"Legends" Overlord Toy Review
Release Date: January 27, 2018
Price Point: 8500 Yen (Takara Tomy suggested retail price)
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Accessories: Mega Headmaster figure, Giga Headmaster figure, Rifle
Translation below by Doug Dlin:
Ambassador of Destruction
Restored as Headmasters, the duo of Giga and Mega have acquired new powers. By engaging their respective Head-On combinations, they have become capable of powering up into new modes that make the most of their mutual abilities. In order to test these new powers, the two of them challenge God Ginrai once again.
Overlord was introduced in the G1 "Masterforce" series. This unique Decepticon featured two "Godmaster" (aka Powermaster) engines and transformed into many different forms including two different vehicles and a base. While the character popped up now and then it was not until "Titans Return" that he made a return to a mass release Transformers toy line. Early in 2018 Takara Tomy released its version of the figure which features significant differences from the "Titans Return" release. I do recommend checking out my "Titans Return" Overlord review. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
The "Legends" packaging is a combination of modern and Generation One elements blended together into a box. Unlike the "Generations" versions of these figures the "Legends" figures are packaged in boxes. The box is rectangular and set horizontally. With the figure packed in the jet and tank vehicle modes behind a window. The packaging uses a vertical Transformers logo on the left side of the box (if you are facing it). On the other side is package art for the character and a grid background, a detail inspired by G1 packaging. The artwork is interesting because it shows two Overlords, one representing Giga as the head, the other representing Mega instead. Speaking of the pair, they are off to the upper right in a small window with the words "Head Master" underneath (two words, not one). The back of the packaging is interesting and quite different than other "Legends" figures. The background has the faded artwork of both versions of Overlord. On either side of the back are the two "versions" of Overlord: Overlordgiga and Overlordmega. In between are photos of the Headmasters (written as Headmastergiga and Headmastermega) and the vehicles in the middle. On the lower corners are the "Fortress Base Mode" and the combined vehicle form. The packaging does a great job of showing off all the different things this set can do.
While the packaging shows Giga's name as one giant word "Headmastergiga" that is rather unwieldy so I will just use the shorthand of "Giga" in this review. In "Masterforce", Giga is the husband of the Giga/Mega couple. This Headmaster figure is an all new design, not a repurposed sculpt, which impressed me quite a bit! The figure uses a lot of the design elements of the G1 character's animation model. These include the design of the helmet (complete with mouth cover), three distinct tubes on his chest, three segments on the side of each forearm, triangular knee armor and two distinct "toes" on each foot. I love how much of the animation model have been worked into the design of this Headmaster.
Giga is cast in teal, dark blue and light grey plastic. There is a lot of paint on this tiny figure. Teal paint is used on the face and shoulders. The eyes are yellow and the mouth covering is gold. The thighs are painted grey (though I allow there is a chance they may be cast in that color, but without taking the figure apart it would be hard to tell). Turn the figure around and you will see Overlordgiga's face with thin red eyes painted in.
There are five points of articulation on this figure, just like any other Headmaster or Titan Master in the line. I accidentally popped off the left arm while playing with it, but it snapped right back on.
The head mode has a much more narrow design than the face used on "Titans Return" Overlord. This makes it look more like the face used in the "Masterforce" cartoon. The mouth is set in a very serious expression bordering on angry.
Like Giga, Mega's design is all new and based on the animation model from the "Masterforce" cartoon. Among the design elements from the cartoon are the helmet (which is blocky with a distinct mouth plate), a triangle on the chest from the "collar" on the animation model, tubes on top of the shoulders, shoulder armor that angles downward, horizontal lines on the thighs and a series of vertical lines on the lower legs. I am really impressed by how much of the animation model's design made it into this figure.
This figure is cast in off-white, light grey and light blue plastic. The arms and thighs have the off-white plastic while the light blue makes up parts like the lower legs and torso. The light grey is found on the face that makes up her back. Light blue paint is used on the head and shoulders for additional detail. Silver is used on the mouth plate. Flip the figure over and you will see the face that has an evil looking grin and red eyes.
There are five points of articulation on this figure. Unlike Giga I had no issues with parts popping off.
Like the "Titans Return" version of Overlord, this version has two vehicle modes: a tank and a jet. For the most part the tooling is the same between both versions in the vehicle modes (though there is an exception to be discussed below).
The jet modes on both "Titans Return" and "Legends" Overlord both look very similar. Both are primarily black plastic with some purple parts. However, the tubes on the sides and the cockpit reveal the differences. The tubes on the sides use the same purple and black parts as the "Titans Return" version, but the white plastic used seems a tiny bit brighter than the plastic used on "Titans Return" Overlord. The other difference is in the cockpit windows, which are a brighter and deeper shade of translucent orange plastic than its "Titans Return" counterpart. Sadly, the jet is missing all the stickers and paint deco from the "Titans Return" version. While I am no fan of the current style of stickers used by Hasbro, the stripes on "Titans Return" Overlord definitely gave it some extra visual appeal along with the teal and silver paint details. Sometimes being "cartoon accurate" isn't the best thing on a figure.
The tank vehicle mode is very different than its predecessor. The blue on "Titans Return" Overlord has been replaced with a darker blue. The turret sections are both a very light shade of grey (almost white). The sides of the turret section are painted light blue while the same parts are unpainted on the "Titans Return" version. Both feature Decepticon symbols on the front of the turret section, but the "Titans Return" version uses small stickers while the "Legends" version uses tampographs. Interestingly, the area around the Decepticon symbols has a dark blue outline, which is missing on the "Titans Return" version. The treads are painted gunmetal grey, which is much more striking than the grey on the "Titans Return" version. Another major difference is some purple paint in the front of the tank. This section is painted so that the feet formed by these sections match the "Masterforce" animation model for Overlord. Finally, the translucent orange cover on top uses the same deep colored orange used on the jet. While not perfectly "animation accurate", I can definitely see what the designers were going for and it looks good.
The panels that form the chest in robot mode are different than the ones on "Titans Return" Overlord. In these modes, this allows you to use those panels to combine the two vehicles into one super-vehicle, similar to the way the vehicles combined in the "Masterforce" cartoon. To do this, you swing open the panels, then use the tabs at the end and slide them into the grooves on the sides of the turrets. It holds into place nicely.
Both vehicles still allow you to seat 'Master mini figures inside their respective cockpits. There are also still extra pegs on each to allow you to have additional 'Master mini figures ride along on top.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Remove Giga and Mega and set them aside for now.
- Detach the cannon/rifle and set it aside.
- Split the tank in half.
- Swing the tank halves back.
- Swing the halves of the tank turret into the back of the lower legs.
- Pull each half of the tank's front end down, then swing the halves out to form the robot feet.
- On the jet, swing each side section out.
- Swing the wings up.
- Detach the front of the vehicle and swing out the peg near the landing gear.
- Swing the section the front section was attached to back.
- Swing out each robot fist.
- Connect the two vehicles together in the middle.
- Attach either of the heads under the helmet.
- Attach the front of the jet to either shoulder.
- The rifle can be attached to either hand.
Note: Technically there are two different robot mode forms depending on whether Giga or Mega forms the head. If Giga forms the head, the chest panels should be open and the front of the jet attaches to his shoulder. If Mega forms the head, the chest panels should be closed and the jet piece should attach to the back.
Another interesting touch: Takara's official photos show the front halves of the feet down to add some height, but you lose some stability by standing him with the feet extended down instead of tucked up a bit against the lower legs.
"Legends" Overlord features some significant retooling in this mode. Here's a rundown:
- The helmet section is different, featuring taller "antennae", a taller crest piece and a thinner "brow" piece.
- The panels on the chest have a similar design to the "Titans Return" chest panels including a thin, rectangular part set at an angle, circles on the lower corners and some machinery detail. However it has an interesting design that makes it look almost like the "Titans Returns" panels were just flipped around, but that is not the case. These are new pieces.
- The inside of the chest no longer features slots you can fit Prime or Titan Masters inside. Instead, Takara Tomy put in panels that resemble the Godmaster engines that Giga and Mega formed in the G1 Overlord toy! This is one of my favorite new design elements in this figure.
There is a pretty straight forward plastic color swap between "Titans Return" and "Legends" Overlord. These colors were chosen to better emulate the "Masterforce" cartoon model. The blue on "Titans Return" Overlord has been swapped for a dark blue. The light grey on "Titans Return" Overlord is a slightly brighter shade now. The black plastic remains the same on both figures. Interestingly, on "Titans Return" Overlord when you swing the upper body back you reveal a black missile rack. However on this figure that same rack is the off-white color instead.
The deco on this figure is mostly similar to "Titans Return" Overlord. The six weapon barrels on the mid-body and the panel on the other side are painted grey. The front of the lower legs are painted teal. However there are plenty of differences as well. The "Godmaster engine" panels inside the chest are painted teal on the background and the raised sections are gold on the right side and silver on the left. The feet are painted purple to better match Overlord with his animated counterpart in "Masterforce".
Between the retooling and the deco, this mode really does offer some cool and pleasant surprises.
For those fans who are double dipping (meaning you own "Titans Return" Overlord and now you are getting "Legends" Overlord) Takara Tomy has got your back! In the comic included with the figure it is explained that Giga and Mega each have an "Overlord" of their own, and they wind up combining both into a "third" Overlord called "Overlord Tera". This combination is (essentially) possible with these figures if you own two Overlords. Here's how you do it:
- Start with "Legends" Overlord in robot mode and set that one aside for now (really, you could do this both ways, this is just the way I decided to do it).
- Take the "Titans Return" Overlord and separate out the head and set it aside for now.
- Detach the front of the jet mode from the back section. Also detach the rifle and set it aside for now.
- Detach the lower half of the body from the upper body.
- Push the halves of the feet together on the legs from the last step.
- Swing both legs up at the hip and then the knees to form a "C" shape with the legs.
- On the other half, Swing the back panels down.
- Straighten out the arms, then rotate the forearms around and bend them at the elbows. Leave the fists out.
- Attach the torso piece of the Overlord from the above step and slide it down onto the raised sections on either side of the other Overlord's head. Push down to lock it into place.
- Attach the jet piece you detached in step three and attach it to the center of the chest.
- Attach the rifles to the fists from the "Titans Return" Overlord.
- Stand the combined figures on top of the "C" shaped platform created from "Titans Return" Overlord's legs.
While Takara Tomy has made this an "official" transformation from the figure, I really think of Overlord Tera as a "bonus" feature. If you have two Overlords, then great! However not having them does not take away anything from the functionality of the figure itself. Since Overlord stands on a platform in this mode, you can only pose him so much, but his arms and legs can all still move. Indeed, the combination allows you to attach 'Master mini-figures to the two panels on top and store them inside his jet cockpits. I love having the two
Transformation to Fortress Base Mode:
- Detach the rifle from the tank and set it aside for now.
- Pull the halves of the tank out, splitting it in the middle.
- Swing the lower leg sections down.
- Swing the legs up out to the sides.
- Swing the lower legs forward.
- Swing the tank turret halves into the lower leg sections. You can leave the one with the cockpit up if you wish.
- 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.
- Swing the black wings on the sides up.
- Swing the panels on the top of the jet down.
- Swing the bottom section up.
- Push the tank section into the jet section.
- Attach the blaster to the port in the middle.
Fortress Base Mode:
Once you have experienced all the other modes, Overlord's base mode does not really offer any surprises. It has the same functionality as its "Titans Return" counterpart, but the colors are a bit different. Black makes up a lot of the middle section, so no surprises there. The legs also have teal on them so again, no big surprises there. Perhaps the biggest difference is the lack of stickers providing some detailing. From a functional standpoint, there are no differences. The central tower still holds a Titan Master (or Prime Master). There are still two ramp connectors that extend out of the front sections to connect to other bases and of course there are pegs to attach 'Master mini-figures.
"Legends" Overlord takes an already fun toy and makes it even better. All the retooling pays off and having two brand new Headmaster figures (representing classic "Masterforce" characters no less) is a fantastic bonus. I also really appreciate the two Headmasters having different faces. This set manages to improve upon the original in extraordinary ways, but of course you're paying about $20+ more for these changes. Highly recommended!
- Includes two different heads that pay homage to G1 Giga and Mega.
- Retooled helmet and chest look great.
- The darker blue offers a more striking contrast with the off-white/light grey and teal colors.
- The "Overlord Tera" is a fun and unexpected bonus for those who "double dip" and already have "Titans Return" Overlord but are also getting this figure too.
- The feet really cannot stay "high up" the way the official Takara Tomy photos show. Mine stayed that way for a bit, but the feet began to sink into their "default" robot mode position after a while.
- I do wish some of the painted detail had been kept in from the "Titans Return" version even if it is not 100% cartoon accurate.