Toy Review - Transformers Titans Return Voyager Class: Wave 3
I’ll be honest, ever since pictures of these two figures hit the internet, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get them into my collection. Yes, yes, I know, it’s OBVIOUS that these two molds are ‘premolds’ for Octane and Blitzwing…but damned if there isn’t something about them that just fits for Optimus Prime and Megatron.
Okay…more Prime than Megs, but we’ll get to that. And yes, that is a matter of opinion…but you’re here to read my opinion…so there you go.
Let’s start with the new feature for both of these figures…pre-applied stickers. Now, first of all, I’m grateful…I really am. I hate applying stickers, so Hasbro gets an A for effort. Execution however…ugh. Okay, that might be slightly harsh, especially given the assembly line-like nature of how I’m sure these stickers were applied. I think my beef is more with the type of stickers used. If you’ve looked into other review pertaining to these figures, you by no doubt have already heard the many reports of these stickers starting to separate from the toy fresh out of the box. Unfortunately…this is true. It happened to mine too. It’s not as overwhelmingly obvious as some of the worst examples I’ve seen, but it’s enough to let me know that these stickers are not long for this world and if I’m totally honest, this has me checking Reprolabels’ website on an almost daily basis. For the most part though, the stickers do look nice. There is one exception…Megatron’s chest. The shiny metallic stickers on dull plastic just looks bad…creating a jarring visual that draws the eye to just how bad it looks. This probably would’ve been handled best with stickers that had a clear background…thus keeping the plastic visible while also displaying an image…in this instance, Megatron’s Walther P-38 squiggles and Decepticon logo. The other set of stickers for Megs…red patches for his jet mode wings, look fine but these are the ones prone to peeling. Mine aren’t that bad, mainly on some of the corners, but again, there are plenty of instances from other reviewers that suggest my copy got off lightly. Switching gears to Prime’s stickers, the most noticeable ones are those running down the length of his truck mode. They look fine, mostly, but are prone to showing just the slightest misalignment and, like Megs, the corners have varying degrees of peel. I must have been lucky though…because my Prime once again seems like one of the lesser instances. I wish I could say the same for my second set of stickers though, the ones that make up the cockpit windows for Prime’s jet mode. Granted, it might seem more extreme since these are pretty small stickers but still…when over half the sticker is coming off…that’s not good.
Moving on to the toys themselves, let’s start with Optimus. First off, in response to pretty much all of the internet, @#$% you, I LIKE the plane mode. Sure, it's not perfect, sticker issues aside, as the wings feel like they should be at least a couple of inches longer but it feels like a cargo plane. Yes, it has a split semi cab under each wing...but come on...it's a triple-changer, there's no reason to ever expect completely clean alt-modes in either of the vehicles. Anyway, it didn't shatter the illusion for me the same way it apparently did for the vast majority of internet reviewers. I, like everyone else, was left scratching my head a bit as to why give Optimus a plane-mode...but we're not without precedent here...Optimal Optimus anyone? [But that was a different character in Beast Wars and waaa-waaa-waaa. - Ed.] Naturally, the bread and butter of every Optimus toy is going to be the semi mode, and this one does pretty well. Sure, it's condensed and it doesn't have a joint allowing for the cab and the trailer to move separately, but come on, it's only a voyager class! [Um...absolutely no one has complained about that. - Ed.] Still, this is the first voyager class Prime to have a trailer in quite some time...and it looks good. Between semi and robot modes it is very clear we're dealing an homage to the G2 Laser Optimus Prime mold here and the transformation between modes is pretty cool. Both modes, as is also very obvious, don't follow that particular color scheme...that's being reserved for one of the expensive Toys R Us exclusive giftpacks...instead, it opts to mimic a Japanese exclusive toy...Star Convoy! And I have to admit, it works pretty well...so well in fact that I'm kinda sad they went with a standard Prime head as opposed to the Star Convoy inspired one that came with a golden crest that was suggested as an alternate in the original plans for the figure. Perhaps this might see daylight as a solo Titan Master? Who can say? Still, for me anyway, all three modes on this toy are pretty solid overall. The way the wings fold into the tanker trailer for semi mode can be problematic at times...and one half of my plane cockpit doesn't like to sit flush against the leg like its counterpart, but despite those flaws, Prime here ended up being, for me, the better of the two in the wave and probably the best voyager Titans Return has offered us yet. That said, it will certainly make an excellent Octane.
[Next day edit: I forgot to mention the antennae that pop up around Prime's head. In concept, it's actually a great idea...making the head seem larger and even more Prime-like. However, there are a couple of things that hold this up from being equally great in execution. First, kind of expectedly, there's a bit of a gap that does shatter the illusion. Not helping matters any is the second problem - the gray arms of the Titan Master. I've included a picture or two here that shows the blue repaint of Infinitus (Sentinel Prime's Titan Master) that comes with LioConvoy, and the blue TItan Master arms help pull this illusion off SOOOOO much better...well, from the sides anway!]
Megatron, while still a pretty good toy, ends up being a bit less than Optimus. Don't get me wrong, this mold will make a FANTASTIC Blitzwing, but as a Megatron...I dunno. See, here's my reasoning: Optimus has a decent semi mode (you know, his iconic mode) whereas Megatron's tank mode ends up being the weakest of his two vehicle modes ultimately suffering from Blitzwing's "this-is-bits-of-a-jet-wrapped-in-tank-treads" usual tank mode issues. For Blitzwing, it's totally fine and it's what we as G1 fans come to expect...it's part of his charm. But a tank mode is Megatron's (almost) iconic vehicle mode. [Yeah, yeah, we know, but toy laws aren't changing anytime soon, so sure, while being a Walther P-38 is his true iconic alt-mode, a tank is about as close as we're ever going to get. - Ed.] And what works for Blitzwing's "tank" mode doesn't work for Megatron's TANK mode. Certainly not helping matters is the pretty good take mode we got from Combiner Wars' leader-class Megatron. Conversely, Megs' jet mode here is downright AWESOME. Yeah, the aforementioned chest stickers, visible in this mode, do detract a bit, but it's easily overlooked. And unlike Prime, there's a little bit more of a precedent for Megatron to have a jet mode...an unproduced repaint of the G2 Dreadwing mold and the Machine Wars basic figure. Robot mode is pretty well done here and, something worth pointing out, the typical "stuff near the head" pop up gimmick present in every voyager to date is actually hidden under the chestplate in such a way that you're not going to trigger the damn thing every time you try to pose or transform the figure. Thumbs up to Hasbro for that. Since I've already invoked the Combiner Wars figure, I feel this robot mode to be superior to that previous iteration. Granted, some people may accuse this figure of having a feel like it might have been designed by Bruce Timm (spindly legs supporting massive torsos), but this figure conveys a might that one would naturally attribute to Megs that while, yes, the legs might be a bit thin [And if you're actually levying that complaint, might I interest you in taking a look at the G1 toys legs, senor? - Ed.], but from the waist up, there is no denying that this toy just ooozes "Megatron". [Um...gross? - Ed.]
Anyway, both figures in this wave are definitely worth the price of admission. Hasbro isn't fooling anyone with these 'premolds' of Octane and Blitzwing, but damned if they don't make a pretty decent Optimus and Megatron to boot! Definitely check 'em out.
[Just as I was getting ready to post this, ToyHax/Reprolabels revealed that yes, they do indeed have replacement stickers for Optimus and Megatron! They can be found at the following links: