Release Date: July 2016
Price Point: $16.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Hyperfire Titan Master figure, Shield, Blaster
Official images and text below in italics are from Bigbadtoystore.com:
Blurr is one of the fastest known Autobots. When Blurr unites with Hyperfire, it boosts his already incredible speed even further, making him fast enough to outrun blaster fire. This Titans Return Deluxe Class Autobot Blurr figure comes with a Titan Master Hyperfire figure. The Hyperfire figure becomes the head of the Blurr figure. Unite them and power up for battle.
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 Headmasters era in new forms that pay homage to the originals.
In the Generation One era Blurr became a Targetmaster a year after his introduction. Unlike Headmasters, Targetmasters were Transformers whose weapons could convert into smaller figures. Since "Titans Return" focuses on the Headmaster gimmick, it is Blurr's head that transforms this time out, not his weapon.
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, wth 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. In Blurr's case Nightbeat, Hardhead, Sentinel Prime and Autobot Blaster are his 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.
Blurr includes two accessories: a blaster and a shield. The shield is a trapezoid shaped piece which narrows in the front. It is a smooth piece which angles downward on the sides. This piece has two 5mm pegs on the sides and one on the bottom. The top has a piece that flips out to form what appears to be landing gear. This may be a suggestion of a future redeco. According to rumors that have leaked out this sculpt will later be retooled heavily to become the Titan Master Brainstorm, so it makes sense for the designers to "pre mold" this piece for use later. While Blurr can use this as a shield in robot mode, it also forms the front of the vehicle mode.
If you want to have some additional fun, you can flip out a piece of landing gear from the shield. Then connect the blaster and you have a mini-vehicle for a Titan Master figure!
The blaster included with this figure is a streamlined version of the weapon included with the original G1 Blurr figure. The weapon has a long barrel with a distinctive, triangular notch on the top of the barrel. Most of the weapon is tube shaped but the back has more angular shapes. I appreciate that the designers looked to the G1 figure even for accessory design. The blaster has one peg at the base. While it is cast in the same blue as Blurr, most of the weapon has been painted silver, inspired by the character's look in the G1 animated series.
Hyperfire's name is a bit of a play on the name of G1 Blurr's Targetmaster partner: Haywire. Most likely Hasbro could not use Haywire due to trademark reasons but I do like the name Hyperfire. It suits a robot paired with one of the fastest (and most hyper) Autobots around.
Hyperfire's head mode is based on G1 Blurr's head design. From that era of figures, it remains one of the most distinct head designs to this day. The "helmet" section has a distinct crest in the center and then it wraps around the face leading to small polygon shapes near his mouth. The face has wide eyes and a chin that is emphasized by carved lines. Capping off this design is a small pod that sits on top of the head, connected by a vertical post. This piece in particular made me very happy because not only was it created, but it can be pulled up and pushed down. I've always been wary of pieces like this that are stuck in one position. If had only been down, it would have looked odd, if it was only up it risks being broken off. This way you can choose what to do with it.
The head is cast in metallic blue plastic. The face is painted light blue and his eyes are blue. Yes, that's a lot of blue but it's also true to G1 Blurr's colors.
While it may seem like the Titan Master figures just fit into a generic slot on the larger bodies, the slots are in fact not just simple rectangles. On some figures the slots are designed so the Titan Master's face should point the same direction as the larger figure's face, on other figures it's the reverse. In Blurr's case I recommend having Hyperfire's face pointing the same way as Blurr's when you connect the two. It will fit the other way, but it is slightly tougher to detach afterward.
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.
Interestingly Hyperfire's design is not based on Haywire. Instead the design is based on Stylor, the Titan Master for the upcoming Chromedome figure. In G1 Stylor was also Chromedome's Headmaster. In that respect the designers really nailed Stylor's details. The head features two flat panels on either side of a face with visor eyes. The chest has a trapezoid in the center with angled panels on either side. His shoulders have circles on them calling back to a similar design on G1 Stylor. His forearms and lower legs actually looked curved like a human's muscles instead of a robotic limb, which also serves as a callback to the G1 Nebulans, who in the Western based lore were organic humanoids who became the Head and Targetmasters.
Hyperfire is cast in blue plastic. Light blue is used to paint the face. His arms are silver and his lower legs are gunmetal grey. Some of this deco appears to be inspired by G1 Haywiire, particularly the silver on the arms and the gunmetal grey on the lower legs. In G1, Haywire had a silver upper body and black lower body. This is a nice amount of paint on such a tiny figure and I'm very happy with it.
Blurr is a character that has popped up here and there over the years. One popped up in "Armada". There was an "evil" Blurr as part of the Botcon "Shattered Glass" set. There was also a version of the character in the "Animated" series. More recently Blurr received an update in the "Generations" line. However, out of all those versions I would say this is the version that most resembles his Generation One animation model. Aside from the head design discussed above, some of these details include:
- The chest has a large cockpit design on it.
- The shoulders feature thrusters pointing upward.
- The shape of the waist/hip area is inspired by G1 Blurr, with the center section pointing downward in a wide "V" shape.
- The forearms each have flat parts from the vehicle mode attached to them.
- The lower legs have shapes that run across the legs, suggesting the top of a "boot". G1 Blurr had this feature as well.
- The feet are shaped with an angle going downward.
Blurr stands at about 5.5 inches tall (about 13.97 centimeters) and strikes a very sleek form. Like his G1 counterpart the top of the body is a bit wide thanks to the thrusters on his shoulders, but the mid-body narrows considerably and then widens again at the lower legs. It's a very sleek and dynamic look and I think it looks awesome.
This figure is not just a slavish recreation of G1 Blurr with more articulation. There are a lot of sculpted details unique to this version of the character. First, the lower legs have additional boosters on them implying even more speed and power in those legs. His mid-body has some cool mechanical details sculpted into it that kind of look like angled circuit patterns. His back has overlapping details including a row of lines set at an angle and some circles. Even the vehicle mode piece on the underside of his forearms have details in them including a row of raised circles and angled lines. These in particular are interesting because it is a piece that most people wouldn't give a second look. Much credit goes to the designers for thinking of these parts.
Blurr is cast in metallic blue and translucent blue plastic. The metallic blue makes up most of the figure. The translucent blue makes up most of the front torso panel. There is not a lot of paint in this form, and that is perhaps the only real downer. There's some light blue paint (a different shade than his face) on the torso panel. The same light blue is used on the vehicle mode parts on the forearms. Some dark blue is used on the front of the lower legs. The nicest detail is a silver rectangle with a red triangle on top. These are found on the lower legs and call back to stickers on G1 Blurr.
Unfortunately that's really it for the deco. Don't get me wrong, I think the blue color on this figure is gorgeous. In the right light is sparkles beautifully. However whenever you have any plastic color just repeating itself part after part on a figure it winds up looking a bit dull. He definitely needed more of the light blue color found on the chest applied to different parts of the body (indeed, the Takara Tomy deco for this figure will be extremely different, looking more like the animation model from G1).
There are twenty points of articulation on this figure if you include the ability of the feet to move up and down. This includes five in each arm, four in each leg and waist articulation. The joints on my copy of this figure are all nice and tight. Blurr has four connection points for his weapon and shield: the two fists and 5mm ports on the sides of each forearm.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach Hyperfire and convert him into robot mode.
- Detach the blaster and shield and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the pieces on the back of the forearms up.
- Swing the arms out to the sides, extending them using the hinge joint connected to the shoulders.
- Swing the robot feet up.
- Swing the front panels of the lower legs out.
- Swing the pointed pod out from the right leg.
- Swing each of the lower legs up against the thighs, then swing the panels of the lower legs back into place and connect them together.
- Attach the shield to the piece on Blurr's back, connecting the two large tabs to the corresponding grooves on the shield.
- Swing the shield and back piece up.
- Rotate the arms around, then swing them back. There are tabs on the sides of the forearms that connect to a groove on the sides of the torso section. There are also pegs with semi-circle ends that fit into corresponding slots on the forearms.
- Raise the cockpit cover and flip up the back of the seat.
- Hyperfire can sit inside the cockpit.
- Attach the blaster to either side of the vehicle.
Of all the various Blurr figures created in the last five to eight years (or thereabouts) this version is the one that has the most G1 inspired vehicle mode. In the original series Blurr was a futuristic hovercar. True to his speedy nature his lines were sleek and everything about him screamed "I am fast!". This vehicle mode does just that. The front end starts narrow, then widens to the middle before narrowing a bit towards the back. The sections on the sides have thrusters on them, suggesting the source of Blurr's speed in this form. Also the pod on the back of the vehicle is wide in front and then narrows to the back. Even with the vehicle just sitting still on my desk it looks like it's moving fast somehow. I love the way this mode looks.
Blurr is relatively smooth in design, but there are some really gorgeous sculpted details on the back section and inside the cockpit. I was surprised to not only see nice designs on the seat, but the walls on the sides as well! From a sculpting point of view I have no complaints with this figure.
The deco on this mode is pretty much like the robot mode - a but underwhelming. A blue-grey paint is used on the edges of the cockpit window and the front end. Light blue is used on the middle in front and the ffront of each robot arm section. An Autobot symbol is painted onto the top of the hood piece. While I do love the sculpt and design, I find myself wishing again there was more paint on this figure.
Blurr is a fantastic figure. If you don't want to splurge for the Takara Tomy version than this is a cool purchase to make. Otherwise I recommend holding out for the Takara version which features an extra accessory and more paint.