"Generations" Chaos on Velocitron Fastclash Toy Review
Release Date: March 2017
Price Point: $99.99 (in a boxed set with Fastclash, Laser Prime, Nautica & Quickswitch)
Retailer: Toys R Us Exclusive
Accessories: Sword & Blaster (Laser Prime), Blaster & Shield (Nautica), Blasters x 2 (Quickswitch)
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.
With the success of both "Combiner Wars" and "Titans Return" in mind, Hasbro looked to the example of boxed sets such as Computron and Liokaiser as inspiration to create a group of exclusive boxed sets for "Titans Return". Like those boxed set this set features exclusive redecos and retools of previous figures, but this set has the added bonus of a (roughly) Legends Class figure not available anywhere else! "Chaos on Velocitron" features five characters:
- Fastclash: a new figure based on the G1 Autobot Clone, Fastlane
- Laser Prime: a redeco of Voyager Class Optimus Prime
- Nautica: a redeco and retool of Deluxe Class Blurr
- Quickswitch: a redeco and retool of Leader Class Sixshot
- Rodimus Prime: a redeco and retool of Titan Master Ptero
This review will focus on the changes made to Ptero for this release, so please check out that review for more detailed information on that figure.
"Chaos on Velocitron' is packaged in a large boxed set that is reminiscent of the "Combiner Wars" boxed sets in design. The box features striking artwork of all five characters charging forward (with Rodimus Prime amusingly riding on Optimus Prime's back!). The artwork is gorgeous and striking. The lower left hand section shows each character included in the set in the same style as the "Combiner Wars" sets. The back has a grey background with a grid on top. All the characters shown are renders, not actual toy photographs.
Inside the box, the figures are mostly in vehicle mode sitting in a large plastic tray. The figures are mostly held down with small plastic stretch ties. The Titan Masters are lined up along the top in robot mode. Included with the set is an 11x17" print featuring the artwork from the front of the box. The back of the print features the tech specs for each character in the set. Oddly, the tech specs do not mention the names of the Titan Masters for any of the characters. We can of course assume Optimus Prime is paired with Diac, but we do not know the names for Nautica and Quickswitch's Titan Masters. The print is similar to the prints included with the "Combiner Wars" boxed sets. Unfortunately, in what appears to be a cost saving move, the print is not in a protective envelope, so be careful how you remove the tray as it could bend the print. In the same plastic bag as the instructions you will also find a trading card also featuring the boxed set's artwork.
Generation One was an experimental wonderland when it came to gimmicks and trying new ideas out with Transformers figures. Unlike nowadays where gimmicks tend to become line-wide like Titan Masters, in the 80's it was not unusual for only a couple figures to have a specific gimmick. One example of this were the Clones. Each faction had their own pair of Clones who were two Transformers that looked alike in robot mode but transformed into completely different things. In the case of the Autobots their Clones were Fastlane and Cloudraker, who transformed into a futuristic dragster and jet respectively. "Chaos on Velocitron" includes a new version of Fastlane, now named "Fastclash" due to trademark issues. This is one of the prizes of the set as it is a brand new sculpt instead of being a retool or redeco of a previous figure.
When Fastclash was first revealed at Toy Fair 2017 there were questions about just how big the figure actually was. The folks from Hasbro would not call him a Legends Class figure, but he was not quite a "Scout Class" or "Basic" either. When i discussed this with Hasbro we settled on the "Commander Class" (you can check out my "Beast Hunters" Commander Class Shockwave review for a sense of this Class) as the best comparison. Now that I have it in hand, I will say this is closer to a modern day Legends Class figure. It measures a bit over 4 inches in this mode (about 10.16 Centimeters) and the figure weighs about 1.5 ounces (my scale seemed to fluctuate a bit between 1.4 and 1.5). By comparison, Legends Class Cosmos is 1.3 ounces but is note quite as bulky.
Fastclash's vehicle mode is a Cybertronian dragster. The designers pretty much took the G1 form of the character and just translated it into a new figure. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is subjective. I know some long time fans who felt this was lazy and unimaginative. On the other hand, I think this is a wonderful G1 homage and a fun way to bring a long ignored character back into the toy line. It is not as if there are tons of releases of the original Fastlane. Indeed, the character has prety much been ignored over the years, so I am fine with his reintroduction into the line being a G1 translation in the manner many "Generations" figures have done. However, I also get why someone would want something newer (in the spirit of figures such as Jetfire). Neither viewpoint is "right", your personal mileage will simply vary.
While I may like this vehicle form for its G1 homage, I admit it is a rather odd looking vehicle. The vehicle has two large tires in the back, two smaller ones in the front and a large spoiler in the back. However it also has very obvious robot arms on top and legs in the front. Even if you like t his form, it is hard not to see a robot lying down on wheels. Still, it manages to replicate the look of the G1 figure very well since that figure pretty much did the same thing (arms on top, legs in front etc.). One of the major differences involves the front wheels. Here Fastclash has two wheels on the front section, the original Fastlane only had one small wheel in the middle on the bottom of the vehicle's front end. Another difference is the size of Fastclash's spoiler versus G1 Fastlane. Fastlane's spoiler was both wide and stretched forward and back a bit. This spoiler piece is a lot thinner, though it does have a similar shape.
Fastclash is cast in four main colors: black, light grey and two shades of metallic red. The two shades of red take a bit of staring to see, but the easiest place to spot them is on the arms. The shoulder sections have a smoother, darker red color while the forearms look almost like they have a matte finish. I speculate that the matte finish plastic may have something to do with joint tolerance since both sections that utilize this color plastic connect directly to ball joints (the shoulders and the hips). Regardless, both colors are gorgeous and they fit in with the color palette from the original Fastlane figure.
The main plastic colors used on this figure are silver, red and black. The silver is used on the front end of the vehicle and the middle section. Red is used for three "headlights" on either side of the vehicle's front end. These details are also partly inspired by stickers found in the equivalent area on G1 Fastlane. The middle of the vehicle has a black Autobot symbol on a silver background. Behind that is a barely visible dragster symbol on top of black with a silver outline. This particular detail is wonderfully inspired. G1 Fastlane was released at a time when most Transformers toys were released with a heat sensitive "rub symbol". Fastlane had a regular Autobot symbol sticker, but his rub symbol was one that revealed his "dragster mode"! These tampographs mimick those stickers and I think it is a wonderful homage. Silver is also used on the sides of the wheels, which looks great though oddly the clip on the back wheels is unpainted so that looks a little off. The final detail is also inspired by a sticker on G1 Fastlane. The top of the spoiler is painted silver with a red Autobot symbol and lines coming out the sides and then curving up. Overall I love the details on this mode and I think he looks great!
Fastclash did not include any weapons in this set (my one gripe about it) but he can accomodate a Titan Master figure as a "driver"! In the middle of the vehicle is a rectangular notch. The tab on the Titan Master legs can fit right in there so a Titan Master can sit in the middle. I am happy they worked out a way to have the Titan Master figures interact with the figure since that interaction is a huge part of the toy line.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the spoiler back.
- Rotate the head around.
- Swing the arms back.
- On each forearm swing the robot fists out.
- Swing the feet up.
- Separate the lower legs from one another.
For those wondering about size, Fastclash stands at roughly 4 inches tall (about 10 centimeters) in this form. From a size perspective he actually looks a lot like G1 Fastlane except G1 Fastlane's legs could extend to make him taller. Fastclash does not have that ability so he looks a bit squat and thick. This also roughly makes him about the same height as Legends figures such as Bumblebee. In terms of width however he has a bit more bulk not so much with weight but with the way his parts are laid out.
Fastclash's robot mode is instantly recognizable as a homage to G1 Fastlane. Here is a rundown of the homage details:
- The head shares a similar design to the G1 version complete with a crest on top, notches on the helmet right above the eyes and visor eyes. It differs a bit in that the visor eyes are smaller and the panels on the sides of his head come up higher than they do on Fastlane.
- The shoulders are blocky with a raised level of armor in the middle.
- The chest features two lines that start at the top of the chest, continue on the arm hinge piece and end right under it. These lines are present on G1 Fastlane's chest.
- The center of the torso is a raised section in the middle that angles downward towards the waist area.
- The knee armor looks like a vent that ends at two points towards the middle of the lower legs.
There is one interesting sculpt difference between Fastclash and Fastlane. Fastclash has two tube shaped pieces right above his hip area. These are actually hinges that allow his legs to swing outward. It is important to note that these hinges do not factor into Fastclash's design or transformation at all. However, they could very well be part of this sculpt being retooled to transform differently...say, into a jet fighter! This hinge section is the biggest indicator that at some point in the future, there are plans to retool this figure into Cloudraker, Fastclash's Clone!
All the colors from the vehicle mode carry over here, though now you get a better look at the two shades of red plastic thanks to the torso and arms. His face, part of the chest and fists are painted light grey. The lines painted on his chest in particular are neat because they are callbacks to the arm/hinge pieces being grey on G1 Fastlane. His fists being grey are also a homage to the original figure. The grey on his face however is a homage to the G1 cartoon where Fastlane appeared very briefly in "The Rebirth". The aforementioned symbols on his torso show very prominently in this form and they look great. I love the faded look of the dragster symbol as it looks like a heat sensitive symbol is cooling off and going back to its default black color.
There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes two on each arm and four on each leg. The arms may sound like they have limited articulation but both points are ball joints, so his actual range of articulation is really good. Fastclash does have 5mm ports in his fists, but sadly does not come with weapons in this set. That said, you can have him hold G1 Fastlane's weapons!
Fastclash is one of the key reasons some fans will want this set since he is the only brand new sculpt in the entire bunch. He is also a really fun G1 homage and I love the attention to details such as the faux "rub symbol". I also really like the colors chosen for this figure and I think he's fun to play with. It is annoying that he has no weapons and it would have been neat if his legs could extend but those are my biggest complaints.
- Great sculpt with cool homages to G1 Fastlane.
- The only completely original sculpt in the set.
- Beautiful plastic colors.
- Fun deco that pays homage to G1.
- Uses metal pins on certain parts such as the front wheels (a practice that is quickly disappearing).
- No weapons.
- A bit squat looking since his legs cannot extend.