Transformers Generations Titans Return Legends
Item No.: Asst. B7771 No. B7024 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Card Action Feature:Transforms from car to robot Retail:$9.99 Availability: June 2016 Other: The Movie Continues
Time can really change an opinion of a character. It seems like in the 1990s opinions weren't high on this character, but we've had three new takes of this character since 2009. The latest is Titans ReturnAutobot Wheelie, which may be the best or second-best depending on your needs. It seems Hasbro has decided to make the Legends-class (4-inch robots) the new standard for the classic Minibots updates, so the orange toddler is now in scale with your updated Bumblebee, Warpath, Cliffjumper, Gears, Swerve, Windcharger Powerglide, Cosmos, Tailgate, and whoever I am forgetting. He's decent in both modes, looks good, and has everything you could want - save for a slingshot. You'll have to buy the Generations/GDO Wheelie [FOTD #590] for that.
This 4-inch robot is an entirely new mold, and I have no idea who it could be redecorated as (other than Shadow Striker from the movieverse). He's got the head of the original cartoon, plus articulation at the neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, and knees. This means he's pretty good, if a little paler than his previous releases. The Japanese version adds some paint in some places and has deco and sculpting kinda like the original toy and kinda like the cartoon. It's not exact, as it borrows from multiple incarnations to deliver something new. That's Transformers in a nutshell - nothing seems to be a perfect update or representation of some other thing. The toys take liberties, as do the comics, and the movies... let's talk about toys.
I love how the head sculpt looks a little bit better than the last few, and the coloring is similar to the TV show to the point where I can recognize it as Wheelie. His 5mm fists have no problems holding most weapons, so you're basically going to get your money's worth - just note that the clear glass on his body has pegs which fit in the torso, but don't necessarily hold him together as perfectly as you might like. It's a good guide, but it doesn't clamp it shut.
Getting him in car mode is pretty intuitive, despite all the fold-out bits and twisting. It's fun, and easy! It's just not super sturdy - parts tolerances aren't perfect, and even if you get all the tabs and slots in place it might fall apart. It's also worth noting that the hatch to seat a Titan Master (sold separately) inside requires you flip up two pieces - which may not be immediately obvious. All the pieces do fit together, just not snuggly.
I quite like the futuristic car mode, as it looks a lot like it did on the cartoon as well as in the original toy line. It has a lot of orange, clear smoke wheels, and it can roll on my desk. It's also a little gappy in spots, mostly because of the aforementioned fit issues. As a display piece it's fantastic - I don't know how it will hold up under severe play with the tiny tots, but it sure looks cool. There's a nice Autobot symbol on the roof, and the coloring is pretty much what you would want. There are 5mm holes in the sides where the fists live, so you can mount some gear on the sides if you really want to. (You don't.)
Other figures with fit issues are far worse - you probably know which ones I mean. As I'm a shameless fan of 1986 movie-based toys, this is a winner in my book even though it needs some improving. It's no fault of the sculptors - the design is great, the deco is good, and it's fun to transform. It's just not as stable as I'd like, being one of the more ambitious toys at this scale. Rewind is pretty good, Stripes is about as ugly as they come, and now we're going to wait and see how Bumblebee, Gnaw, and Kickback turn out later this year or early next year. If you're satisfied with your existing Wheelies you can probably skip this one, but I love the alt mode so much I can't. Get it if the price is right.
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