Titans Return Black Shadow Gallery!
Decepticon mafioso Black Shadow has forced his way into our studio. I am being told you had better check out our gallery after the break…or else!
Transformers Victory baddie Black Shadow was one of those characters I never imagined we would get in the modern era. As an obscure, Japanese continuity only Mega Pretender, he just seemed too far removed from the core 84-85 cast for any chance of an appearance, even as little as an homage. Generations surprised us in 2011 with the deluxe mold, a nice homage to the original figure, and a remold of Generations Bludgeon, just like his G1 counterpart. Sadly, a deluxe never seemed to truly capture the essence of his initial iteration, so when images first surfaced of the Titans Returns figure, I was elated.
The tank mode, comprised of the lower part of the robot body, is nice looking, if less than functional than other tanks of its size. Since the turret is formed from parts that swivel up from inside each leg half, it sadly does not rotate. It does, however, contain a nice interior “cockpit” for a Titanmaster to pilot. Since the treads are molded in, he can be pushed across a surface along small clear red wheels, mounted inside the molds. I don’t think kids will care, and it’s not that big a deal for me either.
Jet mode is sleek and powerful at the same time. It is comprised of the upper body of the robot mode, with a drone attached to the front. The drone can be detached, but when it is in place on the nosecone it hearkens to the G1 mold. I love how the front of the jet looks a little like a raptor’s (avian) beak. The gun turrets on the front of the jet move slightly to the right and left, giving Black Shadow superior firepower in this mode. A single Titanmaster can fit under the red canopy, and while he has no clear jet exhausts, you really won’t care. The only negative I can see in this mode is the decals. Thankfully, there are only two on the entire robot, but with all of the other tampographed details, these seem even more out of place than they are anachronistic. Hopefully we see less and less of them in the future. Stickers suck. 😛
To form this mode, flip the nosecone back perpendicular with the jet. Pull the arms out to form a “T”. Pop the legs apart, connect them to the torso, then flip the lower parts around. Rotate the half of the turret on the left leg inside the shins, and pop the “ramp connectors” town from the front of the tank. Attach the blast to the back of the jet wings, and you have base mode. Not really my thing, but I am positive kids will love it.
Black Shadow is a great representation of his G1 cartoon self, if not completely faithful. As a Leader Class figure, he is large and imposing, taller than Titans Return Prime, but on par with Blaster or Ginrai. He has all the articulation you would expect out of a figure this size, apart from a fully tilting head. The figure is pretty close to perfect, aside from slightly unconventional shoulder joints (not bad, just…different) and a Titanmaster that is even harder to remove from the body than Revolver is from Sixshot. Apart from that, I really can’t complain.
Black Shadow is solid, poses well, and is a fun, “evil” looking Decepticon. He has tons of play value as two separate vehicles, a combined vehicle (see the gallery below), a base, and a Leader Class figure. The G1 aspect of the figure is a great cartoon homage that will win over older fans. The simpleness of the transformation will make this a great first big figure for a young fan. He is one of the better Decepticons from the Titans Return line, and I highly recommend him.