With an imminent new Transformers movie, it’s time to look at more Titan Masters! Yeah, blah blah, Headmatsers are back, and so on. I found these guys in a different Toys R Us – and, release-wise, FYI, Ptero came out with Fangry, Overboard, and Sawback, while the other three came with Repugnus. I’ve also got two other full-sized figures, Scourge and Twinferno, to do the head-carrying duty. So we’ve got work to do! Let us take a look!
Ptero is pretty clearly Swoop, of the old Dinobots.A lot of these guys got renamed, but usually it’s easy to figure out who it is meant to be (there’s a Titan Master named Clobber who is clearly Grimlock, for example). And so, Swoop is a rather pleasant pterodactyl bot, with a good amount of articulation i his head is hooked up in a really interesting set of hinges, for example. The Titan Master is wedged in from the bottom, with its legs overlapping over the top of the completed figure. The face is visible if you look underneath, but only barely.
THis is very clearly Swoop’s head, even without the kibble from his Pteranodon form.
Speaking of lack of kibble, he’s only tangentally related to Swoop in this form.
When converted into a flying vehicle, Ptero’s eyes betray him, but otherwise he actually looks fairly decent.
And the crossbow mode is pretty much just a Pteranodon. The handle is sideways, as well, making holding it somewhat awkward.
If you stand Ptero up and rtate his head around until his lower jaw is solely facing forward, you turn him into Rodan! Yaaaaaay!
Shuffler, much like Sawback/Lione, was a classic headmaster-only figure. He was just a Transformer head who could turn into an elephant, and which now commands an insane price on the secondary market. This new figure looks a lot like the old one, albeit updated somewhat. And come on, it’s a robot elephant! LOVE THE ELEPHANT. Even if his ears are oddly narrow.
This headmaster is really unique, distinct, and siniste-rlooking – sure, hes an Autobot, but he basically resembles the Decepticon symbol combined with Galvatron. It’s a really good update to Shuffler’s classic head, which was similar but not so clean-cut. I need a purple Decepticon body to put this Autobot head on.
The Titan Master is unique, though limited by the format – its head has to be the same shape as other tiny heads, but the deco seems to suggest an elephant’s trunk. It’s actually supposed to be a reference to one of the classic Battle Beasts, which began as Transformers (and were marketed as such in Japan, though they were their own entity in the US).
You can kind of see some resemblance in the shoulders, too. It’s faint, but it’s there.
The Titan Master plugs into Shuffler’s underbelly, filling the figure out but not being necessary for its appearance. Though, uh, you can swing the legs down, producing an unintentional side effect…
No, Shuffler, don’t! How rude!
Shuffler transforms into a surprisingly convincing Tank – it looks very much like Metal Slug, if you get that reference (if not, Google it. It’s an old arcade game).
Shuffler’s weapon mode has the problem of a trunk sticking out – you can angle it down, or reverse it, or have it sticking forward. Otherwise, it looks a little like a gun albeit with a ton of laser barrels.
In the old days, Nightbeat transformed into a Sports Car. He’s also taken a characterization as kind of a Transformer Private Eye, but this version is a drill tank! The Titan Master plugs into the back, with his legs sorta looking like gun barrels.
Nightbeat’s head is almost recognizable – the colors are right, but the details are… kindasorta. This fits, though, as Nightbeat’s look has always been inconsistent. But he’s certainly got attitude!
The Titan Master has some paint detailing on the face, but otherwise has to contend with Nightbeat’s oddly inconsistent character designs. So really, no complaints here, because how would there be?
His vehicle mode swaps the drill for a cockpit, and folds out some wings. The nice thin is, you can vary this figure just by popping the wings in or out based on whether you wnt the drill bit or cockpit to show. Simple, yet effective!
There was an old NES game called Wurm, in which you piloted a transforming drill vehicle – it could roll on treads, fly throught he air, dig using its drill, switch to guns… my point is, Titans Return Nightbeat is basically the vehicle from Wurm, and if you ever played that obscure NES game, then this figure is a real treat.
Noghtbeat’s wepaon mode is literally just a handle attached to his regular mode. It kinda works as a drill gun, if you can ignore the tank treads.
Seriously, this is a fun little toy, ain’t it? It needs to fight mole men.
Skytread is a complete redeco of Terri-Bull, another Titan Master. It was blue, this one is brown-pink. Skytread is a new version of Flywheels, a Duocon – two vehicles which combined into one robot. As a result, even the headmaster alone is a more “complete” figure than the odd, gimmicky (albeit cool) original. Although the jet mode (whcih is surprisingly similar to Nightbeat’s), is clearly the defalt, witht he Titan Master plugging in tightly to fill out space, it could be argued that its vehicle mode is the “basic” form.
The headmaster is big, bulky, and visually interesting – also your visual shorthand that Skytread is indeed Flywheels. And there are plenty of brown or pink fingers to connect this head to, as well.
The Titan Master has the same head, but also a factory defect – his upper legs are on backwards. This makes very little difference, though it can be awkward folding it up. If you remove the metal pin and reinsert, you might be able to “fix” it, but the difference is virtually nonexistent.
The alt mode is a tank, which looks better than the jet – and sure, the Titan Master rides it… but really, it looks great. The barrels can pivot around, too! This mode is honestly better than the “regular” form. And if you want to get hilarious, just reverse the headmaster…
I love this for some reason. Maybe it’s the scowl on his face. It’s probably the scowl on his face.
Much like Nightbeat, Skytread’s weapon mode is just a handle. It’s not the most convincing in the world.
So… lots of flying bots, eh? Yeah.
Scourge the Tracker, and his Huntsmen, the Sweeps, were introduced in the Transformers movie as minions of Galvatron. Scourge essentially looked like a demon, with bat wings and a goatee – of cours,e his figures had obvious kibble as wings, but such is life. This figure looks more like his animated character model than his classic figure, which is a major plus!
The socket for his headmaster is kind of janky, though, and might scrape the paint off another one.
Fracas is Scourge’s headmaster – he was originally his targemaster (transforming weapon), so the connection is there. Unlike the other heads, he’s got some articulation in that tiny scope, which can be extended upward.
Fracas looks pretty good on his own, too. But beware, his joints are rather loose.
Scourge has two guns, which can combine into one three-barreled gun if you want. When disconnected, the smaller one looks just like those generic laser pistols from the cartoon, too!
As you transform Scourge… HAHAHAHA LOL. Sorry.
Scourge turns into a pretty convincing spacecraft right out of the cartoon, and you can even leave his headmaster in if you want.
Of course, you can also plug the massive gun in, which has its own uses.
It serves as an anchoring point for the Titan Master – you can also plug others into some spots in the ship’s hull, but this is pretty good.
You can also open up his cockpit and place a Titan Master inside, which means that there is techncially room for four of the little guys to plug in if you so desire.
Twinferno is another renamed character – the original was Doublecross, one of the Autobot Monsgerbots alongside Repugnus and Grotusque. Since Doublecross is a really generic name, he’s been Twinferno in all subsequent remakes.
Notably, Twinferno has no hands. And yet, you can plug wepaons into ome spots over the hinges on those dragon mouths. He comes with two rifles that can be combined into one rifle, held in those hands, or split and plugged into his shoulders in robot mode.
Twinferno has always looked like this – it’s a great update, being essentially the old guy, only with detailing made to be far more sophisticated than in the ’80s.
Twinfernos Titan Master is Daburu, which is a hilarious pseudo-Japanese way of saying “Double.” Yeah, a pun’s a pun.
Much like Shuffler, this Titan Master is another battle Beasts/beastformers tribute, bearing great resemblance to Whiteleo/Pirate Lion… figure not pictured because I do not own it. But yeah, it’s awesome!
Twinferno’s alt mode is a vicious two-headed dragon, with oddly organic detils on his arms and legs, just like the original.
The transformation is a little complex, and rotating his shoulders/necks around can be tricky – they are lodged very firmly into his torso, so you don’t just disconnect them, you snap them free. Don’t worry, it’s all right! His legs also do not plug ito the hips, they merely overlap. It stands stably, though.
A panel on Twinferno’s belly opens up into a cockpit for Daburu, too!
You can also plug Daburu into a few pegs on Twinferno’s back. But why go bareback when you can ride in style?
You can combine the guns, plug them into Twinferno’s back, plug Daburu in, and make your very own dragon rider! The main figure also works just as well as a quaruped as on two legs.
You know, I’ve gotta say. Twinferno has a mini figure remake (sadly not in his dragon mode), and this. Repugnus has some tangentally related remakes, the small Titan Master, and a minifigure. Grotusque, the third Monsterbot, needs to be remade. Well, Repugnus needs a full-sized figure, too, but you get the drift.
And yeah, the full-sized figures interact well. Of course they do!
Though that drgaon is shorter than Twinferno’s regular mode. Hmmmmm.
Well, there you have it! More Transformers! More headmasters! More fun! I really hope that more of the already-existing Titan Masters (like Apeface or Alpha Trion) make it to my local stores, because these are genuinely great toys. You can have your fidget cubes, I’ll play with a robot elephant, thank you very much!