"Generations" Titans Return Mindwipe with Vorath Toy Review

in 2016, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Deluxe, Generation One, Generations, Titan Master, Titans Return

Generations
Titans Return

Mindwipe General Information:
Release Date: October 2016
Price Point: $16.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Vorath Titan Master figure, Blaster, Tail/Shield/Weapon

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Mindwipe and Vorath can destroy an Autobot target without ever picking up a blaster. The Decepticon hypnotist and his Titan Master partner manipulate other bots to carry out their sinister plans. Mindwipe starts by casting his hypnotic spell, and then Vorath takes full control over other bots' central processors, turning them into servants that do their bidding. This Titans Return Deluxe Class Decepticon Mindwipe figure comes with a Titan Master Vorath figure. The Vorath figure becomes the head of the Mindwipe figure. Unite them and power up for battle!

Titan Master figures can become the head for Deluxe Class, Voyager Class, or Leader Class Titans Return figures. Unite this Titan Master Vorath figure with other bots to create different combinations, or unite other Titan Master figures with this Mindwipe figure. Find the best team ups and join the battle. Additional figures are each sold separately. Subject to availability. The Mindwipe figure converts from robot to vehicle and back in 16 steps. The Titan Master Vorath figure converts from robot to head and back in 1 step. When the Mindwipe figure is in vehicle mode, the Vorath figure fits inside. Also includes blaster accessory and a collectible character card with tech specs. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

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. In true "Generations" fashion, Titans Return gives us characters from the Headmasters era in new forms that pay homage to the originals.

Mindwipe is a unique character in that his strength does not just rely on some fancy technology but also (he believes) a healthy bit of mysticism. Using his unique powers Mindwipe was shown hypnotizing an Autobot in "The Rebirth Part One". Of course this is probably explained away by some high technology that affects Transformer nervous systems, but his original tech specs also mentioned him having an avid interest in communicating with the dead. This always made him an interesting character to me long before I ever owned the original figure. It's great to see him back with a "Generations" style design.

Packaging:
The Titans Return packaging uses the design of the last few years and updates it. The figure is packaged in robot mode with its weapons to the side. An insert shows you the alt mode along with the names of the Titan Master and character along with the "Titans Return" logo. The side of the insert gives you a look at the character's artwork. Most of the backing card is plastered with a close up of the character's package art. While entire bodies were drawn for this line, the packaging zooms in to the chest and head to focus on the Titan Master gimmick, with the head hovering a bit over the body as if it is about to connect. The side has the now familiar "Generations" logo with an Autobot symbol on it and the vertical "Transformers" logo under it.

The back of the packaging shows off the stock photography of the figure in both forms but more importantly, it shows off a diagram explaining the way the Titan Master play system works. The heads of the Titan Masters can be swapped from figure to figure, and the diagram helps illustrate this across size classes. These also act as cosells. In Mindwipe's case Apeface, Wolfwire, Astrotrain and Soundwave are the cosells.

Titans Return figures come with a collector card, similar to last year's "Combiner Wars" series. However these cards are shaped differently, with corners cut out on two sides. The front features the character's artwork, giving you a better look at the full body. The back features something fans have wanted since last year: tech specs! These are not traditional specs with a full motto and so on, but instead there are four qualities reflected here (via icons). The four icons are: A robot flexing arms (strength), a character running (speed), a brain (intelligence) and a missile (firepower). These are laid out on the X axis of a bar chart with lines going across from a scale of one through twenty. Traditional tech specs only go from one to ten, but these tech specs take into account the Titan Master being combined with the Transformer. This extends the line into the zone past the number ten. I'm really glad these were added in as I think it was a missed opportunity not to do so last year. I also appreciate the bright and colorful icons and lines used on the back of the cards.

Accessories:
Mindwipe includes two accessories. One is a blaster based on the design of his G1 weapon complete with a clip at the bottom, a short barrel and a trapezoid shaped section on top. There are some nice details sculpted into this weapon including a series of overlapping panels on the sides and a targeting scope (or possibly a targeting laser) on top. This piece is cast in purple plastic with no paint applications. It features one 5mm peg for Mindwipe to hold.

The larger accessory resembles a shield/claw combination weapon and can serve multiple purposes:

  • Attach the shield to Mindwipe's forearm in a vertical position and this looks like a shield.
  • Line the claws up with the forearms and this weapon can serve as a dual purpose blaster and claw weapon.
  • There is a 5mm port between the two blaster barrels on this piece that allows you to attach Mindwipe's other blaster, making it one "super weapon".

A key feature in many "Titans Return" toys is the ability for the Titan Master figures to interact with weapons. In this case if you flip this accessory over you'll see another 5mm port between the two claws at the base. Attach Mindwipe's other blaster and Vorath can sit behind it like it is a gunnery station. Thanks to the 5mm peg in the back of this accessory this could serve as a gunnery station if you attach it to larger figures with base modes such as Soundwave.

This accessory is cast in purple and black plastic. Some dark red paint is used on bat wing like patterns on the top of the accessory. Silver paint is used for the ends of the weapon barrels.

Vorath

Head Mode:
The design of Mindwipe's head in Generation One varied between the original toy, the comic book and animation. For the most part it looks like the designers used the character's animated appearances when working out the design of Vorath's head mode. This is most evident in the overall shape of the "helmet" section which is round and relatively small compared to the wide, blocky head the G1 Mindwipe toy had. The head design features a central crest and a small brim over the eyes. The face is also heavily based on Mindwipe's animated appearance including visor eyes and a face that has pronounced "jowls" around the mouth area with a raised chin piece at the bottom.

The "face plate" portion of this head is cast in metallic black plastic. The back is cast in two different types of purple plastic, one smooth and one a bit more rough in texture. The eyes are painted red while the face is silver, matching the animated appearance of the character.

Some Titans Return figures have experienced issues where you had to face the Titan Master head in the opposite direction of the larger robot head in order to have it connect tightly. Not so in this case! Vorath's head attaches nice and snug into the corresponding slot on Mindwipe's body.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
In general the Titan Master transformation is fairly simple. Hold on to the back of the head and just unfold it, revealing the robot form.

Robot Mode:
Vorath's robot mode is based on G1 Vorath's design. The key elements carried over from the G1 design include:

  • Vorath's head has a curved helmet section, a central crest and visor eyes shaped just like G1 Vorath's.
  • The chest design features a chevron shaped design with several horizontal lines inside of it.
  • The arm design features indented lines on the sides leading to a five sided design near the ends of the forearms.

I really love the way several characters carry over key design elements from their G1 counterparts. It's not only a cool homage but it adds to the variety of sculpt designs in the line.

Vorath's robot mode features black plastic for the head and torso while the arms and legs are purple. Unfortunately none of these parts are painted.

Vorath's joints are nice and tight and he has the standard five points of articulation for a Titan Master.

Robot Mode:
When I sat down to write this review it had been many years since I took a good look at the G1 Mindwipe figure. Normally in G1 to Generations reviews such as this I'd go on and on about all the details carried over from the G1 figure to the new version, but the G1 Mindwipe figure was very simple in design and detail by today's standards so there is not a ton of detail to carry over. The designers definitely tried to pay attention to larger key details from the G1 figure such as the overall shape of a robot with bat wings on its back. They also used sculpted details such as rows of lines on the chest and a distinct circle on the forearms. I can also see some of the line details on the legs and the middle of the torso being inspired by details on G1 Mindwipe, though it's a bit of a stretch.

A majority of the details on this figure appear to be original designs and there is a lot. This includes knee armor that resembles vents, "toes" on the feet that look like two claws and a really impressive array of sculpted detail on the black parts of the torso. I recall during a conversation with Hasbro at last year's pre-New York Comic-Con event that Hasbro knows fans want more and more detailing in their Transformers and this appears to be a direct response to that demand. I'm very happy with the amount of detailing on this mode.

Mindwipe is cast in three primary colors of plastic: purple, black and a softer, rubbery brown plastic. The purple and black alternate on the body quite a bit (such as the upper arms being purple while the forearms are black). The soft brown plastic is used for the wings on his back. Soft plastic is used due to the pointed edges of the wings potentially causing a safety issue. The color layout does roughly adhere to the color scheme of G1 Mindwipe.

Silver is one of the primary colors used on this mode. You'll find it on his face, the knee armor and one of his weapons. His eyes are painted red and a brown color matching his wings is found on the lower legs. Purple paint is used for the chest panel, corresponding to the panel on G1 Mindwipe's chest that could open up to reveal the character's tech specs (alas, this figure does not have such a feature). The finishing touch is a Decepticon symbol on his chest painted in silver. This does not sound like a lot of deco and honestly it's not. There are several details on the arms and torso I would have loved to see painted to bring out the sculpted details more. That said, it's not as if G1 Mindwipe was particularly rich in the deco department so the figure is "G1 accurate" in that sense. Also, it looks good (read: not amazing, but good). I've always felt the black/purple/silver combination was ideal for a Decepticon (given the colors of the original symbol) and Mindwipe has that combination with some brown thrown in hinting at his alt mode. I would not be shocked if Takara Tomy found a way to put more deco on their release of this figure.

There are twenty points of articulation on this figure. This includes four in each arm and waist articulation. The forearms each have a 5mm port on the sides allowing you to attach his weapons. His fists can also hold 5mm peg weapons. The joints on my copy of this figure are good. They are not super right but they are not loose either.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach Vorath and convert him into robot mode.
  2. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  3. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  4. Swing the fists into the forearms.
  5. Swivel the armd around.
  6. Swing the forearms up against the upper arms.
  7. Rotate the arms up, forming the beast mode legs.
  8. Rotate the small bat wings up.
  9. Unfold the panels that form each lower leg to reveal the bat wings.
  10. Swing the robot feet up.
  11. Each wing has a tab at the base. This slides into a slot on each beast mode leg.
  12. Swing the beast mode head up.
  13. Attach the larger claw weapon to the 5mm port on the bottom of the figure to form the tail/boosters.
  14. Vorath can sit inside the cockpit in the beast mode torso.
  15. The blaster can be attached to the 5mm port on the tail or the 5mm ports on the wings.

Beast Mode:
Like the robot mode there are not a lot of "G1-esque" details from G1 Mindwipe on this figure. This is partly due to the design being very different than the boxy shape of the G1 figure. Instead of having a very thick central body, this figure is a lot more streamlined looking with wings that span out nice and wide (relative to the center of the body). The detail level on the head is fantastic. While the detailing on the head is clearly mechanical in nature, the ears and mouth area in particular look almost techno-organic in nature. Some of the most beautiful detailing is found on the wings. Look towards the top in the middle and you'll see claws (G1 Mindwipe had these details as well). The wings also have mechanical equivalent of bat fingers sculpted into them with "skin" sections in between. The wings are full of mechanical details like seams between armor, but the coolest detail to me is a circular design that echoes the circles on G1 Mindwipe's beast mode. Using the claw weapon as a tail section is a fun visual, taking the blasters from the weapon and making them into boosters in the back. Overall I am really happy with the sculpting on this beast mode.

This mode shows off a lot of purple plastic thanks to the wings. The torso section is mostly translucent red thanks to the "cockpit" cover. The head is cast in the same soft brown plastic as the wings in robot mode. Brown paint is used extensively on the wings to color in the fingers and some of the mechanical detail. The teeth on the head are painted silver and the ears have a beautiful black gradient on them.

Mindwipe has ten points of articulation in this form, six of which are found in the wings. You can attach a 5mm peg weapon to either wing or the top of the claw weapon/tail section.

Final Thoughts:
I've heard some fans complain Mindwipe is too "fiddly", partly due to the way the wings become the robot legs, but personally I love his transformation. It's reasonably complex and unique. I also love the sheer amount of detail on the figure. I do wish he had some more paint on him, but that's my only complaint. Otherwise this is a great addition to your Decepticon army!