Transformers Generations Titans Return Leader
Item No.: Asst. B4697 No. C2388 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Dreadnaut, blaster, card Action Feature:Tank and jet combine to form robot or base Retail:$44.99 Availability: August 2017 Other: Retool of Sky Shadow
I know you know this is a good one. You've no doubt been wanting a Decepticon Overlord for years. He's a big deal in the recent comics. His original toy is something of a holy grail for Japanese and European toy collectors. He's part of a special group in the IDW comics, and a regular villain, and pretty awful - so naturally everybody wants his toy! Basically the same structure as Sky Shadow [FOTD #1,713], but with a new top half. It's kind of brilliant - Hasbro gets to recycle about half of its budget, giving us two big and nice toys. It'd be even nicer if they went for a third bite at the apple and brought in a Leader-class Thunderwing, but I digress.
This time around, a tank and a jet join forces - but can't seemingly join - as cool vehicles. One can't carry the other like Sky Shadow, but you can count on their merger to give you an excellent robot and a better than expected mini playset.
The 1.5-inch robot Titan Master Dreadnaut is more or less what you'd expect, with a painted face and minimal "wow" factor. The sculpted detail on the arms and legs shows more thought than some other releases, but it's tiny and with its 5 points of articulation serves a function not unlike the pegs on a Game of Life board. You need it to form a good whole, without it you're going to feel like a loser.
As with the other Leaders, Decepticon Overlord has a head that's a helmet which can house Dreadnaut in head mode. You can put anyone else in there too, and the color clash of a blue helmet with a silver and black face is strikingly weird.
The base mode is streets ahead of some of the others. It's much better than Sky Shadow's, which looked like more of a mess with its arms out and sort of a wobbly sense of cohesion. Overlord is clearly more of a base, with a launching spy plane illusion in the background, a turret, some rocket boosters, and more than a few places to put your figures - even a balcony! It doesn't do a lot, but it's a better and more thoughtful attempt to give the Titan Masters a new place to play. I would actually recommend seeing this mode.
As with the original toy, you get two vehicles. They're not exactly the same as the previous toy thanks to the jet being new and the tank sporting new colors. There are an abundance of foil stickers on this one, leading to some retro looks and some unpleasant foil crunch noise if you should accidentally touch one of them during play. It scares me a bit, if I'm being honest.
The jet mode is solid. It looks like a lot of 1980s stealthy toys, and even more like its 1988 ancestor thanks to the purple rockets, black body, and grey boosters. I'm sure you'd be forgiven if you didn't realize this was a new toy - the color match looks pretty great, even if the toy is more than a tiny bit smaller. You can pop open the cockpit to seat 1 figure, and there are landing skids under the seat. It works, it's good. You'll like it.
The tank turret doesn't turn because it has to also become the robot legs, and getting the gun out of the turret location is tricky. It looks so much like the original, what with the blue body, grey turret, and orange window. You know, like a real tank. The late 1980s and early 1990s made colorful toys in ways we haven't seen since "realism" infected toy manufacturers shortly after the debut of Todd Toys. There are wheels under the fake tank treads that will more or less roll, but you're not going to get a lot of play function here outside putting a figure in the driver's seat. It's decent, but if you bought a deluxe toy with a limited range of motion it would be unforgivable. For Overlord, it's perfectly fine though.
You're probably buying the toy for its impressive robot mode, without about 21 joints. Everything moves pretty smoothly, with elbows and rocker ankles, to keep things active. He can be posed a number of ways, but what really impressed me is that Hasbro and Takara-Tomy engineered it to have a whopping three different configurations depending on how you want to treat the jet nose kibble. You see, that part is removable. If you want, you can mount it on his shoulder. Or his chest. Or even the back. You have some options here, and I prefer it as a backpack myself. The original toy art had a shoulder mount. The chest mount is just ugly.
He has no problem holding his one gun, now purple, and otherwise more or less the same as Sky Shadow's weapon. What might really surprise you are a fun little chest gimmick - his breast pockets open up to reveal cavities in which to store Titan Masters figures, or perhaps Prime Engines from the upcoming Power of the Primes line - which would make a lot more sense. The original toy was a Powermaster, so something like this is a neat nod to the original and a new fun extra way to play with a figure that, honestly, doesn't do much other than transform multiple interesting ways. Little things like this make it from a cool thing for collectors to a more or less fun toy for kids of any age, although some figures are a very tight fit. Be careful!
Barring a clearance dump, this figure is worth full price. The Japanese version has 2 different faces and a different chest gimmick, so I'd recommend the USA release for being cheaper and a bit more fun. (If you need variant faces, though, go Japanese.) It's a little shorter than the original toy, but for the price and the level of detail I'm not complaining. If you can see it, get it - I'm amazed he saw production, particularly given that his name is more or less intact. I like it more than Six Shot, but your mileage may vary.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.