Toy Reviews - Transformers: Titans Returns Store Exclusives
Okay, one final rush to get the remaining Titans Returns toys off my damn review desk. This time, we’re dealing with exclusives…some hard to get, others not so much. But thankfully, they’re mostly repaints, so I can be cheap and just add links to the original reviews while just briefly discussing what sets these new items apart.
Starting things off, we’ve got Wonder Fest 2018 Winter TakaraTomy exclusive Black Convoy…or RiD Scourge as he’s known in the west. He’s a recolor of the wave 3 voyager Optimus Prime…and damn is he pretty. As a mold, yeah, he’s got all the strengths and weaknesses of Prime…so check out my review of that toy for my thoughts, but as a recolor, this guy’s just sharp and for me was worth the purchase on that alone. A hidden little surprise though is in the manga strip that comes with the figure…turns out this guy’s not just a triple changer! Nope, he’s got a base mode too…and I gotta admit that with regards to base modes [Just so we establish that the bar is pretty low here. – Ed.], it’s not that bad and proves to be evocative of the trailer/base that came with G2 Laser Prime (of whom Scourge was a repaint of). If you missed him when he first came out…oh boy…I hate to do this to you, but a search on ebay puts him around $100-$150. I can’t say he’s worth that much, but if you can get him for around the original price point of $50-$75, like what you see in the pics below or are a huge fan of the character…snap this guy up the minute you see him!
Next up we’ve got Orion Pax…part of an Amazon exclusive two pack…the other figure being a very slight repaint of the original War For Cybertron Optimus Prime. Pax here is a repaint of Titans Return Kup (so, again, see original review for thoughts on the mold). Even though we already have an Orion Pax thanks to the Generations release back in…help me out here internet…back in 2013…ish…well, it’s been a while and if viewed as a progression: Orion Pax as a deluxe to Optimus Prime as a voyager to Powermaster Optimus Prime as a leader and God Ginrai/Optimus Prime in Apex Armor as unbridled AWESOME…then yeah, this toy really works within the Titans Return play pattern. My only issue is hopefully confined to my specific version of the toy…where it came with two of the same pieces for the tailgate. Sure, this was easily remedied by picking up a spare Kup for parts…but little things like this seem to be happening to me more and more with Hasbro…and one would hope that such exclusives might warrant a bit more scrutiny in the QC department as these things can end up being hard to come by. Alas.
Toys R Us/Hascon exclusive Arcee falls in our crosshairs next…and oh look, YET ANOTHER BLUR REMOLD/REPAINT. And yet, this mold still doesn’t reach the levels of hate I have for the Dead End mold. My god, there’s a special level of hell reserved for that abomination and the bastard or bastards responsible for its creation. Blur remolds at this point just end up being…well…boring. Sure, you can see that the mold does fit Arcee alright and the nod to the final G1 miniseries, Rebirth, wherein Arcee becomes a Headmaster with Daniel serving as her partner (here represented by the Titan Master Leinad), is present and appreciated…although not really reflective of how the character has evolved since then. This figure also comes with an Ultra Magnus Titan Master…that I completely forgot to take pictures of. Like the exclusive Titan Masters that came with the boxed sets, Magnus has die-cast parts…and is pretty much the same mold save for the face on his back…so, fairly unremarkable. All in all, if you’re a completist, you’re going to either have her already or already have it in your mind to find some way to acquire her, but if you’ve been on the fence about her, I’d only recommend her if you need an Arcee for your collection. Personally, I prefer the Generations mold that came out during the Thrilling 30 run. If you have that Arcee, you really don’t need this one. Not helping matters is the fact that with Toys R Us going out of business, getting this version of the character may be prohibitive in more ways than one!
Now, you wanna talk about a real pain in the ass to get in your collection, then we’ve gotta talk about Grotusque…the ‘surprise’ New York Comic Con/Toys R Us exclusive. You had to be in the right place at the right time for this one…either on the convention floor or right beside the internet constantly hitting the refresh button so that you could pounce when the news broke. Hell, reminds me of the old Matty Collector days when new figures would go live. I hated that. So, first he was at NYCC…then he appeared briefly at the online Hasbro Toy Shop…and then into the ether for about a month when FINALLY, he showed up on ToysRUs.com. That’s where I finally snagged my copy…but he wasn’t on there for very long either. So…was he worth it? Meh. I’ve always liked the Twinferno/Doublecross mold, so using that as the basis here was a plus. And comparing it with his G1 version, it’s a pretty spot on update. I’d have liked to see them alter the hind legs in beast mode a bit to have it appear more cat-like and thus allowing the beast mode to be able to stand on all fours…but that’s personal preference. Look, he’s likely not going to be worth the headache…even with the bonus Scorpinok die-cast Titan Master who, like the Ultra Magnus one, is fairly bland and I forgot to take pics of…but he does end up making a nice addition to the collection and gives us our second Monsterbot. Now we’re just waiting on Repugnus. Unless you count the Titan Master. Which I don’t.
Lastly, we have the Clones two-pack from Walgreens, completing the pairs that were started in each of the exclusive box sets we’ve already taken a look at. This time we get the aerial halves of the clones, Wingspan and Cloudraker. The two figures are fine…after all, with them being legends-class, you can’t really expect a lot out of them…but they prove to be fun. Like with the clone halves from the exclusive box sets though, I feel like an opportunity has been missed here, as neither clone comes with any weapons. Obviously, if you’ve already bought the aforementioned boxed sets, you need to pick this one up as well. If you skipped them though and have none of the clones, to be honest, if you’re interested in getting these guys, I’d opt for the Takara Transformers Legends versions…that way you get the Autobot clones in one package, the Decepticon clones in another…none of this mixing and matching stuff. Although sadly, it doesn’t look like Takara versions come with any guns either.