Mindwipe was never my favourite Headmaster, so I'm not exactly looking forward to the new one.
His Titanmaster Vorath retains the same name as the original but swaps the originals pinky red limbs for a more Decepticon purple. The head mode is interesting, not being a close match for either the toy, comic or cartoon versions of the character but using elements from all of them.
In deluxe robot mode Mindwipe isn't doing anything for me. It's quite a blocky toy from the front and looks like a pile of purple & black lumps thrown together. The moulding on the legs and feet forces the legs out into a wide A shape which doesn't look right at all. And then there's the wings on his back..... oh dear. Small, thin and made of rubber. Due to some very bad experiences with ageing toys I'm not keen on the use of rubber as a Transformers construction material. They're hinged along the spine, so they need to move, which will cause stress along the rubber hinge so I can guarantee at some point they'll break there when repeatedly transformed. Worse is to come if you turn the toy round, there's his bat mode head just hanging on his back,the original at least folded it away into the driver's compartment in robot mode!
He comes with two weapons: one is a new version of his original gun, in the same purple as the rest of the toy. The other is a purple "shield". There's a rotating handle at one end, barrels at the other, so it can be used as a dual cannon, and fold out blades, similar to Wolverine's claws or the ninja weapon seen on many 90s GI Joe figures. There's a 5mm peg hole on top and underneath the dual barrel end of the shield which you can use to attach Mindwipe's gun to the shield and if you turn it over, lay it down flat and attach the gun it forms a sledge like vehicle for Vorath to ride in that can be attached as a gun emplacement to the larger toys base mode. The shield weapon can be hand held in his 5mm peg hole hands, mounted on the peg holes on his forearms or plugged into a hole oddly positioned in front of the head, which will get it's proper use in the bat mode.
Articulation: ball jointed head from the Titanmaster. Shoulders that bend up at the body and are ball jointed at the arms, bicep swivels & double bending elbows. A waist, ball jointed hips and thigh swivels plus bending ankles.
Transformation: remove the Titanmaster and weapons. Fold the hands into the forearms. Rotate the biceps 180°. Fold the forearms up alongside the upper arms. Adjust the shoulder joint so the bar between body & arm is at 45° but the arms are still straight and pointing up. Rotate each leg 90° out to the side. Pull what was the back of the leg away and unfold each leg flattening it out to form the bat wings. Fold the feet back behind the wings. Swing the small bat wings on the robot mode through 180° so they're on the robot chest side of the body, yes the rubber fragile pieces have to be moved during transformation. Stand the toy on the robot' elbows with the robot's back facing towards you. Fold the robot's leg down to the side 90° at the hip then rotate the hip, or bicep, 180° so the wings point up. Fold the wings down 90° at the robot knee so the slot half way down the back of the large bat wing meets the tab sticking out the small robot wings and the tab at the bottom of the large bat wing slots into the top of the back of the bat leg/front of the robot's wrist. Raise the head off the bat chest so it's sitting on the robot waist. Plug the gun into the shield and in turn plug the shield into the hole in front of the robot's neck to form the tail. Open the bat chest, unfold the Titanmaster into a seated position, seat him inside the chest and close the chest.
I'll give it this, turning the legs into the wings is very clever!
Straight off the bat (haha) the bat mode doesn't look right, it's far too purple. On the original this was confined to the sides of the chest with the wings, head & chest being red and the feet & body black. Here the feet & wings are purple, with red/brown edging on the wings, a red/brown head and a clear pink chest. We're very close to this being a better Ratbat bat than Mindwipe bat. Thanks to the wing tabbing the bat is surprisingly solid but this does limit it's articulation somewhat. However by untabbing it, slightly destabilising the toy, you can get some better poses out of it. As it stands you're limited to an opening jaw and the ability to fold the bat wings round the body.
The small rubber wings that bothered me in robot mode are an issue again here as they're once again mounted on the toy's back - why? I don't recall Bats having a second pair of vestigial wings. I mentioned the toy's resemblance to Ratbat and here those small wings here peaking over Mindwipe's shoulder remind me of Ratbat's radar-guided free-electron lasers. Unfortunately rubber is also an issue here: the whole head is made from it, including the moving jaw and projecting ears, as are the outer most wing sections, which form the back of the legs in robot mode and as such are slightly bent to tab correctly into place.
So.... I wouldn't have used the rubber full stop, but understand it might be there for safety issues on the pointy bits. The wings need to be red in bat mode and black as the robot legs. You could have just about got this by having the back of the robot wings be purple and the front red but instead they opt for a purple for both which compromises the bat mode making it look more like a different character! I'd have happily lost the small bat wings in either mode because I'm sure they'll break in time, and they're especially annoying in bad mode as are the feet hanging off the wings. The bat head just hanging off the robot is ridiculous when it was completely concealed on the original version.
This is a toy with one clever idea, make the bat wings the robot legs. Unfortunately this in turn affects so much of the toy that I'm not 100% sure that it was a good idea to implement. The toy would have been better almost with one large pair of correctly coloured bat wings hanging off the back.
Mindwipe is a wave 2 Titans Return toy packed evenly at 2 per case with Chromedome, Highbrow & Wolfwire.
Bat Optimus Primal out of that" but seeing as the basic bat is Optimus Primal's lesser well known form the suggestion was more a shot in the dark.
Blow me if E-Hobby only went and took us up on the idea! The toy was announced on 5th August 2016. To make up a new version of the Optimus Primal bat TakaraTomy have taken a grey & blue Titans Return Mindwipe body and paired it with a blue version of Sentinel Prime's Titanmaster Infinitus plus the swords from Transformers Prime Wheeljack. Also included in the package is a green version of Galvatron's Titanmaster Nucleon, to act as the head of Alligatot Megatron, the toy which was originally packed in a VS Pack with Bat Optimus Primal, and Ape-X Arms a new repaint of Titanmaster Apeface's Ape/Jet accessory in the Optimal Optimus colours, to represent Optimus Primal's final Beast Wars form.
During the period the toy was available to order from E-Hobby a number of promotional comic pages were issued :more promotional images were released via Twitter.
Fuller review to follow when it's released
Future RepaintsIf the Titans Return bat mode didn't look so like it anyway I would have suggested Ratbat as a possible repaint. With that off the board, and Takara having grabbed the Beast Wars option the next most prominent Bat I can think of is Nightscream
Personally I suspect this toy is heading for a retool possibly as a bird, like Airazor, a dinobird, like Swoop, or a jet like one of the as yet unmade in Titans Return Targetmasters like Misfire or Slugslinger.