SDCC 2016 Titans Return: Titan Force Gallery!
The annual “OMG, gotta find stuff from SDCC since I can never make it” scramble has occurred, and I, like many a nerd, have finally gotten my hands on the things I needed (NEEDED). Now I can sit back, relax, and really enjoy a great set of figures that turned out to be better than I anticipated. The Titans Return Titan Force is well worth the cost.
My Favorite of the Set: Windblade
I have been fortunate in recent years to not feel the need to buy everything from SDCC thanks to unneeded chrome on the figures or simple design choices I did not like. This year is no different than the last few, and I found myself skipping out on the big-ticket Fortress Maximus because he just didn’t catch my attention more than the one I have already. What I couldn’t skip out on was a chance to get a hold of the city speaker, Windblade, sporting a Fortress Maximus style deco.
The Windblade in this set is the Robots in Disguise mold that has yet to be released in the US in her regular colors. As has been noted in other online reviews, it’s a case of taking an overly complicated design, simplifying it, but maintaining most of the important design aspects. In many ways this feels like the original Generations mold, but it’s way less fiddly and much more stable to pose. She comes with her sword and scabbard, and the comb from her “hair” can be popped off just like on the first version of Windblade.
The jet mode is definitely way more solid than the original, though I do have one minor complaint. The hands are clearly visible when transformed. It’s not a huge deal, but it is a minor negative against a great figure. In jet mode the fan blades can be tilted, and the sword can be placed under the jet, as per the instructions. I think it looks a little goofy like that, so I’m not going to be placing the sword there.
Overall Thoughts on Windblade
The transformation is also simplified in this new design, and all of these changes basically turn Windblade into a figure that’s actually fun. Seriously, I think I need all the recent repaints done again on this mold. She poses great, holds together well, and actually blends in decently with Generations. Not bad, Hasbro. Not bad at all. She is the best part of the set, and she will stand atop Fortress Maximus’ shoulder with pride.
Second Best: Brainstorm
Surprisingly, for what basically amounts to a heavy remold of Blurr, Brainstorm is a phenomenal figure. He is a nice balance of newly molded parts and color changes that really make him stand out against his mold brother. The SDCC version of this mold was released prior to the commercial version, and as much fun as this toy is, I think I’ll be getting the Hasbro and Takara versions as well. Guess I’m making a Brainstorm squad.
I did not realize that I needed a new Brainstorm until I got my hands on this figure and put him in jet mode. As an absolute fan of MTMTE, I was under the erroneous belief that the comic version of this character was the only version of consequence, and I really only got this version because it was included in the set. After placing the voyager Brainstorm and the deluxe Brainstorm side by side in jet mode, I realized how wrong I was. This jet mode is sleek, solid, and much more like the original G1 character. Honestly, I think it makes a much more convincing futuristic jet than the voyager, which looks like several geometric shapes slammed together. I would have liked for the blasters on the nosecone to pop off like the ones on the voyager did, but with everything else looking so great on this toy, I can easily ignore that.
This is where I feel a little conflicted. I have a high preference for Transformer figures that take on the appearance of my favorite fiction, especially the “More Than Meets the Eye” comic. I was adamant that while I could accept the voyager Brainstorm’s jet mode not being so great, the robot mode was what was really important. I will never lose love for the voyager’s robot mode, but this new deluxe figure is loads of fun. The remolded parts and lighter color scheme make this Brainstorm stand out quite a bit from Blurr. The sleek body, and perfect amount of articulation points set up a fun figure, that can easily be dynamically posed. He is a little more stable in the hips than some of the recent Titans Returns deluxe figures, and I hope the QC continues to improve in that area. One slight negative is that I was expecting more tampoes with this figure. I’m a little disappointed that we did not get more G1 tampoed sticker detail on this version, as his blue and greys could stand to be broken up more with some yellow and red. Otherwise, a damn fine figure.
Surprise Last but Not Last: Sentinel Prime
I honestly thought this was a throwaway figure. I am not a fan of clear plastic, which tends to be less durable than the solid colored material. Throw in some deco choices that I originally did not like in pictures and I just did not think I needed another Sentinel Prime. FYI, those of you that know me personally did not just hear me admit I was wrong three times in a row. Nothing to see here, just ignore it and move on.
Not a lot can be said here that hasn’t been said before. He forms an armored up space train. What I do like are the added paint ops that I see in this mode. More wheels are painted, the guns on the tops of the train are painted, and I know it doesn’t seem like much but these added details, along with brighter oranges on the arms, really make the deco pop. I also really like the train cabin areas being made from the translucent orange plastic. It looks much better than the gray they used on the original.
Again, the paint ops are a little more abundant and the paint and mold color choices make the details easier to distinguish on this version of the toy. I especially like that the cockpit and nosecone areas have paint that helps those important mold details come out more from the rest of the plastic. It will definitely help the imagination to see this as an actual space shuttle when the cockpit stands out like that. The original commercial version of this toy just can’t compare.
This is the one place where both figures kind of balance when it comes to paint ops. The commercial version of the mold has a few spots of paint in areas that the exclusive version does not, but the SDCC version has things like a shoulder symbol and paint on the feet and head, which distinguish it from the original. Here is where it comes down to preference. I definitely think I have an aversion to the gray plastic of the commercial version of Sentinel Prime. I know that grey plastic breaks the reds and oranges up a little more, but I just don’t like it. The SDCC version of this mold is the winner for me, and I really think that this will be my “go to” Sentinel Prime for the duration of this line.
Overall Thoughts on the Set
This is probably one of the best San Diego Comic-con Transformers exclusives in Transformers history. The set is reasonably priced, includes some really great mold choices, has some phenomenal decos, and has absolutely no chrome. I highly recommend you pick the set up, especially since it can still easily be obtained. It is currently in stock at HTS as of the posting of this review. What are you waiting for…go get it!
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