Release Date: February 2017
Price Point: $4.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Repugnus Titan Master, Insect/Jet/Weapon Beast
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 some cases, characters who were never Headmasters were given the "Titan Master" treatment. One such Autobot is Repugnus, who is better known to many fans as a member of the "Monsterbots" sub-group.
The Titan Master figures are packaged on a bubble card. The front of the card is universal across the assortment. It features Fortress Maximus' head floating above his body. To the side is a black bar with the "Generations" logo above the vertical "Transformers" logo. The insert in the bubble has a render of the figure in head mode. The head and vehicle are in the area under Fortress Maximus' head. The back is almost universal in that it features a diagram of the Titan Master "eco system" showing that the heads can attach to Deluxe, Voyager and Leader Classes. The difference however is in the bar code, which is specific to each character.
"Titans Return" is full of design references to Generation One, and Repugnus is no different. While many fans may have been disappointed Repugnus did not receive the Deluxe treatment like Twinferno, the designers did not forget the roots of the character. Most of the details on this Titan Master are based off of G1 Repugnus' robot mode. These details include:
- Head: With a central crest set on a horizontal bar above the head and small panels flanking the mouth, the head design is largely based on G1 Repugnus.
- Chest: Repugnus has two raised panels forming the chest, and each has a distinct circle inside them. Similar panels are found on G1 Repugnus' chest.
- Arms: If you look at the side of each forearm, there is a rectangular piece that extends out a bit. This is based on a similar detail on G1 Repugnus' forearms.
- Thighs: The thighs have distinct, rectangular patterns on them, similar to those on G1 Repugnus.
- Lower legs: The lower legs have a series of horizontal sections with lines in between. This design element calls back to G1 Repugnus' lower legs.
I was really surprised just how much of G1 Repugnus' details made it into this figure. I think it looks fantastic.
Repugnus is cast in bright red and yellow plastic. The red makes up the head, arms and lower legs. Yellow makes up the rest. Surprisingly he has yellow paint on his head (further matching him up to G1 Repugnus in appearance).
Titan Masters have five points of articulation: the head, arms and legs. The two legs are fused together so moving the hips or knees moves both legs at the same time. The joints on my copy of this figure are amazingly tight. It seems like the factories paid extra attention to quality control on this run.
Transformation to Head Mode:
Push the arms down. Swing the legs up at the hips, then the knees. When attaching the head to a larger figure, I recommend having Repugnus' head facing the opposite direction as the larger face.
As if this Titan Master could not get more meta, Repugnus transforms into a head based on himself. More accurately, the design of the head mode is based on Repugnus' appearance in the Japanese Headmasters cartoon. A lot of the details come from the original toy including the large crest on the top of the head, the "brow" pieces that run across the top of the head and the flat panels that flank his mouth. The detail that is most like the cartoon model are his large visor eyes. The original Repugnus figure had smaller eyes but the cartoon made them much bigger. The head sculpt looks fantastic and it is neat that both Repugnus head designs are represented in this tiny figure.
The Repugnus face/head is painted yellow with green eyes, matching his cartoon appearance. The sides are red thanks to the arms and lower legs of the robot mode. In a line with so many dark and neutral color heads, a bright one like this is like a ray of sunshine.
G1 Repugnus transformed into a monster loosely based on an insect. The insect-based details include a round head with large oval eyes complete with mandibles on the side. His arms had blades at the end resembling hooks and his feet came to points with two claws in front. To add to his erm...monstrous appearance his head had an open mouth sculpted in with a row of nasty looking teeth. All these details are present on Titan Master Repugnus' "mini-beast". In an odd way, between the Titan Master figure itself and this mini-beast, both of G1 Repugnus' modes are represented.
This design has some elements all its own. First, this mini-beast has mechanical looking wings on its back which helps add to the insect-like appearance. Also, the torso is largely hollow, allowing you to insert Repugnus himself in head mode. This both provides a place to store the figure and "fills out" the torso section, creating some bulk for the figure.
The mini-beast is cast in bright red and yellow plastic. The top of the head is painted a maroon color while the eyes are green. An Autobot symbol is tampographed on the top of the head behind the eyes. I do wish his teeth had been painted in to draw out the sculpted details.
This figure has four points of articulation: the arms and legs. Technically you can move the head up and down too though that is more of a function of the transformation, but it does let him look up! I mentioned above that you can insert Repugnus himself into the torso cavity to fill it in. However, despite the presence of two Titan Master pegs you do not position him to use them in this mode. Instead he just sits in there, head pointing up and the mini-beast's head comes down over it to hold him in place. It works just fine so I have no issue with the design but the presence of the pegs is strange because they are not used in any of modes. The TFWiki states that you can move the beast head up, attach a Titan Master and have it in a "riding position".
Transformation to Vehicle Mode (from Beast Mode):
- Detach Repugnus and transform him into robot mode.
- Extend the head out a bit, point it up and push it back down.
- Position the arms so the claws/hooks look like vertical stabilizers on a jet.
- Swing the robot legs up.
- Repugnus can stand (or sit) in the open area in the middle.
Repugnus' mini-vehicle has a "because we say so" mode. the front is round and he does not look particularly aerodynamic. That said, I can see how the hooks/blades on the insect arms can look like vertical stabilizers on a jet and of course the wings help. To me this look a bit like a wacky version of the Fantasticar from the "Fantastic Four" comic books! Still, it is a cute mode that lets a Titan Master ride the mini-beast as a vehicle so it adds play value.
Transformation to Weapon Mode (from Vehicle Mode):
- Swing the wings out.
- Swing the peg inside the head out.
The weapon mode is a bit more successful than the vehicle mode in my opinion. This form is a combination of a blaster and melee weapon. The blade part is obvious, with the wings forming two triangular blades on the front of the weapon. However the blaster parts are found below the blades on the back of the beast mode legs. There are four weapon barrels altogether, resulting in one scary looking weapon! The weapon can be held using the 5mm peg from the underside of the beast mode head.
This mode mostly emphasizes the yellow plastic with the red showing up on the sides. It would have been nice to see some silver on the blades (perhaps on the edges) but I understand that these little guys do not have a lot of paint applications so it is not a big deal in my book.
The biggest problem people will have with this figure is its scale (no pun intended). Since Twinferno was released as a Deluxe, many fans feel that Repugnus deserved similar treatment and I agree. However I prefer to take a figure for what it is, not what it is not. In this case Repugnus is a fun G1 homage and a neat toy to play with. The mini-beast is best in its beast and weapon modes, but I can see the play value of the vehicle mode. Recommended so long as you are not hung up on the character not being a Deluxe.
- Fantastic sculpt on both the Titan Master and mini-beast.
- Bright colors are a nice G1 callback.
- Fun beast and weapon modes for the mini-beast.
- The Titan Master actually has some paint in robot mode!
- Many fans feel Repugnus should have been a Deluxe figure.
- Relatively few paint applications.
- Weak vehicle mode.