"Generations" Titans Return Siege on Cybertron Metalhawk Toy Review
Release Date: August 2017
Price Point: $99.99 (in a boxed set with Decepticon Pounce, Magnus Prime, Tidal Wave and Thunderwing)
Retailer: BigBadToyStore Exclusive (US)
Accessories: Blasters x 2 (Metalhawk); Dual barreled Blasters x 2, Rifles x 2 (Magnus Prime), Rifle & mini-jets (Tidal Wave)
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! "Siege on Cybertron" features five characters:
- Decepticon Pounce: A new figure based on the G1 Decepticon Clone
- Magnus Prime (with Ginrai): A redeco of Optimus Prime with Diac
- Metalhawk (with Professor Go): A redeco and retool of Triggerhappy and Blowpipe
- Tidal Wave (with Fathom): A redeco and retool of Broadside with Blunderbuss
- Thunderwing: A redeco and retool of Fangry
This review will focus on the changes made to the Triggerhappy figure for its release as Metalhawk in this boxed set. Please check out that review for more detailed information on that figure.
"Siege on Cybertron" 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 engaged in a combat screen. 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. Instead, Hasbro published a list of them later on as part of their promotion for Trypticon (he can eat them you see) and the name "Professor Go" was revealed. This was later confirmed by Hasbro as Metalhawk's Titan Master. 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.
Metalhawk was introduced in the 1988 Japanese "Masterforce" animated series which followed the "Headmasters" series. While he was never released outside of Japan, Metalhawk was a team leader and Pretender warrior, giving him a feature role in the show, especially during its early episodes. A version of the character was released at Botcon 2012 as an exclusive and more recently Vector Prime was released in a Metalhawk based disguise. Unlike these versions of the character, this one trades up any reference to his Pretender ability and instead makes him a Titan Master robot. For the most part, this version of the character calls back to his IDW Publishing appearances more than any other.
Metalhawk includes the same weapons that came with Triggerhappy. These weapons are mirror images of each other and feature two barrels on each side. Combine them together and a Titan Master can attach its feet to the pegs inside the slot towards the back. The weapons are cast in silver plastic with no paint applications.
Professor Go was a character in Masterforce who helped the Cybertrons (aka the Autobots), but he was never a Transformer himself. While the character met a tragic fate in "Masterforce", this representation of him presents him as a Titan Master with the ability to manipulate cosmic matter (according to Hasbro marketing material).
Professor Go is a retool and redeco of Blowpipe, who was the Titan Master for Triggerhappy. Blowpipe's robot mode was not altered for the release as Professor Go. However the face plate on his back which forms Metalhawk's face is new. The colors on Professor Go look similar to Blowpipe's, but they are not the same. They are silver and blue, but both colors are darker shades and more metallic looking. There are no paint applications on Professor Go's robot parts.
Transformation to Head Mode:
Swing the legs up and the hips, then the knees.
The head mode features a rounded helmet section with semi-circles on the sides. Professor Go's arms wind up forming structures that resemble Metalhawk's iconic "antennae" seen on many versions of the character. The face is a very classic Transformers design with two thin eyes and a very angled, serious looking face that befits a commander.
The face panel is painted gold, silver and blue. The gold is used on the helmet while silver is used for the face. His eyes are painted blue, which keeps the tradition of Autobots having blue eyes in the G1 animated series. The colors on this head mode look great.
Metalhawk's vehicle mode is the same as Triggerhappy's with no tooling changes. In general it works well for the character. The original Metalhawk transformed into a jet fighter. This sleek looking scifi jet mode has a lot of the features I would associate with Metalhawk. The angled wings, vertical fins and curved cockpit/nosecone section all call back to the sleekness of the character's design. At the same time the large boosters in the back and the cannons in the front speak to the character's strength in battle. Visually and conceptually I am cool with using this form for Metalhawk's new vehicle mode.
Metalhawk is cast in red, gold, metallic blue and translucent red plastic. The red/blue/gold combination represents the classic colors associated with Metalhawk. Blue makes up most of the figure, with gold and red making up smaller sections of the jet. The metallic blue in particular is gorgeous and looks great alongside the metallic gold color. Two different shades of red paint are used to provide detailing. A darker red that matches up with his G1 appearance is used on the wings. meanwhile a brighter red is used to outline the cockpit cover and provide line detailing on the back of the jet. A tampographed Autobot symbol can be found at the back of the cockpit cover. Additional tampographs are found on the wings, where there is a white stripe in between two thin, blue stripes with an Autobot symbol on top. These are based on stickers from G1 Metalhawk's wings though on this design the Autobot symbols are smaller so they do not overwhelm the line details. Silver is also used in this form to paint the vents that flank the cockpit and parts of the vehicle's back end. Overall the deco looks great and really does a wonderful job of calling back to G1 Metalhawk.
With no tooling changes the functionality of this mode remains the same as Triggerhappy's. The weapons can attach to the underside of the wings, but sadly not on top. Titan Masters can either sit inside the cockpit or stand on the back section where there are two Titan master pegs.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach any weapons and/or Titan Masters and set them aside for now.
- Swing the wings down.
- Swing the cannons in the front up.
- Swing the sides of the vehicle out to begin forming the robot arms.
- On each robot forearm, swing out the fists.
- Swing out the gold sections attached to the robot shoulders.
- Swing the rear of the vehicle back, then extend the top blue sections out further to begin forming the robot legs.
- Swing out the halves of the robot feet.
- Push the nosecone section down.
- Rotate the chest/arms section around.
- Swing the waist/hip section forward.
- Rotate the lower body with the legs around.
- Swing each of the arm/hinge sections down.
- Swing the nosecone all the way against the back.
- Transform Professor Go into head mode and attach it to the figure.
- The weapons can be placed into each fist.
The only retooling evident in this mode is the face plate on the head. Other than that this is basically Triggerhappy's body with a new head on it. Still, it is kind of amazing just how much this figure manages to look like Metalhawk. The overall look is thin, sleek with wings on the arms - all features of G1 Metalhawk. However there are of course differences. Part of the vehicle mode cockpit winds up on the center of the torso, there are stabilizer fins on the legs and of course, the forearms have giant cannons attached to them. If you are a stickler for detailing that is totally faithful to G1 this will likely not satisfy you. However if you want a sleek looking figure that can represent an interpretation of the character then this figure looks great!
All the same colors from the vehicle mode carry over here. However now we get a look at silver plastic on the fists, thighs and feet. The silver is a callback to the G1 Metalhawk action figure and it offers a nice color contrast with the metallic blue and gold parts. Most of the paint details in this mode carry over right from the vehicle mode including the silver on his knee armor, the red on his chest and the silver on his shoulders. Personally I think he looks great. Sure the body design is Triggerhappy's for the most part, but the colors and head change the context of the sculpt just right to make him a new interpretation of Metalhawk.
All the joints on my copy of Metalhawk are nice and tight. His weapons still fit snug in his fists or you can combine them into a super weapon.
This figure reminds me a lot of how a Botcon exclusive Metalhawk may have been done once upon a time. It is a Deluxe figure that has some passing resemblance to a different character. The face or head is different and the deco is dramatically different. Indeed, there was a Botcon exclusive Metalhawk in 2012 but that one looked more like a new version of the outer Pretender shell while this one looks like the inner robot reborn. This is one of the stronger figures in the set and I am very happy with it.
- Calls back to a relatively niche character in Transformers history.
- Fantastic new "face/head" sculpt for Metalhawk.
- Beautiful choice of colors (especially the metallic blue and gold).
- All joints are still nice and tight.
- "Siege on Cybertron" set is relatively hard to find now outside of some parts of Asia.
- Some fans may want more retooling than just the face plate.