"Legends" is an appropriate assortment for Titans ReturnGnaw, because the Sharkticon has been showing up on "rumor" lists for a few years now. The tiny figure is stocky and just a bit over 3-inches tall, making him shorter than other legends-class toys. He's a straight-up Decepticon, and his on-pack bio makes no mention of the fact he works for the Quintessons, nor does it play up that the, uh, "shark" mode can transport a Titan Masters figure (sold separately) in his mouth. But you don't care - you just want an armload of the closest thing the "classic" line has had to a straight-up troop builder at mass retail.
Packaged in robot mode, Gnaw - that's his name on the packaging - feels a little more deformed than I would have expected. He's got big hands and a big head, plus a pretty squat torso. Detail is about on par for your average toy with the panels and teeth and lips all decorated quite nicely. The original toy had a big smile, this one has more of a frown. Articulation is agreeable - 9 points of articulation means that he can't move a lot, but his giant feet make him super-sturdy on my desk. Colors more or less match the original toy, although there's more blue on the new version and a lot less purple and lavender. Without a side-by-side comparison, it'll probably stick out in your mind's eye as being a great update.
Transformation isn't a huge challenge, as you can see enough kibble to know which parts belong where in the beast mode. Everything moves quickly and easily, so in terms of raw functionality this is a toy that delivers on the promise of a satisfying and quick transformation.
Shark mode is, uh, shark-ish. He's got the fin and the jaws, but other than that he's more of some frog pug mutant robot thing. Big green eyes bug out of his head with clear plastic, allowing them to light up a bit when viewed under the right circumstances. Blue limbs and pink lips are a little unsettling, and the big grey teeth are certainly helpful at making this bizarre thing look menacing. The mace plugs right in to become a tail, and it fits like a glove.
Since it's a Titans Return toy, it needs to interact with the Titan Masters toys in some way. While cars open to seat a figure, Gnaw's mouth opens to reveal a couple of pegs to allow a figure to ride along inside him while standing. It's incredibly creative, ant it more or less works. It looks like he's going to eat the figure, but really, isn't that what we all wanted him to do in the first place?
After suffering through Stripes and Ravage, while dealing with a fiddly Wheelie, it may have seemed like there wasn't much hope for the Legends-class toy. I'm happy to say it turned out well, if small, and I'd probably buy a few of these if I come across them in the wild. I doubt kids are going to go for it, but if the Transformers collectors are out and about this season I expect that you'll have little to no problem buying every last one you see. Assuming, of course, that I don't beat you to them all. In a year with remakes of Fortress Maximus, Weirdwolf, Liokaiser, Computron (in two flavors), and this little guy I'm only left wondering how Hasbro could possibly top it with something more fan-friendly and/or weirder in 2017. It's been a fantastic run for old fans of the robots in disguise.
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