Sunday, December 11, 2016

Transformers Wave 3 Titan Masters: Total Domination!

It's no surprise to anybody who has  read my opinions on the latest Transformers series from Hasbro, Titans Return, I really love the Titan Master toys! Even being the cheaper, entry level "class" toys in the line-up, they pack a hefty punch. Both waves 1 and 2 have captured me, I had no reason to expect any less from wave 3.
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After a couple weeks of my local Target having empty pegs where Titans Masters should be hanging out I figured I'd either see a re-stock of the revision wave or wave 3. After a sightings report from another collector in my area that they had just picked up the newest Titan Masters I checked out my Target the next day. Sure enough, just stocked from a truck that morning. For whatever reason I grabbed two of each except Ptero. Yeah I knew going in he may be my least favorite, but it's like the least favorite of my favorites. I should have gotten another at the time, but I surely have a second one soon. If not a third.

Titan Master Fangry
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Without a doubt my favorite wave 3 Titan Master. it has everything going for it. A unique mold, great alt modes, fantastic Headmaster design. And best of all, it's a fun toy to play with. I can't help but constantly pick it up. There's already rumblings about possible re-uses of the mold in later waves and all I have to say is....yes, please!!

Titan Master Sawback
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Even if you don't know that this is meant to be the Japanese exclusive G1 Headmasters character Lione, it's a great toy that stands on it's own. A cool looking new sculpt mold for wave 3, with a neat and very detailed Headmaster with tons of personality in it's details. Maybe outside of the lion mode it's alternate transforms are a bit weak, but that 1 good mode is so strong it isn't a big deal. It's awesome to see a representation of the almost 30 year old exclusive characters finally getting some sort of release Stateside.

Titan Master Overboard
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I know many had thought that with this mold being used already in both waves 1 and 2 that it wasn't needed again, but not me. IMHO this is the best looking use of this mold yet. And of all the character choices I think I like Overkill, the Decepticon this release represents, the best. I still need to get the TakaraTomy Transformers Legends drone from Wipe to fill out the set of 5 mold variants. They should all look great standing side-by-side.

Titan Master Ptero
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Last, but only least when compared to the rest of wave 3 is the Titan Master based off of the Dinobot Swoop, Ptero. It may seem weird that I would rank a re-used mold like Overboard higher than a new mold, but I do. Ptero has a great Headmaster design, and great likeness in head mode to Swoop. I think it's the fact that of the mini vehicles 3 modes, I only like 1, the pterodactyl. It's definitely a great enough mold to justify owning a couple.

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As far as complete waves go, wave 3 comes in and runs off with the prize for best in class. I still favor Apeface from wave 2 more than any other TM, but this wave as a whole is just awesome. Great mini vehicle modes, great Headmaster designs, great re-use of a mold, it really has it all. With wave 4 set to include two more new mold toys we'll see if they can dethrone the new kings of the Titan Master class.



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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Star Wars Rogue One Package Design Stays On Target! (Hasbro Star Wars)

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Like a lot of toy fans, I was excited to see what would be in stores for Rogue One on their release day. I guess maybe I wasn't as excited as I could have been because I missed the day completely. I still managed to snag a few items just shortly afterwards. I didn't get too crazy, just bought a few of the standard 5POA figures, even though I think there's a lot of nice things out there in the higher price pointed assortments. Right now, if I'm being honest, I don't have much extra cash for anything that doesn't have "Transformers Titans Return" in it's name.

Star Wars Rogue One Darth Vader
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Darth Vader is one of those characters, like G.I.Joe's Cobra Commander, that I just find it easy to pick up when new figures come out. I'm in no way what-so-ever a completist of any sort, but my Vader collection has been steadily growing. This new 5pos figure takes a few steps foward and one giant step back when compared to last years The Force Awakens/Mission Pack figure. The one really bad thing was the return to a molded plastic cape. That being ignored (if you can) the figure's sculpt and design is much, much more dynamic and exciting. The add-on accessory gimmick for the kids is too bad either, and it doesn't hamper the figure at all.

Star Wars Rogue One Stormtrooper
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Breaking it down to the basics of this toy, I'd say it's just one great old fashioned Stormtrooper. I've picked up a few of the Stormtrooper figures released in the last 10 years and there's something about the design of the Stormtooper armor that just looks best rendered in 5poa. Sure, it's static as hell and no good for dio-scenes, but standing on a shelf it looks perfect. And Hasbro's kid gimmick here, exploding chest armor is actually a blessing to collectors too. The chest armor adds the bonus option of making some of your army builder Stormtroopers into officers!

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As much fun as I had playing with the figures, it's the package that has a real lasting impression on me. For the second year in a row Hasbro has just nailed the package design and art for their Star Wars series. I was kinda floored when I first saw Hasbro's The Force Awakens card backs, and Darth Vader's in particular. It was gorgeous. This year's Rogue One release is also quite stunning. I understand that one large chunk of both of the card's designs is essentially clip art, but I have seen some other license holders make some pretty crappy designs while using that same art where these are beautiful. But as much as I could going on gushing about how these card designs look so fantastic, there's a very ugly secret lurking in here as well...
Uggghhhhh!! What the fuck is this? The front of these cards are like little masterpieces in figure package design and the backs are this horrid mess of boring text. Hasbro...so disappointing here. It does seem to be a running theme, Hasbro's lowest price point Transformers Titans Return toys, the Titan Masters have a similar awful wall of text cardback design on them. And it's not that I don't understand why this is done, it's that I don't understand the why it isn't done better. Something to work on Hasbro.



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