"Generations" Titans Return Grotusque with Fengul and Scorponok Toy Review
Release Date: October 6, 2017
Price Point: $24.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Scorponok Titan Master figure, Fengul Titan Master figure, Blasters x 2
Official images and text below in italics are from HasbroToyShop.com:
Imagine harnessing the power of not 1 Titan Master but 2, with this special edition Transformers Grotusque 3-figure pack featuring a Titans Return Deluxe Class figure, a Titan Master figure, and a special edition die-cast Titan Master figure. The Titan Master figure becomes the head of Deluxe, Voyager, and Leader Class Titans Return figures (each sold separately).
In Titans Return, the Autobots and Decepticons unite with Titan Masters, small bots that carry a power boost. Titan Masters are key to controlling an ancient race of warriors the size of cities: the Titans.
Function: Military strategist
Decepticon Fengul [Note: This is an error, Fengul as an Autobot]
Function: optics scorch
Function: super firepower boost
Unite and power up for battle.
Deluxe Class Grotusque
Modes: robot, gargoyle
Converts in 18 steps
Titan Master Fengul
Modes: robot, head
Converts in 1 step
Titan Master Scorponok
Modes: robot, head
Converts in 1 step
- Transformers Titans Return Grotusque 3-figure Pack
- Includes a G1-inspired Deluxe scale Grotusque figure and 2 Titan Master figures
- Includes special edition die-cast Titan Master Scorponok figure
- Comes in Transformers special edition packaging
Includes Deluxe Class Grotusque figure, Titan Master Fengul figure, die-cast Titan Master Scorponok figure, 2 collector cards with tech specs, and instructions.
Deluxe: 5.5 inches
Titan Master: 1.25 inches
Ages 8 and up
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 twenty 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. In true "Generations" fashion, Titans Return gives us characters from the Headmasters era in new forms that pay homage to the originals.
Grotusque is one of the "Monsterbots", a trio of Autobots who transformed into weird creatures. The other two Monsterbots have already appeared in the "Titans Return" line: Twinferno (aka Doublecross) and Repugnus. I think it's great that Grotusque completes that trio.
Like the Arcee multi-pack this set includes an exclusive, partly die-cast metal Titan Master: Scorponok. This continues the line of die-cast Titan Masters that started with the "Chaos on Velocitron" set.
Like the "Titans Return" Arcee, this figure appears to have originally been intended for a new Transformers Collector's Club, but as of this writing (in October 2017) there is no new club yet. However, receipts included with Arcee and this figure specifically use the word "Club" in the product description.
Grotusque is not packaged in the standard "Generations" packaging. Instead, when you first look at the box you just see a rectangular box colored black with a white Autobot symbol "streak" on it of the same style as the mass market packaging. There are tabs that you pull on and effectively you "transform" the box as it unfolds. As each flap folds out, you'll see a gorgeous illustration of Grotusque in beast mode instead. On the left side is the Grotusque figure itself on a plastic tray (held down by plastic bands). The top fold has the collector cards for both Grotusque and Scorponok. The right side flap has Scorponok also in a plastic tray. It is really beautiful and dramatic packaging and it helps make the set feel special.
Grotusque's weapons are the same sculpt as Twinferno's. Like those weapons, these two can act as separate rifles or they can combine into a weapon that a Titan Master can sit on top. The rifles are cast in the same dark pink color as many of Grotusque's parts. They are painted light grey to match up with the colors of G1 Grotusque's weapon. The weapons still combine nice and tight and Titan Masters can still attach nice and snug.
The Scorponok Titan Master uses the same sculpt as Fangry which was then used for the Ultra Magnus Titan Master included with Arcee. I find it interesting that Hasbro chose to name the figure Scorponok and not "Lord Zarak" or some variant thereof however this seems to stay with the Japanese concept of the Headmaster/Titan Master actually being the "mind" of the Transformer who uses the Transector "body" rather than the concept of the Transformer and "Master" being two different minds that merge into one when combined.
Scorponok's torso and waist section is die-cast metal. The arms, legs and face plate are plastic. Interestingly, the arms and legs are two different shades of metallic, purple plastic. The body and head are painted a light cream color with silver on the mouthplate. These are similar colors to those used on G1 Lord Zarak and it looks great.
All the joints on this figure are still super tight. As a side effect of the die-cast metal torso, the head takes quite a bit of force to turn so be careful.
Transformation to Head Mode:
Swing the legs up and the hips, then knees to form the head.
The "face plate" on this figure has been swapped out with a new one based on Scorponok's G1 design. Specifically it looks like this design was partly based on ,a href="http://andrewwildman.weebly.com/transformers.html" target="_blank">the artwork of Andrew Wildman. It has an almost "organic" look on the face area and the helmet has a crest with several vertical lines and horns on the sides. It looks great.
The helmet section of the head is dark grey while the eyes and horns are painted orange. The face is painted silver. These are all classic colors for the comic book design of the character and it looks great.
Fengul is an odd name, but it may be a rearrangement of the word "Engulf", referencing the character's ability to provide an "optic scorch" ability. This echoes the name "Leinad" being a rearrangment of the name "Daniel" in the Arcee set.
Grotusque's head design is a rather unique one. It has the standard Transformer "helmet and face" combination, but the helmet comes to an exaggerated angle down over the cheeks. The top of the helmet looks like a cap with a crest on top. The face has wide, thin eyes and a grim looking face with a small "chin" piece in the middle.
The head is mostly made up of two shades of light grey. The back section is lighter than the front. The helmet/face section itself has a different texture than the plastic on the back. Light blue paint is used on the crest while a darker blue is used for the eyes. The face is painted dark grey. Because of the way the paint is applied, it can look like Grotusque has "tears" near the eyes on some copies of this figure.
When attaching the head to the body, be sure Grotusque's head is facing the same direction as Grotusque's so it holds in place securely. I found if you attach it the other way it falls right out.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Swing the back of the head out and straighten it out to form the legs. The arms on the sides can swing up and down.
Fengul is a retool and redeco of Daburu, Twinferno's Titan Master. You may recall that Daburu was a homage to the "Battle Beast" White Leo. Part of the homage was based on the feet on this Titan Master having "toes/claws" that look like an animal's paws. For this figure the designers decided to homage another Battle Beast: Platinum Tiger! The head has the character's distinctive tusks and looks like a feline head. I love this additional homage and it looks great.
Fengul has an amazing amount of deco considering most "Generations" Titan Masters lack paint applications. Fengul's torso is dark grey, the limbs are light grey and the thighs are dark pink. The arms and lower legs are painted teal and the head is a light cream color while the tusks are light grey. I love how much paint was used for this figure and it looks fantastic.
All the joints on this figure are nice and tight.
Grotusque is a retool and redeco of Twinferno, but there are significant changes made to that figure's design to create this one. Significant changes include:
- Beast Mode Head: The beast mode head no longer forms the hands, but instead it tucks behind the robot head.
- Robot Arms: The arms are all new pieces. Instead of looking like beast mode necks and heads, these are more robotic looking arms with distinct shoulders that come down at angles on the sides and forearms that have a raised section on top intended to emulate the beast mode claws of the G1 Grotusque which folded down over the forearms on that figure.
- Torso: The top of the torso section angles down at the chest area, then angles inward at the bottom.
A significant design change involves the transformation of the figure. On Twinferno, his arms could swing forward on hinged pieces on the sides. However, here that hinge has been eliminated since the transformation is different. This is really representative of just how different this figure is than its predecessor, and I for one am very happy to see how much retooling went into this figure.
Grotusque's colors are largely based off his G1 predecessor. He has two shades of a pink colored plastic. The darker color is focused on the torso and forearms. The lighter shade is mostly found on the legs (though they do alternate here and there). Light grey is used on the arms and thighs. For those wondering why there are two shades of the dark pink plastic, this is inspired by G1 Grotusque who also had two shades of the pink plastic. Parts of the chest, waist and knee armor are painted blue. The shoulders have some nice deco including red on top, yellow in the middle and Autobot symbols on the left side. These are roughly based on the sticker found on G1 Grotusque. Finally the center of the chest has light blue paint with a silver triangle (this is also based on a G1 Grotusque sticker). Overall the deco looks great. It's not just because there are varying colors, good contrasts and small details but it is also very different from the color choices and layout on Twinferno.
If you count his wings, Grotusque has twenty one points of articulation. In a really nice touch, there are panels on the top of his shoulder armor that can swing up so his arms can move all the way up to the sides. All the joints are really nice and tight. His weapons can be held in his hands either separately or connected together. The weapons can also be attached to his wings for storage.
Transformation to Beast Mode:
- Detach Fengul and convert him into robot mode.
- Detach the blasters and connect them together.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the fists into the forearms.
- Swing the claws on the bottom of the forearms up, then rotate them around.
- Swing the neck and top half of the beast mode head up.
- Swing the center chest panel up to form the bottom of the beast mode mouth.
- Swing the tail pieces on the lower arms out to the sides.
- Swing the feet and the ankle sections out.
- Move the legs up so they are at angles.
- Swing the lower legs up over the back of the thighs.
- Move the ankle sections in. There are open slots in the middle that ocnnect to the tabs on the lower back of the beast mode.
- Push the tabs/slots on the two lower leg sections together.
- Push the tail halves together.
- Push the grey beast mode leg sections down, then extend the lower legs out and straighten out the feet.
- Attach the weapons to the back, using the tabs on the weapons and corresponding slots on the back.
In Generation One, Grotusque transformed into what appeared to be a winged saber toothed tiger that stood on two legs (I mean, he was a Monsterbot). For the most part the same form has been preserved but the designers have reworked the proportions so they look better and they have given his beast mode the official designation of a "gargoyle". He actually does look a lot like a gargoyle thanks to his scary head and wings. This form also demonstrates just how well the designers have gotten at retooling figures outside of just a new head or accessories. Here are the parts that are different than the previous version of this figure:
- Head: The beast mode head and neck are completely new pieces, and that section is attached to the main body is a hinge that does not exist on the Twinferno sculpt. The design of the head looks like a better proportioned version of the G1 beast mode head including the tiger-like design and long fangs. He even has circles on the sides just like the G1 design.
- Arms: The arms are based on the G1 design complete with claws at the end and a blocky appearance. Also worth noting - the upper arms are cylindrical in shape, like the G1 figure.
- Back: Interestingly, the back piece seems to use a lot of the same design elements as Twinferno but the structural arrangement is different. For example, the back of both figures have slots for the weapons on either side of the "spine" details, but on Twinferno they are at the same level as the "spine" details while on Grotusque they are sunken in a bit.
What is really cool is that a lot of the other parts do carry over from Twinferno (such as the legs and tail) but the deco on them and their colors are so different that they look great. They don't feel like "carry overs" but instead they feel like they belong on this figure.
All the colors from the robot mode carry over here, but the pink and grey colors wind up consolidating. This also exposes the translucent pink control center cover on the torso. I am also impressed by how many of the colors match up to the G1 Grotusque figure, especially the head. The lower part of the neck is blue and the lower jaw is dark pink, just like the G1 Grotusque figure. Also, the eyes and the sides of the neck have blue paint on the circles, just like the G1 Grotusque. A nice touch are Autobot symbols tampographed on the wings, which are based on Autobot stickers on G1 Grotusque's wings. The deco looks fantastic and I am very happy with it.
There are nineteen points of articulation in this mode including five on each arm and three on each leg. The lower jaw and swing down and has some cool teeth sculpted onto it. The weapon can attach to the back of the figure. Fengul can ride on the weapon on the back or sit in the cockpit on the monster's torso.
Grotusque is an awesome retool/redeco. I love how there are not only new parts, but old parts have been modified as well. The new colors are fantastic and best of all, he helps "complete" the Monsterbot trio in the "Titans Return" line. The initial shipments of this figure sold out in about two hours, but Toys R Us is supposed to get more and I hope they get plenty so everyone can get their hands on a copy of this figure!
- Unique and excellent packaging design.
- Features several retooled parts, not just the head.
- Extensive redeco featuring more paint applications than usual.
- Bonus Scorponok Titan Master is a nice continuation of the boxed set exclusives.
- This figure completes the modern day "Monsterbot trio".
- I would have liked to see a new head for the Scorponok Titan Master that better resembles Lord Zarak's.