Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Titans Return Triggerhappy & Blowpipe

Titans Return Triggerhappy & Blowpipe

I've always thought the new 1987 Decepticon Targetmasters were better than they're Autobot brethren: Misfire has a nice design and a quirky character trait of being the Decepticon who can't shoot straight. Slugslinger takes this years theme of two beast heads on one body seen on Hun-grrr, Sinnertwin & Doublecross and extends it to jets while Triggerhappy just has lots of guns! Of the three only Slugslinger has had a new version and that was in the Energon toyline. Triggerhappy is the first to get a go in Titans Return.

Like Blurr, Scourge & Hot Rod, Triggerhappy's Targetmaster has become his Titanmaster and here he retains his original name Blowpipe. Blowpipe was originally a grey Targetmaster with blue legs but now he's a Titanmaster with blue lower legs, arms & head and white lower legs & chest. Looking at pictures side by side I can see some design elements of the Targetmaster carried across including the general shape of the helmet, the shoulder details and vague chest layout.

Triggerhappy has two distinct faces: his toy had visored eyes and an open face while his comic and cartoon version had vehicle yellow eyes and a red face plate. It's the latter version that's used on the Titanmaster. Unfortunately limits to the painting have given him blue circles round his yellow eyes which looks a little odd and the entire effect does resemble a badly painted Optimus Prime head!

The rest of the robot looks great, just like the other one with the jet nose & cockpit that was on his chest slimmed down and integrated into the body. OK yes, this has been done by mounting the actual jet nose on his back but ..... The really distinctive features, twin engines on each shoulder and twin guns folded against each arm have been carried over and there's some fun to be had with them. His hands fold into his forearms allowing the twin guns to fold down into his wrist socket and be used as weapons, perhaps inspired by how Blowpipe mounted as a Targetmaster in the Japanese Japanese Headmasters Cartoon.

He doesn't have a Targetmaster here but like the other brand new wave 3 deluxes, and leader, he comes with a pair of guns that he can hold that also combine into a dual cannon, which a Titanmaster can sit in. Unfortunately the combined cannon is pretty much useless here as it can only be held with one barrel above the other, not side to side. There's no 5mm peg hole underneath to insert an adaptor into, like with Sixshot, but there is a rectangular space that will loosely take one to simulate the effect. I await a 3rd party solution to this problem, maybe something that fits over two Titanmaster pegs and turn them into a 5mm handle would do the trick?

Plenty of fun can be had with the separated guns though. Naturally he can hold them in his 5mm peg hole hands. There's also 5mm holes on the base of the twin guns so they can be pegged in there as a third gun on each arm and that hole can still be used when the gun has been folded down onto the wrist. With the arms bent, or the guns folded down, another peg hole on each shoulder is exposed to shoulder mount them. Sadly they've missed a trick by not making his shoulder mounted engines 5mm peg holes on the interior.

Articulation is good: bending ankles & knees, thigh swivel and ball jointed hips. Ball jointed neck, provided by the Titanmaster. The arms have ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels and bending elbows.

Transformation: remove the weapons & the Titanmaster. Straighten the arms, fold the fists into the forearms & fold the twin guns over the wrists. Fold the wings forward off the back of the arm tabbing into both upper & lower arm. Fold the feet & heel spurs all the way back & tab the legs together. Rotate the waist 180°. Hold the toy with it's back facing down and chest upwards. Fold the jet nose down 90°. Pull the waist away from the body and fold that down 90°. Both nose & waist are connected to the same piece that runs up the robot's back. This is attached to a pivot in the middle of the robot's back which you use to rotate the torso and wings 180°. Fold the nose up to meet what was the bottom of the robot's body. Fold the waist up, it won't quite go flat against the robot's neck. Pull the wings away from the side of the jet's cockpit. Fold the legs back at waist & knee so they fold over the waist and tab into the the robot's neck. Fold the wings back and tab into the lower legs, a tab onto the hinge going into the robot's arms.

It is Triggerhappy's jet mode. Absolutely perfect, and solid as a rock. One example of a Transformer toy where tabbing things together really works.

Now I've had trouble seating the Titanmaster in jet mode when you open the canopy. The feet need to go through a quite small hole in the front of the cockpit to seat him right. I'm finding it far easier if I fold the nose down as well, giving me better access to the cockpit which allows me to seat the Titanmaster with his feet poking out the front then folding the nose back over them.

Failing that, there's two separate Titanmaster pegs, not a pair for the same figure, on the rear of the jet behind the cockpit. The nose has a fold down landing gear.

You'll not see a better update than this, almost perfect. The only real point of contention is the face that, as it is, could have done with better paint ops or, for some people's taste, being swapped for the other face.

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