Category Archives: Comic Books

Clobber and Skytread – Conclusion of Wave 2 of Titans Return Titan Masters

It was strangely hard to get my hands on the last two figures in wave 2 of the Titan Masters in the Titans Return series.   I did however find them, and then they slipped through the cracks and hid away for a while.  But they are out and they are ready to join their wave.

Clobber:

Clobber’s vehicle/weapon is a repaint of Crashbash’s, as well as Clobber’s robot body.

The T-Rex is a new color scheme going with yellow and grey. Hey, do you know of another gold and grey T-Rex? I bet you do. Just wait, the surprise is coming.

First we have to look at the rest of the modes. The vehicle transforms into a dragon. Ugh! Not this guy again! That is not a great mode for this guy. It is a bit forced. Especially to have Clobber stand on his back like this. Last time for this mode.

Then there is the weapon. Basically the T-Rex laying down with a handle on his back. It works fine, and I do not suspect you would make a much better weapon from a robot T-Rex.

Now for the surprise:

Yup, that is in fact Grimlock. Now, why did they call him “Clobber” rather than Grimlock? The running theory is that Grimlock is already working hard in the Robots in Disguise show and toy line, so Hasbro went with a different named character. I don’t get it, but whatever. His head looks great!!!

 

Skytread:

Skytread is a retool of Terri-Bull that we saw back in wave 1. He is a rename of the figure Flywheels from way back in 1987. Flywheels was able to separate into a tank and a jet, so that makes sense with this figure and vehicle combo. Plus the color scheme matches fairly well, though Flywheel was more burgundy, and not so much pink.

In tank mode, Skytread gets to ride up top and control the 4 cannons that can move in their separate pairs.

Flip it over and spin it around, open some wings, and Skytread is flying high in jet mode.

The colors on Skytread are a bit off. It was really hard to try and photograph, but the pinks do not match up well at all.

The jet is the basis for the gun mode, where basically the wings fold in and you have a gun, 4 barrels underneath and the nose of the plane for a 5th barrel.

I don’t know if I would say this is Flywheel’s head. It looks a bit on the generic side to me. I am definitely not an expert on Flywheel, and most of the pictures I have seen are not really that great.

A couple of retools for the second part of this wave.   They are good figures and fine heads.   They are welcome to my team.


Diac and Optimus Prime – Transformers Generations – Titans Return (Voyager Class)

So, we already got a really good looking Leader Class Optimus Prime in the Titans Return line, so why did we get a second one? Well, that is probably because Hasbro decided to make Megatron a Voyager Class figure this time around. It is not very Autobot-like to be the bigger guy and pick a fight. So, they gave us Optimus in the smaller scale so he can fight Megatron with Doomshot.

Optimus is a triple changer this time around. Robot, fuel tanker truck, and jet. This is a case where a triple changer cannot work well three times. You can get one good mode, or maybe two good modes, but you are going to be hard pressed to get all three modes that work really well. Especially when the modes are distinct, and not a battle station of some sort like we have found with a lot of the Leader Class figures. Just like how Megatron was made using what will become Blitzwing, They used Octane to make Optimus Prime. It makes a lot more sense if you look at who is coming second in this line to understand that Hasbro is trying to cut costs by using the same base body a couple of times. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Optimus Prime starts in his robot mode. He has some mighty big shoulders. He is feeling his inner Ultra Magnus on this one. This design is based on the Laser Optimus Prime from the 1995 Generation 2 line, where he also had some big shoulders.


He comes with a blaster (that can of course hold a Titan Master) as well as a neon green sword.

It is hard to not compare this version of Optimus to the Powermaster version, since they are coming out in the same series, and they came out pretty close together. Even with the big shoulders, this version of Prime is a LOT shorter than the Powermaster, and a whole lot less robust to boot.

This Optimus comes with Diac. Diac is named for the Diaclone, which were the predecessors to the Transformers. I love that Hasbro is paying homage to the pre-Transformers line that eventually created the world of Transformers we know today. Back then there were some mish-mashed figures that were out of scale from one another since they were from different lines, brought together. But here we are so many years later under one umbrella of greatness.

Looking at Optimus’ back, it is clear this is no robot to truck transformation we are going to see. There is something more going on, and it looks like it is going to be a plane.

Yup, it was a plane. Not a great plane, but a plane nonetheless. What we end up with is a strange concoction of parts that do form a plane of some sort. Is it supposed to be a fighter jet, a passenger jet, or something inbetween? It is hard to tell.

The wings are extremely short on this plane. That is where we start to get into the trouble areas of having triple changers. The wings have to fold away in another mode, so they have to stay within a certain size, causing some visual troubles. On top of that, there is a ton of greeble on the back half of the plane, making it look extremely heavy back there, and not very aerodynamic.

Moving to the back of the plane, it is powered by just one little jet. It would be hard to move a brick like this, much less with such a small engine. Oh well, can’t win them all.

There is a cockpit way back there that allows Diac to fly the plane. It is too bad the cockpit at the front doesn’t work for that purpose, but with the way the nose is made, there is no room.

There are two ways the weapons can be attached, First is near the nose of the plane. The gun fits in one side, and the sword on the other. Yet more ways to kill the aerodynamics of the plane.

The other option is to mount the two weapons together on the top of the plane and allow Diac to get a little air as well. This looks a bit better, than the side mounting alternative.

Onto the truck. Optimus has been a lot of trucks in his time. Back in 1995, Laser Optimus Prime was reimagined as a tanker truck, and this became one of the fan favorite designs of all time. In that version, the robot and the trailer were detachable, so Optimus could be a robot and have a battle station. This time around, it is all one unit. Unfortunately that means there is no bending between the truck and the trailer, so he is one solid unit.

The truck features a chrome tanker, a very nice nod to the Laser version. No flame throwing Prime on the side though. Fear not, if you want the flaming Prime version, it is coming out in a Toys R Us Exclusive 5-pack with Optimus being black and listed as Laser Optimus Prime. Once again, Diac rides in the same cockpit, this time flipping around in the seat to face the other direction.

The weapons mount on the sides in this mode as well.

 

Overall, not the greatest triple changer we have. When we look at Megatron, you will see a triple changer that works well, and looks right. There were just too many differences shoved into this guy to work properly. They were making Megatron a triple changer, and they wanted to do the same for Optimus. They found a figure they could use (Octane) to create Laser Optimus as well as Octane, and have at least 3 versions of the figure being used (Optimus, Laser Optimus, and Octane), to help cut costs. This is not my favorite Optimus, and he will probably live life on the shelf as a robot. Powermaster Optimus Prime will be my main Titans Return guy.


Decepticon Revolver and Six Shot – Transformers: Generation – Titans Return – Leader Class

I went to the Target near work, where I tend to go every Thursday. It is not close to home, so I frequent there once a week after work. Generally, they do not have anything terribly good. Most of the time the Marvel Legends aisle is warming some pegs with old waves of figures. The Star Wars 6 inch figures are generally a bunch of Rogue One figures we all already have. And on the Transformers aisle, I would be surprised if I could find Robots in Disguise one-step changers, which I have zero interest in collecting.

To my amazement, they had some of the older Titan Master single packs. And then I saw him on the bottom shelf. In all of his giant glory was Six Shot. I knew he was coming, but the bright teal and purple was a sight to behold. I was half excited. I knew he was a needed figure for the collection, but at the same time, I was a little apprehensive about a six-changer, or a sextuple-changer. Generally the triple changers do not do terribly well. You get one mode that is good, and a few modes that are so-so. So, what comes of a guy that is made up of one robot, one wolf, and four vehicles?

First off, robot mode. This is Six Shot. 1987 could stand with 2017 and feel like they were looking in an updated mirror. It is clear that Hasbro went to great lengths to make this Six Shot reflect the Six Shot from 30 years ago, and not in an homage kind of way. They went to a lot of work to recreate the original with so much attention to detail.

He has a different head than his G1 counterpart, but that is to be expected. This version is a Titan Master, so Revolver is hiding under that helmet. This is one of the more fun Titan Master helmets with the big Leader Class figures. With the others, they have a full helmet that folds out of the way to allow the Titan Master to be removed. In Six Shot’s case, the top of the helmet folds back and allows Revolver to be removed straight out of the top, like removing a brain. This makes for a more solid looking larger scale head, which hasn’t always worked so effectively with the other Leader Class figures.

As you circle Six Shot, you can start to see all of the different parts hanging off, around his body. There are wheels, treads, wings, nose cones, claws, a head, a couple of different cockpits, the list goes on.

Revolver, the Titan Master looks like a little ninja of his own. He is modeled after Jack, a Headmaster from the show of the same name, who was actually killed by Six Shot. That is some interesting irony, that those two would be teamed up.

Now, onto the modes. We are following the directions in a linear transformation. Each of the directions builds off of the last mode, finishing back with the robot.

First up is the tank mode. The treads are rotated around, and the legs form the cannons of the tank. There are four cannons on the legs that are black, and Six Shot’s 2 hand cannons become additional cannons for this mode. It is a stubby little vehicle, but it is well armored. There are a few parts that are a bit out of place, like the wings on the top, and the wheels hanging off the front end. I like this mode. I would have liked to see the turret actually rotate, but that is a lot to ask from a pair of legs. They already have a LOT of engineering for all of the jobs they have to do.

The next transformation is into the jet. It looks very similar to the space ship that Astrotrain and Sentinel Prime turn into. I like seeing the design cues carrying through the series.

He is quite big as the jet, with his hand blasters becoming the main weapons for the ship. One problem with this mode is the back part, where the arms hang off the back. They do not peg into place in this mode, so they flop around a bit.

Next up is the car mode. This is quite the armored vehicle. Very different from the tank we saw before, this vehicle is longer and looks like it has a front end capable of crashing through any wall.

This time around, Revolver gets to sit in an open-top cockpit. And look at that, he gets a shotgun seat for a sidekick. We sure do have enough Titan Master running around now.

The 5th mode is the beast mode. Back in the day, the wings were folded in, but in this version, Six Shot lets his wild side out, and the wings are wide and free. A flying giant wolf. Nope, no Autobots will have nightmares about that one.

The wolf has a moving front jaw. The head cannot move further down that straight out. There is a giant hole in the back of his head that a folded up Revolver drops into. It is a great touch to allow Revolver to control the wolf in the head too. There is some good articulation from the legs, with the back legs moving forward and back. There is more movement up front. The two blasters become a tail when attached together.

The final mode is a “submarine“. Back in the day (1987), there were not so many worries about kids getting shot for running around with weapons. Toy manufacturers have to be way more careful about that today. Hasbro is a bit more gunshy than they were back in the 80s, and with good reason. For that reason, Six Shot lost his gun mode, and gained a submarine mode. Really though, it is the gun, looking really close to the G1 version, but flipped upside down. So really you do get the gun mode, it is just not built that way in the directions. Then Hasbro cannot be blamed for a kid running around pretending to shoot people with a giant teal/purple/black gun.

Another quick change and Six Shot is back to his robot self. Overall I am really impressed with this setup. I was not sure they were going to be able to pull off a sextuple-changer, but he works really well. There are not obvious extras that detract from each of the modes. There are some parts that don’t belong, like the wheels in nearly every mode, but that is part of the charm of his many transformations. He is definitely a good addition to the Leader Class. He does have capabilities to attach to the other base modes, though he does not have a base mode of his own. The directions show the tank joining up. I will have to go back and see how easy or difficult that is to do.


Soundblaster and Soundwave – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return (Leader Class)

Soundwave, is one of the closest soldiers by Megatron. He is by far the most loyal, and potentially the most important to the Decepticon cause. He is one of the few that commands his own troops, in this case an army of spies that are, in this version, different types of computer tablets. Think of the world being taken over by iPhones, and there is an old school boombox pulling the strings.

When I got Blaster, I knew Soundwave was going to be just as good. Using the same base body, they changed out a bunch of the parts to create a similar, but not too similar robot and boombox. In robot mode, he has his telltale yellow visor and extra silver helmet extensions on the sides of his head. Was it a helmet before? I think not. It sure is this time around.

Looking at his stats, he is not fast, but he is smart, and pretty darn strong to boot.

His chest opens, in much the same way as his G1 counterpart did. He has the same “tablet” that Blaster had, that has a trio of blasters of it’s own to help with some firepower in

another mode.

Blaster and Soundwave are very similar, but the color difference, and the subtle parts changes, especially around the legs, really change the robot mode.

Soundwave gets two birds this time around. Blaster gets none. Poor Blaster.

Soundblaster, not to get confused with Blaster the big robot, is the Titan Master for Soundwave. In the G1 continuity, Soundwave was killed by Blaster, and later reborn into Soundblaster. In the IDW continuity, Soundblaster was a clone of Soundwave. Now we have the two as separate robots, but teaming up together to wreak havoc on the Autobots. He is a remodel of Twin Cast, who was teamed up with Blaster. That is why, if you look closely, most of him looks like Soundwave, but his legs have the speakers of Blaster.

Change Soundwave into his alternate mode, and you have a giant, for the scale, boombox.

Soundwave looks so different than Blaster. The whole front has been redone, including the speakers, cassette door, and the buttons under the door. It is quite amazing how much work Hasbro went to in order to separate these two figures. Great job!

From the back, you can see the shoulder launcher becomes a sort of battery pack, and the gun is an antenna, like it was for Blaster.

But wait, there’s more. Transform him again, and he becomes a battle station. Not a great battle station but one that fits lots of little guys. Now Blaster and Soundwave can have the smallest war ever. From a plethora of Titan Masters with their little vehicles, to the tablets each has, to the other small Legends scale figures.

It is all just too cute. I can hear the little ‘pew pew pew’ from here.


Alpine Strike Autobot Drift – Transformers: Robots in Disguise

Autobot Drift. How many Drifts can we possibly have in the Robots in Disguise series? Well, three in the Warrior class, one in the Legion Class, and one Mini-Con Deployer. That is so far. Might we see more? Who knows.

We started off with the orange version. That was standard for the show. Then we got Blizzard Strike. Paint him two-tone blue. Gotcha. I can get behind clear wheels. Now we have Alpine Strike. Basically repainted to be in his IDW comics red and white version. But why “Alpine Strike”? Maybe because he is white.

Anyway, this is the same figure we have seen twice before. He is one of the best of the Robots in Disguise series of figures. He has two swords, and features a really good transformation.

The paint is well done and does pay homage to the IDW origin of Drift. Each iteration of the figure has paint apps highlighting different aspects of the character. There is a lot of good molded features for them to touch upon.


Nova (Sam Alexander) – Marvel Legends Titus Series (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Wave 1)

 

Sam Alexander is Nova. There are a lot of Novas out there, but Sam is the newest Nova to the Legends team. Why is he a part of a movie series?
Well, I will tell you. Sam’s dad was Nova Centurion. He lost his helmet along with his life. His son found the helmet with the help of Gamora and Rocket Raccoon, hence the connection to the Guardians. On top of that, Sam is a part of the Titus Series, with Titus being the Build a Figure. AND Titus used to be the Nova Centurion too. There are a lot of tie ins to this lineup. He was not just thrown in there.

Now, here is the thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Series. It feels like it is a redo of the original wave from the first movie. We are going to take a look as we move along and see the connections between this wave and the first wave, and see if this was a good move.

This time around, we get Kid Nova as in Sam Alexander. In the original wave we got Richard Rider who was Nova Prime. This was definitely not a copy. There is nothing that is the same about these two, other than they are both Novas.

Sam uses the newer “teen” buck. A shorter, slighter build body. He is clearly teen Spider-Man with some modifications to the body. There was work done to the upper and lower torso to incorporate the gold circles and straps. And there was added bulk to the forearms. In addition the helmet head is all new.

Don’t be tricked by this photo. The perspective of the lower camera makes Sam look taller than he is compared to Richard.

He stands almost a head shorter than Richard Rider, and it suits him. He is a great looking figure. These two look great together, looking linked but different all the same. Where Richard Rider’s suit is shiny and metallic all over, with Sam, only the gold parts are shiny. The rest of the suit and the helmet are matte.

So far, this wave shows similarities from the first wave, but this NOT the same figure. He is a great addition to the space side of the Marvel Universe, and will look great working with the Guardians, or with the younger members of the Spider-Verse.


Protectobot Groove – Transformers: Generations – Combiner Wars

We are going to go back in time a little bit today. Back to the days before the Titans Returned. Back in the days of the Combiner Wars. One G1 figure that was left out of the lineup was Groove. What a shame it was too. It seems like Hasbro made the choice of not creating the gigantic motorcycle for the Protectobots, instead going with the new character Rook. Instead, they made Groove a much smaller, more inscale Legends class figure. That did not sit right with a lot of people, since Groove was one of Defensor’s legs way back in 1986 when the Combiners first appeared.

While we were getting a tiny version of Groove here in the US in 2015, in Japan, they were getting a really great version of Groove. Finally in 2016 the US got their Groove with some strange release methods. I ended up getting him online for a killer price. One day he was $45, and then I saw him for $16.99. He has stayed that price on Amazon for a while now, and I can tell you he is worth it!

In a strange turn of events, the back of the packaging says Protectobot Groove is a part of the Sky Reign team. Umm, his name is “Protectobot” Groove. What are they thinking? Of course he is a part of Defensor and the Protectobot team. Crazy I tell you. At least they show him as the correct appendage.

Straight off, Groove looks great. He is well detailed, and has lots of good paint apps. White, gold and silver make up most of his coloring with touches of black here and there.

He comes with THREE guns. He has two blasters, equipped with police lights on the top. He also comes with the hand/foot gun that has the dual gatling guns.

From the back, you can see he is definitely a motorcycle. There is a bit of a backpack back there. As we have seen many times before, there is not really a great place to hide a motorcycle’s front wheel.

Transforming him is about as easy as the rest of the Combiner Wars figures. They are all pretty straight forward. Groove looks great in bike mode. He is about the same size as Wreck-Gar, so while he is out of scale with the rest of the vehicles, it allows another robot to ride him.

I cannot get over how cool the guns are. The red lights are the best. At the bottom, the gun handles are clear, so they are probably not supposed to be there when in bike mode. They would have blended in better with the bike without the handles sticking down there. I think that is a Tomy touch that carried back to the US and the Hasbro team.

There is a lot going on here at the front of the bike. This could have just been a sticker or a splash of silver paint, but this is a Tomy motorcycle, so there is a painted light, with clear plastic over it. He has a blue windshield, and clear red lights on the side. These are such fantastic fine details.

I am skipping Sky Reign, who they claim he belongs to, and going right to Defensor, who I know he actually belongs to.

As with most of the appendages for the Combiners, there is not a lot of parts to move to go from vehicle to body part. The legs are generally the easiest of all. As with the others, Groove can become either an arm or a leg. He was a leg back in the day, so a leg he will be again.

Finally Defensor can be put together the right way. Rook has been omitted from the line-up. First Aid moved from the right leg, to the left arm, and Groove took his rightful place as the right leg. All is right with the world.

Except for poor Rook. He is now a Combiner without a team. His is a good guy, so he will be able to stay on the team as backup.


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