans Return: Legends Class Seaspray by Hasbro

Ever since the Generations line, Hasbro has been putting out some damn fine homages to the old G1 Minibots via their Legends Class figures. Personally, I’d like to see a few of these released as Deluxes, but I’m still happy to take what we get. Enter Seaspray! The last time we saw an official figure of this guy was back in the Reveal the Shield line of 2010. That was a pretty cool figure, but apart from the hovercraft alt mode, it didn’t make an attempt to recapture the glory of the G1 design. Perhaps as a result, Seaspray has received a fair bit of attention from the Third Party convertorobot makers. I never picked up any of those, so I’m anxious to see how Hasbro’s new official crack at the character turned out. Also, I command that everyone read this review out loud in Seaspray’s ridiculous gargling voice.

Oh, now he’s Seaspray. Last time he was Sea Spray. I gather that might have something to do with the copyright. Another interesting point is that the character art on the card shows him in his alt mode. Either I’m not very observant or this is the first time they’ve done this. Either way, it’s some pretty bitchin’ art of the little Minibot tearing through the waves. I dig it. And as long as we’re on the subject of his alt mode, let’s go ahead and start there…

This little blue, white, and yellow hovercraft is a great homage to the original toy and derives its deco almost entirely from colored plastic. Indeed, apart from the black painted windows and some tampo detailing on the top, it gets by with almost no paint at all. There’s also not a whole lot of sculpted detail present, but you do get some little doors on the sides that give a good idea of the intended scale here. I wouldn’t say it’s a terribly attractive alt mode, but it definitely works for what it is.

The box on the top is removable and since it forms Seaspray’s weapon in robot mode, I’m guessing that’s the purpose it serves here as well. What kind of weapon it is, I’m not sure. It looks like it could be some kind of heat gun, or maybe it opens up to reveal a rocket pack.

What does open up is Seaspray’s back area to reveal a pilot seat for a Titan Master. I’m still impressed that Hasbro has been able to engineer these little guys with room for the little bots. I put Convex in there, just because he’s mostly black and easier to see against Seaspray’s white compartment.

In terms of scale, Seaspray follows the standard G1 toy logic that if you’re a Minibot, you’re alt mode is the same size as all the other Minibots, whether you’re a giant hovercraft, an A-10 Warthog, or a compact sports car. Needless to say, I’m fine with this and I think Seaspray looks great next to the myriad of other Minibots that have been released in the Legends Class assortment.

Transforming Seaspray is a wee bit more complex than I expected, but it’s not terribly difficult. The resulting robot mode is a very solid homage to the original toy. He has a very squared off and boxy torso, which I happen to dig a lot. He still wears his propeller stalks on his shoulders with the props pointing behind him. He’s also got a pretty impressive amount of articulation for such a little guy. But let’s deal with a couple of the elephants in the room…

DEM FEETS! Seaspray is sporting some enormous feet. I mean, they’re big! How big are they? They’re so big they had to turn them sideways for him to fit in the package. That’s not a joke. Look at the in-package picture, they really did have to turn them sideways. These giant clodhoppers should bother me, but surprisingly they don’t. I think they go well with his big slab of a chest. What does irk me a little are his arms, which could have been a little bigger, especially in relation to his feet and chest. They’re not as bad as Bumblebee’s disproportionate meathooks, but I would have liked a little more bulk there.

The head is an interesting choice, as it favors the original toy over the Sunbow animation model. Instead of individual eyes, he’s just got a visor band running across the top of his mouth plate. It looks fine, but given a choice, I’ll almost always take Sunbow over the original toy. Also, check out those gorgeous tampos on his chest. That’s some quality work, Hasbro, and I hope we see more of it.

The weapon that I mentioned in his alt mode tabs into the slots behind his hands. It’s a rather unconventional looking weapon, but I like it a lot. Although if you pose him the right way with it, it almost looks like he’s carrying a pizza. In any event, it’s a treat to get it since so many of the other Legends Class Minibots don’t come with guns any more.

And in case you forgot what his predecessor looked like, here he is with Voyager Class Sea Spray. Oh yeah, and Seaspray will fit inside his bigger namesake’s cargo area, but it’s a mighty tight fit!

I thought Seaspray was going to be really tough to find, but Primus has been smiling down on me when it comes to Legends Class figures lately. Not only did I find Brawn really easily, but Seaspray here practically fell right into my lap as well. I really liked the previous Voyager version as its own figure, but it really wasn’t Seaspray to me, and that’s where this figure succeeds brilliantly, despite a few design choices that might rub people the wrong way. Even still, I’d proudly display him besides Brawn as two of the best Minibot updates so far, and I’d probably throw Powerglide and Cosmos in there as well. If you’ve got ten bucks burning a hole in your pocket and you love your Minibots, I can’t recommend him enough, but then I say that about almost all the Legends Class figures.

Transformers Titans Return: Chasm and Quake by Hasbro

It’s Transformers Thursday again, and I’m continuing to work my way through the most recent wave of Deluxe Class Titans Return figures, and if you’re keeping score at home, I’m really enjoying this line a lot. Hell, in the last two weeks, I’ve opened some fabulous modern updates to Perceptor and Topspin and here we are today with an update to the G1 Targetmaster, Quake. No, he’s not a Targetmaster any more, but c’mon… It’s Quake! Quake’s back! Quake was one of the few G1 Headmasters that I actually owned. I’m excited!

Aaaand… he’s a repaint of Hardhead! Huh, well look at that. Yup, the repaints have been creeping into Titans Return little by little and Quake is actually one of two repainted figures in this wave. At least the repaint mania hasn’t reached the depths of Combiner Wars yet, where Hasbro practically pounded each mold into dust trying to sell it again and again. Suffice it to say, my excitement is tempered a bit, but I’m going to go ahead and pour a little extra golden, fortifying Jameson into my glass, check him out and see if he works. As usual, let’s start with his alt mode…

Well, I certainly do have some mixed feelings about the alt mode. On the one hand, Hardhead is a pretty distinctive tank design and this mold nailed it perfectly. As a result, when you repaint it, it’s going to be very obvious who it was originally intended to be. It’s tough, if not impossible to look at this guy and not see a Hardhead repaint. It doesn’t help that this is one of the few Deluxe Titans Return molds without ways to customize the weapons load out. Being able to mount the gun differently would have helped. And, of course, the original G1 Quake was a pretty conventional looking Earth tank, so this isn’t even close. But I’m happy to go with this as what he might have looked like before he got to Earth and scanned one of the local tanks.

With that having been said, this is still a great little futuristic tank design with plenty of sculpted detail, and I think the Quake deco looks phenomenal on it. The brownish-red, blue and gray go great together and those Decepticon insignia with the lightning bolts behind them really helps to sell the homage. Maybe this design is standard for tanks on Cybertron. Maybe Quake and Hardhead got onto the same line when they were handing out alt modes. Who knows? They’re toys, and I don’t need to overthink them. Especially when I’m being made agreeable by delicious booze.

If this little repaintpalooza hasn’t fully angered you yet, you should know that Quake’s little Titan Master buddy, Chasm, is very nearly a direct repaint of Hardhead’s Furos, but obviously with a different face sculpt attached to his back. This is one of the better, more detailed head robot molds and it looks pretty good in the new colors. I can’t tell if the their little heads are the same or not. Chasm’s face looks more angular to me, but it could just be an illusion from the lack of paint and the different color plastic. Either way, he can still sit in the cockpit of the tank, and the back of the cannon will also open up to give him a gunner chair. You also get a bunch of tiny foot pegs to load up more Titan Masters if you want. On to the robot mode…

As expected, the robot mode holds no surprises either. No remolded bits. It’s just a repainted Hardhead. Still, it’s amazing how a little paint can change up a figure and I’ll be honest, this is working for me. Once again, the paint scheme looks great, and Hasbro even managed to get the lightning bolt emblems visible on the front of his shoulders. I don’t remember that being the case on the original figure. This was a great looking figure when it was first released, and it still is.

Unlike the alt mode, Quake’s robot mode lets you mix things up a bit to make him look a little different than Hardhead. I’ve opted to leave the cannon pointing straight up. Yeah, it’s not much of a difference, but every little bit helps, and you can still angle it forward for when he needs that extra firepower. You also have the option to just remove the cannon altogether. An extra peg port on the arm would have been cool to attach it there, but nope.

At least the head sculpt is new and it’s pretty fantastic. I really dig the detail in the “helmet” and the yellow face and red eyes are perfectly painted. I’d say this is a perfect update to the original figure’s noggin.

Quake comes with the exact same gun as Hardhead, only this time it’s cast in gray plastic. It’s a cool gun. I got nothing else to say.

Quake repainted from Hardhead is going to work for some and for others, not so much. Would I rather have had a brand new mold? Of course, but we all know how the game works and Hasbro needs to get enough scratch out of their molds to make more. If these were more costly Voyager Class figures, I might have had a different and more critical opinion, but in this class assortment, I’m fine with what Hasbro did here. Quake doesn’t feel like a quick-and-dirty cash grab to me. He’s no Breakaway. Maybe it’s just me being made amiable by the whiskeys, but Quake genuinely looks like some care and love went into him and when all is said and done I like him.