Toy Review - Transformers Titans Return: Voyager Class Galvatron and Sentinel Prime
If I could sum up wave 1 of Titans Returns’ Voyager class figures in one word: unfinished. Kitbashers will have a field day with both Galvatron and Sentinel Prime, but for those who aren’t too skilled with a paintbrush…these figures will feel very lackluster. [That didn’t stop you, oh ye of middling to poor painting skills. – Ed.]
The first thing you’re going to notice on Sentinel Prime is ORANGE. He is very, very annoyingly ORANGE. Seriously, you will have absolutely ZERO problem finding this toy in the dark. ORANGE. All of him. Okay, I exaggerate…but damn near 90% of him…ORANGE. This is like if road work barrels or cones got it on with blaze orange hunting vests…IT’S THAT ORANGE. So, okay, very unfortunate color choice. The thing is, Hasbro could’ve salvaged this with some paint apps and or a black wash…but unfortunately paint apps went the way of the dodo before the use of the hollow plastic that I love so much. [You’ve been at this for a while now, you should know that sarcasm doesn’t exactly translate well over text. – Ed.] Thus, I had to take matters into my own hands. I added some silver paint to the guns on his arms and along the wingtips…and it actually makes his shuttle mode look reminiscent to the shuttles the Autobots used in Transformers: The Movie. For the black wash, I just diluted some calligraphy ink and brushed over everything. I had hoped this would draw out some of the molded details, and to an effect it did…but not as consistently as I would have liked. Of course, this was my first time ever giving anything a wash…so in the hands of someone experienced, I maintain that this should accomplish what I imagine it would do. This wash actually also serves to muddle and darken the ORANGE a bit…making it less of an eyesore. As for the mold itself…this is very much Astrotrain, just with a Prime’s head. As such, the shuttle mode is VERY good. But, like any triple changer…and that seems to be a theme for the Titans Returns Voyagers…there’s one good mode and one weak one. And the train mode…ugh. In some ways, it’s reminiscent of the transport Roger Smith would use to transport Big O under Paradigm City…but ORANGE. Many online reviews have said that this mold will make a great Astrotrain and they plan to love it as Astrotrain, but this use really is just a placeholder release. I’m not so sure I agree with that statement…as personally I like that we have a serious toy (not from the Animated series) of the much talked about but never produced Autobot leader before Optimus. But it’s just so goddamn ORANGE…
Galvatron retains his classic colors and, at cursory glance, he looks just fine…in fact, downright awesome. Under scrutiny, however, he starts to show some faults. The biggest problem is the pop-up mask/crown. Issue one is that the mask doesn’t really integrate the Titan Master very well, he sits a bit too far back and, as you can see in the pictures, can either give rise to gaps or shadows over the face. The second issue is the color of the Titan Master itself. I get that they modeled Nucleon after Megatron and thus made him all gray…but if you look at the prototype video, there was actually some purple to the figure…which helped him blend into the pop-up mask/crown better. It’s also worth pointing out that in head mode, Nucleon looks very much like the head for the G1 Galvatron toy. Anyway, to better unify the look, I took a purple paint pen to Nucleon to blend him in a bit better and you can tell from the pictures that it mostly works. I did leave the legs gray though. If you’ve been buying the spare Titan Masters that just come with a transforming vehicle, Apeface is almost a passable alternate head…the problem is that it does give Galvatron a bit of a pin-headed appearance. One last watch-out…my Nucleon came with two left arms. It’d suck if I used the little guy for anything more than a head…but I don’t, so not a huge issue.
Like with Sentinel, Galvatron has one awesome mode and one WTF mode. The awesome mode, which most would expect, is his classic space cannon mode. It’s everything you’d want it to be, it really is. I do have two minor issues with it though. First, I think I might have to paint the treads or something…not digging the solid purple there. Second, there’s a problem with the treads akin to problems people were running into with the first releases of Combiner Wars Optimus Prime and Motormaster, the ratchets in Galvatron’s shoulders don’t really allow you to place the treads flat to the surface…instead he’s either always on the edge of his treads or drooping. I tend to go with on the edge of his treads because you can always tell that a bot with a HUGE arm cannon isn’t worried about droopage. [Ah, yes, always room for a compensation joke, isn’t there? – Ed.] The WTF mode looks to be a starfighter of some kind…I heard one online reviewer liken it to an Arwing from Starfox…but I’ll agree with most reviews that it certainly falls into the ‘it’s a spaceship because it has a cockpit and we tell you it’s a spaceship’ camp. I mean, if you squint…have a few strong drinks…then squint some more…sure…why not…it’s a ship. Strangely enough, though, I actually like it better than Sentinel’s train mode…so go figure.
To conclude, Sentinel Prime isn’t a bad toy and will certainly make a fine Astrotrain…but with just a few paint apps and less ORANGE…he could’ve been a satisfying figure on his own. To his advantage, there really weren’t any expectations for this toy, so that probably helps. Galvatron, however, had heaps of expectations on him…especially after a failed deluxe class interpretation back in Generations/Universe v2.0. Thankfully, he meets most of them, robot mode looks mostly great and the space cannon is awesome. But the head and the lackluster execution of the mask/crown gimmick unfortunately hold the toy back from greatness. Are they worth the purchase? Well, for most I’d say skip Sentinel and grab Astrotrain when he’s released (he’s out in some places and online now, but I’ve yet to see him in the wild). As for Galvatron, I can recommend him to most…with the caveat that you need to ratchet your expectations down a bit. I will say this though, I’ll rescind that recommendation the INSTANT Takara announces a Masterpiece Galvatron.