"Generations" Titan Master Brawn Toy Review
Release Date: July 2016
Price Point: $4.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Brawn Titan Master, Vehicle
Official photos above and description in italics below from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Brawn wouldn’t want any bot mistaking his small size for an easy target. The Autobot boldly welcomes any and all challenges, even if that challenge is a Decepticon 10 times his size. His overconfident attitude sometimes lands him in trouble he has to fight his way out of, but that’s just the way Brawn likes it. When Brawn teams up with other bots he enhances their armor making them virtually indestructible.
Very early on in the life of the Transformers line the toy line began to move away from the sole gimmick of transformation. Once figures like Combiners were introduced it became clear Transformers could be more than just a robot that changed from one form to another. In 1987 Hasbro and Takara took a bold step into a new play pattern by introducing Headmasters. Headmasters were Transformers whose heads detached and became smaller figures that could then pilot or ride the Transformers in beast and vehicle forms (or in a couple cases, their battle station or city forms!). Now almost thirty years after they were originally introduced the Headmaster gimmick has returned in a new form: Titan Masters!
Titan Masters focuses on the return of small robots to Cybertron that can unlock incredible power, and it is up to the Transformers to merge with them and harness those abilities and strengths. In some ways the story resembles "Armada" which had a similar conceit for the Mini-Cons.
The Titan Master figures are packaged on a bubble card. The front of the card is universal across the assortment. It features Fortress Maximus' head floating above his body. To the side is a black bar with the "Generations" logo above the vertical "Transformers" logo. The insert in the bubble has a render of the figure in head mode. The head and vehicle are in the area under Fortress Maximus' head. The back is almost universal in that it features a diagram of the Titan Master "eco system" showing that the heads can attach to Deluxe, Voyager and Leader Classes. The difference however is in the bar code, which is specific to each character.
Brawn is a character who was very prominent in the early days of Generation One, but since has only popped up now and then in the Transformers toy line. Back in 2008 he received the Legends Class treatment in the Universe 2.0 line. A version of the character (with indestructible fists) is apparently roaming around the live action movie universe and more recently he was going to be released as a GDO figure but instead wound up in "Cloud" as a redeco/retool of Bulkhead. After a few years of not really being acknowledged, the character has now popped up again as a Titan Master. The character was never a "Master" of any sort, so this is quite a change for the character. While the "type" of Transformer he is has changed, this figure is very much inspired by his G1 namesake.
Brawn's robot mode is heavily based on his G1 counterpart. Specifically the toy, not the animation model. While the two shared similarities the Brawn most fans saw in animation and comic books had significant design differences from the action figure he was based on. This figure pulls many details from the G1 toy including:
- The head is a round shape with thin visor eyes and a mouthplate.
- The torso design has two distinct vertical lines in the middle and a wide design that ends on a downward point on the waist area. Both of these details come straight from G1 Brawn's torso.
- The arms have distinctive bands around them. These mirror similar details on G1 Brawn's arms however unlike the G1 toy he has regular fists, aligning that detail more with the G1 animation model.
- The legs have a series of horizontal lines on them, another detail borrowed from the G1 toy's legs.
Overall, I love these nods to the G1 Brawn toy. While I have affection for the comic book/animation model, I always felt the toy had a wonderfully alien look to it and I'm glad to see it get some recognition.
Brawn is cast in green and yellow plastic. These were the two iconic Brawn colors from G1 and they contrast against each other nicely. Sadly other than the big "face" on the back, there are no paint decos on this figure. He could have used a bit of silver on the face for sure.
There are five points of articulation on this figure. That includes the head, arms, hips and knees. The legs are connected so the hip and knee joints move both legs at the same time.
Transformation to Head Mode:
Push the arms down to the sides. Fold the legs up. I've found the most secure way to attach the head to a Titan Master body is to have Brawn's face pointing in the same direction than the larger face.
While the robot mode paid homage to G1 Brawn's action figure, this mode pays homage to the G1 comic book and animation model. The head has a round helmet section with lines creating a raised area towards the middle. The face has a layered design, with one raised section going from the eyes to the cheeks and the mouth area being a slightly lower section. The mouth is set in a serious expression, befitting the tough talking Brawn.
Mini Tank Mode:
In Generation One Brawn transformed into an old style military Jeep. While that vehicle is trademarked, the designers still found a way to pay homage to G1 Brawn with this vehicle. This time out Brawn's vehicle looks like a futuristic ATV with futuristic scifi influences, but the official Hasbro description refers to it as a "mini-tank". The front end shows the most influence from G1 Brawn. The headlights are round and there is a distinctive grille section with four vertical vent lines. The center of the hood has a raised air intake that resembles a similar detail found on G1 Brawn's Mini-Tank Mode. The general shape of the vehicle is rectangular and boxy, which also calls back to G1 Brawn's vehicle form. Overall I love these touches. Some fans may find it frustrating that Brawn isn't a "full size" or Legends Class figure (and I'm with you), but as a consolation prize, it's nice to see Brawn and his vehicle collectively paying homage to G1 Brawn.
Other details on this vehicle set it apart from its G1 predecessor. Each wheel well is set high and has a triangular tread on it instead of a regular wheel. Inside the wheel well are some piston like details. There are some raised, circular details that look like bolts on the sides. I really love the look of this vehicle. It has some Old Skool detailing with some futuristic influences at the same time.
This vehicle is cast in the same colors as Brawn: metallic green and yellow. The wheels are painted black. Most of the vehicle is green, with yellow used for the windshield and most of the vehicle's interior.
There is a large opening in the middle of the vehicle. This is meant to accommodate Brawn himself. Transform him into head mode and then attach him to the attachment point at the back of the vehicle. This vaguely winds up creating a cabin section for the vehicle. There's even a thin line on Brawn's arms that could be interpreted as thin windows on the sides of the vehicle, but I admit I'm stretching things a bit here (okay, a lot). Personally I'm cool with the vehicle looking "open" but if you wan the interior filled in it's a good option.
Transformation to Hover Mini-Tank Mode:
- Swing the front wheel wells forward.
- Swing the rear wheel wells back.
- Push the windshield down.
- Flip the vehicle over.
Hover Mini-Tank Mode:
Disclaimer: the official Hasbro description of this vehicle does not call this a "Hover Vehicle" but given its lack of wheels and shape, that's what I've decided to call it. It reminds me of the "Star Wars" Speeder Bike in spirit, though its details are quite different. It's actually pretty clever how the blocky mini-tank mode is converted into a thinner, sleeker mode. If it had wheels on either end it would easily look like a futuristic motorcycle.
The front end has thin, curved panels in the front that look almost like blades to "cut" through the air. Both the front and back have blasters on them, giving him firepower on both ends. For those into mechanical detailing, the sides are a joy. The front panels, side panels and rear panels all have detailing ranging from machinery to tubes to vents. It really looks great.
There are no color surprises here, though you do get to see more of the yellow plastic on the sides. The left side of the front area has an Autobot symbol tampographed on it. The splash of color on the green is very welcome and looks great.
Brawn can pilot this vehicle in robot mode. If you look inside the vehicle there are two small Titan Master pegs that you can attach his feet to. His arms then rest on the bottom of the windshield piece (which basically is a control panel now). The result is Brawn being hunched over like he would be on a motorcycle. It looks really cool.
Like the other figures in this size class this vehicle has a weapon mode. It's really just a variation on this form. Swing the rear wheel wells forward, then push the peg in the back down, attach Brawn in head mode (like you would for the mini-tank mode) and voila, you have a large, four barreled weapon. The vehicle looks really powerful and just like you'd imagine Brawn himself would look as a blaster.
I know a lot of fans are on the fence about these Titan Master figures but this is one I think G1 fans should definitely go for. It's a cool homage to the character and looks great. Highly recommended!