Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

The IDW Comics universe has had such a different take on G1, one that's now significantly represented by the Generations toys, so they share a forum. A modern take on a Real Cybertronian Hero. Currently starring Generations toys, IDW "The Transformers" comics, MTMTE, TF vs GI Joe, and Windblade.
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Shockwave
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Re: Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by Shockwave »

andersonh1 wrote:I use tinypic for forum images. Seems to work well enough.
Alright, I will try that out. I want to post pics of Fort Max with his G1 counterpart as well as with Metroplex and all three together. And then of course, the huge, sprawling city that will result from all three together.

Man, it's a good thing Trypticon is in the works because the Decepticons are horribly outnumbered at the moment.

Anyway, true and proper reviews!

Titan Masters wave 1:

Loudmouth: I'll start with this one since I can never remember his name. The vehicle turns into a car and... something else. Grey and red colors seem to work well and the car mode seems to work for the headmaster to drive. Alt mode, flip it upside down and try to cram a head in there. Yeah, I mostly leave it in car mode. The legs on the headmaster are loose on mine, but that doesn't seem to be a line wide problem.

Nightbeat: I'll admit that I actually want a full size Nightbeat figure to go with this head. But this is a fun toy too. And the colors are reminiscent enough of the original that it works. Not much else to say about this.

Terri-Bull: An obvious update to Horri-Bull, which was one of the few Headmasters I had back in the day. It's nice to see the character at least get some acknowledgement in toy form even if it's not a full figure. The vehicle transforms from tank to jet and seems to look fairly decent in both modes. In tank mode, it looks like he's riding the tank while in jet mode, he's more integrated to look like part of the jet.

Crashbash: I'm not sure if this is supposed to be an update to anyone, but it's not a bad figure. The vehicle mode is... some sort of dino monster.... thing. I will say this, it Crashbash actually does have to integrate with it to complete it, feeling much more like an actual transformation rather than just a thing for the headmaster to ride. I also like the colors and the details on this one.

Overall: You'll notice I didn't include recommendations with these guys and... well, they're not bad, but I can't help feeling like they're here in case we want to occassionally customize some of the other Titans Returns figures into these characters. It's an interesting idea, in theory and it actually does offer a lot of versatility in play for the larger figures, but I really feel like not having proper robot forms for themselves is kind of a missed opportunity. They're not bad, but they're not great either. I'd recommend them if you really want to use the heads on the larger ones or just want something tiny to fiddle with. Otherwise, you can probably skip these. I don't regret buying these and I do enjoy them, but your mileage may vary. EDIT: It's been a few weeks (maybe even a month!) since I started writing this and I have some new thoughts on these: Skip 'em. I actually kind of do regret buying them now. It isn't really about the money, it's because I mostly just wind up wishing they had proper bodies of their own for the head modes. I probably wouldn't mind so much if the vehicles they came with would turn into something that would use the head, but they don't and the head just seems superfluous because of it. The vehicle is either a vehicle or a weapon with is fine on it's own, but feels like something to be included with one of the larger figures rather than sold separately. In fact, that's exactly what they're doing with these in Japan. I have several other toys I'm going to be selling coming soon and I think these guys are going with.

Titans Returns Leader Class:

Powermaster Optimus Prime: Ok. I like this figure. It's a good update to the original, better articulation, blah blah blah... yeah, the helmet thing is bad, but not deal breaking bad for me. And the headmaster actually looks enough like Optimus that you could just have that if you don't like the helmet. I tend to keep the helmet on because he can still turn his head side to side. I've wanted this figure ever since it was announced and I'll admit when I pulled it out of the box, I was pretty impressed. They really captured the look and feel of the original in this. But, second day I was fiddling with it and couldn't help wishing that the cab had it's own robot mode and that a cab merging with trailer thing would probably work better for Ultra Magnus. Then on day 3 I had this same musing and I saw it: The feet. And then I remembered that I DO have an Ultra Magnus that does this: Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus, who has those exact same feet. PMOP is essentially an extensive remold of Ultra Magnus. His vehicle mode is approrpiately similar to the G1 version and the cab opens up so that Hi-Q, I mean Apex can sit in it, which is cool. I like that everything has a place to go in alt mode. The battlestation mode is one that I think works better if you're combining it with Fortress Maximus but it isn't bad. Although there is one design flaw that could have been fixed: There's a tiny rectangle detail on the top of the chest piece that fist a rectangle hole on the gray cannons that looks like it was supposed to be able to sit there, but there's no way to get it to stay in place. Overall, I really like this figure, I think it's a great update to the original toy and the character and so far is one of my favorites from TR.

Blaster: I was a little skeptical about this one when I first saw the pics because the speakers looked a little too big compared to the rest of the alt mode. Having it in hand though I have to say it's not as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I actually like and think it's a pretty decent update. The legs turning into speakers that are bigger than the middle tape deck unit is what I thought would look ridiculous, but it actually kinda works for his alt mode. He comes with a "missile launcher" thing that's the same size as the current iphone-ish cassette bots and fits in Blaster's chest. The headmaster can fit in that and store in the chest in alt mode. Bot mode is where Blaster really looks great, evoking the G1 look and feel really well. Articulation is even pretty decent in this mode, although he lacks wrist and waist articulation because of transformation. Overall, I really like this figure. Hasbro "Sentinal Primed" us with this one, essentially giving us the repaint before the figure it was designed for: Soundwave. I think it was a good choice in this case, because it really works for this figure, but I have my doubts about Soundwave. Giant speakers on a boom box kinda makes sense, but that big, empty area on a tape deck is looking pretty bland. I think Blaster is worth getting if you find him. There are certainly worse things you could spend your money on and I don't regret having spent mine on this.

Voyager Class:

Sentinel Prime/Astrotrain: This feels like Hasbro decided to release the repaint first which is brilliant because I think it may actually get more people to buy it (I know of at least one reviewer on youtube who bought it just because Astrotrain wasn't out yet and admitted that if AT had he wouldn't have bought this). Again, I don't regret buying this figure, it's a good mold in general. Some people have reported having problems getting it to stand, I don't have any problems with mine on either toy, I think people were probably mistransforming it, having the train mode "cockpits" as the feet rather than the shuttle mode ones. Shuttle mode I think actually looks pretty good. It's not exactly like the old space shuttles that NASA used to use, but I think expecting that as an alt mode is unrealistic anyway and this evokes that well enough without just copying it outright. Train mode is... I dunno. I've never seen a train that looks like this except maybe in that one level of Starfox 64. It basically looks like the shuttle mode split lengthwise and with the wings wrapped around it. Not my favorite mode. I certainly would have liked something a little more "train" looking, but I honestly don't know what that would be or how they would have pulled it off with this design. Bot mode is where he's really the best, evoking the original Astrotrain and Sentinel looks different enough with his paint app that it doesn't feel like you're just buying the same toy twice, even though we technically are. The only real WTF moment of bot mode is around the shoulders. There's a button on the chest that causes these "pylons" to come up around the head which restricts movement and doesn't really add anything to it visually. Alpha Trion seems to have this feature as well and I have to wonder what it's for. The sculpts and detail on these guys are great, there's a lot going on there, especially in train mode but it would have benefited from a lot more paint just bring out those details. One example is painted wheels on Sentinel that are not painted on Astrotrain. Overall, I would definitely recommend these two. Astrotrain in particular is good figure to compliment with the voyager Blitzwing that we already have (yes, I know there's another one coming) and it's also good to have one of the other Primes in toy form, which I don't think we've had in a while.

Galvatron: Galvatron, Galvatron, Galvatron... Ok, so Hasbro was SO close to knocking it out of the park on this one. The colors on this are GREAT, I love the shade of purple and the grey in all the right places that they should be, most of the molded details actually have paint on them and they really stand out. The cannon mode really looks like a great update to the original as does the bot mode. The cannon on the arm could be better, it would work much better if it was on the side rather than the top, but I haven't had any problems with getting him to an imposing pose because of it. The "spaceship" mode is... questionable but not terrible and bot mode almost looks like he was plucked straight from the G1 cartoon... until you get to the head. Yeah, let's talk about the head for a moment. First the good: I like the fact that bot mode for the head looks like a mini Megatron, it's a nice nod to Megatron getting reformatted into Gavlatron and really works for the character. The sculpt in head mode is actually pretty decent although it lacks paint. And now the bad: So, Optimus and Blaster both have these helmets that cover the headmaster to give the look of their G1 figures. The deluxe size guys don't, they just accomplish this on the head sculpt alone. Galvatron could make up his mind so he has some sort of flip up Halloween mask to make him look more "Galvatrony". And it has VERY minimal movement, meaning that if you want him to look anywhere other than straight ahead (no pun intended) you have to modify the figure to do so. I cut the mask off of mine and glued it to the head, but have since separated it because I think I'm actually just going to mold my own custom helmet for it. I will say that once the mask is glued on, he does look pretty decent and since the chest compartment is already designed to hold the mask, he still has somewhere to go in alt mode, even though the headmaster can no longer sit in the cockpit because of the mask. Overall, I do think this figure is worth getting since even without the mask the head sculpt is pretty decent even if it is a little bland without additional paint. But, one could just consider that more accurate to the original toy than the cartoon so it still kind of works. So yeah, in spite of it's flaws, I do still highly recommend this figure.

Deluxe Class:

Blurr: Blurr is a pretty decent update to the original. I don't have much to say about this figure, it's only real drawbacks are that I wish the cockpit canopy would actually cover the whole "cockpit" and I think he could definitely use more color, but that's easily fixable by just getting the Japanese version. Articulation is decent, detail is good, so if you like Blurr and don't have one, get this one, you could certainly do worse.

Scourge: Much like Blurr, although I don't have the same complaint about the paint. I think he's got plenty of it in the right spots, but Hasbro was clearly homaging the original toy where as the Takara version is clearly homaging the cartoon. Head sculpt is pretty decent and I like the head cannon thing on him. Blurr has this too with his head fin. Alt mode could be a little better, I'm not sure if they were going for some kind of boat or water craft or a jet/spaceship. It has wings/fins and yet, so I guess spaceship? I dunno it does look like an updated version of the original which is clearly what they were going for and I do think they accomplished it. The only real complain is kibble under the front end, I do think they could have hid that better. Still, like the rest of this line, I do think he's worth getting.

Skullsmasher: I think this is the weakest entry so far: I don't normally complain about hollow limbs, but here, they really should have tried harder. The bot mode legs really only have two sides to them and they really need at least three or all four to get him to stand well. His sculpt and design is fine, bot mode articulation is pretty decent and even the gator mode has pretty decent articulation with the head being on a ball joint, a jaw that opens and closes, and limbs that do have some limited articulation, it's really not bad. They even have painted detail inside the gator mouth. The bot mode is the weakest mode since the back and inside parts of the legs don't exist and the big giant head sits on the back, making it back heavy. This can be countered by having him hold his weapons and point them forward, but there's storage on the back for them as well, which just adds to the problem. Not a bad figure and I do think they updated him well, but I think some of the balance issues could have been better designed.

Hardhead: Hardhead is one of the better figures here. I kind of wish the head had a face rather than a faceplate, but that's mostly from reading the comics. As a toy, he's not bad, the transformation is pretty simple but in alt mode there's a lot going on there: You can have headmasters in the cockpit, 2 in the cannon and there are even pegs for them to stand in various points around Hardhead. Bot mode isn't bad either, with good detail and even some paint to draw it out. Honestly, I have no complaints with this figure, go get one.

Mindwipe: Bot mode looks pretty decent, although this is another figure where Hasbro skimped on paint. There's a lot of detail on a lot of black plastic that just gets lost. He's got decent articulation and my only complaint with this mode is the legs. They're pretty easy to separate because of the fact that they turn into his wings in alt mode. Yes, you read that right: The wings on his back are not the wings for his alt mode, his legs are. Which does cause some functional problems with this figure. Transformation to bat mode is complicated to the point where I had to read the instructions to make sure I was doing it right. I wasn't. So yeah, not very intuitive. As for bat mode, well there's a lot of detail on a lot of purple plastic. I do like the look of the bat mode, the mouth moves which is cool and I like how the "cockpit" for the headmaster resembles a coffin. And it actually looks pretty decent from the front. It's a mess on the back though. that's where the faux wings go and using the guns as a "tail" doesn't really seem to work. Definitely one of the weaker entries but I don't regret getting him and I will probably still use him in TF Halloween display, where ever that winds up being.

Wierdwolf: It's nice to see the later generation characters from G1 getting updated as they are characters that I'm less familiar with since I was kind of losing interest in the line at that point in my childhood. Wierdwolf, Mindwipe and others are not characters that I had as a kid so I have no real comparison to their original toys versus the TR updates, so it's cool to have these guys get some love. As for wierdwolf himself, he's a pretty decent figure. The paint apps aren't bad, the articulation is pretty decent and the transformation is interesting without being unintuitive. The toughest part is the legs going from bot mode to beast mode, and the beast mode legs are about the only complaint I would have with this figure, but it's not bad enough that I wouldn't still recommend it. I do like how the sword for bot mode becomes the tail for beast mode. I also can't help feeling like this could be remolded into an update for Cheetor or Tigatron at some point. If you like the character or if the later G1 guys are something you're interested in he's definitely worth getting.

Highbrow: Not much to say about him that I haven't said about the others. The transformation is pretty simple. The bot mode looks good, the copter mode looks good. My only two complaints are that it could have more detail painted and the rotors for the copter tend to smack into each other. Still, not a bad figure.

Chromedome: Bot mode looks like an update to the original toy while the head is definitely modelled after the IDW comic. I think the alt mode is more referrential to the original toy but since I never had one, I can't be sure. But it's not bad, there's decent painted detail all of the bot mode weapons can peg onto it which is cool. The only complaint I have with this figure is the same one I had about CW Smokescreen, which is the upper arms being one solid color that breaks up the colors on the alt mode. Like jarringly so. I didn't get Smokescreen because I still have Universe Smokescreen and it's a better figure and that arm thing was a close second. It wasn't enough of a reason for me not to get this one and honestly, if that's my only complaint, that's not bad.

And finally....

FORTRESS MAXIMUS!!! Yeah, I like this figure. We all knew I would, we all know I do and I'm not even gonna apologize for it. This figure is exactly what I was expecting it would be: 1/2 G1 Fort Max, 1/2 Generations Metroplex and it delivers. Literally. I think literally half the parts are repainted from from Metroplex and the other half are completely new parts. They really did a good job of capturing the look and feel of the original while giving us something new at the same time. Having said that, there are some problems with this figure. Or not really problems, but I do have some complaints. The first is stickers. Ok, I'M not complaining about this but if you hate stickers, then this probably isn't the figure for you since he has a LOT of them, just like Metroplex did. Unlike Metroplex they at least seem to stick well. The other is lack of bot mode weapons. Yeah, no hand cannons. You can take the cannons off of his shins and have him hold those, but... I think that just looks weird. My only other complaint is with the alt mode, I wish the legs could fold up into towers like the original did. Instead they extend out to either be landing ramps or rotate for cannon defenses. Also, there's no way to make use of the inside of the legs like on Metroplex, which I think is a wasted opportunity. And because of the the legs transform, this guy takes up a LOT of real estate. Seriously, you need to have a pretty big table or shelf to display him on. Now, I have played around with point the legs up in alt mode to mimick the original city mode and I've had mixed results. I looks pretty cool, but there's no way to anchor the legs in that position or have them rest on the table so they just kind of flop about if the table gets bumped. Still, I really like the paint, the sculpt, all of the different play features, he's got plenty of places to put lots of figures in all modes which means this guy is just one FUN figure. Our version here has cerebros inspired more by the original cartoon while the Japanese one is more like the original toy. And articulation is pretty decent as well. With Metroplex, he had the articulation but because of the weight distribution, he couldn't really pull of many poses, Fort Max is much better balanced and he's actually managed to pass my "Mortal Kombat" test. Overall, I definitely do recommend this figure, but I can see why some people might skip it since it is pretty expensive and takes up a lot of space. For me, it's instantly become one of the centerpieces of my collection and I don't regret having spent the money on him.

For the line overall, it's pretty good, with a lot of interesting ideas present with some figures executing them well and others not so much. Paint apps are minimal generally speaking but the detail is good and having all of them be headmasters does add a lot of play and fiddle value to them. I think the Titan Masters are the weakest part of the line since their head modes don't have bodies of their own which honestly, is kind of disturbing. And annoying. Mostly annoying. Case in point: Brawn. If I was going to get an update of Brawn, I'd want a full figure with an actual vehicle mode and body rather than a weapon and head that can't go anywhere. Yeah, I could put him on one of the other figures, but then I just have GalvaBrawn or Brawnimus Prime or... yeah, it doesn't really work. I think they are mostly there to add play value to the battle station versions of Prime, Blaster and Fort Max, but again I'd prefer they just have bodies of their own. Having said that, I really like that we are getting more obscure characters updated, it's nice to finally see figures other than the TF version of the Mane Six (Optimus, Bumblebee, Grimlock and Megatron, Starscream and Soundwave). Yeah, they're there too, but even those feel new and different (Powermaster Prime is a good example of this). More characters, more interesting characters, more color, it's actually a pretty good line right now and I'm excited to see what's going to come next.

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Dominic
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Re: Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by Dominic »

Grabbed three of the deluxe scale Headmasters.

Blurr: Probably my favourite of the three. The Japanese one looks better, but not enough to make me dislike the US release on principle (as is the case with "Combiner Wars" Computron). I have a third mode idea for Blurr. Remove the head and shield from the robot mode. Write "$2" on a post-it. Attach the post-it to the figure. The result is "flea market bargain Blurr".

Chromedome: Apparently, this is a retool of the much-maligned Dead-End mold. Not sure why everybody dislikes that mold so much. This is the weakest of the three that I have, but is still solid enough. (I find myself humming the "Rad Racer" music while fiddling with this figure.) Repaint ideas: Barricade and Frenzy, or a Dreadnok Thundermachine and pilot.


Highbrow: I would like this figure more if the head attached more firmly to the neck hole. Solid vehicle mode, and the robot looks good enough if the head is on right (and not moved).

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Re: Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by Shockwave »

Got the latest wave of deluxe and legends figures. Not bad, for the most part, more on this later.

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Re: Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by Shockwave »

Breakaway: It's a Chromedome repaint. Different Headmaster, but if you have Chromedome, you're not going to miss much by skipping this one. Not a bad toy, and I don't regret getting it, but it's just kind of "Meh".

Triggerhappy: Easily the winner of this bunch of deluxes. Jet mode has a Star Wars X-Wing feel to it and provides versatility in gun arrangement. Plus, putting the headmaster into the cockpit adds to it. Even the molded detail inside the cockpit is X-Wingesque. Robot mode is good to, good sculpt and paint on the head. This is the one to get from this wave.

Hot Rod: Y'know, I'm still happy with the last Hot Rod I got (Henkei). I really didn't need this and it doesn't do anything that the other one doesn't. Yeah sure, headmaster gimmick, but I don't really need that from Hot Rod. So, I'll put it to you guys first, anyone wanna deal on this version of Hot Rod? It's not a bad figure if you don't have one of the several before it.

Twinferno: Good sculpt and paint, but the transformation really limits this figure. The tail doesn't lock together so get used to the alt mode just having two tails. Also, due to transformation the articulation in the arms is weird. It's interesting, and I wouldn't say it's a bad figure, but it has it's flaws.

Bumblebee: Yeah, I didn't need another Bumblebee either, but if you don't already have a Legends scale B, you could certainly do worse than this one.

Gnaw: I like the shark mode. I like the robot mode. But both have their problems. Bot mode has articulation limitations owing to the transformation and the shark mode feet have the bot mode arms just... there. And now way to hide them. Would still be fun to army build though. And I like use of translucent plastic so the eyes are clear.

Kickback: Finally all three Insecticons in the same scale. This time the yellow is clear plastic, which is different from Bombshell's orangeish color which is different from Shrapnell's yellow paint. The inconsistency almost makes it's own consistency. seriously, in spite of what I just said, they actually do look good next to each other. Oh and a headmaster can ride in the "cockpit".

So, some additional thoughts on the Titans Return line in general with more time to fiddle with them. The figures are good for the most part, but I'm noticing that the later figures in the line have very little or no paint on their headmasters. I've also noticed that Hasbro is "Sentinal Priming" us a lot (which refers to releasing a figure's repaint/remold before the figure it was intended to be. So coined because they released Sentinal Prime before Astrotrain. They seem to be doing the same with Blitzwing and Octane, releasing Optimus and Megatron first. I passed on both because I already have decent Voyager scale Optimus and Megatron and these two don't seem to offer anything that one ups the ones I have. I also passed on the Titan masters as I just didn't see the point of having heads without comparably sized bodies to go with. They really just feel like half assed incomplete toys. I dunno, for the most part I like the Titans return line for the innovation and also for giving us new versions of very seldom seen characters, but when they cut corners it's pretty obvious.

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Re: Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by Shockwave »

Deluxe class figures:

Topspin: A massive improvement over the G1 toy, although that's not saying much. I like this figure. It's got a great alt mode, a unique transformation, the paint on mine is great and even the headmaster gimmick seems to have improved (the heads aren't loose anymore). If you're looking for a decent version of Topspin this is the one.

Perceptor: Ok, so I can kind of see what Prowl was talking about in regards to constantly getting newer versions of the same characters, but this one actually does feel like a massive improvement over the Generations one. I've always hated transforming that thing, it was always so frustrating. Definitely not the case with this one. And the microscope lens has actual lenses in it. So that's cool.

Kup: I could say the same about Kup as I said about Perceptor. Except for the lenses. Kup has no lenses.

Krok: Based on the original Action Master and repainted from Skullcruncher, Krok is now literally a croc. I love the garish color scheme, but the problems with the mold plague this version as well.

Quake: interesting reuse of the Hardhead mold.

Legends:

Roadburn: A red repaint of Bumblebee who's not Cliffjumper. Yeah. that's a thing now. Still a fun toy though.

Ok, more to come later.

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Re: Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by Shockwave »

I never followed up on my last post. I also got Legends Brawn. Yeah. There's two Brawns in Titans Return. The first headmaster that turns into Brawn's head came with the jeep/weapon thingy and the head could turn into a little guy resembling the G1 toy in terms of face sculpt. Now, the Legends one is just a full transformable figure, with it's own head and all. And vehicle mode has a place where a headmaster can sit, meaning that headmaster Brawn can drive... Brawn. He can literally drive himself! Thanks to Hasbro, my toys are now having an existential crisis! Anyway, if you have a choice between these two get the legends one.

Broadside: Bot mode is good, decent paint and articulation. This seems to be a retool of the Alpha Trion mold, which I don't have. For the most part I like it. As I said, good bot mode, really good air craft carrier mode, complete with little versions of the Arialbots to peg onto it. "Jet mode" is... unconvincing. Yeah, sure, there's a cockpit and wings and I guess engines? but it's like someone literally folded an aircraft carrier into a jet with only a vague intuition of what a jet is. Also, this figure has stickers. I... have mixed feelings about stickers. I didn't mind it so much on a large toy like Metroplex where they put a ton of paint apps on it to begin with and the stickers were just there for extra details, but on a voyager toy it just feels... lazy. I guess. I dunno. Mine aren't peeling or anything but I can see this being an issue for some people. Overall I would still recommend this toy, it is fun to fiddle with.

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Re: Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by JediTricks »

I can't be generous about the stickers, they're awful, they're peeling in package on mine, and they look shoddy for the price. I get that costs are going up for Hasbro and that they can't raise prices on Voyagers too fast, so this is a cost-saving measure, but they are worse than no deco.

Here's a little catch-up...

Sawback is a very ambitious mold, the titan master integrates by becoming the back half of the lion head/mane. Unfortunately, that ambition comes at a steep price, the lion mode's back is nearly all an empty gap, and the front legs can't move independently. Lion mode is fun and has wings, that's a weird one. The deco is pure yellow and orange, real classic stuff, with a touch of silver paint on the wings and blue on the head mode eyes. Transformation to weapon is clever in a few ways, but the weapon itself is a small lion-faced shield which isn't all that useful (and either the handle is upside-down or meant to be held from below which not all figures can, so they get an upside-down lion face). The vehicle mode is downright clever if you ignore the instructions and fold the rear legs over the front feet as they obviously were designed to. Vehicle is a hover-thing, basically a vehicle because we say so, but I like its new shapes. The figure gets lost visually in the seat though because his garish deco matches so well. Speaking of the Titan Master himself, he has a little tiny lion face for robot mode, and a somewhat feline-esque humanoid face for head mode... with a tiny lion crest at the top. He's big on the lion scheme. His head mode power-up is fireblast boost. I like him, but I can see why he isn't going to be most folks' cup of tea.

Ptero is a darker orange than Sawback's, like a carrot color perhaps, coupled with "silver" plastic and a few other colors, supposedly aping the G1 look of Swoop but it's way off for me. He's a pterodactyl who can flap the outer half of each wing and open his mouth, even flip it over to stand up and look forward. Bot integration is a bit lame, filling in the back with the laying-flat Titan Master. Vehicle mode is equally lame, flip down the wings, fold the head over, flip up the seatback and you've got... almost the same thing you had before, but now the robot can sit in the middle of it. Weapon mode is the lamest of all, leave the head upside-down, fold everything else flat, fold out the vertical handle, and now you have a... bow weapon? It mostly looks like the larger figure is holding a robo-pterodactyl out in front of him. The titan master himself is sculpted to ape the G1 figure down to the tiny face and some other details, and here he has the proper color balance to match G1. Head mode is straight up the Swoop animation model but set on black, it's an odd head for this line only in that it's more tapered than other Titan Master head modes. His head mode power-up is the power to fly at supersonic speed, which seems pretty out there. All in all, there's charm but also flaws, I'm not seeing why he's getting so much love from fans.

Fangry is lavender and black, like a good Decepticon should be! He's an update of the G1 Headmaster, and perhaps even more confusing because his beast mode is a bat-winged wolf, and his vehicle mode is a winged dragon steed. Fangry's beast mode really needs the Titan Master because it's a folded block that makes up the center of his chest, otherwise it's an empty chest with a dragon head at the back. His arms are hinged independently, his hips hinged as a solid block, his tail is hinged, his head can look down, and his wings can hinge forward - the dragon head sticking out his back has nothing to say about this. Dragon steed vehicle mode transforms simply - move the dragon head up and the wolf head down, remove the Titan Master block, fold the wings flat out, adjust limbs to match - but once the titan master is seated, it just looks so fun even before you have him rise up on his hind legs! The wings can't move because they're holding the titan master, the head can't move much up, and the other joints work similarly - but the wolf head in the underside actually can say something about this because the underside of its jaw folds inside to clamp around the back of the Titan Master foot, locking him in place, which is darned clever. You know what's not clever? Weapon mode is the wolf on his back, that's it, it's really dumb, but they did sculpt gunbarrel detailing into the soles of the feet and into the tail end. The Titan Master robot mode is a simplistic update of G1 Fangry's headmaster Brisko, so he has a little black knight face motif that's fun. Head mode is pretty dull as it's the G1 figure head complete with lazy "all green" painted face from visor to jaw, but aside from the simple deco it's a decent generic 'Con face. The head mode power-up is blind rage strength boost: the ability to unleash a blinding blast of steam, then attack with furious super strength, which is convoluted. Overall, this figure has a LOT of personality which helps carry it behind the simplistic transformation and downright awful weapon mode.



Bumblebee (Legends) - It's an interesting figure, there are a lot of masters being served here:
- Legends class $10 figure
- G1 Bumblebee touchstones
- Titan Masters integration
- Modern "easier" transformation philosophies
- Cheaper construction and decoration

Because of all that baggage, the figure is challenged in a few areas, but also lands a few strong hits. The G1 likeness is good, it reminds me of the cartoon and IDW head design nicely, while the body has the general colors and G1 layout it needs. The Titan Master being able to drive the car may be clunky in opening the cockpit, but it's still neat to have that ability. And the figure has decent articulation, although a lot of it is just big ball joints. And the bot mode has shallow but functional 5mm holes in his fists.

Challenges come from being a blocky design without much detail; having a kibble problem with the rear C-pillars just sticking out of the shoulders so the forearms don't reach past them when bent, and the front fenders being big empty feet; the transformation requires a bit of panel massage and doesn't quite line up perfectly in vehicle mode; and the roof being painted a very different shade of yellow because the cockpit is opaque black plastic, while the rear window on a separate part remains an unpainted yellow plastic (although this part is very easy to sharpie in).

Vehicle mode is a boxy, tall little coup that doesn't really remind me of anything on the market. It's not hatchback the way the Generations figure was, but it's nothing like a VW Beetle either. It does have a bit of a chibi look to it which fits the G1 toy, although this is clearly not aping a Penny Racer, it just has cartoony proportions. It rolls fairly well on tall, skinny wheels that are snap-ins. There are a lot of panels from the transformation. To get a Titan Master in the driver's seat, lift the entire rear center of the car out (which means pulling the fenders away slightly) and lift the whole top up, exposing a skeletal but functional center driver seat. The car has a boy racer look to it with a ground effects kit front lower bumper, flared fenders, brake cooler intakes behind the doors, and rear spoiler dead center in the rear window. The grilles are painted gray, the headlights and foglights are painted silver, the rear taillights are painted red, and there's a big red Autobot logo on the roof.

Overall, not a great figure, not a terrible figure, just kinda there. But it's difficult to get excited about this particular Bumblebee figure with its issues adding up to a little more of a bland experience than expected.
EDIT: After messing around with the figure a little more, I'm bumping up my opinion of it. The poseability makes it really come to life and look good, having those shoulders shrug up makes the blockiness spread out better when doing action poses, and that adds a lot of personality as well. Having a head that can turn is good, even if the waist doesn't. And looking back on the past modern Bumblebees, there becomes a pattern of terrible choices for the character where this one lands solidly. So with all that in mind, I'm upping my rating to a "B" level.



Repugnus is the only stinker in his wave, he's got charm as a headmaster head, but everything else is gump. Weak sculpting, bad vehicle and weapon modes, loosey goosey beast mode that's just clunky, it looks like 2 abandoned features.

Shuffler is the greatest thing, he looks nice and accurate to the super rare G1 figure, but is just fun and clever on his own. Nice sculpting, great war elephant mode, fun tank vehicle mode that's not just the same as weapon mode, and an adequate weapon mode. It's easy to love this figure, its worst aspects are the legs aren't hinged independently (they're connected by an axle), and the titan master is largely superfluous to beast mode. This is a must buy in my book.

Kickback is... well, he's alright I guess but for $10 this should have had a weapon, he's "fine". The instructions are garbage, there's not much to his transformation but there's a very crucial move with the bot arms in a particular direction and they flunk that hard, I didn't realize the first few times the bot forearms tab into the thorax which lets the beast legs touch the ground. The titan master ride-in is cute, the G1 gimmick chest has to open up since he's smaller in that respect, but it's still fun that a titan master can at least sit there.

Gnaw is so friggin' great, so much personality, this is one of the best, and the "eats Titan Masters" gimmick is HILARIOUS. He's such a fun update and so silly, such fun sculpting. I am going to try to be happy with just 2 Sharkticons, but they're hilarious. Great deco with the clear eyes, clever updating, even the transformation has charm. Buy him!


Hot Rod, the first new regular mold in 11 years. Hot Rod gives a weak impression at first blush.... His deco has weak choices like no orange crest on the head and no side flames, no chrome, thick yellow paint on the wing that on mine came with a small chip showing the black plastic under, and the titan master is totally monochromatic gray plastic aside from the Hot Rod face on the back. His sculpting feels a bit off from the rest of the line like he was sculpted from outside Hasbro/Takara, the materials feel lighter and more brittle than other figures, and there are odd choices like the hollow space around the cockpit interior. The vehicle mode looks fat and out of proportion, and sports ridiculously thin wheels.

But, after experiencing it more, it has more charm than first impressions. The vehicle mode while odd in the rear half because the cockpit takes up less space and it's narrow, actually has nice modern supercar lines, flow channels, aggressive fenders, a very nice front profile.

Transformation is a bit cheesy with 2/3rds of the sides becoming the arms, and not in a clever way, just high shoulders to offset how long the arms really are. The chest flip-over is alright, the leg flip-over is generic though. The Titan Master port is a new style of design and it's awkward to snap in because it keeps deflecting, but once installed it works fine.

Bot mode stands as tall, slightly taller than many and a whole head taller than the Classics figure. This Hot Rod's biggest failing is probably the narrow chest coming off the high, broad shoulders; it doesn't remind me of the IDW version or the G1 character by being that narrow. The other thing that doesn't do it for me is the Titan Master face, it's trying to go for the IDW by having a bigger chin, but it just feels like Ironhide instead, and leaving the crest unpainted doesn't help at all; on top of all that the Titan Master's body doesn't meld with the face at all. But once you get past that, the overall is decent enough with good lower body proportions and a general sense of balance. While mine has somewhat loose hip ball-joints, in general he has decent articulation for his bricky look.

His guns are mirror twins that snap together to make a small ride-in vehicle, they fit in his fists tightly, and stow in bot mode on his outer biceps or loosely tabbed into his wing (they'll only stay here if you open the wing, put the gun in with the handle facing in, then close the wing to trap the handle between the back canopy and the wing, but it works) and in vehicle mode just behind the front wheels or attached to the engine block.

Overall, he's a mixed bag but the good outweighs the bad, there's some stuff that works pretty well in each mode, and it makes a better impression in-hand than in-package. He is good in enough ways to say he's better than the shrimpy Classics figure.



Triggerhappy is probably the best Transformer figure in the last 3 years, getting nearly everything perfect. The execution is so good that it feels effortless, with elements lining up that shouldn't work as well as they do, and a transformation that's downright memorable. All for a character nobody remembers from the Targetmasters days that made a single appearance in the G1 cartoon.

Vehicle mode is a space starfighter with very large twin cannons on either side that end in gold engine thrusters, couple that with a narrow tapered nose that leads to a cockpit and there are some X-wing Fighter comparisons to this design. Everything that's good about the G1 figure is made better here. Lots of sculpted detail that suits the ship well, very little hollowness or robot kibble, everything makes sense. The opening cockpit looks so nice, it breaks in the middle to have the rear fold up, revealing a few control surfaces, it's a tight cockpit for the Titan Master but the nose breaks down to make it easier to seat him. The colors look downright nice, purple with light gray, sporting a few blue, gold and silver accents, everything's nicely balanced. The robot gun halves can peg into the underside of the wings to bring even more giant guns to bear on this vehicle.

Transformation is astounding, and I cannot think of a more delightful one. The rear half unfolds to become the legs, and then the nose and rear half swap places, and then the arms fold down on struts to perfectly finish the torso. If you want, the guns can stay attached and end up tightly packed on the back.

Bot mode is great too, and not in a flashy way but in a "this is what it should be" style with fantastic proportional balance; even the way the backpack sits so tight against the back is better than other versions of this. The color palette changes to bring more gray to the party which adds to a transformational feel. The joints are all tight but not obnoxiously so, even the titan master neck and the waist have the right tension. The one thing folks may not like are the long guns attached to the forearms, they hit the folded-back winglets if you bend the elbows and then rotate them out (though you can just hinge them away from the wing). And the titan master head is like a dark Optimus Prime, red facemask with gold eyes surrounded by blue, like he has bagged, sunken eyes.

Even the guns are cool, they combine to make a ride-on instead of ride-in vehicle so each gun is proportional to the figure as an assault rifle. They also have no junk everywhere the way so many others do, no tabs or extra pegs or weirdness, the vehicle mode sits flat while the guns look like guns first. While some hollows on each inner half, the outer side of each has no hollows so they look great.

Overall, once again the Decepticons get the winning figure in this line, and in this case it's pretty much the best one I can remember. Everything on Triggerhappy is fantastic, and will make you lament that they're not all this good.


Broadside - This figure does 2 things right: the robot mode looks like a behemoth, and the aircraft carrier mode looks decent from the top. But he's got so many flaws and issues and just plain old weird choices that he's not very good, yet he's also charming enough to make those missteps hilarious. In fact, I'd say despite all his flaws, his many... many flaws, the only one that really hurts my opinion of him is the stupid pre-applied metal foil stickers that are already peeling and puckered and hanging off edges.

Robot mode is a beefy hulk with big, blocky thighs and arms, a broad chest, a lot of tech detailing, and half a jet for a backpack. The backpack isn't offensive, but the wings attached to the shoulders and hanging behind the arms do get in the way when tucked in (the way he looks best, but this locks his shoulders completely), and look silly like fairy wings on a pro wrestler when out. This mode has the least stickers, which is a great thing, although the backpack has 2 pegs that help hold it down that are partly and totally blocked by the stickers. The head on mine is fairly loose, I don't get why 1/3rd of the Titans Return figures have loose headmaster ports while the other 2/3rds get it right, LEARN FROM MISTAKES JERKS. He's got the same pop-up head extension gimmick as Astrotrain and Voyager Optimus, for some reason this system is VERY loose on mine and I've heard not loose on others. The pop-up head gimmick looks decent, it's a pair of tilted-up rocket launcher boxes like you'd see on a battleship. The chest has a faux cockpit canopy, and the carrier "landing gear" that is actually well-integrated for once with sculpted detail. Articulation is fine, nothing to write home about. The packaged position of the tail wings is totally wrong, they should be pointed forward, and I think the instructions are wrong, they should be angled together towards the outside of the leg.

Transformation is kooky, so much so that he's got a bit set of instructions, but most of that is just fiddling with double-hinged panels and getting forearms rotated so they can lock into place in each alt mode. They make it more complicated than it really is, all you should keep in mind is the forearms slot into the flat-top deck of the carrier mode, and hook-tab into the rear section of the plane mode; everything else will be fairly obvious.

Aircraft Carrier mode is really neat, minus the big shiny stickers making up the landing path that are poorly applied and don't line up that well and are peeling and ARE COVERING UP THE SCULPTED DETAIL UNDERNEATH. But, with that aside, it looks really neat standing on its 3 legs and with the conning tower up there. The included micro-sized, white-painted Aerialbots plug onto the deck's myriad of 2mm pegs, they look neat although the scale makes this carrier bigger than a real carrier would be. The large translucent blue rifle is also the Titan Master ride-in vehicle, which looks like many of the rest (bad) but also pegs onto the center of the deck as if it were another plane taking off (just one without wings); the vehicle can also peg into the side of the forearm to ride alongside the carrier instead. Flipping up the jet mode's tail wings makes this closer to a helicarrier. The underside is obviously a jet plane robot man, but as long as you don't look from straight underneath the carrier looks decent. The conning tower folds back in the middle to make a very small, somewhat awkward seat for the Titan Master to command jets from.

Jet mode is hideously bad for no reason. It's clearly engineered to be this way too, it has tabs holding it in place inside the thighs and on the forearms, this mess is intentional. Basically the jet mode is a robot sitting on a bar stool holding on for dear life, if you laid this mess down and flipped a jet cockpit over his head. There's no landing gear, the panels that could have been used to cover gaps are folded back, the rear end is 2 giant blocks raised up and an ugly gap between, there's no engine thrust nozzles, it's appalling to the point that it comes around and becomes cute. Heck, my biggest frustration is the rice-grain-sized Aerialbots have no storage here despite a faux rear cockpit (though you can sit them all on Blunderbuss' lap inside the main cockpit). The second biggest frustration, after the eyesore that is the whole jet mode, is that the front half of the fuselage untabs very easily, leaving you with a droopy jet nose. There's also no landing gear, the tail wings all angle forward (the side ones at least are sculpted to have flaps on the rear edges, the top rudders have the flaps facing front which is a big no), the wing stickers are really poorly applied, and the big gun pegs into the midsection to block the canopy from opening (although at least the gun fills the awkward gap of the robot waist).

Overall, I wouldn't recommend Broadside, but I kind of enjoy him both for what he gets right and how audaciously he gets things wrong. If you never look at the jet mode, this figure has enough charm that he kinda works, but that jet mode damns him.
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See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?

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andersonh1
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Re: Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by andersonh1 »

JediTricks wrote:Sawback is a very ambitious mold, the titan master integrates by becoming the back half of the lion head/mane. Unfortunately, that ambition comes at a steep price, the lion mode's back is nearly all an empty gap, and the front legs can't move independently. Lion mode is fun and has wings, that's a weird one. The deco is pure yellow and orange, real classic stuff, with a touch of silver paint on the wings and blue on the head mode eyes. Transformation to weapon is clever in a few ways, but the weapon itself is a small lion-faced shield which isn't all that useful (and either the handle is upside-down or meant to be held from below which not all figures can, so they get an upside-down lion face). The vehicle mode is downright clever if you ignore the instructions and fold the rear legs over the front feet as they obviously were designed to. Vehicle is a hover-thing, basically a vehicle because we say so, but I like its new shapes. The figure gets lost visually in the seat though because his garish deco matches so well. Speaking of the Titan Master himself, he has a little tiny lion face for robot mode, and a somewhat feline-esque humanoid face for head mode... with a tiny lion crest at the top. He's big on the lion scheme. His head mode power-up is fireblast boost. I like him, but I can see why he isn't going to be most folks' cup of tea.
The colors are very retro, and that and the lion mode are the reasons I picked this guy.
Fangry is lavender and black, like a good Decepticon should be! He's an update of the G1 Headmaster, and perhaps even more confusing because his beast mode is a bat-winged wolf, and his vehicle mode is a winged dragon steed. Fangry's beast mode really needs the Titan Master because it's a folded block that makes up the center of his chest, otherwise it's an empty chest with a dragon head at the back. His arms are hinged independently, his hips hinged as a solid block, his tail is hinged, his head can look down, and his wings can hinge forward - the dragon head sticking out his back has nothing to say about this. Dragon steed vehicle mode transforms simply - move the dragon head up and the wolf head down, remove the Titan Master block, fold the wings flat out, adjust limbs to match - but once the titan master is seated, it just looks so fun even before you have him rise up on his hind legs! The wings can't move because they're holding the titan master, the head can't move much up, and the other joints work similarly - but the wolf head in the underside actually can say something about this because the underside of its jaw folds inside to clamp around the back of the Titan Master foot, locking him in place, which is darned clever. You know what's not clever? Weapon mode is the wolf on his back, that's it, it's really dumb, but they did sculpt gunbarrel detailing into the soles of the feet and into the tail end. The Titan Master robot mode is a simplistic update of G1 Fangry's headmaster Brisko, so he has a little black knight face motif that's fun. Head mode is pretty dull as it's the G1 figure head complete with lazy "all green" painted face from visor to jaw, but aside from the simple deco it's a decent generic 'Con face. The head mode power-up is blind rage strength boost: the ability to unleash a blinding blast of steam, then attack with furious super strength, which is convoluted. Overall, this figure has a LOT of personality which helps carry it behind the simplistic transformation and downright awful weapon mode.
My daughter bought this one entirely because she liked him on Headmasters, so she was a little disappointed at the way the "transtector" and head didn't interact well. But otherwise she and I liked the tiny Fangry.
Gnaw is so friggin' great, so much personality, this is one of the best, and the "eats Titan Masters" gimmick is HILARIOUS. He's such a fun update and so silly, such fun sculpting. I am going to try to be happy with just 2 Sharkticons, but they're hilarious. Great deco with the clear eyes, clever updating, even the transformation has charm. Buy him!
I agree, I love this little guy. Easily my favorite of my recent purchases.

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andersonh1
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Re: Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by andersonh1 »

Titans Return Firedrive and Autobot Hot Rod
As always, I enjoy shooting comparison pics with the original G1 Hot Rod, though I had to use my (not so good) cell phone camera since my regular one seems to have died. And I pulled out G1 Hot Rod, as well as reissue Rodimus Major and the packaging for both, just because I haven't brought them out of storage for awhile, and I love that G1 packaging. :D

Titans Return Hot Rod is an improvement over Classics Rodimus in my opinion. The brighter colors, especially the spoiler, while not identical to the original evoke it better.

Bots and Boxes:
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Robot mode comparison
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Vehicle mode comparison:
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Headmaster:
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Shockwave
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Re: Universe2.0/Generations Review Thread

Post by Shockwave »

He looks pretty good with the Chaos at Velocitron Rodimus head too. In fact, I was going to sell mine before getting this head, but now it makes a good update to Rodimus, especially next to Henkei Hot Rod. It's easy to look at Henkei Hot Rod and then see TR Rodimus as the older version.

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