"Generations" Combiner Wars Tigatron Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: April 7, 2016
Price Point: $49.00
Retailer: Fun Publications (Botcon Exclusive)
Accessories: Hand/foot/weapon; Sword/Blaster

The theme for Botcon 2016 was the "Dawn of the Predacus", riffing off the "Beast Wars" Combiner character known as Tripredacus. The story told the tale of the fall of the Decepticons and the rise of the Predacons, featuring many Maximal and Predacon characters in their "pre-Beast Wars" forms. Botcon had played with this theme before in 2006 with the "Dawn of Future's Past" set, featuring vehicular forms for many Beast Wars characters. Interestingly this year's set seems more aligned with Hasbro's mass release figures, being labeled as "Combiner Wars" instead of "Timelines". That places this set of figures under the "Generations" banner instead.

Tigatron was introduced in the "Beast Wars" episode "Fallen Comrades". He felt a special connection to Earth partly thanks to damaged memory circuits. However, long before that adventure he was an officer on Cybertron and that is the version of the character represented by this figure. Tigatron was a Botcon exclusive in 2001 and 2006 so this is a continuation of a tradition.

The base sculpt for this figure is "Combiner Wars" Breakdown. It would later be given a new deco and tooling as Sunstreaker. The mold was then extensively reworked as Wheeljack. More recently the Breakdown mold came out as the G2 themed Breakdown. In 2016 the Wheeljack version of this sculpt will be repurposed as "Unite Warriors" Lightspeed. This exact mold was also used to create the Botcon 2016 exclusive Ravage figurbe.

Tigatron was packaged individually in vehicle mode inside a sealed plastic bag along with his instructions and tech specs. This is a departure from the past practice of Botcon souvenir figures being packaged in pairs or groups. Both weapons were included with the figure inside the bag.

Tigatron comes with the same accessories as Ravage. The smaller weapon is the sword/blaster combo. This piece is cast in black with the blade painted light blue. The other accessory is the hand/foot/weapon piece cast in silver. The portion that forms the top of the hand and the weapon barrels is painted silver. Surprisingly, all the joints on this version of the accessory are tighter than those on the other versions of this accessory in my "Combiner Wars" collection.

Vehicle Mode:
In the 2006 Botcon set, Tigatron was a redeco and retool of the "Cybertron" Clocker figure. That version was a sleek sports car in vehicle form, so Breakdown's vehicle mode is a great choice for Tigatron. No changes were made to the vehicle mode sculpt for this release.

Tigatron is cast mostly in an off-white color. It's not a bright white, but much more muted. The wheels are cast in black. Taking a cue from the 2006 verison of the character there is a huge Maximal symbol on the hood in light blue. The sides of the wheels are also painted light blue. The windows, headlights and vents in the back are painted a more mid-tone blue. The front grille is painted black. Rounding out the deco are small, light blue Maximal symbols on the doors. Overall the deco is perfect for Tigatron.

Both weapons fit nice and tight on the vehicle. The hand/foot/weapon piece connects both ways (engine facing up or down) without a problem.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Pull out the halves of the vehicle's rear section and swing them back, then push them in to begin forming the legs.
  3. On each leg swing down the spoiler halves and foot pieces.
  4. Swing the windshield piece back.
  5. Swing the front of the car back.
  6. Swing the panel under the hood of the car forward, revealing the robot head.
  7. Swing up the sides of the vehicle to begin forming the arms.
  8. Swing down the forearms.
  9. Attach the weapons to the hands. The hand/foot/weapon piece can also be attached to the back.

Robot Mode:
A bit of history: in the "Beast Wars" episode "The Agenda" Ravage was introduced. Given the high cost of creating a brand new CG model for the show, his design was culled from a couple different sources including Cheetor's body and Tigatron's beast mode head. With that in mind, reusing the Ravage sculpt for this figure makes perfect sense. The head sculpt here is the same as Ravage's with a different deco.

Now, I was critical of the head sculpt in my Ravage review, but I'm going to go with a different take this time. Sure it's tiny, sure it's flat in the back but what if...imagine this body was a Headmaster style body, and Tigatron's Headmaster went for a walk or to have lunch or something. Then the resident Maximal pet cat decided to jump into the Headmaster slot on the body and peek its head out. If you look at this figure like that, the head is absolutely adorable but...alas I'm not sure that is what the figure was meant to be.

Tigatron is cast in off-white, light blue and black plastic. Many of the same paint colors from the vehicle mode come into play here. The head, upper arms and feet all have light blue paint on them. His torso has a combination of black, blue and light blue providing detail. His head has a nice combination of light blue and black details. The colors all match Tigatron nicely, complete with the black referencing his future tiger stripes. Still, I do find myself wishing there was a bit more deco on the figure, especially on the legs and chest.

All the joints on this figure are nice and tight. The weapons also attach without a problem.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Take the fist/foot piece and fold the section with the thumb down, then swing the thumb up.
  3. Swing the rear halves of the vehicle out then connect them together.
  4. Swing the windshield/windows panel back.
  5. Swing the front of the vehicle back.
  6. Swing the arm connector piece out.
  7. Rotate the hip around with the spoiler section facing up (so the arm has elbow articulation).
  8. Attach the hand to the hole at the back of the vehicle (now the forearm).

Arm Mode:
From an aesthetic point of view Tigatron is actually rather unique among all the "Combiner Wars" figures. While white is well represented in the line thanks to the Protectobots and Prowl, this particular shade of white is not. Its unusual color makes a nice, muted color for the arm mode where it blends in nicely with most other "Combiner Wars" figures that lean towards brighter color schemes. The other colors such as the light blue are also rather unobtrusive.

Functionally the joints are tight enough to hold up regular "Combiner Wars" weapons, but the arm did droop a little when I tried to have him hold Powerglide in weapon mode. "Combiner Wars" limbs are hit and miss in this sense, so I really don't hold it against the figure. It's just something I want my readers to be aware of.

Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Detach all the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Make sure the foot piece has the fingers tucked in and the thumb forming the heel in the back.
  3. Swing the windshield/windows piece back.
  4. Swing the front of the vehicle up and back.
  5. Swing the leg connection piece up.
  6. Attach the foot piece to the back of the car.

Leg Mode:
Everything I said about the aesthetics of the arm mode go for the leg mode as well. The white is unique among the various "Combiner Wars" limb figures and the color blends nicely with many combinations of figures. From a functional standpoint the ratchet joints that form the knee joints are all nice and tight with no issues at all.

Final Thoughts:
Tigatron is probably the least successful of the Botcon 2016 exclusives. It's not a horrible toy mind you, it just could have been better with more deco and a different head design.

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