Toy Review - Transformers Titans Return Deluxe Class: Wave 2
Here’s the plan at the time of this writing: I’ve yet to take photos of the wave 2 voyagers and the wave 3 deluxes, voyagers and leader. I plan on skipping a review of the wave 2 leader-class figure, Soundwave, because it’s pretty much Blaster with just some slight mold changes, such as the head, and different paint/colors. So, let’s kill some time going over the wave 2 deluxes, shall we?
For this wave, we’re in hardcore Headmaster territory as we finish up the old school Decepticon Headmasters and nearly wrap up the Autobot Headmasters. For those keeping track, the two Deceptcion Horrorcons are still MIA (although Apeface was released as just a Titan Master) and Brainstorm, who would finish up the Autobot Headmasters, is a Walgreens exclusive that we’ll cover when we do the wave 3 deluxes. As you’ll recall, wave 1 was a little bit uneven. Thankfully, wave 2 ran with what they did right more than what they did wrong and thus ends up being a pretty solid, consistent wave overall. That’s not to say there aren’t some issues here and there with the figures within…but we’ll get to those as we look at each individual figure.
Well, since we started with the ‘Cons in our wave 1 review, let’s start off with Chromedome here. The reason for my picking him as a starting point is two-fold…first, he was the first Headmaster I ever got back in the G1 days and second, this mold makes me soooooo hatey. Now, I have to freely admit that this is solely my own problem/psychosis. Why? Because Hasbro WILL NOT let the Combiner Wars Dead End mold die the horrible, HORRIBLE death it deserves. Does that mean that Chromey here is a little short for a Headmaster? No. He fits in with the rest of the deluxes that the line has produced so far…but his transformation scheme? EXACTLY the motherf…son of a…goddamned same as Dead End. BOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING. Just saying. Just putting that out there. Not helping is the fact that when in vehicle mode, the titan master doesn’t have a way to lock into position in the driver’s compartment…so he just kind of bounces around freely. On the plus side, the look of the toy really captures his G1 self pretty well in both modes. The toy looks great…and if Combiner Wars hadn’t already overused this transformation scheme TO DEATH…I’d like it much, much better.
Moving on to Highbrow, we run into a slight repeat of a transformation scheme but it’s a bit more recent and not already done to death…that of Scourge from wave 1. It’s not identical, which certainly helps, as it has a few twists and turns that Scourge did not. Like each of the deluxe class figures that point back to a G1 Headmaster as their forebear, Highbrow does a great job evoking the original. There aren’t too many differences between him and his Japanese counterpart…or at least nothing that allows me to point at one version or the other as being “better” in my aesthetic. Other than that, can’t think of much else to say…which is a good thing. He’s solid…I like him. Next toy…
Over on the Decepticon side of things, we have Wolfwire…who was once Weirdwolf. Seems like an oddly specific name for Hasbro to lose the rights to but what do I know. Starting in his wolf form, Wolfwire follows the standard “stand-up-the-cat” transformation that was done to death during the Beast era. I guess enough time has passed for me to give this transformation scheme half a pass. I can’t give it a full pass though simply because of the transformation of the robot legs into the wolf’s legs. I see what they were trying to do…but for me it just doesn’t really work and feels a little too fidgety for my liking. In bot mode he looks great…I only have the minor complaint that his gun looks insanely huge in his hands (which, by the way, don’t really hang on to the gun all that well). Given the problems with the wave 1 ‘Cons, it’s worth pointing out that the joints are tight and the head snaps on just fine…so, yay, improvement!
Lastly, we have Mindwipe who is certainly the most unique of the wave. That ends up resulting in a bit of a mixed bag though. The transformation scheme is a thing of genius with the bat’s wings folding up to form the robot legs. I think the biggest limitation to the figure though ended up being that slavish dedication to the G1 predecessor. This results in a strange secondary set of wings in bat mode that you really have nothing to do with and a bat that can’t really assume a flying pose…instead, he just sits there like a bat-flasher showing off his bat-junk. The shield and gun combining to form what I guess is the back end/tail of the bat looks like it’d work best in said flying pose but as it is now, well, it’s very much “out of sight, out of mind”…provided you don’t look at the toy from the side. Still, the mold is interesting enough that I ended up buy an extremely overpriced Japanese exclusive version…but more on that in a future review.
Wave 2 proves to be a step in the right direction for the line overall. It rights the ship after the shaky start with wave 1 and while each individual figure may have nits to pick here and there, they all provide a solid Transformers experience and are certainly worth picking up.