Opinion - Scorsese and Coppola Vs. the MCU: Are we focusing on the wrong argument?
October 25, 2019
Nuking The Cat
Last Refuge of the Sensible Nerd
Toy Review - Transformers: Titans Return Gift-set - Chaos on Velocitron
July 31, 2017
In terms of Anime…this is what they call a ‘clip show’.
Nearly everything included in the Chaos on Velocitron gift-set is a repaint or slight remold of toys that are already available within the Titans Return toyline…and are all toys that I’ve already reviewed. So, what we’re going to do here is there’s gonna be a bunch of links if you want a more in-depth look at the toy while I’ll offer a bit of commentary on the new decos and then render a final verdict on both the toys and the gift-set as a whole.
Rodimus Prime: We’re going to start off small here. For the Titan Master body, this is a repaint of Ptero with an aged Hot Rod head on the back. Unlike pretty much every titan master since the first wave or so, Roddy here is actually painted with some amount of detail…further illustrating that Hasbro really needs to be doing this more than what they do, because this ends up resulting in a MUCH better Hot Rod head than the Titan Master he came with, Firedrive. The biggest selling point for this little guy (or at least it’s what the packaging emphasizes) is that he’s die-cast. This is both good, bad and meh. Good because, well, what can I say, I’m an old school G1 sort of guy and as such, metal is always good. It’s meh because really…the metal just doesn’t add anything. The bad is that the metal chest of the titan master ends up inhibiting the head movement, thus impacting the neck articulation of any Headmaster he’s connected to. It’s going to end up making you very paranoid about whether or not to even try to make use of this point of articulation. That being said, one night I did get drunk enough to brave testing the joint…and with force it did end up wearing loose…however, I’m chalking that up more to dumb luck than anything else and would highly recommend NOT doing that. In Titan Master mode, the metal does end up making him a bit back-heavy too…so trying to stand him up can be a bit more annoying than with other Titan Masters. The increased paint apps along with how much this ends up improving deluxe class Hot Rod ends up outshining the flaws though and as such, Rodimus here ends up getting the thumbs up.
Fastclash: Screw that, I’m calling him Fastlane after his G1 iteration. This is a new mold available for the first time in this set and that’s both awesome and annoying…awesome in the sense that if you were only sold on one or two figures in the set, this legends class figure might be enough to push the set into the ‘buy’ column but annoying in the fact that if you’re not sold on this set, yet really like this little guy, well, there’s been no announcement that there’s any other way to get him…so the prospect of paying $100 for a legends class figure is probably a no-go for lots of collectors out there. His transformation is simple, as was the G1 iteration, and doesn’t offer much in the way of surprises…that is, until you really start fiddling with the toy. [Note: toy not compatible with any stringed instruments. – Ed.] Here, you’ll uncover that Fastlane’s chest lifts up to provide a seat for a Titan Master figure and you’ll also uncover that this will be a mostly shared body with his clone, Cloudraker, as the joints needed to bring the legs out and around the body are also present…if generally unusable here. It’s a fun little toy with only one real setback for me…he’s a little too stocky. Some form of leg extension to make his legs just a little bit longer would have make this guy perfect. As it is, he’s already taller than most legends class figures, so adding some sort of mechanic like this wouldn’t have affected any attempts to keep the toy within the typical height of legends. But yeah, I dig him and can’t wait to track down his counterpart…and given that he’s rumored to be a Walgreen’s exclusive…ugh…
Nautica: Nautica ends up being a Blurr reuse with some added bits, so check out the Wave 1 Deluxe Class review HERE. This ends up making the third use of the mold…so it garnered more of a ‘meh’ reaction from me. The one thing I do have to give this toy the thumbs up for is for showing me that female faces are possible within the confines of a Headmaster/Titan Master. I was worried that the gimmick would somehow detract from her appearance…and though it’s not accurate to her depiction in the current IDW comics, the head works well enough to convey her femininity. Overall though, it’s the mold repetition that makes Nautica end up feeling very, very average. And if the leaked artwork is any indication, we’ll see this mold again as Arcee. It’s almost as if Hasbro is trying to make me hate the Blurr mold as much as I hate the Dead End/Chromedome mold. And that…that’s not very wise.
Laser Prime: This is how they should’ve done Voyager Wave 3 Optimus in the first place! (Review HERE.) This is also what caused me to sit up and take notice of this boxed set…and finally pushed me over into buying it. This deco is from the G2 Laser Optimus Prime toy and it looks great. The light blue for the head and feet does take a little getting used to…but gaudy colors were the hallmark of the G2 line…so it wasn’t too hard to push past that. One thing to point out is the much larger stickers along the trailer in truck mode show much, MUCH less peel potential than those on the original release. Transitioning over to the plane mode, the foil stickers that serve as the windshields of the cockpit seem to hold much better than those on the original release too…but this might be something specific to each individual toy. One thing I do have to point out in plane mode is that the oil tanker decals along this side, while very true to the G2 release, end up making the plane look like the private jet of an 80’s hair-metal band out on tour. That little bit of cheese aside, yeah, this ends up being the crown jewel of the set and, as I said earlier, is probably how Hasbro should’ve sold this version of Optimus initially. [Even though, yes, we know, it’s always been a mold meant for Octane…whom I’ve still not found and it’s starting to drive me more than a little bit CRAZY! – Ed.]
Quickswitch: With Hasbro’s current business model, first off, it was a damn miracle we ended up getting a Sixshot…but to expect a second six-changer that WASN’T a repaint of that mold? Sheer lunacy. (Oh, yeah, Sixshot review HERE.) So, what ends up becoming important is if that mold has enough variance within its own transformations to make it seem unique even though it isn’t. That’s the threshold for whether or not you’ll like Quickswitch. For me, much like Liokaiser, I felt there was enough variance where he could feel like a separate character...although not especially unique. But that’s the thing, in G1, he was marketed as Sixshot’s son so you could argue that a family “resemblance” should be present. Now, to be fair, Quickswitch’s instructions have you transform him exactly the same way as Sixshot whereas you’ll see in the gallery that I’ve created some variances to make the two seem a bit more distinct: robot mode wings not straight up, shoulders done slightly differently and keeping the jet mode stabilizers hidden within the chest…and in gun mode I folded the legs up to keep with the shorter gun mode of the original G1 toy. The other modes? Well, those end up being more standard. I do with Hasbro had done a slight remold replacing the wolf head with that of a puma…or at least some breed of large cat…but given that it’s one of the weaker modes that I don’t plan on using a whole lot…if ever…it’s not a dealbreaker. All in all, aside from a bit of paint smear on mine, I found Quickswitch to be a good mold re-use. Nothing spectacular…but if he’d been given a single release…yeah, I’d have probably bought it.
All in all, I found the gift-set to be pretty cool and worth the price…especially since all the components add up to the $100 the set is selling for ($5 for the Titan Master, $8 for the legends class, $12 for the deluxe, $25 for the voyager and $50 for the leader). I’ll admit that given that there’s no real connection between the characters included, unlike the Combiner Wars gift-sets, perhaps individual releases should have been the avenue by which these toys made it to the market, but if you like the majority of those included and have the disposable income, I’d recommend picking it up.