Transformers Generations Titans Return Titan Masters
Item No.: Asst. B4697 No. C2391 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Tiny head robot, small rhino robot Action Feature:Transforms from head to robot Retail:$4.99 Availability: June 2017 Other: This is pretty amazingly good.
It has been an exceptionally good year for Transformers, even if they don't take the forms we expected. With new "cassettes" and a Blaster to match, getting a Titan Masters version of Ramhorn was a little upsetting - or so I thought, and I was wrong. It's great. Modeled on Shuffler [FOTD #1,661] and an unrealized 1980s concept for a Headmaster Rhinoceros toy, Hasbro applied a familiar name to one of very few figures based on unreleased 1980s concept designs.
This 1.5-inch robot is actually the very best one of these. I can say that without hyperbole - Hasbro did a great job here. The robot actually has a different head sculpt from Shuffler, with rhino-like details and painted eyes, nose horn, and chin. It's all one color other than that, so it wouldn't surprise me if Hasbro opted for paint out of necessity simply because it would look too plain otherwise. As is, it's pretty fantastic - it has the same articulation you know, love, and/or tolerate. I also found out mine has backwards thighs - it doesn't hurt how the toy plays, and I think I just got lucky. I still love it.
The Ramhorn head mode looks a lot like that concept art - look it up in your favorite search engine or art book scan gallery. The facial details are very similar to the original art, which has proven to be a decent source of inspiration. A Cobra-themed head was produced by a "third party" robot manufacturer a few years ago. I'm hoping this reference material will serve as a fertile resource to do more toys like this down the road, but I'm not super hopeful that there are unannounced Titan Masters or more planned for future lines.
The rhino mode is the Shuffler elephant mode with a new head and new shoulder weapons. The tail is a 5mm peg, the head unfolds in three disturbing pieces, and the Autobot logo on the shoulder looks good. I appreciate how it has gold weapons like the original G1 Ramhorn, and as a toy unto itself it's pretty great. I imagine it would also be good in other colors with other names, were Hasbro included to exploit it as Rhinox or Tankorr or even Headstrong. The legs move in two distinctive groups, and the toy can swivel at the neck for the purposes of transformation. This is also notable in being the only redeco in the Titan Masters format to incorporate newly tooled pieces, everything else was a 100% new mold or a redeco - this just has some new parts, and that makes it great too.
I'm digging the tank mode, which unfolds in strange ways to give us spikes jutting toward the enemy Thanks to the unfolding three-piece head, you can aim it up and down as well as swivel it all around. It works well - and there are foot pegs for the Titan Master to shuffle around on the back like a scooter. It's everything to like here. There are no rolling wheels, but it's five bucks - this is a decent alt mode for five bucks.
Finally, there's a weapon mode - which is more or less the same as the weapon mode on Shuffler. I like it. It's cool. Be sure to use a figure with strong arm joints because of the weight.
I'm a little upset that Titans Return seems to be ending without some of the weirder tapes for Soundwave and Blaster, but it's almost infuriating that the easy repaints weren't done, either. Seeing Ramhorn is something of a mixed bag, because it's a real unproduced concept toy being done under the guise of an update of a 1980s toy. It's both of these things, but it doesn't deliver the goods for a tape mode for Blaster. So if you want a tape mode for Blaster, skip this - but if you want to see Hasbro deliver a fun toy with five total modes for five dollars, this is one of the greatest figures in the Titan Masters format. I've got them all too - I went through them while writing this very review and the entire line is wall-to-wall nifty with about 15 total figures-with-buddies. I'm almost heartbroken at the prospect that it might be over, but at least it's ending on a high note rather than a whimper. I can't wait to see what Hasbro has planned next!
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