"Generations" Titans Return Voyager Class Optimus Prime & Diac Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation Two, Generations, Titan Master, Titans Return, Voyager

Generations
Titans Return

Optimus Prime General Information:
Release Date: February 2017
Price Point: $24.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Diac Titan Master figure, Sword, Blaster

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Transformers Generations Titans Return Voyager Class figures are 7-inch scale figures that come with a Titan Master figure. The Titan Master figure becomes the head of the Voyager 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: Optimus Prime: legendary Autobot Titan Master Diac: teleportation boost Unite and power up for battle. Figure Specs: Voyager Class Optimus Prime Awesome detail, more advanced conversion Triple Changer figure Modes: robot, jet, truck Converts in 29 Steps (robot to jet) Links with Fortress Maximus figure (sold separately) 1 accessory Titan Master Diac Modes: robot, head Converts in 1 step 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 G1 era of Transformers in new forms that incorporate this gimmick.

There has already been an Optimus Prime in the "Titans Return" line but that was a Leader Class figure. This time out Optimus Prime is a Voyager Class figure. Instead of being based on G1 Powermaster Optimus Prime, this figure has its roots in the Generation 2 "Laser Optimus Prime" sculpt. This is not the first time the post-G2 era has acknowledged this sculpt. The "Reveal the Shield" Optimus Prime figure was also based on the same design.

Packaging:
The Voyager Class packaging for "Titans Return" is very similar to the "Combiner Wars" packaging. The background of the box is black and the right side of the box (if you are facing the box) has the vertical Transformers logo on it with the "Generations" logo above that. The figure is packaged in robot mode in the center and off to the side you can see the Tech Specs card. The lower left side has a bit of Optimus Prime's artwork with the "Titans Return" logo under it. On the upper left hand corner you'll see a symbol with a robot, jet and car indicating the figure is a triple changer.

The side of the box features a more extensive look at the artwork. The back features all three of Optimus Prime's modes with Sovereign in both modes. The right side of the back features the "eco system" for the Titan Master system, illustrating that the Titan Masters can work with various size classes. Optimus Prime's cosells are Sawback, Hot Rod, Voyager Class Megatron and Six Shot.

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:
Optimus Prime includes two accessories, both of which are based on the weapons that came with "Generation 2" Laser Optimus Prime. The blaster is a dual barreled weapon. The design resembles the G2 weapon down to the barrels having a front sight on the top of each end and an angled section at the back. This blaster is one solid piece (not two as many Titan Master weapons are). It is cast in all black plastic with no paint. There are three 5mm pegs on the weapon. Two on the sides and one on the bottom. The top section is hollowed out to serve as a seat for Titan Master figures.

The other weapon is a sword. Like the G2 Laser Optimus Prime's sword it has a wide hilt that angles up at the top. There are lots of beautiful line details etched into this weapon. It really looks cool. The weapon is cast in translucent yellow plastic with no paint details. The handle is a 5mm peg and there is an additional peg on the side.

Diac

Diac is a new character to the Transformers mythos, but his design comes from a very classic source: Diaclone. Long before the Transformers existed, there was a Japanese line of toys called "Diaclone" which featured several of the key sculpts that would eventually become Transformers characters. These robots were not sentient however. Instead they were driven by pilots. It is one of these pilot figures that Diac is based on.

Head Mode:
Diac's head form is largely based on the classic Optimus Prime head design. Key features include a crest on the top of the head, thin eyes, a mouthplate and antennae on the sides of the head. There are some slight differences between this design and the original Optimus Prime head, mostly centered around smaller details. For instance the sides of the head have small rectangular notches on them instead of circles and the "brow" above his eyes have some small notches on them towards the sides. Regardless this is a classic design and it looks great.

The head mode is a combination of silver and metallic dark blue plastic. Silver makes up most of the head with blue being used for the actual face. Silver paint is used on the crest and mouthplate. The eyes are painted light blue.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Holding the front of the head, unfold the back half to reveal the robot mode.

Robot Mode:
Diac's robot mode is based on one of the many Diaclone pilot designs in the pre-Generation One era. Some of the key details carried over from the Diaclone pilots include:

  • A six sided design on the right side of the chest with two angled designs on the left.
  • The "belt" area has a six sided "buckle".
  • The middle of the waist area has three notches on it.
  • Each arm has a round (non-working) hinge sculpted into the elbow area.

I love this nod to a Diaclone pilot. It is especially appropriate given that the Titan Masters are designed, in part to "pilot" the Transformers they come with.

Diac is mostly cast in silver plastic. His head is painted silver (another nod to the Diaclone pilots) and parts of the lower legs are painted blue (matching up with Optimus Prime's head).

Diac has five points of articulation including his head, arms and legs. The two legs are fused together at the knees so they wind up moving at the same time. The joints are fairly tight, with the legs and head tighter than the arms.

Optimus Prime

Robot Mode:
Optimus Prime's robot mode features several of the key details from G2 Laser Optimus Prime. These include:

  • The shoulder armor has two pylons that come up past the height of the head. Each pylon has two circles on it. As a kid I always imagined these were rocket launchers on G2 Laser Optimus Prime.
  • A faux truck grille is found on the center of the torso. Flanking that are two partial oval details.
  • The waist section has a notch in the middle between the two legs.
  • The top of the thighs are circles with a raised tab on top.
  • The lower legs have a distinct design with raised knee armor, two wheels on the sides and feet with a small raised notch on top.

All that said, the sculpt has plenty of its own distinct design elements. That includes a chest panel featuring two faux windows and a row of lights on top. To give his head a slightly larger appearance you can press the grille and extra antennae pop up on either side of the head. There are also lots of distinctive details on the figure. This includes some mechanical details on the center of the chest, raised "vent lines" on the knee armor and a combination of shapes including a circle and trapezoids on the lower part of the shoulders.

While the sculpt is largely based on G2 Laser Optimus Prime, the colors are inspried by the traditional G1 Optimus Prime figure. The primary plastic colors on this figure are dark metallic blue, red, silver and black. The red is mostly focused on the top of the figure while the blue is distributed throughout from the torso to the legs. Silver breaks the red and blue up on the arms, torso and thighs. Black is of course, used for the wheels but also the fists.

Paint colors used in this form include silver, gold, black and two shades of blue. The silver is used mostly on the waist area, filling in small details. Gold is found on the chest. Black is used for the mid-body to waist area. Dark blue is used on the chest windows while the light blue is used on the eyes and parts of the lower legs. While there are not a ton of paint details on this figure, the way in which they are used and distributed really keep the figure from looking plain. It is a nice example of how to use limited deco to make a figure look good.

There are twenty one points of articulation on this figure. That includes five points on each arm and leg and the ability of the head to turn side to side. If you have the extra antennae up, the entire platform the head sits on moves instead. Most of the joints are fairly tight, however the hip joints are a bit more loose than expected partly because that section slides back as part of the transformation. If you pick the figure up and swing it back and forth a bit the legs do flop a bit (not all the way front and back though). That said I have no problems standing the figure up. Both weapons fit snug into his fists so you should have no issues there.

Transformation to Truck Mode:

  1. Detach Diac, transform him to robot mode and set him aside for now.
  2. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  3. Rotate the shoulder pieces around.
  4. Swing the fists into the forearms.
  5. Rotate the forearms so the top of the forearms face outward.
  6. Swing the tops of the shoulders down.
  7. On the back of the figure bring the various fins of the plane mode's rear stabilizer together, then swing this piece onto the section where the head was.
  8. Swing both arms up and bring them together (the fin piece winds up in between them).
  9. Swing the robot chest piece up.
  10. On each leg swivel the part with the feet attached out and swing the feet in, then move the pieces back into place so the wheels face outward.
  11. Swing the plane wings down and rotate the wings around so they come together in the middle between the robot legs.
  12. Slide the robot legs (at the hip area) back.
  13. Swing the panels on the sides of the lower legs forward and snap them into place in the middle.
  14. The weapons can be attached to the 5mm ports on the sides of the trailer.
  15. Diac can sit in the cockpit section on the top of the trailer.

Truck Mode:
G2 Laser Optimus Prime was one of the first Optimus Prime toys to transform into a long nose style truck instead of a truck with a flat front. Also he was an oil tanker instead of a cargo truck. With those elements in mind this new iteration of Optimus Prime transforms into a long nose oil tanker. The vehicle had a lot of fun details including steps on the sides of the cab section, smokestacks, lights and horn details on the top of the cab and even an Autobot shaped section right above the grille. The trailer section also has a nice assortment of details including cage like details on the sides and hatches on the top towards the front. Overall I really love the sculpt.

Deco-wise this mode is very traditional. The cab section is mostly red, the back section is silver (partly thanks to plastic and partly thanks to paint). The wheels are black. The cover to the hatch on top is cast in translucent yellow plastic. The windows are painted blue and the front section is silver. Running along the sides of the trailer are foil stickers with a silver background and thick blue lines running along the middle. Towards the back are large Autobot symbols. This is a direct callback to the stickers on G1 Optimus Prime's trailer, which is a nice touch that looks great. Unfortunately the sides of the wheels are unpainted. This is probably the most glaring omission because everything else is nicely detailed.

There are two 5mm ports on the sides of the trailer that allow you to attach the weapons. One fun thing you can do is attach the weapon using a side-peg so a Titan Master can sit in it. On the top of the figure is a translucent yellow panel that can swing up to serve as a seat for a second Titan Master! Overall this is a nice mode that looks good and has some fun play value.

Transformation to Airplane Mode (from Robot Mode)

  1. Detach Diac and transform him into robot mode.
  2. Detach the weapons and set them aside.
  3. Swing each fist into the forearm.
  4. Rotate the shoulder pieces around then swing them down.
  5. Rotate the forearms out so the tops face outward.
  6. Swing each of the robot arm segments up a few notches to get them out of the way for now.
  7. Swing the chest panel up over the area where the head would attach.
  8. Swing the rear fins down and swing the side fins out.
  9. Swing the wings out and extend them out.
  10. Slide the legs at the thighs back.
  11. On each leg, rotate the sections connected to the feet, swing in the feet, then rotate the sections back around so the wheels are facing each other instead of the sides of the legs.
  12. On the inside of each lower leg, swing out the front halves of the airplane, then rotate the cockpit halves around.
  13. Connect the two lower leg halves together.
  14. Swing each of the panels on the sides of the lower legs back to complete forming the front half of the vehicle.
  15. The weapons can be attached to the sides of the vehicle.

Airplane Mode:
Optimus Prime's airplane mode is intended to be a passenger plane of some sort, but it is perhaps the oddest looking mode of the three. There are two key elements that make the mode look a tad odd. First, his wings are kind of short, barely extending much out to the sides and they are set way towards the back of the vehicle instead of towards the center. If you look at your typical Airliner plane the wings usually start in the center even if they swing back. The shorter wings set in the back look a bit awkward. The other issue are the very obvious chunks of the vehicle's front end under the wings. Unfortunately, the result is a fairly odd looking plane mode.

The most successful portion is the front half which makes up the passenger cabin section and the front cockpit area. The curved shape of the cabin section looks like it could be a futuristic design of a modern day plane while the front of the vehicle has a nice sleekness to it. I will also give credit where it's due. The wings do have some nice sculpted details on it including vents towards the center and hinges that look like turbines.

This mode shows off most of the same parts as the truck mode since the trailer of the truck becomes the plane's cabin section. The newly revealed parts include the cockpit section, which is cast in red plastic, but painted with a lot of metallic blue and silver paint. The windows are actually stickers with a blue color in a gradient going from light to dark. The wings are cast in silver with some red paint on them. Unfortunately after a few transformations, the stickers on the sides of the trailer/cabin section have begun to peel a bit at the edges on one side. I have heard other friends also have stories of stickers peeling off this figure but much worse than mine so your results may vary.

As mentioned above you can attach weapons to the 5mm ports on the sides of the cabin section. The translucent yellow panel towards the back can be opened up to seat a Titan Master. If you attach his blaster to the side you can have another Titan Master sit in it as well.

Final Thoughts:
Despite how negative I was in the review of the airplane mode I do actually like this figure. The robot mode is a cool modern take on G2 Laser Optimus Prime and the truck mode looks good. I do wish the sides had tampographs on them instead of stickers. Overall a good figure but it has some issues. I would not recommend paying any more than the retail price of $25 for it. If you can get a discount that would be even better.

Pros:

  • Great interpretation of G2 Laser Optimus Prime's robot mode.
  • Good truck mode.
  • Nice deco. Very rich, metallic blue color.
  • Good play value.

Cons:

  • Stickers have a tendency to peel.
  • Airplane mode is not very convincing.
  • The wing transformation can be very fiddly thanks to the various joints involved in its transformation.