"Generations" Titans Return Deluxe Misfire with Aimless Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Deluxe, Generation One, Generations, Titan Master, Titans Return

Generations
Titans Return

Misfire General Information:
Release Date: September 2017
Price Point: $17.99-19.99 (depending on location)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Aimless Titan Master figure, Blasters x 2

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Transformers Generations Titans Return Deluxe Class figures are 5.5-inch scale figures that come with a Titan Master figure. The Titan Master figure becomes the head of the Deluxe Class figure. It also works with Deluxe Class, Voyager Class, 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. Character Specs: Misfire: aerial interceptor Aimless: ultra-powerful ion particle fireblast boost Unite and power up for battle Figure Specs: Deluxe Class Misfire Modes: robot, jet Converts in 10 steps Works with other Titan Master figures (each sold separately) 2 accessories Comes with a collector card with tech specs Titan Master Aimless Modes: robot, head Converts in 1 step Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

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.

Misfire was one of the new Decepticons introduced in 1987 as a Targetmaster: a Transformer who wielded a weapon that could transform into a small figure. The character appeared in many different stories during the G1 era including the US and Japanese cartoons and the Marvel comic books. A version of the character is currently appearing in the IDW Publishing comic book series teamed up with characters like Krok and Flywheels. However this is the first time there has been a "G1 based" Misfire main line figure since the 80's (there was a KRE-O figure in 2014). This figure is a hevy retool of "Titans Return" Triggerhappy so check that review out before reading this one as this review will focus on the changes made to the design for this release.

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 for the photo 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.

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:
Misfire includes two blasters. Both weapons are mirror images of each other so they can connect in the middle to form a weapon that Aimless can sit on (complete with a slot for the Titan Master "heel piece" in the middle). These are not the same sculpt as the weapons included with Triggerhappy. They are a bit bigger and actually have more mechanical design greebles on them. If you look at the sides and the bottom, you will actually see arm and leg designs which serve as callbacks to G1 Misfire's Targetmaster partner Aimless in weapon mode. Both weapons are cast in pink plastic with no paint applications.

Aimless

Aimless was G1 Misfire's Targetmaster partner. This time out he transforms into Misfire's head instead of his weapon.

Head Mode:
Aimless' head mode is based on the G1 Cartoon/Comic Book model for Misfire. The key features include a square shape, a small crest in the middle of the "helmet" section and visor eyes. The face plate piece is metallic black with the eyes painted light blue and the face painted lavender. The colors of his eyes and face seem more inspired by the G1 Marvel comic books than his animation models (where his eyes were red, not blue). The rest of the head shows off pink plastic, the same color found on Misfire'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:
This mode reveals that Aimless uses the same sculpt as Blowpipe with no retooling. However, this figure is much more colorful than Blowpipe. His head, arms and lower legs are pink. The torso is light grey while the thighs are black. Surprisingly, his face is painted, a rarity among the Titan Masters. Like Misfire his eyes are painted light blue and his face is lavender. These colors all call back more to Misfire himself than G1 Aimless, who was mostly blue and silver in color.

All the joints on my copy of Aimless are nice and tight.

Robot Mode:
When fans think of a Transformers "retool" they generally imagine a new head, maybe some different accessories. Maybe even a chest plate or something being altered. However, with Misfire the designers decided to take retooling to another level. For the most part, the only parts that appear to have carried over from the Triggerhappy sculpt are the legs and feet. The rest of the figure has been heavily altered. Here's a rundown:

  • The torso is a completely new sculpt. This piece features a rectangular section that extends out in the middle a bit and angled sections forming the chest. A small vent sits on top of the middle section and there are distinct, thin lines on both chest panels.
  • The waist section is different, featuring a beveled rectangular piece in the middle.
  • The arms are completely new, even the fists. His shoulder sections have two tiny wings sticking out on the side, just like G1 Misfire.
  • The back of the figure has both his vehicle mode wings and cockpit section on it.

It is absolutely extraordinary how much retooling went into this figure. At first glance, you would think it was a completely different figure than Triggerhappy! I am very impressed.

Misfire is mostly cast in pink plastic with smaller parts cast in light grey and black. You would think the pink would be garish, but the shade is dark enough that it looks good. There are several light grey paint applications including the chest, thighs and knee armor. Some red paint is used on the torso to provide additional detail. There are also tampographs on this figure. Both arms have Decepticon symbols on the shoulder sections. Meanwhile the lower legs have silver, blue and orange tampographs with designs based on a sticker from G1 Misfire. These details include a triangle on top and a series of verital lines in a row. G1 Misfire and his various appearances in media were never super detailed, so this is actually just the right amount of deco for the character and I think he looks great.

There are twenty points of articulation on this figure including four on each arm (I'm including the wrists being able to swing in to be generous) and five on each leg. Each fist has a 5mm port, allowing him to hold his weapons separate or together. The joints on my copy of Misfire are all nice and tight, so no loose joints here.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach Aimless and convert him into robot mode.
  2. Detach the blasters and set them aside for now.
  3. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  4. Swing the fists into the forearms.
  5. Push the heel pieces up into the lower legs and push the front of the feet down.
  6. Pull the cockpit section up from the back and swing it over the section where the head was attached.
  7. The legs are attached to the waist/hip section on a hinged piece. Swing that out.
  8. Swing the legs up and against the cockpit section, then push them together.
  9. Swing the arms down. When you do so, you'll have to adjust the wings at the same time. The tab on the wrist area fits into a slot on the back of the vehicle on each side.
  10. Push the wings down, attaching them to the back of the shoulders using the tabs on the shoulders and corresponding slots on the wings.
  11. The weapons attach to the 5mm port on the shoulders under the wings.
  12. Aimless can sit inside the cockpit.

Thanks to the heavy retooling, Misfire not only looks different than Triggerhappy but his transformation is very different too, making him a different "puzzle" than Triggerhappy. It's great that not only does Misfire give you a toy with different aesthetics than Triggerhappy but also different play value.

Vehicle Mode:
Sometimes "Generations" figures reinterpret the G1 vehicle forms of characters like Misfire. Other times the vehicle modes are updates of the original, and that is the case with Misfire! Misfire's vehicle form is a fictional jet fighter with a distinct front end featuring a claw like design with small fins sticking out the sides. He has a large cockpit with wings on the sides that sweep back and come out at an angle on the sides. The rear is formed by the legs with angled vertical stabilizers on the back. It is a really cool, unique and interesting looking vehicle and I have loved the design since I was a kid. I am very happy the designers did not try to give Misfire a more "realistic" jet mode.

This mode mostly shows off pink plastic. The cockpit cover is translucent blue. The light grey paint from the knee armor in robot mode winds up on the back here. You will also find stripes painted in the middle of the rear stabilizers. Silver paint is found on either side of the cockpit. A tiny bit of black plastic is used on the curved "claw" sections in front. One detail I was very happy to see are tampographs in silver and orange on the wings which call back to stickers on G1 Misfire's wings. The finishing touch is a Decepticon symbol in front of the cockpit cover.

Aimless can sit inside the cockpit section. Just lift up the translucent blue piece and put Aimless inside and close it up. Want to give other Titan Masters a ride? There are two Titan Master compatible pegs on the rear section. My only regret is that there is no way to attach the weapon on the top of the vehicle (either towards the back or in the front) to give him a more "G1 look" when the weapons are attached. However that is a relatively small nitpick.

Final Thoughts:
Misfire is an amazing example of how you can take a basic design/sculpt and retool it into another character and make it work. He goes far beyond just a head swap and even better - the figure is very faithful to his G1 incarnation. It is a bit of a bummer that he is not a Targetmaster, but the "Legends" version being released in Japan is, so if you are willing to spend a bit extra you may want to purchase that version instead. Recommended!

Pros:

  • A fantastic example of heavy retooling.
  • Sculpt pays homage to the original character very well.
  • Based on the G1 design instead of being a "reimagining" into a more realistic form.
  • Bright, unique color pattern.
  • Nice, tight joints.

Cons:

  • Some people will still long for Misfire to be a Targetmaster.
  • Lacks the ability to attach the weapon combined as a gunnery station in vehicle mode.