"Legends" Targetmaster Triggerhappy with Blowpipe Toy Review
Release Date: October 28, 2017
Price Point: 4000 Yen (Takara Tomy suggested retail price)
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Accessories: Headmaster figure, Blowpipe Targetmaster figure/weapon
Translation below by Doug Dlin:
Triggerhappy is an expert in all manner of small arms and is capable of discerning the type of a gun by the sound of its gunfire. Among them all, he is dotingly fond of the firing sound of his partner, Targetmaster Blowpipe, and he is the happiest among the Targetmaster Jetrons that he was able to become a Targetmaster. His greatest joy is blindly firing his beloved gun, and no one can get near him once he starts doing so.
When Takara Tomy decided to release the Titan Master figures in Japan they did not follow the exact same release pattern as Hasbro. Instead of just having the characters packaged as Headmasters/Titan Masters, they decided to go the extra mile and include a Targetmaster weapon for those characters who were Targetmasters in Generation One. One of these characters is Triggerhappy, one of the Targetmaster Decepticons introduced in 1987. This figure is a redeco and retool of "Titans Return" Triggerhappy so check out my review of that figure for a detailed look at the sculpt. 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 vehicle mode behind a window, it recalls the design that was used for the G1 Targetmaster packaging. 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. Blowpipe is on the lower left of the package in robot mode while Triggerhappy's head is in the upper right hand corner and labeled as "Head Master" (two words, not one). The back of the packaging shows the figure in both modes and Blowpipe's ability to transform into Triggerhappy's weapon. It also shows the ability for the Head Master to fit inside the vehicle mode in a small window to the side.
Unlike the "Titans Return" line, the "Legends" line seems to be treating the Head Master figures as the core personality of the character. Much like the "Headmasters" cartoon in Japan, the body was basically a large mech suit (known as a 'Transtector' in "Headmasters" and "Masterforce" lingo) being controlled by the smaller head. Now I grant this is not exactly in line with the Kup history most fans know, but it makes sense in the context of the toy line since Takara Tomy is not necessarily following the whole "Prime Trilogy" story. With that in mind, the Blowpipe Titan Master figure from "Titans Return" Kup has been reused, but given a deco based on Triggerhappy's own colors.
Triggerhappy's Head Master has a pretty simple one to one color swap. The blue parts have been replaced with a slightly lighter shade of blue plastic. The grey parts have been swapped out with an off-white plastic. Overall the figure looks brighter and a bit more vibrant than its "Titans Return" sibling. The face is painted red and the eyes are orange, mirroring the look of Triggerhappy himself. The shoulders feature gold paint on them, calling back to the gold tubes on Triggerhappy's shoulders.
The face plate on the Head Master is the same design as "Titans Return" Triggerhappy's head. However the blue is the same lighter shade found on the arms and legs of the Head Master. His mouthplate and eyes are painted red while the area around the eyes is painted gold. This is similar in tone to the "Titans Return" version, but the colors pop a bit more.
All the joints and transformation on this mini-figure work just fine. The arms and legs feel just as tight on this figure as they did on the original.
Replacing the two blasters included with "Titans Return" Triggerhappy is a completely new figure: Blowpipe! In the Generation One era, Blowpipe was Triggerhappy's Targetmaster partner from the planet Nebulos. In "Tians Return" the name "Blowpipe" was used for his head/Titan Master. This figure is a completely new sculpt developed just for this set.
Blowpipe's design is largely based on the G1 Blowpipe Targetmaster figure. He has a lot of the same design elements including uneven weapon barrels on his back. a head with visor eyes and flat panels on the sides, vertical lines on the chest and trapezoid shaped designs on the shoulders. The legs also feature distinct ridges on the sides, another design element from the original figure carried over to this one. There are some additional details on this modern version of Blowpipe including strips of armor going from the knees to the feet on the lower legs and additional line details on the chest. The figure looks great by itself and as a homage.
This figure is mostly cast in off-white and light grey plastic. The blaster barrels on the back are translucent blue plastic. Some smaller parts like the handle on the chest, thighs and the shoulder joints are gunmetal grey. There is a good amount of paint on Blowpipe for such a small figure. The face is painted light blue with red on the eyes. The lower legs are painted metallic blue and the arms have silver paint details on them. Turn the figure around and he has silver on the weapon barrels. These colors are much more in line with the original Targetmaster figure and not so much his animation model, which is an interesting choice given that the "Legends" versions of the Targetmasters are mostly based on the animation, not the original toys. Either way, the figure looks great.
There are seven points of articulation on this figure. This includes a ball joint on the shoulders and knees. Unlike the Targetmasters included with Kup and Hot Rod the head turns independent of the rest of the body.
Transformation to Weapon Mode:
- Turn each lower leg so the feet are pointing outward.
- Pull on the weapon barrels on the back, sending them up over the robot head.
- Swing the feet on top of the middle of the weapon.
While the robot mode is very much a homage to the G1 Targetmaster figure, the weapon mode has a different look. Sure there is still a long weapon barrel in front with a smaller one next to it, but unlike the G1 version of the character the (very obvious) legs point forward instead of back, and his arms are pointed back instead of forward. Still, the figure works perfectly well as a Targetmaster weapon. Anyone familiar with the Targetmasters knows that the very obvious arms and legs are part of the deal so to me that is not an issue at all.
This mode brings more visual focus to the weapon barrels, revealing more silver paint on the translucent blue plastic. Other than that all the other parts are robot bits in a different position.
Like the other "Legends" Targetmaster weapons, Blowpipe features two Head/Titan/Prime Master pegs on the weapon barrel, allowing one of the mini-figures to stand on it, though in this case you may have to move his legs aside to do so. Overall this is a fun little figure and I am happy it was included with this set.
"Legends" Triggerhappy features one significant retool in vehicle mode. The section behind the cockpit area now features a 5mm port, allowing you to attach weapons above the cockpit. Of course, this is meant for Blowpipe to attach in weapon mode. In the cartoon this is how Blowpipe would attach in vehicle mode, so it makes perfect sense to include this feature. All the other functionality is still intact including the cockpit opening up to allow a Titan/Head/Prime Master to sit inside as well as the two Titan Master pegs in the back. While this version of Triggerhappy does not include the two weapons that came with the "Titans Return" version, he does have the 5mm ports on the underside of the wings allowing you to attach them.
The color swaps in this mode are pretty straight forward. The darker blue replaces the lighter blue, a strong white replaces the more off-white parts on Triggerhappy and the cockpit cover is now translucent blue. In terms of colors, this figure has been given a deco to match it up more with its animated counterpart, but many of the same areas are painted. I was going to type all the changes out in a very long paragraph, but instead I thought I'd try a breakdown in a grid of what has changed:
Area Titans Return Legends Cockpit cover No symbol Tampographed Decepticon symbol Vents near cockpit Silver paint Gold paint Behind cockpit Gold paint Silver paint near cockpit Wings Blue and white tampographs White stripes Vertical fins Blue paint White paint Rear section Silver stripes White stripes
As you can see, many of these changes are subtle but taken as a whole they do change the look of the figure quite a bit. It is also worth noting that the Decepticon symbols on both the cockpit area and wings on "Legends" Triggerhappy are smaller than those on "Titans Return" Triggerhappy. Overall the figure looks great but I would say it is great in a different way than "Titans Return" Triggerhappy and is not necessarily "better" in terms of deco.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach any weapons and remove the Head Master from the cockpit. Transform the Head Master into head mode. Set all this aside for now.
- Swing the wings down.
- Swing the long double cannons on each side back.
- Pull the sides out.
- Swing the rear of the vehicle back, then swing out the top part to begin forming the legs.
- Swing out the white robot foot pieces.
- Swing the front of the cockpit down.
- Rotate the section with the wings and the back half of the cockpit around.
- Swing the robot waist area up.
- Swing the legs down and rotate them around.
- Push the sides of the vehicle in to begin forming the robot arms.
- On each robot forearm swing the fists out.
- Attach the Headmaster.
- Connect the Targetmaster to either fist.
Since most of the robot mode bits were visible in vehicle mode, there are no real color surprises here. I will say that the combination of the darker blue and the brighter white continues to offer a more visually striking set of colors. I also prefer the tampographed Decepticon symbol over the painted one on "Titans Return" Triggerhappy. Overall, I would not peg this deco as necessarily "better" than the other, it is just different but cool.
All the joints on my copy of "Legends" Triggerhappy are just as tight as the ones on my "Titans Return" Triggerhappy. In the case of the feet they actually feel slightly tighter. The fists still hold weapons without a problem.
The two main selling points of this figure are the Blowpipe figure and the retooling allowing Blowpipe to attach in vehicle mode. If that's not enough to sell you on this figure, then you should be okay with "Titans Return" Triggerhappy. For me, being a G1 fan I see this as the more "G1 accurate" release of Targetmaster Triggerhappy so from that perspective I do recommend it!
- New deco is cartoon accurate.
- Retooling to accomodate weapon vehicle mode is a huge plus, adding play value and "show accuracy".
- New Targetmaster figure is a big plus.
- Deco may not be dramatically different enough for some fans.
- Since this is an import it will cost you more than the average "Titans Return" Deluxe.