Generations "Titan Guardians" Figure Set

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Comic-Con Exclusive, Generation One, Generations

Generations

General Information:
Release Date: July 17, 2013
Price Point: $39.99
Retailer: San Diego Comic-Con & HasbroToyShop.com exclusive
Accessories: None

General Images:

Official Hasbro Description:
Featuring five classic TRANSFORMERS characters - OPTIMUS PRIME, MEGATRON, STARSCREAM, SOUNDWAVE and GRIMLOCK - this set of five non-converting 6-inch-tall figures delivers classic G1 styles that fans will love!

As part of the "Thrilling 30" celebration of the 30th Anniversary of "Transformers", Hasbro is putting out 30 "special items" throughout the coming twelve months. One of these items was released at San Diego Comic-Con 2013: the "Titan Guardians" set. This is a set of five non-transforming figures representing various characters from the Generation One cartoon. Each figure is constructed out of PVC type plastic and feel hollow. They're each about six inches and have four points of articulation: the head, arms and waist. The reviews below will briefly cover the design of each figure. For those curious, I'm putting this in the "Generations" section mostly because it is an item that celebrates "Generation One", indeed, it could be put in a G1 section and I might move it there in the future if I can get my G1 section restored.

Titans

Grimlock

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True to his animated G1 model, Grimlock is a rather bulky figure. Unlike the current redesigned and slightly less bulky Grimlock from "Fall of Cybertron", this guy is all about the bulk. He has the dinosaur neck/head sculpted on his back, the wings behind him complete with dinosaur arm details and huge arms with big, round shoulders that come up high on either side of his head. His fists have claws overlapping them and his legs are thick and powerful looking. there's a ton of sculpted detail including an Autobot symbol in the center of the chest, circles and ridges on the sides of the legs and even the teeth on the dinosaur head on his back. It's nicely detailed and is one of my favorite pieces in the set. A note on his unique construction. His arms do move up and down, but the dinosaur "halves/wings" behind them are actually a part of each arm, so they swing forward as one solid piece.

Grimlock is mostly made up of grey plastic, which makes perfect sense given that is his dominant color. There's some red plastic too on the waist area. There's plenty of paint detailing to complete his resemblance to the cartoon version. His chest and claws are painted gold. His eyes, Autobot symbol and waist area are painted red. The legs have blue, red and green rectangular details, a carry over detail from the cartoon series. A but of gunmetal is used for his mouthplate. This color layout may seem very simple, and it kind of is but it actually works perfectly to represent the character in his animated G1 form.

Megatron

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Megatron's animated form in G1 was rather angular with some curved sections. This figure takes a few elements from the G1 toy and adds them to the animation model, creating a Megatron that looks great and is instantly recognizable. Details form the toy include the "hammer" from his gun form which wind up on his shoulders and some of the layers of details on the upper arms. Mostly everything else is based on the animation model including how thin and lithe he is from a profile perspective. One detail I dig is how big his Fusion Cannon is compared to the rest of the figure. Megatron's cannon was often drawn rather large in the series so it's nice to see that carry over into this figure.

Megatron is cast in two shades of grey plastic, a lighter one and a darker one. The lighter grey makes up the arms, head, torso and thighs. The lower legs and waist area have the darker grey on them (partly through use of dark grey paint applications). His fists and cannon are painted black. Black is even used above his eyes, painting his brow (a prominent feature on the show). Metallic red is used on his elbow area and flat red is used for the eyes. urple paint is used for his Decepticon symbol and yellow is found on the waist area.

Overall Megatron looks good but I had kind of hoped he would be a bit more bulky and his feet seem a bit stubby in the front. Not my favorite piece in the set but he's a good representation of how some artists interpreted his appearance in the TV show.

Optimus Prime

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Optimus Prime is interesting in that most of his form is inspired by the G1 animation model, but other parts aren't. From the front, he totally looks like the "classic" Optimus Prime the general public may remember from the 80's. This includes very angular sections on his chest, waist, hips, arms and legs. Indeed, the only real "rounded" parts are his fists and the curvature on his head. The details are sculpted nicely with ridged lines on the grille and the "vent" lines on his lower legs. Even his feet have a curve to them and each is broken into two sections, similar to the TV show model. One of my favorite elements of this figure is the head sculpt, which does indeed look like the classic Optimus Prime down to the raised semi-circles on the sides of his head and a relatively thick mouthplate. My only regret is that the smokestacks on his arms have been partially cut off. The base of the smokestacks attached to his shoulders are fine, but they have no ends, they just come to a stop at the top of the shoulder. Where this design differs from his G1 counterpart is the lack of a "back pack" of any sort, not even the cylindrical lines he had in the cartoon. Instead, it's a series of flat layered armor with a "spine" like detail in the center.

Optimus Prime is half red plastic and half blue plastic. The mid section and upper legs are painted grey with yellow on the waist area. Silver is used for detailing on his torso including his windows and grille. It's also used for his smokestacks and mouthplate. His eyes are painted blue as you'd expect. White is used to outline the Autobot symbol on his left shoulder. Except for the wheels on his legs being left unpainted, I think this figure came out very nice in the deco department.

Soundwave

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Soundwave is one of the more blocky characters from Generation One, but in this form it totally works for him. His design has most of his critical design elements including his signature "Decepticon symbol" head design, a shoulder cannon, the big "tape" window on his chest and the buttons on his waist for controlling the cassette playback (well, in the stories anyhow). His back even has the "back pack" piece which is where his "batteries" would go in the Generation One toy. The back of his legs even have the dials that were used to "change" the radio station or volume on the original toy. I love seeing this blend of details between the G1 animation model and the toy. He does have some extra detailing that really doesn't come from the TV show or G1 toy. This includes circuit like details on his back and extra rectangular details on his shoulders. He even has his "eject" button on the top of the left side of the chest section!

Soundwave is cast in dark blue plastic. Silver paint is used for a lot of his details including parts of the head, the chest "cassette" window, thighs, waist, part of the arms and the buttons on his waist. The outline of the chest compartment is painted yellow while red is used on the cannon barrel end, the eyes and the area near th eknees. Purple paint fills in detailing on the Decepticon symbol located on his chest. Overall Soundwave looks great. He's not 100% complete in deco. His feet should be painted silver for instance. However, almost every figure in this set could use "more paint" so I won't put the figure down for something it shares with the others. I think he looks great both in sculpt and color.

Starscream

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The Starscream figure is the most "anime" looking of all the ones in the set. His upper body is relatively thin but then splays out to very large, angled feet. This does match up with how Starscream was drawn from time to time, but not the way he was normally drawn in the show, which featured wider wings on his back and a bit more bulk to the center torso section. Not that I'm complaining mind you. I like the angled, sleek look for him, especially since he is the "Air Commander" of the Decepticons! Some of his sculpted details are different than what you'd expect. For instance, he has the turbines sculpted in the chest found on some versions of the character such as the Classics Starscream. His Null Ray rifles are sculpted as part of the arms, but they've been bulked up quite a bit. I love some of the attention to detail including the jet stabilizers being collapsed against the lower legs and the smile on his face.

Starscream is mostly white plastic. Red, blue, gold, silver and purple are used to paint details on the figure. Blue is used on his forearms, leg thrusters and feet. Sadly, the stabilizers on his lower legs are not painted. Red is used on his chest and waist, but oddly not on the two curved pieces on either side of his head. If I were to offer criticism about the deco, this would be it. With those parts left white, he really winds up looking incomplete, especially if you look at the figure from the back. Either way, ther eare other details including gold on the chest, silver on the face and a purple Decepticon symbol on his left shoulder. Overall, Starscream has a nice sculpt, but needed more paint to really complete the picture.

Final Thoughts:
This is one of those "out of left field" products that Hasbro releases from time to time that doesn't really fit with anything else but is meant instead to serve as a standalone product (so far). I think if you're a very particular type of fan, one who likes PVC figures such as those from Kid Robot this will hold some appeal to you. If you're only into transforming robots, then this is one you can skip. Overall I think it's a neat little set, but the $40 price tag may turn some people off when they could use that towards the other exclusives instead.