The long-awaited Titans ReturnKickback is, months after its release, still in short supply. I haven't seen one in the wild yet - I got mine online last year with Bumblebee and Gnaw. The last of the original group of Insecticons, Kickback comes years after Skrapnel and Bombshell - and in slightly different colors, with a different aesthetic. They still look good together, but it's clearly a different toy from a different era. This is the only one of the three bugbots to feature clear plastic, for example, retaining a key element from the original toy in a window on the figure's back. This allows you to enjoy a rumble seat for your Titan Masters figures (sold separately.)
Getting the toy in to grasshopper mode is kind of a pain, which is why I didn't review it sooer. The bug itself is cute - little bug head, little bug antenna, big ol' bug wings. It's nifty but getting the robot arms positioned right for the bug mode is tricky. I might not have done it right. Once in bug mode, he looks more like a bug than the original toy - thanks in part to a lack of wheels. A clear window in his back opens up to give your little Titan Masters a seat while piloting the insect, which is actually a lot of fun. I'd like to see stuff like this on other beasts, it's relatively unobtrusive and adds some optional fun to a perfectly nice toy.
Transformation is sort of a pain, thanks to the aforementioned arm issue. The robot legs are the bug's back legs. The wings are the wings. The head becomes the head. The arms... sort of hang there. It's imperfect, but it works. It's about as convincing as the G1 original, with the added benefit of going wheel-free. It's not as fun as the other bugs as conversions go.
I like the robot just fine. He could use a weapon, but he does a good job merging elements of the fiction appearances with the original toy. He's taller, his head is smaller, and there are no metal bits - but it's convincingly Kickback. Articulation for the four-inch robot is on par with other Legends-class toys, and my sample is pretty stable. I like the detailing, and the paint job is perfectly fine. There are no stickers, because this is a $10 toy and I assume to do so would put it over budget. Hasbro does seem to be getting on a sticker kick, though, so maybe we'll see some of that action this time next year.
If you collect the "classic" toys, Titans Return Kickback is essential. He finishes the set of Insecticons, minus the Deluxe Insecticons, and as of my writing this there was no announcement for a Japanese premium redeco either. This is the only game in town, so get it if you want one. I won't say it's the most fantastic toy ever, but the rumble seat is good, I like how both modes look, and it's getting us ever closer to finishing G1. And by that, I mean only the years of G1 where there were cartoons, because ain't nobody going to convince Hasbro to add MicroMasters and Action Masters to Generations. Hasbro really has no reason to go back and update this one later, unless they wanted to do deluxe-sized ones or unless they wanted to release all three with shared gimmicks or matching colors. I wouldn't say no to deluxe-sized ones, but I'm quite happy with the set as we have it.
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