Release Date: July 2016
Price Point: $4.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Terri-Bull Titan Master, Vehicle
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 Headmasters era in new forms that pay homage to the originals.
The Titan Master figures are packaged on a bubble card. The front of the card is universal across the assortment. It features Fortress Maximus' head floating above his body. To the side is a black bar with the "Generations" logo above the vertical "Transformers" logo. The insert in the bubble has a render of the figure in head mode. The head and vehicle are in the area under Fortress Maximus' head. The back is almost universal in that it features a diagram of the Titan Master "eco system" showing that the heads can attach to Deluxe, Voyager and Leader Classes. The difference however is in the bar code, which is specific to each character.
Most fans who have followed Transformers for years will see the name Skytread and think "Who?" and that's understandable however this is a character Generation One fans have met before, but under a different name: Flywheels. This Decepticon was originally released as a member of the Duocons, a pair of Transformers whose robot modes were formed by combining two vehicles using a spring-loaded mechanism. The character is relatively obscure, having only been used a handful of times in Transformers fiction. His new name is a nice play on his G1 counterpart, which was made up of a jet and a tank. It also ties directly into his previous name with "Sky" replacing "Fly" and "Tread" replacing "Wheels".
Skytread is a retool and redeco of Terri-Bull. Check out that review for a more detailed look at this set. This review will focus on changes made to the figure for this release.
Skytread is mostly a redeco of Terri-Bull in this form. The major parts of the robot including his head, arms, torso and legs all share the same sculpt as Terri-Bull. The only new part is the larger robot head, which forms the back of the figure. The head, arms and thighs are brown plastic. The torso and lower legs are maroon. The shades of color used are slightly brighter than those on G1 Flywheels, but the inspiration from that original figure is clear. Sadly there are no paint applications for this mode.
On the back of the figure is Skytread's head mode face which does have silver and maroon paint on it. I just wish a dab of silver had been used here and there on the other side.
All the joints on this figure are nice and tight, so there are no functional issues on my copy of this figure.
Transformation to Head Mode:
Push the arms down to the sides. Fold the legs up. I've found the most secure way to attach the head to a Titan Master body is to have Terri-Bull's face pointing in the opposite direction than the larger face.
Skytread's head mode is based directly on the G1 Flywheels head. This includes a curved helmet section with a crest in the center. Right before the helmet transitions to the robot face there is an angled strip at the edge of the helmet. On either side of the face are rectangular parts from the helmet and he has a very pronounced chin piece. Rounding out the G1 Flywheels inspired details are visor eyes. A consequence of this head being formed from a Titan Master are antennae like sections on the sides of the head formed from the Titan Master's arms. Purists won't be crazy about this since it kind of ruins the rounded silouette of the G1 Flywheels design but I think it looks fine.
Skytread's face is cast in brown plastic. The eyes are maroon and his face is painted silver. This pretty much follows the G1 Flywheels color layout and the silver really pops nicely against the brown and maroon colors.
The tank mode is mostly cast in brown plastic, with maroon used for the cannon barrels and the peg in the back. This time out instead of painting the turret section, the designers opted to paint the missiles on the sides of the tank, which I think looks great. The front of the tank has a tampographed Decepticon symbol on the left side. That's it for deco, which is unfortunate as I think the maroon on the missiles shows how good the contrast can be of either maroon or silver against the brown plastic.
The cannon barrels are nice and tight so no problems posing them. Skytread's feet connect nice and tight with the pegs inside the turret so no worries there.
Transformation to Jet Mode:
- Make sure Skytread is separated from the vehicle.
- Flip the vehicle over and swing the cockpit out.
- Swing the panels on the sides out.
- Slide Skytread's head into the slot in the back of the cockpit and attach the legs to the back section (there is a slot there for the tab on the legs).
This mode shows off more paint applications than the tank mode. A lot of red appears on both the wings and the front of the jet. The windows are painted brown, resulting in a jet mode that calls back to the colors of G1 Flywheels' fighter jet form. I was actually surprised at how much paint was used in this form given that it was fairly sparse in the tank form. From a visual standpoint this vehicle form is a bit more eye catching than the tank mode.
If you flip out the peg in the back and fold up the wings, you form the weapon mode. It fits nicely into 5mm ports. That doesn't just mean fists on larger figures but it could also be ports on some of the base modes of figures like Blaster.
I'm really digging these little vehicles and "extra" heads. I also think making this one based on a somewhat obscure character was a good idea as most fans won't automatically wonder what happened to the "rest" of the character (examnple: Brawn or Terri-Bull). That said if you already have Terri-Bull, you basically have this figure already so if your funds are limited your cash is best spent towards a larger figure.