"Generations" Titans Return Blitzwing with Hazard Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Generations, Titans Return, Triple Changer, Voyager

Generations
Titans Return

Blitzwing General Information:
Release Date: May 2017
Price Point: $24.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Hazard Titan Master figure, Sword, Seat/Weapon

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Transformers Generations Titans Return Voyager Class figures are 7-inch scale figures that come with a Titan Master figure. The Titan Master figure becomes the head of the Voyager Class figure. It also works with Deluxe Class, Voyager Class, and Leader Class Titans Return figures (each sold separately). In Titans Return, the Autobots and Decepticons unite with Titan Masters, small bots that carry a power boost. Titan Masters are key to controlling an ancient race of warriors the size of cities: the Titans. Character Specs: Blitzwing: ground and air command Titan Master Decepticon Hazard: systems corruption Unite and power up for battle. Figure Specs: Voyager Class Blitzwing Awesome detail, more advanced conversion Triple Changer figure Modes: robot, jet, and tank Converts in 19 steps (robot to jet) Links with Trypticon figure (sold separately) 2 accessories Titan Master Decepticon Hazard Modes: robot, head Converts in 1 step Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro

Very early on in the life of the Transformers line the toy line began to move away from the sole gimmick of transformation. Once figures like Combiners were introduced it became clear Transformers could be more than just a robot that changed from one form to another. In 1987 Hasbro and Takara took a bold step into a new play pattern by introducing Headmasters. Headmasters were Transformers whose heads detached and became smaller figures that could then pilot or ride the Transformers in beast and vehicle forms (or in a couple cases, their battle station or city forms!). Now almost thirty years after they were originally introduced the Headmaster gimmick has returned in a new form: Titan Masters!

Titan Masters focuses on the return of small robots to Cybertron that can unlock incredible power, and it is up to the Transformers to merge with them and harness those abilities and strengths. In some ways the story resembles "Armada" which had a similar conceit for the Mini-Cons. In true "Generations" fashion, Titans Return gives us characters from the G1 era of Transformers in new forms that incorporate this gimmick.

Blitzwing was one of the original Decepticon Triple Changers. Introduced in 1985, the character transformed from a robot to a tank to a jet fighter and back! While the concept of a triple changing robot is hardly unique nowadays, back then it was super cool. The character has appeared now and then in the Transformers toy line after the 80's including a memorable representation in "Animated". There was a Voyager Class "Generations" figure released in 2013, however I have had terrible luck with that figure. One copy had the dreaded "shoulder issue" that was experienced by many fans. When I tried to photograph it for a review, the tread pieces literally snapped and broke. I have yet to obtain another, hence his absence from the photos in this review. Fortunately this figure gave me another chance at having a Voyager Class Blitzwing to review!

Packaging:
The Voyager Class packaging for "Titans Return" is very similar to the "Combiner Wars" packaging. The background of the box is black and the right side of the box (if you are facing the box) has the vertical Transformers logo on it with the "Generations" logo above that. The figure is packaged in robot mode in the center and off to the side you can see the Tech Specs card. The lower left side has a bit of Optimus Prime's artwork with the "Titans Return" logo under it. On the upper left hand corner you'll see a symbol with a robot, jet and car indicating the figure is a triple changer.

The side of the box features a more extensive look at the artwork. The back features all three of Blitzwing's modes with Hazard in both modes. The right side of the back features the "eco system" for the Titan Master system, illustrating that the Titan Masters can work with various size classes. Blitzwing's cosells are Ramhorn, Misfire, Octone and Sky Shadow.

Titans Return figures come with a collector card, similar to last year's "Combiner Wars" series. However these cards are shaped differently, with corners cut out on two sides. The front features the character's artwork, giving you a better look at the full body. The back features something fans have wanted since last year: tech specs! These are not traditional specs with a full motto and so on, but instead there are four qualities reflected here (via icons). The four icons are: A robot flexing arms (strength), a character running (speed), a brain (intelligence) and a missile (firepower). These are laid out on the X axis of a bar chart with lines going across from a scale of one through twenty. Traditional tech specs only go from one to ten, but these tech specs take into account the Titan Master being combined with the Transformer. This extends the line into the zone past the number ten. I'm really glad these were added in as I think it was a missed opportunity not to do so last year. I also appreciate the bright and colorful icons and lines used on the back of the cards.

Accessories:
Blitzwing includes two accessories. One is the same sculpt as the base of the cannon that came with Megatron. It looks like a blaster by itself and it includes a seat for a Titan Master. This piece is cast in purple plastic with no paint applications. The other accessory is a sword with a design based on G1 Blitzwing's sword. This distinctive design includes two sections extending out on the sides and then pointing downward. Meanwhile towards the middle are blades that extend out and then point up. This piece is cast in purple plastic and has two 5mm pegs. One serves as the handle and the other one sticks out the side of the hilt to attach in other modes.

Hazard

Head Mode:
Blitzwing's head sculpt is a rather distinctive one among the Transformers of his era. The helmet section has a very thick "brow" area with a small crest on top. The sides have distinctive notches on the inside and he has visor eyes. The head looks great and is instantly identifiable as the triple changing Decepticon. The helmet section is painted yellow, with the crest and eyes painted red. The face is purple.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Holding the front of the head, unfold the back half to reveal the robot mode.

Robot Mode:
I mentioned in my Megatron review that the design of Hazard's robot mode was a "pretool" for this figure, and the design of the robot mode remains unchanged. Essentially he looks like a mini-Blitzwing! The details in this form that call back to G1 Blitzwing include:

  • The head features large visor eyes.
  • The chest features a raised, curved section that is flanked by sections with rows of horizontal lines.
  • There are details on the arms and shoulders that form an "L" shaped section similar to the same area on G1 Blitzwing.
  • The thighs are broken up into smaller segments in the sculpt that actually narrow as you get towards the knees.

Hazard is cast in beige and dark grey plastic. The head, arms and lower legs are beige while the rest is dark grey. There are no paint applications on any of the robot mode parts, which is a shame. I would have at least liked to have seen the eyes painted.

There are five points of articulation in this mode. The hip and knee joints cause both legs to move together. All the joints are nice and tight.

Blitzwing

Robot Mode:
This figure uses the core sculpt that was originally released as Voyager Class Megatron. It was clear from that figure that Megatron was a "pretool" intended to be turned into Blitzwing. To that end, the designers only had to change one part (aside from the face plate of course) and voila, you have Blitzwing! Specifically the designers changed the chest panel so it has a lot of Blitzwing's classic design elements including a raised, curved section in the middle, triangles on either side and rectangular details above them. It is very interesting to see that the section right under the chest (which is part of the same panel) still has Megatron's waist area details, but they are painted in such as way that the Megatron-based details are de-emphasized. I am really impressed how well this works. There is no mistaking this figure for anyone else but Blitzwing!

This mode features many of Blitzwing's G1 colors including beige, dark greay, purple and light grey. The purple is mainly used on the sections from the chest to the hips and the lower legs. His wings are also purple. The arms and feet are beige while other smaller parts (including the hip joints and pars of the shoulder assembly) are light grey. Dark grey bits are found on the arms. The deco is a combination of paint and stickers. For instance, the rectangular sections on the chest are painted red, but the triangles under them are stickers. The Decepticon sticker in the middle of the chest is also a sticker. I am personally not a big fan of these stickers, not because they are stickers so much as they are not the highest quality stickers. Many people have reported that their stickers have been falling off right out of the box. I have been lucky in that my stickers have not suffered this fate - but a couple have not been applied as nicely as I would have preferred. For instance the Decepticon sticker on my Blitzwing's chest is off center.

There are seventeen points of articulation on this figure. This includes four on each arm and leg and of course, the head. If you are not a fan of the "rocket launchers" that flank the head, you can push them down to lock them in place. If you want them to pop back up, swing the chest panel down, press the grey button the center and they pop back up. There are four 5mm ports on the arms. Each fist has one and the sides of the forearms have them as well.

Transformation to Jet Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Detach Hazard and transform him into robot mode.
  3. Push the "rocket launcher" parts down.
  4. Swing the panels on the back of the lower legs out.
  5. Swing each foot back into the lower legs.
  6. Swing the lower legs up over the thighs, then connect them together in the middle.
  7. Swing each of the rear stabilizer pieces up.
  8. On each arm, swing the panel on the back of the forearms forward.
  9. On each arm, swing the tread piece on the upper arms forward.
  10. Rotate the entire section forward and back, connecting the tab on the shoulder section of the arms to the corresponding slot near the stabilizers.
  11. Push the upper part of the arms up against the sides where there is a tab that connects to a slot on the arms.
  12. Swing the lower arms back against the upper arm panels.
  13. On each side swing the wings and the horizontal stabilizers down.
  14. Swing the chest panel down so it lines up with the knee armor section.
  15. Swing the tank turret down.
  16. Swing the front part of the vehicle forward, revealing the jet nosecone and cockpit.
  17. Push the tank turret up against the bottom of the vehicle.
  18. Swing the top of the cockpit section up.
  19. Swing out the nosecone and then swing it shut.
  20. The front part of the cannon can attach to the front of the turret.
  21. Hazard can sit inside the cockpit. Just lift the top of the cockpit section up and sit the figure inside, then close it.

Interestingly while my Megatron pretty consistently has panels popping off on the legs during transformation, my copy of the Blitzwing figure has not had this issue at all.

Jet Mode:
The Jet Mode is the same as Megatron's without any retooled parts (other than the chest panel of course). This form shows of much more purple plastic than the robot mode thanks in part to the front section being mostly made up of purple plastic. This helps the vehicle match up nicely with his G1 counterpart. Light grey appears on the vertical fins in the back and the nosecone is painted light grey. This too calls back to G1 Blitzwing. A bulk of the details on this form are provided by stickers on the wings. These feature details inspired directly by the G1 Blitzwing's stickers including red arrows pointing outward, a Decepticon symbol in the middle and yellow designs towards the front. All of these are on top of a silver background. Overall I am very impressed by just how much this form looks like the original Blitzwing.

On my copy of Blitzwing, the tank tread/robot arm panels do not hold as securely to the sides as on my copy of Megatron. Still, they do hold and you can still attach his weapons to the sides so they wind up under the wings. The cockpit section can still be opened to seat a Titan Master inside the cockpit.

Transformation to Tank Mode (from Robot Mode)

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Detach Hazard and transform him into robot mode.
  3. Swing the panels on the back of the lower legs out.
  4. Swing each foot back into the lower legs.
  5. Swing the lower legs up over the thighs, then connect them together in the middle.
  6. Swing the stabilizer sections forward.
  7. Swing the tread pieces on the upper arms forward.
  8. Rotate the forearms to line up the tread pieces.
  9. Swing the piece on the back of the forearms forward.
  10. Swing the arms down. The peg on the piece with the stabilizers on it fits into the robot fists to keep it in place.
  11. Fold the wings down over the sides of the tank.
  12. Swing the turret forward and turn it around.

Tank Mode:
From a design perspective the tank mode is basically the same as Megatron's except the front no longer relies on the Fusion Cannon for the turret. Instead there is a more traditional, smaller tube shaped cannon. You can still attach weapons to the sides and a Titan Master can sit in the turret seat. Towards the back are extra pegs for Titan Masters to stand on.

This mode shows off all the same colors as the other modes. Beige parts and beige paint are largely used in the front and the turret. purple plastic is mostly found on the cannon barrel itself and the back. In this form you get a clearer look at the treads which are painted grey. The stickers from the jet mode wings feature heavily here (though whether it looks good or bad is a personal aesthetic). Decepticon symbol stickers are found on the sides towards the front and the turret. Sadly all three of these stickers on my copy of this figure were put on a bit crooked. I did find myself wishing these were tampographs partly because I like tampos more and they tend to be printed onto figures correctly.

Final Thoughts:
Blitzwing is a good retool (though to be fair, it was obvious from the Megatron figure it was meant to be Blitzwing to begin with). The colors are great and I appreciate the swap out of Megatron's cannon for the sword. There are some weaknesses such as bad sticker placement and some have reported panels popping up in tank mode like they do on Megatron (but I have not had that issue). If you were disappointed with the previous Voyager Class Blitzwing this is a good replacement. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Very detailed sculpt.
  • I appreciate how simple yet effective the retooling is to make this figure into Blitzwing.
  • I am glad the cannon was swapped out for the sword.
  • Fun and intuitive transformations.

Cons:

  • On some copies of this figure the panels in the front of the tank mode have a tendency to pop up. Mine does not do this.
  • Jet Mode may be too "thick" for some fans.