Titans Return Wave 1 Deluxe Gallery!

As I wait for what seems like it an eternity for Fortress Maximus to arrive, I decided to address the Titans Return Wave 1 deluxes. At this moment they are likely arriving at a toy store near you. If you haven’t found them yet, be persistent. You want these guys. You know you do.
Wave 1 consists of Skullsmasher, Scourge, Blurr, and Hardhead. They come with their respective Titan Masters, Grax, Fracas, Hyperfire, and Duros. It’s a little strange to see former Targetmasters now as “Headmasters”, but hey, I’m not going to complain about getting awesome toys, and in spite of a few bumps, these guys are awesome.
QC Issues
I think I should probably get this part out of the way first, so that I don’t focus on the negative for the whole review. There are some things that just didn’t turn out quite right with these guys. It’s not enough to ruin my opinion of the figures, but things could have turned out better. Let’s start with the problems with Skullsmasher.  It is fairly well documented at this point that the joints in his legs, specifically the hips and thigh swivels, are very loose. The tolerances on nylon parts are apparently difficult to get right, and unfortunately, this is a big case of not right. Fortunately, this is something that can easily be fixed with a little bit of clear nail polish, so there is some hope. I’m also mildly annoyed at the floppy panel on his back that hides his Titan Master compartment, but as long as it keeps its shape I will ignore it.
My Hardhead has some issues with some slightly loose elbow joints. Sadly, those probably can’t be fixed with an easy application of nail polish because they use a closed pin joint. Ah, well. It could have been worse.
One more problem I had personally is that the crest on both Blurr and Scourge are very loose and will not stay up without me holding them. Not sure if many others have had similar problems. This is another issues that I think that can be corrected with a little nail polish, so I’m not too worried.
The bright side of the QC issues is that really is about it. There have been some reports of some Titanmasters with loose neck joints, and a few that are a little difficult to insert into the sockets, but that seems to be the only other problem.
Before I move on, can I tell you what is not an issue of quality?  I’m telling you anyway, so bear with me. It’s the plastic. The plastic is nice. A little thin in some cases, but you can see little metal flecks in it, and sometimes the figures have a pearlescent look to them. It’s a great detail that I very much appreciate. The plastic itself will look great for years to come, and it is not cheap by a long shot.  Get over it.  😛
Great Figures
Aside from the QC issues, these are really cool figures. Every single one of them has all of the articulation that you would expect in a fully poseable action figure. They can get into a number of action poses, and as we saw at Botcon this year, they look impressive on the battlefield.  Additionally, these are fairly faithful updates of classic characters. They aren’t perfect, as colors on a few parts can be off, but they do a pretty damn good job.
Scourge looks like a tiny, better articulated G1 Scourge.  I could see a Titanium/Premium version being released down the road with more paint ops. It’s pretty clear he has claws that just beg to be painted, and a color change on the thighs added to that would make a great figure into a phenomenal figure. As it stands, I’m giving local fans a week to get their full of this guy and then I’m buying another one. Hasbro’s version gets to be Sweeps, Takara’s version will be my Scourge.
Blurr, lithe and built for speed, gives off a Nel Yomtov vibe. At first I thought he was totally colored Marvel style, but the colors appear a little closer to the IDW Blurr Spotlight layout.  As the Transformers equivalent of the Flash, I love the athletic build on this guy. He looks like someone who moves so fast you can barely see him. I think he has the best bot mode of the entire wave.
Hardhead looks spot on, though I don’t have the G1 version to compare how close they matched the colors. He plays the part of the, ahem, tank of the group very well. His arms are thick, and his body is well armored. You can imagine him barging into a fight, guns a-blazing, with little care to his own safety. He’s a total badass, and it shows.
Alt Modes
All of the alt modes are fun, but I will admit I enjoy Skullsmasher the most. There is something so satisfying about a giant crocodile Transformer that can carry a rifle on his tail. His head is on a ball joint, giving it a nice amount of articulation, and he has a silver, robotic tongue and overlapping teeth that top off the croc look. My G1 chocolate just met my Beast Wars peanut butter.
Scourge’s alt mode does just what the G1 version did, basically encasing the robot mode. The robot’s shins on the bottom of the vehicle are a little distracting, but there was really nowhere for them to go.  I have a little trouble finding a place to put the double barrel gun that looks natural, so I have been leaving it out.  This Decepticon attack drone only needs the blaster on the back of the sip to take down Autobots, and I think the extra gun detracts from his “hunter” look.
Blurr is my second favorite in the alt mode category. He is all of the racer he has been made out to be. The vehicle is elongated, aerodynamic, and a little menacing. With the gun attached, I could imagine high speed shootouts during no holds barred races. Pardon me for a second while I take a moment to fiddle with that figure again….
Okay, I’m back. Last but not least is Hardhead. I was hoping his turret would have some rotation to it in alt mode. While that is not the case (the cockpit gets in the way), this is still a very impressive tank.  Harhead’s vehicle mode has the best cockpit out of the 4, due to the visibility of the Titan Master.  I love that you can clearly see Duros piloting the vehicle, and I wish the others were like him in that aspect.
Final Thoughts
Hasbro has knocked it out of the park with the first wave of Titans Return deluxes, in spite of some minor QC issues. They are wonderful updates to the characters in both robot and alt modes, and they feel like they jumped off of a G1 toy catalogue. In short, your childhood has returned. Welcome back to the mid 80’s.