"Generations" Titans Return Triggerhappy with Blowpipe Toy Review
Release Date: November 2016
Price Point: $17.99-19.99 (depending on location)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Blowpipe 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: Triggerhappy: expert marksman Blowpipe: compression cannon fireblast Unite and power up for battle. Figure Specs: Deluxe Class Triggerhappy Modes: robot, jet Converts in 17 Steps Works with other Titan Master figures (each sold separately) 2 accessories Character card with tech specs Titan Master Blowpipe 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.
Triggerhappy 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. He even made a couple of appearances in the current IDW Publishing comic book series, but this is the first time there has been a toy of the character since the 80's!
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.
Triggerhappy includes two blasters. Both weapons are mirror images of each other so they can connect in the middle to form a weapon that Blowpipe can sit on (complete with pegs for the Titan Master feet in the middle). In a fun design choice, these weapons are based on G1 Blowpipe's design in weapon mode! See, in G1 Blowpipe was not a Titan Master or even a Headmaster but rather a Targetmaster, meaning he transformed into a weapon in his alternate mode. These weapons share some of the features of that weapon design including two uneven barrels and even feet sculpted at the ends. This was a pleasant surprise and a nice nod to G1 Blowpipe.
Both weapons are cast in light grey plastic with no paint applications.
Blowpipe's name made a lot more sense when he was a weapon in his alternate mode, but at the same time it is cool to see a G1 name intact. So many names have been lost to time and the complexities of trademark law that it is not often nowadays you see a G1 name come up again without some change to the spelling. This is doubly true if the character does not get regular toy releases (ex: Optimus Prime's name is pretty safe).
In the G1 era, Triggerhappy had two different head designs. The one featured on his toy packaging showed a helmet section with raised antennae like panels on the sides, visor eyes and a nose, mouth and chin on the lower part of his face. Meanwhile in other formats such as the "Rebirth" cartoon his face was more compact, featuring a rounded helmet with no parts sticking up on the sides and a mouthplate that resembled a facemask worn by Hollywood's idea of ninjas. For this head mode the designers decided to incorporate elements of both head designs into one.
The helmet section features a high crest and top section that slopes down. This face features regular sized eyes and a curved mouthplate. These design elements come from the G1 animation design. However the sides of the head feature parts that stick straight up including circles on either side of the head (roughly where a human's ears would be). These elements come from the classic toy packaging illustration. I love this blend of features and it is easily recognizable as Triggerhappy.
The head is cast in dark blue and light grey plastic. The eyes are painted yellow and the mouthplate is painted orange. All these colors match up nicely to G1 Triggerhappy.
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.
Blowpipe may not be a Targetmaster anymore, but that's no reason not to keep his design intact, so that's exactly what the designers did. Using his G1 animation model as the base, this figure design features several key elements of his G1 design including:
- The head features a sloped helmet design with flat panels on the sides and visor eyes.
- The chest features two vertical notches on either side.
- There is a distinct circle in the middle of the chest which is a "stand in" design for the peg that G1 Blowpipe had as a handle for his weapon mode.
- The shoulders feature an angled, raised design calling back to G1 Blowpipe.
- The sides of the lower legs feature horizontal lines, similar to the ones found on G1 Blowpipe.
Overall I love these design call backs, especially the circle on his chest for the "handle". It does not serve a functional purpose here but the design is a nice nod to what has come before.
This mode shows off more light grey plastic on the torso and thighs. The rest of the figure is dark blue with no paint applications. It is a shame since so many of the details would pope more. At the very least I would have loved some neon green on the face, emulating the G1 toy.
Blowpipe has five points of articulation and every single joint is super tight on my copy of the figure. He also has the standard Titan Master ports under his feet, allowing him to attach to larger vehicles, weapons and bases.
The Triggerhappy sculpt is a new one, so it should come as no surprise that it has already been announced as the base sculpt for three other figures. Coming later in 2017 are Metalhawk, Misfire and Slugslinger, all using this base figure (in some cases with heavy retooling). That said it is impressive just how much this figure captures G1 Triggerhappy's design. Perhaps the most distinctive features on Triggerhappy are the distinct arms, which feature the large dual barreled blasters from the vehicle mode as well as the rear thrusters. His torso is mostly composed of the front end of the vehicle mode. His legs have some design elements that are similar to G1 Triggerhappy such as knee armor that goes over the thighs slightly, but the lower parts and the angled fins on them are definitely intended for one of the other uses of this sculpt. Overall the sculpt may have some differences from G1 Triggerhappy's design, but with his distinct arms, torso and head he is instantly recognizable as the G1 Targetmaster.
Triggerhappy is cast in blue, light grey and translucent blue plastic. The blue and grey pretty much alternate on most of the body parts except for the torso. For instance his thighs are light grey, leading to dark blue lower legs and then light grey feet. Paint details include gold on his chest and the area on either side of his feet. Silver is found on both the chest and the lower legs. A bit of light blue is used for the angled fins on his lower legs. Since the cockpit cover on his torso is mostly translucent blue plastic, dark blue paint is used on the frame of the cockpit. The finishing touch is a light grey Decepticon symbol on the center of his chest. The red/orange color on the head really pops against the darker blue color on the figure. Now, this may not sound like a lot of deco (and really, it's not) but it works for the character. Triggerhappy's G1 design was simply mostly blue and light grey with some small bits painted here and there. The G1 figure had a couple stickers in this mode too, but this new version does not.
There are twenty points of articulation on this figure. This includes four in each arm, five in each leg and even waist articulation. The joints are really nice and tight on my copy of this figure. No floppy joints here! Triggerhappy has four potential attachment points for 5mm peg weapons. The first two are of course his fists, allowing him to hold his two weapons (or one if you combine them). He also has 5mm ports on the sides of his forearm, so you could really load this guy up with weaponry!
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach Blowpipe and convert him into robot mode.
- Detach the blasters and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing both halves of the feet together.
- Swing the fists into the forearms.
- Holding the shoulder area, swing each robot arm out so you can see the (very obvious) hinges that connect the arms to the main body.
- Swing the dual barreled blasters forward.
- Rotate the lower body around at the waist.
- Swing the waist piece back (there is a hinge on the back).
- Rotate the section with the cockpit on it (the robot torso) around in a circle.
- Swing the robot legs up, swing them forward.
- Swing the nosecone up.
- Push the thrusters/cannons on the sides in to attch to tabs on the side of the vehicle.
- Swing the vehicle mode wings up.
- Blowpipe can sit in the cockpit in robot mode.
I have to give praise to this transformation for being brilliant. It is intuitive, fun and the result in both modes are much sleeker looking forms than Triggerhappy's G1 counterpart. I think it was absolutely brilliant to split the cockpit into two sections for instance, which keeps the robot mode torso from looking too gigantic (as it did on the G1 toy). This is a shining example of how a multi-step transformation can be fun and not frustrating.
Triggerhappy's vehicle mode in G1 was a (presumably) Cybertronian fighter jet. Like many of the designs at the time the designers freed themselves from the constraints of creating "realistic" alt-modes and instead went for more science fiction oriented forms. This was one of the most striking thanks to the large dual barreled cannons on the sides, the large thrusters in the back and a distinctive nosecone shape that slopes downward ending in a flat line in the front. This new iteration of the character has all these features and more. The wings on the sides now seep forward in a more dramatic fashion than the G1 version and the blasters at the ends of the wings are much longer. Also, the fins seen on the robot legs wind up being angled, vertical stabilizers in this form. The net result of all these parts is a vehicle that looks both dramatic, sleek and powerful all at the same time. From a sculpting perspective Triggerhappy looks awesome in this form.
This mode focuses a lot o fthe blue color in the center though the wings are blue as well. Light grey is mostly seen on the sides near the thrusters and on the cannons. The cockpit cover is translucent blue, with blue paint filling out the frame. The gold and silver deco from the robot mode comes together here in the center of the vehicle. The gold on the thrusters in the back is very dramatic and visually pops. A tiny spot of silver is painted on the nose, which is a welcome attention to tiny details. This mode also reveals tampographs on the wings showing light blue stripes with a light grey one in the middle. Overlapping the stripes is a Decepticon symbol. This design is borrowed directly from a sticker found on G1 Triggerhappy. Overall the deco looks great in this mode. Virtually every section of the jet has some paint application or tampograph on it and I cannot say anything looks "missing" to me.
Triggerhappy's weapons can be attached under the wings, but interestingly enough they cannot attach anywhere else. Most Titans Return figures have some way for the weapons to attach combined, but not here. On the one hand, you lose that bit of play value but on the other there are no odd 5mm ports jammed in somewhere just to make it happen. To put Blowpipe in the cockpit, you actually push the front half down, then raise the rear half. Once you seat him inside, you can swing the cockpit's front half back up and close the rear cover. This works perfectly smoothly and I have not had any problems with it. Finally there are two pegs to attach Titan Masters on the top of the vehicle behind the cockpit.
Triggerhappy is an instant buy. He pays homage to a classic character beautifully in both forms. The deco looks great and true to the G1 version of the character as well. On top of that, the Titan Master compatibility adds a layer of fun to the figure the original did not have. From a sculpting perspective the figure is full of detail. Go add this to your collection now!
- Excellent sculpt that pays homage to G1 Triggerhappy very well.
- Blowpipe's sculpt is a great homage to G1 Blowpipe.
- Both modes have been streamlined and look more "animation model accurate" than the G1 figure.
- Fun transformation.
- Good deco.
- Some people will still long for Triggerhappy to be a Targetmaster.
- Lacks the ability to attach the weapon combined as a gunnery station in vehicle mode.