Saturday, 25 February 2017

Titans Return Titanmaster Shuffler

Titans Return Titanmaster Shuffler

The original Shuffler is one of the six Japanese exclusive Autobot Master Warriors and as such he goes for an AWFUL lot of money! Like his fellow Master Warriors Lione and Toraizer he had no humanoid robot mode, transforming from a head to an animal, in Shuffler's case an elephant. For his Titanmaster version, like Lione's Titanmaster remake Sawback, the head now transforms into a humanoid robot while the animal is his accessory which becomes a vehicle and a weapon.

Shuffler always was a dull purple head, with eyes and a faceplate, but his resculpt has brought his larger robot head looking much more like a purple Optimus Prime head with a grey faceplate! These colours continue onto the Titanmaster robot, which is grey with purple arms & head.

The accessory's elephant mode is a pretty good modern interpretation of the original with all the colours in the same place: Purple body, with grey legs, ear and a new 5mm peg tail. Trunk & tail can lift up, and both sets of legs can move forward albeit paired with their opposite number on the other side of the body. There's a cavity under the body that Shuffler's head fits into, face up, Titanmaster's head towards the front.

The elephant has a vehicle mode too. Fold the elephant's head, not just the trunk, the whole head, back 90° and then rotate the head 180° so the trunk faces towards what was the rear of the beast. Fold both tail and trunk down. Fold all the legs forward towards what was the front of the beast and is now the rear of the vehicle. Stand Shuffler on the footpegs at the vehicle rear.

The accessories' vehicle mode is a small tank with the head forming the turret and trunk & tail forming gun barrels. There's no wheels but there is moulded tank tread detail on the base of the sides, what was the rear of the legs. Fab little vehicle mode.

From here remove the Titanmaster and fold the rear tread set, the front legs, back down. Fold the tail & trunk up 90°. Turn the toy over and place the tail/grey tank barrel into a figure's hand.

The weapons mode for the accessory is a missile array, similar to Armada Minicon Firebot's weapons mode. Here Shuffler's accessory weapons mode has twelve moulded missile tubes, two on each of the elephant's forelegs, and two banks of 2 x 2 missiles on the exposed beast's neck - oddly the same number that Firebot had. There's a pair of tubes sticking out of the beast's ears which I assume are gun barrels plus you could imagine that the Titanmaster footpegs are an additional pair of barrels. The trunk, hanging down from the weapon, forms an effective hand guard for the larger toy holding it. While the weapons mode does need a figure to hold it you could turn it into a stand alone missile array by folding the other legs back to their position in elephant mode and standing the toy the other way up on those.

I like this toy a lot. Three decent, solid modes in there. He'll be overshadowed by his more famous wave mate Repugnus but I think Shuffler is the better toy of the two.

Future Repaints

There aren't that many Elephant Transformers but the pachyderm body paired with a Prime like face makes the temptation to do a Titanmaster Big Convoy too great, especially if it could be twinned with a white Sawback as Lio Convoy.

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