Release Date: March 2017
Price Point: $16.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Chasm Titan Master figure, Shoulder Cannon, Blaster
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Transformers Generations Titans Return Deluxe Class figures are 5.5-inch scale figures that come with a Titan Master figure. The Titan Master figure becomes the head of the Deluxe 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: Decepticon Quake: seismic attacks Chasm: teleportation Unite and power up for battle. Figure Specs: Deluxe Class Decepticon Quake Modes: robot, tank Converts in 10 Steps Works with other Titan Master figures (each sold separately) 2 accessories Comes with a collector card with tech specs Titan Master Chasm Modes: robot, head Converts in 1 step Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
*Note: 5.5 inches is about 13.97 centimeters.
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 twenty 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 1988, a smaller line of Targetmasters and Headmasters was released as a slightly cheaper (cost-wise) follow up to the original 1987 Headmasters and Targetmasters. Among the Decepticons was Quake, who transformed into a tank and came with two Targetmaster partners who could combine into one large weapon or act as separate weapons. Quake has appeared in Transformers fiction here and there but he has never been what I would call a "feature" character on the level of Optimus Prime. That is what makes this release extra fun. "Titans Return" is not only bringing out well known characters, but also those that do not already have several toys dedicated to them. Quake is a redeco and retool of Hardhead. I recommend reading that review first. This review will focus on the changes made to hte toy for this release.
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 the case of Quake, Autobot Shuffler, Decepticon Krok, Broadside and Sky Shadow 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.
Quake comes with the same weapons as Hardhead. The larger weapon is his shoulder cannon, which is huge. The cannon is cast in black with a maroon hinge piece. There are no paint applications on it. The other weapon is the same design as Hardhead's blaster, but this one is cast in grey instead of green.
In Generation One, Quake was paired with the Targetmasters Tiptop and Heater. This time out however he is a Titan Master, so he has a partner that transforms into his head: Chasm. Chasm is a new character to the canon and is not meant to represent one of the Targetmasters. This figure is a retool/redeco of Furos, Hardhead's partner.
The head mode is where you will see the most change. The "face plate" for Quake is an all new sculpt. Based on the Generation One character's head, it features a high crest, a section in the center with two small notches, antennae on the sides (formed by Chasm's arms) and a face without any sort of mouthplate on it. The sculpt is really nice and proportionally seems to be a bit wider than the G1 design. I really think the designers did a great job nailing the look of the head design in a new form.
The head is cast mostly in a dark grey color. The face is painted orange and his eyes are red. Overall the head looks great and it holds tightly to the body.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
To transform the figure you hold onto the back and swing it down, revealing the Titan Master's limbs and body. The head of the Titan Master may need to be turned around to face the right direction. In Quake's case, it's best to make sure Chasm's face is facing the opposite direction as Quake's face when connecting it to the body.
In this form Chasm is a straight up redeco of Furos, with no mold changes. The head, arms and legs are all the same. He is cast in grey plastic with a blue torso/waist section. There are no paint applications on the head, which is to be expected in the "Titans Return" line.
Chasm has five points of articulation. This includes the head, arms and legs. All the joints on my copy of this figure are tight. The lower legs are fused together as one piece so they move together but they can bend at the hips and knees. The bottom of the feet have two small ports which allow you to attach the figure to corresponding pegs on the larger vehicles/figures. I love this feature as it adds to the world-building fantasy play that is part of "Titans Return". Many of the figures in this line can connect to each other to form larger bases and this eco-system of play helps enhance the idea of these cities being places where robots small, medium and large interact with their environment.
Hardhead and Quake hardly had similar body types in Generation One. Other than being humanoid in shape, the way their transformations worked were completely different. For example, Hardhead's cannon wound up on his shoulder whereas Quake's turret became his arms. As such the designers had a bit of a challenge ahead of them when taking this sculpt and coming up with a deco that would make it look like Quake. Much to their credit, they managed to pull it off!
Quake is cast in grey, maroon, black and translucent blue plastic. Aside from the translucent blue, these were all colors found on G1 Quake. Some of the parts fall into place in a similar fashion to G1 Quake. The arms wind up being mostly grey, he has maroon on his legs and torso and his feet are black. Where the plastic does not match up to G1 Quake, the designers brought in paint to do the job. The face is painted yellow with red eyes. The chest and waist area are painted dark blue in the front, matching up with the same area on G1 Quake. The lower legs are cast in maroon plastic, but grey paint is used extensively on the lower legs, calling back to the grey on G1 Quake's legs. The chest has silver paint on it, roughly matching up with the stickers on G1 Quake's chest. There are also tampographs on the shoulders that are based directly on stickers from G1 Quake. These feature lighting bolts in yellow with purple Decepticon symbols laid on top. Overall the deco looks great and does a nice job of calling back to G1 Quake.
All of the joints on this figure are nice and tight. Indeed, the arms and legs are actually tighter on my copy of this figure than Hardhead's. Quake includes the same weapons as Hardhead. That means he has a shoulder cannon and a rifle he can hold in his hands. The shoulder cannon can open up to accommodate two Titan Masters. One sits inside the "cockpit" and the other stands on the platform that folds out behind it.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach Chasm and convert him into robot mode.
- Detach the blaster and set it aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the fists into the forearms.
- Push the forearms up against the upper arms.
- Push the robot feet down.
- Swing the shoulder cannon all the way back so it is next to the cockpit.
- Swing the back of the robot up.
- Swing each of the lower legs out to the sides, then up against the sides of the thighs.
- Swing the waist piece against the thighs.
- Swing the robot's lower body back, then use the tabs underneath the cockpit section to connect to the grooves on the inner thighs.
- Swing the robot arm/tread pieces up and push them in to the sides.
- Furos can be placed in either the cockpit or the back of the shoulder cannon.
- Attach the blaster to the top of the shoulder cannon.
Since "Titans Return" Quake transforms so differently than G1 Quake, his vehicle mode layout is very different than his 80's counterpart. On that version there was a very distinct break up of colors. The treads were grey, the body of the tank was maroon, the turret was grey and the cannon was black. What the designers did was take these basic design elements and incorporated them into this vehicle form. The tread sections do wind up being grey thanks to a combination of paint and plastic colors. The body of the tank is largely maroon, but there are lots of blue, silver and grey details from front to back which helps break up the potential monotony of the maroon. One of my favorite details are vertical "bars" sculpted into the front of the forward treads which are painted silver. There is a horizontal cross bar that overlaps them, and it is not painted so you get a nice layering effect. The cockpit cover is translucent blue which gives a nice, bright element to draw the eye. Taking a cue from the G1 Quake figure, the large cannon in this mode is colored black. The "lightning" tampographs from the robot mode arms appear on the front treads here, which calls back to the lightning stickers on G1 Quake appearing on the sides of the turret in tank mode. This deco may not be 100% accurate to G1 Quake, but this works to its advantage. The way the colors are laid out is intricate and visually interesting.
All the functionality from Hardhead carries over to this figure. A Titan Master can sit inside the cockpit and the weapon (as mentioned above). There are also four pegs on top of the tread sections allowing Titan Masters to stand on the vehicle. This is one of my favorite features of the "Titans Return" figures so I love the fact that you can potentially have seven Titan Masters on Quake at the same time!
"Titans Return" is a cool example of how to pay homage to a character when you do not have a lot of retooling options available to you. With only a change in color and the "face plate" the designers did a fantastic job of creating a convincing update to G1 Quake. It helps that the toy is fun to begin with. Recommended!
- Fun sculpt with fun play patterns in both modes.
- Really well done "face plate", calling back to G1 Quake beautifully.
- Fantastic deco that was carefully designed to match G1 Quake as much as possible.
- Joints are actually tighter than the Hardhead release of this base sculpt.
- Not a brand new sculpt that pays direct homage to G1 Quake.