Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Titans Returns Roadburn (Chase)

Titans Returns Roadburn (Chase)

This is a remake of the Throttlebot Chase. First let's deal with the name: he was rumoured as Chase, his instructions showed him as Chase on early versions of the toy but his packaging says Roadburn, and the instructions have since been corrected to match the name on the card, presumably to avoid confusion with Rescue Bot Chase. See also: The Titans Return version of Steeljaw being repainted and renamed Stripes to avoid confusion with the Robots in Disguise toy and the lack of a Combiner Wars Sideswipe despite an obvious mould being available also due to a Robots in Disguise toy! Since both names appear officially on Chase/Roadburn I don't think it matters which name you use.

The toy itself swaps Titans Return Bumblebee's red for yellow and slaps a new head on it, painted blue with a gold painted face. For a new version of Chase it would more than do the job if the paint layers weren't layered on top of each other. Even so it still beats the original hands down in every aspect apart from being pull back and go in vehicle mode.

But I have a problem with it being Chase.

I've never liked the Throttlebots as toys very much. Yes they had a decent run in the comic but as toys they're cut down miniaturised Battlechargers lacking the auto TF gimmick. They're squat robots with the worst arms in the whole toyline - I can just about forgive the legs because that's sacrificed for the gimmick, the four cars are essentially the same toy in different colours and worst of all they're just cheap knock off versions of the original Mini Autobots! Goldbug *IS* Bumblebee, as widely established in the comics and cartoon. Once you're thinking one of them is you quickly see the striking similarity between Rollbar & Wideload and Brawn & Huffer! That then makes the blue Freeway a remake of Gears leaving you to decide which of the red Cliffjumper & Windcharger gets to be the red Chase and who gets to become the white Searchlight! I get that the Throttlebots are 1988 toys, the same year as the Headmasters extensively remade during Titans Returns but having started this group with Chase do they intend to finish it? Can you really repaint Bumblebee as Goldbug, Freeway & Searchlight too? I wouldn't put it past Hasbro trying but I don't see enough waves left to do it: Roadburn's in Wave 4 and Combiner Wars only lasted six waves! Titans Return Brawn is too similarly coloured and not the right shape for Rollbar and besides they need to do the more obvious Outback from him first. And where do you get Wideload from? There's still some lingering discontent over Combiner Wars Huffer, and his repaint Combiner Wars Pipes, being just a repaint of Generations Thrilling 30 Legends Optimus Prime!

These last two points bring us neatly to the other problem I have with this toy being Chase: He's not Cliffjumper. Now it has been known for Bumblebee to be repainted into Cliffjumper, so much so that it's a bit of a trope and they'll be many pleased that this ISN'T Cliffjumper. But the original toys, which started life in Microchange as super deformed versions of real world vehicles, are very similar. Their animated and comic versions are based on these rather than the real life Volkswagen Beetle & Porsche 924 which look nothing like each other. In fact Cliffjumper's Porsche looks so different that it would be nigh on impossible to get a cartoon/comic look alike robot out of it, perhaps explaining the lack of a Masterpiece version. So in my book, YES Cliffjumper is not only an acceptable repaint of Bumblebee, albeit with perhaps a new head and some mucking about with spoilers, but is also the first repaint of Bumblebee that *SHOULD* be done. The previous Legends scale Cliffjumper is a repaint of Thrilling 30 Legends Bumblebee, which is more a Cybertron than Earth mode toy. The Bumblebee's been updated to the toy Roadburn's repainted from yet Cliffjumper is still stuck with his earlier, weaker impersonation. It doesn't seem fair that one of the 1984 cast has been passed over in favour of a much less well known toy and Roadburn being red means it's considerably less likely we'll get another red toy from this mould. Sorry Roadburn, given the choice between the two it would have been Cliffjumper every time for me.

I am now going to have to buy two Roadburns in the hope of a third party Cliffjumper head!

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