Toy Review - Transformers Titans Return: Voyager Class Wave 4
The nice thing about a toyline winding down, especially when it comes to Hasbro’s Transformers, is that the final wave or two is rife with repaints. As such, some of the upcoming reviews will be very much like the ‘clip shows’ that pop up from time to time. Sure, I’ll have a few new quips here and there, but a lot of this is going to be repeats from earlier reviews. Don’t worry, links will be included. So as we start to close up shop on Titans Return, let’s take a look at the last wave of Voyager class figures; Broadside, Blitzwing and Octone. [Oh, you can forget that crap. We’re calling him Octane…Octone is just stupid. – Ed.]
Broadside: HOT MESS…COMIN’ THROUGH! When it was revealed that Broadside was going to essentially be a Wave 3.5, coming between the Optimus/Megatron Wave 3 and the Blitzwing/Octane Wave 4, I had my concerns that maybe I wouldn’t be able to find him. Heh. Turns out he’s warming shelves everywhere…particularly my local Targets…and there’s a good reason for that. If my copy of the figure is any indication…ooof…is this one serious mess of a figure. Borrowing a lower half from Alpha Trion and an upper half from…I dunno…the bowels of the Inferno…there’s a lot here that just doesn’t work. The pre-applied stickers look and feel like they’re just barely hanging on, the dorsal and tail fins are backwards in plane mode…hell, actually the plane mode in and of itself as the instructions have you configure it is just...ugh and finally, the pop up things that surround the head are up all the time. Always. You’ll see in the pics that I’ve already reversed the tail and dorsal fins…but this actually causes a slight problem for the robot mode in that these fins don’t mesh well over the shins as they did in their previous configuration. You’ll also see I’ve offered a variant on the plane transformation…keeping the legs straight and pegging the gun underneath the fuselage. This looks a bit more aerodynamic…although the drawback is that nothing really locks into place here. An online third party parts maker, Nonnef, is offering some fixes and I have to admit I’m tempted…because with the colors of this mode…well, dammit, I want to make SOMETHING worthwhile of it…but I’m not holding my breath on that. The aircraft carrier mode is where this mold ‘shines’. It is pretty decent overall but the stickers end up detracting…especially given that much of it is one large sticker that ends up running over a few mold-lines in the plastic giving rise to some unsightly lumps. How hard would this have been to split up? Guess I’ll need to check with the boys over at ReproLabels. One neat little positive is that he comes with miniature Aerialbots that can be pegged onto the deck of the aircraft carrier. The robot mode is mostly okay, aside from the shin thing…and also the plane mode wings can get in the way of articulation and posing. Like I said at the opening, Broadside is a hot mess and really only worth picking up if you’re a completist.
Blitzwing: When the designs for Wave 3 Megatron were released, any Transformers fan worth their salt knew who the figure was supposed to be…Blitzwing. In my Wave 3 review, you’ll remember that I said that the mold was okay for Megatron…but not quite right. Whereas for Blitzwing, this mold is perfect for him: an awesome jet mode and tank mode that’s a bit compromised…just like the G1 toy! However, there are a couple of problems. First, although this is the only repaint of the mold so far, my version feels like it has a bit of mold fatigue. Some of the bits just don’t seem to fold in quite right or lock into place as solidly as they did on Megatron…particularly the jet mode wings in tank mode. Speaking of the wings, they do like to pop off. Ordinarily, this would be a mild annoyance, but the fact that my Megatron’s wings haven’t had any issues and again, you have a case for potential mold fatigue. Like Broadside, the pre-applied foil stickers don’t feel like they’re long for this world…but unlike Broadside, they actually look pretty good. One last thing I want to point out is that there is a bit of a problem with weapon storage. Not so much his sword because you can peg that anywhere and it’ll be fine…but his gun…it’s a problem. You see, with Megatron, this ‘gun’ combined with his fusion cannon and that became the tank barrel. With Blitzwing, Hasbro remolded the tank turret to have a longer barrel…pretty much eliminating gun storage in the tank mode and I can’t say I’ve found a satisfactory place to put it. All in all, Blitzwing is a case where this version of the mold should’ve hit the streets first…because the problems that arose in using this mold a second time should belong to a repaint, not the intended primary use of this mold. If these problems were in Wave 3’s Megatron but Blitzwing was perfectly executed…I’d be okay with that. But as it is, Blitzwing here gets the short end of the stick all in the name of name recognition. A pity.
Octane: Like Blitzwing, when we saw this as Optimus Prime in Wave 3, we knew it was meant for Octane. Unlike Blitzwing, Octane here actually improves on that previous mold and as such, turns out being the highlight of this wave. Sure, that might sound like damning with faint praise, but seriously, Octane is not only the superior version of this mold, its execution is flawless. Truck mode is fantastic (although the wing tips stick out a bit) and everything locks into place much better than the Prime version of the mold. The plane mode still has the truck cab halves hugging the fuselage, but with the longer wingspan this seems more trivial than it did with the Prime mold (granted, I didn’t have too much of a gripe with it). The Prime earmuffs that pop up are still pretty ‘meh’…as you can see…but otherwise everything here is top notch. And that’s the weird thing…because there’s been at least THREE other versions of this mold: Wave 3 Prime, Laser Prime in the Chaos on Velocitron boxed set and the Japan exclusive Black Convoy/RID Scourge. [Don’t worry, we’ll get to him! – Ed.] If any of the Wave 3 molds should be seeing mold degradation/fatigue, it should be this one! But no…Octane is one darn fine figure so if you see him in store or online, don’t be afraid to pounce on that sucker. [Metaphorically. Nuking The Cat is not responsible for broken boxes, broken toys or broken idiots that may result from a literal interpretation. – Ed.]
[Our favorite gallery glitch has happened again...but we think we know why it's happening so that we can prevent future occurrences. But it's too late for these poor bastards...so, you know the drill, tilt your head to the right. - Ed.]