Monday, 1 August 2016

Titans Return Galvatron


Galvatron

Having had Galvatronus, a combining take on Galvatron, released during Combiner Wars in 2015 one could argue that another Galvatron in 2016 is a bit soon. But the combiner aside, new toy Galvatrons that aren't the line's Megatron repaint are rare and the most recent, the Universe 2 Deluxe, is not a favourite toy amongst fans. Titans Return Galvatron was officially unveiled at NYCC 2015 to much rejoicing from Transformers fans. Well apart from those who didn't want their Galvatron sullied by a gimmick!

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Like all the Deluxe and larger Titans Return toys Galvatron is a Titanmaster, effectively a Headmaster. To build up the standard size Titanmaster head Galvatron has a purple frame fold out round the front of the face to produce his crest & horns. The effect doesn't really work in hand though with the face being recessed slightly too far and the mask severely limiting the head rotation: the head turns only slightly side to side with mask up but can rotate the full 360° with the mask down. The mask folds down into the chest revealing a pretty decent silver head that, with the addition of some purple paint, would probably do the job OK by itself. Pop the head off and transform it into Titanmaster mode and he robot you get, named Nucleon after the Actionmasters energy source, is revealed to be a mini Megatron!

To transform Galvatron start by removing the head, as above, and the cannon from his arm. Fold the fists into his forearms and bend the arms at the elbow, tabbing the wrists into the shoulder. Swing the tank treads down under the elbows. Raise the shoulder panels up, swing the arms so they point up and then swing the sides of the chest back 90°. Rotate the waist 180° folding the purple panel down to fit in the square gap on the lower torso. Next open the back of each leg and rotate out 90° at the thighs. Pull the knee joint out of it's socket and swing the lower leg up so the knee is inside he lower leg and then fold the feet in before pushing both legs together. Take the gun and fold the grey rear up & forward over the barrel. Fold the connector underneath back behind the barrel. Plug into the front of the toy.

What you get is a pretty good representation of Galvatron's animated cannon mode. It doesn't do much, it just sits there. The only interaction with the Titanmaster is that there's two pairs of foot pegs for it to stand on the back but on my copy they feel far far too loose.

Fortunately that can be fixed by using his alternate cannon mode, which isn't in the instructions but is implied by an undocumented feature....

As before, starting from robot mode, remove the head, as above, and the cannon from his arm. Fold the fists into his forearms and bend the arms at the elbow, tabbing the wrists into the shoulder. Swing the tank treads down under the elbows. Rotate the arms forward 90°. Next open the back of each leg and rotate out 90° at the thighs. Pull the knee joint out of it's socket and swing the lower leg up so the knee is inside he lower leg and then fold the feet in before pushing both legs together. Take the gun and fold the grey rear up & forward over the barrel. Fold the connector underneath back behind the barrel. Plug into the front of the toy.

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The grey rear of the gun has it's open underside facing skywards now and, although it's not obvious, this form a Titanmaster cockpit position over the base of the gun barrel. This isn't documented in the instructions or officially used anywhere but the precise fit of a Titanmaster into the slot surely insinuates that it's an intentional feature?

Both cannon mode can also, just about, serve as a gun by folding down the jet nose cockpit and using it as a handle.

From official cannon mode remove the gun. Fold the jet nose into the space vacated by it and fold the jet tail fin back. Fold the shoulder pads along next to the base of the jet nose. Fold the connector back under the gun, and then replace the rear of he gun and peg under the jet nose. Swing the chest sides back into place, then the tank treads under the uppers arms and position the arms so the tank treads face down. I'd almost be tempted to stop here with the same vehicle rear as the cannon had but the instructions indicate the legs should be parted and the knees, still within the lower legs, bent 90°with a corresponding counter movement at the hips which let the knee pads tab into the sides of the shoulders forming "wings" from the legs. Open the cockpit canopy and seat the Titanmaster inside.

Spaceship! I can see what they're trying to do but it looks a mess from behind and none to pretty from any other angle either! I think they're trying to make Galvatron into a Cyclonus like jet for him to ride in bu it doesn't work!

To transform into robot pull the knee out the leg and tab into it's correct place. Fold the foot out, twist at the thigh so the leg faces down and close the panel at the back of the leg. Fold the jet tail fin over the jet nose & cockpit. Remove the cannon. Lift the panel covering the lower torso and then rotate at the waist 180°. Fold the panel onto Galvatron's back, fold the shoulder pads down, fold the forearms down and unfold the hands. Peg the cannon into the arm. Place the Titanmaster in place. Open the chest releasing the spring loaded mask.

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Aforementioned head issues aside this is a pretty good Galvatron going down the purple body & arms and grey legs route with a huge rounded clear orange cannon on his right arm, it looks the part and is definitely the most cartoon accurate Galvatron we've had so far. The articulation is good: we've already mentioned the head but the shoulders turn and swing to sides, there's a bicep swivel, double bending elbow, rotating waist, hips that turn & swing to sides, thigh swivel, bending knee and ankles that rock back & forward and side to side. 5mm peg holes on the front of either upper arm allow the cannon to be moved round. Personally I like it on the front of the arm, though I've seen some arguing it should be on the side to free the arm up. If you want it can also be hand held: Galvatron has no other hand weapons so he's an ideal candidate to wield one or more of the Titanmaster weapons.

The only real problem I have with the robot, apart from the head, is the panels on the back of the legs. They get in the way in two modes and are obviously doors in the robot mode by virtue of being moulded from a completely different colour of plastic! Moulding them in the same colour as the rest of the leg would help.

My feel for Galvatron is he's a decent toy brought down by the poorly executed head gimmick and, given there was some opposition to Galvatron being a Titanmaster and that the comic character has been shown to be against Headmasters, it did really need to be executed perfectly here. It isn't and it detracts from the look & functionality of the robot which is a great shame.

Galvatron was released in Titans Return Voyagers Wave 1 alongside Sentinel Prime and anecdotal evidence suggests he's the hardest of the two to find despite the two toys being packed evenly in the case.


Legends Galvatron

Legends Galvatron is the Titans Return Voyager redone with the purple replaced with what my wife Liz describes as "cornflower blue". It looks nice but for my taste I prefer the purple of the Titans Return version.

Future Repaints

A repaint in the original Galvatron grey would be nice.

I think the major problem with this toy is salvageable by removing the gimmick. Replace the Titanmaster connector and flip up mask with a complete flip up head stored in the chest.

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