Release Date: May 2017
Price Point: $16.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Freezeout Titan Master figure, Blasters x 2
Official images and text in italics below 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: Autobot Topspin: land and sea assault Freezeout: conversion cog freeze Unite and power up for battle. Figure Specs: Deluxe Class Autobot Topspin Modes: robot, spaceship Converts in 18 Steps Works with other Titan Master figures (each sold separately) 2 accessories Comes with a collector card with tech specs Titan Master Freezeout Modes: robot, head Converts in 1 step Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
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.
Topspin is a character who actually represents a gimmick that predated Headmasters by a couple years. Instead, the Generation One version of this character was a "Jumpstarter". This feature involved a pullback gimmick that would allow the figure to roll forward by itself in vehicle mode then release a clip that would cause the robot to spring forward and transform into robot mode. It was a simple gimmick, but a fun one to play with! You can see the gimmick in action in the embedded video below (via Youtube):
While Topspin is not a character who has appeared a lot in the Transformers toy line, there was a live action movie series Wrecker who used the name and more recently a "Generations" version of the G1 character. However this is the first new sculpt representing the character since the 1980's!
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, with 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 Topspin, his cosells are Autobot Shuffler, Perceptor, Broadside and Sky Shadow.
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.
Topspin includes two weapons. Each one is a blaster featuring two barrels, a thick center section and round notches that run along the bottom. Each blaster is the mirror image of the other, offering some visual symmetry (and playing into their functionality). Both pieces are cast in a light grey plastic and painted silver except for the 5mm pegs. Each weapon features two 5mm pegs, one on the bottom and half a peg on the side towards the back. Both weapons can connect via tabs/notches on the top. This creates a four barreled weapon that can also double as a "gunnery station" Freezeout can sit on top of. The notch on the back of his lower legs fits into a slot in the middle, though it does not hold very tightly so be careful.
Topspin's head design uses the G1 Topspin head as its foundation. Like the G1 design it features a crest in the center with a series of horizontal lines running from top to bottom. The sides of the "helmet" section feature antennae like parts that extend up on the sides. Flanking the face (around the lower cheek area) are parts of the helmet that wrap around a bit. The face itself features thick visor eyes and a mouth with a pronounced chin piece. Topspin may not be the most well known Autobot out there, but for those in the know this head sculpt is instantly recognizable.
The head is mostly cast in blue plastic with some light grey peeking out from the robot form. The crest on top is painted yellow, matching the sticker on G1 Topspin. The eyes are painted metallic blue, which is gorgeous. The face is painted silver. These colors are perfect callbacks to G1 Topspin and I am very happy with them.
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.
Freezeout's robot form is a fairly generic design. The head has a round "helmet" section and like Topspin he features visor eyes and a mouth under it. He has some nice details including angled lines on his shoulders, a raised panel on his chest and ridges on the sides of the torso. It is possible I am missing some type of visual callback here but for the most part Freezeout looks rather generic.
Freezeout's torso and thighs are cast in light grey plastic. The rest is blue. Unfortunately there are no paint applications. While normal for Titan Masters, it does wind up looking rather plain.
All the joints on this figure are really tight, more so than a majority of the Titan Masters in my collection.
Topspin's robot form features many details inspired by the original G1 figure. These include:
- The general shape of the robot mode is similar to G1 Topspin including a boxy torso area, wings sticking out on the shoulders and large, angled feet (though the feet here are nowhere near as large as the G1 feet).
- Each "wing" features what looks like a blaster mounted on the end, including a weapon barrel.
- Each shoulder features raised details that angle out to the side.
- The torso features sculpted details based on the G1 Topspin including a non-working panel on the left side and a vertical strip on the right that recalls the section where the hook that figures into the G1 figure's transformation is located.
- The knees have several large vents sculpted into them. These are based on sticker designs on G1 Topspin's knees.
- The feet feature a raised piece on top of the "toes". These are callbacks to the small wheels located on G1 Topspin's feet.
- The heels have large boosters on them on both the original G1 toy and this figure.
Overall these details look great, but I love how many details are kicked up several notches such as the raised parts on the wings and the line details on the torso, arms and legs. The character is instantly identifiable as Topspin but he has a bulky, powerful and modern look that I really like.
Topspin is cast in the same colors as Freezeout: light grey and blue. Like the G1 figure, the grey makes up the torso waist area. It also forms the thighs on this figure. The rest of the parts are blue. Red paint is used on the chest and wings. Silver is found on the wings. Blue paint is used on the torso towards the middle. The knees and shoulders have copper colored paint on them and the feet have white rectangles on them. The finishing touch is a tampographed Autobot symbol in the middle of his torso. Overall I really like the way this deco echoes aspects of the G1 toy, especially stickers. The copper on the knees and shoulders for instance come right from the stickers that were in those places on the G1 toy. The red overlapping silver on the wings also comes from a sticker on G1 Topspin. If you wanted to nitpick you could say he should have a small yellow sticker on his waist area and maybe a couple on the thighs but I like the way he looks.
This figure features eighteen points of articulation in this mode. This includes five on each arm and three on each leg. He does have waist articulation and his head can move as well. While quality control has been an issue on some figures (I'm looking at you Skullsmasher) this figure has nice, tight solid joints all around. Seriously, nothing is floppy or even vaguely loose. All his articulation points hold in position just fine without a problem.
Topspin can hold his weapons in his fists. You can also store them on his legs (a function carried over from the vehicle form). Another feature that I generally do not mention is a port on the back of the waist area. These are for use with Bandai display stands. Figures look really great on these stands. It allows them to achieve poses figures can't While standing on the ground.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the head and transform it into robot mode. Set it aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- On each forearm, flip the bottom panels out, swing the fists in and then swing the panels back in place.
- Push the forearms up so they slide over the elbow joints.
- Swing the top half of the body down.
- Rotate the top half of the body around.
- Swing the blades from the robot mode down.
- Swing the cockpit cover down.
- Swing the arms forward and push them in.
- Swing the lower part of the body back up.
- Swing the booster panels on the lower legs out.
- Rotate the waist area around.
- Swing the robot feet up.
- Swing the lower legs forward.
- Snap the two leg halves together.
- Attach the weapons to the sides towards the back.
- Freezeout can sit in the cockpit.
G1 Topspin's vehicle form was unusualb, but I always interpreted Topspin's vehicle mode as a Cybertronian hovercraft of some sort. Officially this form is listed as a spaceship, but I'm just as fine with calling it a futuristic fighter jet. Either way, the designers did a great job of taking the basic form of the G1 Topspin vehicle form and modernizing it. First off, a lot of the design elements of the G1 Topspin vehicle mode have made their way into this figure. They include:
- The front of the vehicle features two large blades.
- The wings each have blasters mounted on the sides.
- The back section has large rocket boosters formed from the robot feet.
- There is a cockpit in the center (on G1 Topspin it was more like a slot for a mini-figure to sit on).
- The rear section features vent-like lines similar to those on G1 Topspin.
Unlike the G1 version of the figure, which basically looks like a robot doing some sort of Pilates move (arms sticking out on the sides and all) this form actually looks like a spaceship without robot mode bits sticking out. It also looks fairly sleek with the blades in front and angled wings on the sides. The boosters on the back give it a powerful appearance as well.
All the same colors from the robot mode carry over here, but we get a couple new ones too. The cockpit cover is cast in translucent blue, with light grey (almost off-white) paint used on it for detailing. The blades in the front are partly colored silver. This mode lets us see the other side of the wings featuring silver and red details. A red Autobot symbol is used to finish off the deco in the front of the cockpit section. Overall Topspin looks great in this form.
You can attach Topspin's weapons to two places in this mode. You can use the 5mm pegs and attach them to the sides of the vehicle's back end. Under the wings there are slots for the thin tabs on the weapons. I love the option of attaching the weapons in different places. They look great in both places, but I prefer them under the wings. Freezeout can sit in the cockpit. In a final touch, there is landing gear under the cockpit that you can swing down. Want to have Topspin give a couple Titan Masters a ride? You can! Each wing features a Titan Master peg that they can stand on.
Thanks to reader Bryan C., here's an additional feature: on the top of the vehicle's rear section there are slots that fit the tabs on the back of Titan Master legs, meaning you can have two more passengers sitting on the back!
Topspin looks fantastic, he has a fun transformation and he is a wonderful homage. Most G1 fans would have never have imagined they would hear "You really need this Topspin in your collection." but really, you do!
- Fantastic sculpt.
- Carries over a lot of the details from the G1 Topspin, but modernizes them nicely.
- Good articulation.
- Weapons can be placed in multiple spots.
- Nice, tight joints.
- Good deco.
- Freezeout could use more deco.