"Generations" Titans Return Overlord with Dreadnaut Toy Review

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

Generations
Titans Return

Overlord General Information:
Release Date: April 2017
Price Point: $45.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster/Tank barrel, Drone/Nosecone, Dreadnaut Titan Master

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Welcome to the incredible world of Transformers robots. It is a world of high technology, ancient history, and a battle that has spanned the entire galaxy and millions of years. Optimus Prime, leader of the heroic Autobots, battles the tyrant Megatron and his evil Deceptions for the fate of freedom across the universe. There's a Transformers figure for every kid or collector. From big converting action figures to miniature battling robots to figures that change between modes in 1 step, you can team up with Transformers toys to create your own incredible adventures. Whether you're defending Earth with the Autobots, or conquering space with the Deceptions, the action is up to you. Transformers is a world-famous entertainment brand with 30 years of history, blockbuster movies, hit television shows and countless novels and comic books. With Transformers robot toys, you can create your own chapters in this epic, ongoing story. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. This copy is intended as placeholder text only and is not representative of individual items in the line.

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.

Overlord was a character introduced in the Japanese "Masterforce" series. Over the years he has made some appearances outside of "Masterforce" including having been renamed "Gigatron" for the "Heroes of Cybertron" line of PVC figures. He was even part of a Botcon exclusive set. However this is the first time a transformable, mass release figure of the character has been released since the 80's. This figure is a retool and redeco of the "Titans Return" Sky Shadow figure so you'll want to check out that review. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Packaging:
Much like the Voyager Class packaging, Overlord is in a large window box. One side has the "Transformers" logo set vertically with the "Generations" logo above it. You can see the figure through the window with the name "Dreadnaut" and "Overlord" in front. The back of the packaging shows Overlord's stock art in all forms and the usual requisite legal information and personality blurb.

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:
One of Overlord's key features in Generation One was the ability to wield the front part of his jet mode as a drone of sorts. As part of the Sky Shadow retooling, the front of the vehicle has been retooled so the front section of the plane mode detaches. A peg in between the landing gear allows you to attach it to Overlord's shoulders or his fists (though the landing gear gets in the way a bit). Mounting it on his shoulder is the most "G1" placement and I love that this is even a feature.

The other accessory is Overlord's weapon. This blaster is the same sculpt as Sky Shadow's. Unlike Sky Shadow's however, the weapon is cast in purple with no paint applications.

Dreadnaut

Generation One Overlord came with two "Godmasters" (known outside of Japan as "Powermasters"). One was named Mega and the other was Giga. Sky Shadow's Titan Master was based on Mega. Given that Overlord is a retool of Sky Shadow it is very appropriate that Dreadnaut is based on G1 Giga's design. Appropriately Dreadnaut is a retool of Ominus.

Head Mode:
Dreadnaut's head mode is based on G1 Overlord's head design. Much of this head mode winds up getting covered by the helmet on the body but the face is distinct with its thin eyes, pointed nose and pronounced chin. He even has distinct lines around his mouth area similar to G1 Overlord. This figure is cast in black and grey plastic. The face is painted silver and the eyes are painted red.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
To transform the figure you hold onto the back and swing it down, revealing the Titan Master's limbs and body. The head of the Titan Master may need to be turned around to face the right direction. In Sky Shadow's case, I found having Dreadnaut's head turned around (so it is facing back) works best when connecting it to the larger body.

Robot Mode:
Dreadnaut uses the same torso and thighs as Ominus, but the rest is completely new. The head is the most distinct piece, featuring a head with a crest on the top of the head and a mouthplate. The arms have angled details on the shoulders while the lower legs have distinct ovals on the knees and rectangular details set vertically on the feet. While not exactly a "clone" of the G1 Giga's design it calls back just enough to be a cool homage.

The colors from the head mode carry over to this form. The head is painted teal with gold on the head. These colors are based on G1 Giga's colors and they look great. I am very thankful that this Titan Master was painted unlike so many other Titan Masters in the line.

All the joints on this figure are nice and tight.

Overlord

Robot Mode:
Overlord is a significant retool of Sky Shadow, mostly focused on the top half of the body. These changes are all made to align the look of this figure more with the G1 Overlord figure. Here's a rundown:

  • The "helmet" section is based on G1 Overlord's complete with a high central crest and thin antennae on the sides of the head.
  • The shoulders have distinct cones on the top and a more rectangular section under it. Some of the details are also carried over from G1 Overlord including a "U" shaped and circular details.
  • The forearms are new pieces complete with some thin, rectangular details carried over from G1 Overlord.
  • The chest has two panels on it full of line and machinery details that are directly inspired by stickers found on G1 Overlord's chest.
  • The center of the chest has a raised detail that is based on a wheel on G1 Overlord's chest. This is not a functional wheel on this figure so it has been flattened to look more like some type of panel cover.
  • The mid-body has three distinct, rectangular sections. The middle has a square with a circle inside of it. The left side has six weapon barrels and the right has a panel. These are all based on G1 Overlord's design. Unfortunately the panel does not open to reveal an extra weapon as it did in G1, but it is nice to see the detail acknowledged.
  • The waist/hip area is different than Sky Shadow's. A lot of the line details are carried over from G1 including horizontal lines inside rectangles towards the bottom.

I am very impressed by how much has been changed between Sky Shadow and Overlord. Basically almost everything on the upper body has been changed except maybe the elbows and fists. It really shows how the designers wanted to do their best to call back to the original Overlord while still finding a way to keep costs down. I admit it is not perfect. I would have preferred the panel on the right side swing down to reveal extra weapons for instance, but I appreciate the work that went into it.

The rest of the figure is the same as Sky Shadow, and it was pretty obvious the legs were meant to be Overlord's legs even during the Sky Shadow release. Perhaps the most distinctive parts are the knee armor pieces which extend out in a similar fashion to G1 Overlord's leg armor.

Overlord's colors are all based on his G1 counterpart. He is cast in blue, light grey, dark grey, black and purple plastic. The upper body and legs are mostly blue. His arms are a combination of purple, light grey, dark grey and black. The waist/hip area is black. The paint colors are used to help align the deco with G1 Overlord. This includes light grey and silver paint on the chest, dark grey on the mid-body details and teal on the legs. He also has stickers under the knees that call back to G1 Overlord's leg stickers (though they are not an exact match). From a color perspective Overlord is a fantastic homage to his G1 predecessor.

There are twenty one points of articulation on this figure. This includes four in each arm and six on each leg. His fists have 5mm ports in them and he has ports on his shoulders. This allows you to attach his jet mode cockpit section to one arm similar to G1 Overlord. In a fun nod to G1 Overlord the chest panels can open to up to reveal slots. These slots are designed to accomodate Titan Masters in head mode. This leads to a pretty goofy (or creepy) look for the character as he parades around with heads inside his chest like trophies. I like to think of it as a weird form of troop carrying. Of course, with "Power the Primes" out now, you can also attach Prime Masters in their "Spark" modes. I love this extra bit of functionality and it makes the figure even more fun.

Transformation to Vehicle Modes:

  1. Detach Dreadnaut and transform him into robot mode.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Holding the upper and lower bodies, separate the two halves of the body by pulling the legs down and the torso up.
  4. Push the halves of the feet together.
  5. Swing the halves of the tank turrets out.
  6. Swing the lower legs up and then push the two halves together.
  7. Attach the blaster to the center of the turret.
  8. On the forearms of the robot swing the stabilizer fins out.
  9. Swing each robot fist in.
  10. Push the forearms up.
  11. Push the arms in against the sides.
  12. Swing the panel on the back forward over the helmet.
  13. Attach the jet cockpit section.

Jet Mode:
Since the jet mode is formed from the upper body of Overlord, it is no surprise that the vehicle is significantly different than Sky Shadow's jet mode. Quite a bit has been changed including:

  • The nosecone and cockpit section are all new. Sky Shadow's could not disconnect the way Overlord's does. It is also more angular than Sky Shadow's. Borrowing from the G1 design the front of the jet features an angular cockpit cover and horizontal fins on the sides.
  • The middle section has new panels on the top featuring vents in the front and sculpted machinery details that are based on stickers from G1 Overlord's jet mode.
  • The center vertical fin from Sky Shadow has been removed, making the back section flat.
  • The arm designs are completely different. Gone are the blasters pointing forward. Instead they have been replaced with tube shapes ending in cones in the front. Also gone are the wings from Sky Shadow's sculpt.

Overall this jet mode looks great. It truly does look like a smaller version of G1 Overlord's jet mode. From the shape to the overall design. It is also impressive to see how much the designers changed even for this mode.

The jet mode mostly shows off black plastic with light grey on the sides. The cones and vertical fins are purple while the small wings on the sides are black. The cockpit cover is cast in translucent orange. Black paint is used on the cockpit cover outline. Silver and teal paint are used on the mechanical details towards the back. These colors are taken directly from the G1 sticker and I love the call back. The sides of the vehicle have thin stickers featuring teal and purple lines on top of a silver background. The vertical stabilizers feature stickers based on the G1 figure as well. Finally there is a sticker towards the middle in the back that, you guessed it, is also based on a G1 sticker. The finishing touch is a small Decepticon symbol at the very front of the vehicle. The designers did a great job of matching up details from the G1 version of the character to this one and I think it looks great.

The back of the vehicle has a 5mm port in the back, allowing you to attach the blaster. The 5mm ports on the shoulders wind up on the sides here, allowing you to attach additional weapons. On the bottom of the jet you can swing down landing gear in the front. The cockpit cover can be opened to accomodate a Titan Master. Want to give a couple Titan Master buddies a ride? The back of the vehicle has four Titan Master pegs. They are spaced apart enough that you can easily put four Titan Masters on top of the vehicle to go for a joy ride! Sadly, there is no reliable way to combine the two vehicles into the form they were shown in during "Masterforce" with the jet on top and tank on the bottom. You can try to do it by using the chest panels on the jet to hold on to the tank, but it does not hold together well.

Tank Mode:
The tank mode is the same design as Sky Shadow's tank mode. The bulk of the tank is cast in blue. The cannon is purple and the turret is light grey. The cover for the turret is translucent orange. The teal paint from Overlord's legs show here on the area around the turret. Decepticon stickers are found on the front of the turret section, similar to G1 Overlord. The faux treads are painted grey, but the vehicle actually rolls on three translucent orange wheels you can see on the bottom of the tank.

Open the translucent orange cover and you can seat a Titan Master inside. There are five Titan Master pegs on the tank including one on the turret and four in the back. I love that the Titan Master compatibility continues with both vehicles.

Transformation to Base Mode (from vehicle modes):

  1. Detach the rifle from the tank and set it aside for now.
  2. Pull the halves of the tank out, splitting it in the middle.
  3. Swing the lower leg sections down.
  4. Swing the legs up out to the sides.
  5. Swing the lower legs forward.
  6. Swing the tank turret halves into the lower leg sections. You can leave the one with the cockpit up if you wish.
  7. On the jet, swing up the front half. Detach the cockpit section, turn it around and reattach it, then swing it back down. Swing the translucent orange panel down.
  8. Swing the black wings on the sides up.
  9. Swing the panels on the top of the jet down.
  10. Swing the bottom section up.
  11. Push the tank section into the jet section.
  12. Attach the blaster to the port in the middle.

Base Mode:
G1 Overlord is a much larger figure than this one (by today's standard he would be something along the lines of an oversized Supreme Class figure). Because of that, the base mode is largely a condensed version of the G1 base. The G1 base had some distinct features, including the cockpit forming a central tower and the robot arms forming towers beside it. The middle was a flat platform that had ramps leading out to distinct sections on the sides formed by the tank halves. In this form, the "towers" are pretty much the same, but instead of ramps connecting to independent sections of the base, the legs form ramp-like sections. If you want to swing the tank turret sections up it kind of calls back to the way G1 Overlord looked in base mode down to having the translucent orange cockpit cover on the right side of the base.

The functionality on this base mode is the same as Sky Shadow's. The top platform has a Titan Master peg on it. There are other Titan Master pegs on the panels in the middle and the ramp sections on the sides. The legs are just the right width to have Titan Master vehicles like Terri-Bull. If you want to connect the base to this one just flip out the ramp connectors stored in between the halves of the robot feet. The legs can be moved around to position the base so it can connect to other bases at various angles. I've mentioned this before but I love base modes, and having the legs being able to connect at various angles is a great idea. It helps create a "mini-city" which is awesome.

Final Thoughts:
Overlord is a fantastic redeco and retool of Sky Shadow. I really love how much work went into the sculpt and the deco details (yes, even the stickers). I am also very happy with the inclusion of his "chest compartments" as a nod to G1 Overlord. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Extensive retool paying homage to G1 Overlord.
  • Fantastic deco.
  • Joints are all still nice and tight.
  • G1 Overlord features such as the jet attaching to the arm and chest compartments are intact.

Cons:

  • Missed opportunity with the right side panel in robot mode. It could have easily flipped out to reveal a weapon but is a solid piece instead.
  • Vehicles cannot be combined.