"Generations" Titans Return Autobot Rewind Toy Review
Release Date: July 2016
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster/Tank Cannon
Text in italics and official images below from Amazon.com:
Autobot Rewind was created by the Autobots to counter the Decepticon spy Soundwave and his team. His vast databanks allow him to capture almost any data point his sensors pick up. He stores seemingly endless amounts of information, which makes him perfect for surveillance operations. Titans Return Legends Class figures deliver exciting Transformers conversion play in a smaller scale. This Legends Class Autobot Rewind figure is a Triple Changer figure that converts from robot mode to tank mode to spy tablet mode. In spy tablet mode, the figure fits inside the chest compartment of the Titans Return Leader Class Autobot Blaster figure. (Sold separately. Subject to availability.) The figure changes from robot mode to tank mode in 12 steps, and from tank mode to spy tablet mode in 6. Also includes a collectible character card with character art on the front and tech specs on the back. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
While other size classes in the "Titans Return" line focus on the "Headmaster" style play pattern, the Legends Class rolls forward bringing modern day versions of smaller G1 characters to life. One of the first Legends Class "Titans Return" figures is Rewind. This character started out as a minor one, only appearing in a handful of Generation One episodes. Still, to me he was always significant. I remember being blown away (as were my friends) when Blaster first "ejected" his own team of cassette warriors to fight Soundwave's in "Transformers: The Movie". As a kid, I owned the pair of Eject and Ramhorn, but due to finances I never owned Rewind and Steeljaw until many years later. To a kid this gives a toy an almost mystical significance and Rewind fits that place in my head.
For many years, Rewind was virtually ignored. Then around the early 2010's he began to appear again in the toy line. There was a "Data Disc" version in "Generations" and the Transformers Collector's Club created their own version (based on the Japanese exclusive Rumble/Frenzy figure from the "Reveal the Shield" era). Now Rewind appears again, this time with the more modern day alt mode of a tablet and a tank to boot! With this figure also comes years of new history for the character who has played a significant role in the popular "More than Meets the Eye" comic book series by IDW Publishing. His bravery and relationship with Chromedome (who will also be released in "Titans Return") have made him a fan favorite, so this figure has been highly anticipated by many fans. Who would have thought in 1986 that fans thirty years later would be eager for a new Rewind? Amazing.
Rewind is packaged in a bubble sealed on a card. The style continues the style used for the "Combiner Wars" Legends Class figures such as Powerglide. If you are facing the card, the artwork for the character is on the left while the Transformers logo is set vertically on the right. At the top is the "Generations" logo. The back features the figure in all modes along with the requisite legal information in multiple languages.
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 ten. Since Rewind is not a Titan Master, there is no additional ten points of power on the scale that you would find on say, the tech specs card for Skullsmasher's tech specs card.
The biggest factor in having Rewind in this assortment (as opposed to his fellow cassette-bot Eject) is his popularity in the current IDW Publishing comic books. That said, it is no surprise that his design is largely based on the way the character looks in the comic books. Of course, the starting point for the design is the G1 incarnation of the character, which featured a very distinct head with a round section on top and panels that flare out at angles on either side of the head. His chest had angled designs that I always saw as some type of futuristic interpretation of the "tape drums" seen on Rumble and Frenzy in G1. These details all carry over to this version of the character, but there are some extra design elements as well.
Starting with the head sculpt, Rewind has an additional detail on the left side near the eye: a camera. Since his traditional role was a historian, it makes sense he would have something built in to record events. Another neat detail from the IDW comics involve the shoulders, which are wide and feature a five sided design with a rectangle overlapping on top. The rest of his new details are largely a necessity of his vehicle mode: namely the treads and wheels sculpted into his legs. While they may not be a traditional feature of the character, they work fine in this design and actually add some nice visual detailing.
Rewind is cast in black and silver plastic. In the comics he is mostly black and light grey so these colors work out nicely. The colors alternate nicely in this form. For instance his shoulders are black plastic but the forearms are silver. His head is silver, but the torso is black and so on. This keeps the colors from looking boring.
Paint applications in this form include blue eyes and an orange mouthplate. The angled patterns on his chest are yellow with a tampographed Autobot symbol in between them. The designs on his shoulder armor are painted red. The wheel details on his legs are painted silver. This is a fair amount of deco for a Legends Class figure. It is also very faithful to his current comic book incarnation and looks great.
There are thirteen points of articulation in this form. This includes three in each arm and leg. His hip and knee joints are ball joints, so he has a nice range of articulation. Both his hands have 5mm ports in them. He comes with a weapon that also doubles as his cannon in vehicle mode. In a fun nod to his G1 incarnation, the weapon can attach to a 5mm port on the side of the right forearm!
Transformation to Tablet Mode:
- Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
- Swing the chest panel open, push the head down then close the panel.
- Straighten out the arms and turn the forearms in.
- Swing the shoulder sections up.
- Swing out the lower half of each forearm.
- Push the robot feet down.
- Rotate the lower legs so the front of each leg points inward.
- Swing each lower leg up over the thighs. The stickers from the legs and back will come together.
- Swing the arm panels down.
- The weapon can be slid into the opening on the side of the tablet mode.
In all honesty, the first time I saw this mode I thought Rewind was transforming into a retro tape recorder. Of course, a closer examination shows that he is more of a Smartphone/Tablet based design but that's part of the charm of this mode. Much of this impression is thanks to the stickers that make up his "screen" in this form. When brought together, they resemble an 80's style cassette tape, but a closer look reveals this is just a retro-style background on a tablet screen. The screen has familiar icons including bars for reception, a "wifi" signal and even a battery level icon. The bottom of the screen has even more including text message and e-mail icons. Under the screen there is a non-functional button which is inspired by the "Home" button on many smartphones. Indeed, if the official descriptions didn't call out Rewind as a tablet, I'd think he was a smartphone instead.
In a fun touch, I dig the way the cannon barrel/weapon can fit into a slot on the side of the tablet. If you take it out it resembles a stylus which adds another level of fantasy play to the figure. There's another awesome design touch on the bottom of the tablet: a port that fits a real life pair of headphones perfectly! Now, this is not a functional tablet or multimedia device, but it's cool that this detail was included. It hearkens back to the Generation One era when the original Soundwave had all sorts of dials and buttons even though he was not a functional tape deck.
This mode concentrates most of the black plastic to the top and middle area while the silver forms the outside edges. I mentioned the "cassette" stickers earlier, but there is some red paint as well. It's used on the "home button" as well as what appears to be a faux "light" at the top of the tablet. There is also a small Autobot symbol tampographed to the top. Some silver paint is used on either side of the home button, adding some color variety to this mode.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode (from Tablet Mode):
- Separate the weapon and set it aside for now.
- Swing the forearm pieces out.
- Swing the lower halves of the forearms against the upper halves.
- Swing the forearms so they come together.
- Push the forearms down to form the tank turret.
- Push the back of the weapon into the gap in the middle of the turret.
Triple changing seems to be a common theme this year, with Voyager Class figures like Galvatron having the ability to transform into three forms. This also gives Rewind a way to get around without running or having another Autobot lug him around. The tank mode is essentially a variation on the tablet mode, with a non-moving turret on top and a weapon pointed forward. The treads and wheels of the tank are sculpted into the side and he does wind up having a strong, blocky look going in this form.
In this form the bottom of the tank is mostly black plstic and the turret is mostly silver. The cannon is black, bringing some visual balance to the vehicle. The wheels on the sides are painted silver and the red shoulder details also wind up showing on the sides. It's a nice color combination and I like the way the red and silver look in this form.
Rewind may have treads sculpted into this form, but he actually rolls on three tiny wheels on the bottom of the vehicle. His cannon barrel can move up and down, but not side to side due to the way it connects to the turret. You'll notice the top of the turret has four small pegs. This allows two Titan Master figures to stand on the top of the tank, adding some functionality to a vehicle that is pretty limited otherwise.
Rewind is a fun little figure and a great representation of the character. I love Transformers who become "every day" objects. It really adds to the fantasy play pattern behind the old "Robots in Disguise" tag line. Recommended!