Saturday, 25 February 2017

Tiftans Return Titanmaster Repugnus

Repugnus first appeared in 1987 as part of the Monsterbots alongside Doublecross & Grotusque. We didn't get the group here in he UK, despite two of them featuring on the 1987 Boxart. Repugnus wasn't issued with the other two in Japan in 1987, he was a 1988 Mailaway, but despite this setback he's led a more interesting life since cropping up as repaint not once but twice in 1987 with his Universe & Cybertron toys.

When Doublecross was remade in Titans Return as Twinferno hopes were high of getting deluxe toys of all three Monsterbots. As yes Grotusque has yet to be announced but Repugnus finds himself reduced to the Titanmaster size assortment, with a small robot becoming his head and his beast mode becoming the accessory.

The head mode's face, which is yellow paint over red plastic, looks decent enough but the yellow is, like the yellow softer plastic used elsewhere, slightly too pale for my liking and could be a bit more vibrant. The Titanmaster robot it unfolds into has a yellow chest & upper legs with the lower legs, arms & head being cast in red and the head additionally painted yellow.

Repugnus' accessory looks like a small version of his beast mode which has acquired a pair of pointed wings. There's a massive gap in his chest which is filled by the the Titanmaster in head mode. Now there's not one but two sets of footpegs in the cavity but neither is used here: put the head in with the face towards the back and the smaller Titanmaster head towards the top: the beast head should fold back allowing access. With the beast head folded back and the Titanmaster in place it almost looks like an odd robot mode, but the beast head does need to be folded back into place to complete the beast mode which has legs that bend at the hips, albeit joined together, and independently turning arms at the shoulders.

At this point I had to do something I rarely have to do and that was resort to the instructions to find out what Repugnus' vehicle was.... Open the head and remove the Titanmaster head which needs unfolding into robot mode. Fold the head forward: there's a joint at the back of the neck connected to another joint on the top of the middle of the body which enables the head to be positioned at the rear or front of the body. Keep the head looking straight up still. Lay the creature on it's back and fold the legs up. Stand the Titanmaster in the body cavity.

It's got wings so it must be a jet of some description..... Some very vague description! I think we'll move on rapidly!

Return the Titanmaster to head mode and replace it in the chest cavity. Fold the wings down 180°. The instructions say that the head should be moved back to the rear position but I find it's more solid in the forward position. Either way the head should still be looking up and a 5mm handle should be unfolded from the underside enabling the weapon to be held.

The weapon looks odd, but better that the jet mode: There's a pair of twin blades poking out the front, formed from the wings, but underneath each of these is a pair of gun barrels moulded onto the back of each leg.

It's not a complete disaster as a weapon, certainly better than the jet, but the real star here is the bug mode. His wave mate Shuffler is the better all round toy.

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.

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!

Titans Return Legends Brawn

Titans Return Legends Brawn

Brawn is the last of the original six Mini Autobots to get a Legends toy and the journey to his release has been a long one. He first appeared on a Computer Listing in November 2013 which appeared in between the second Legends wave, Megatron & Starscream, and the third, Swerve & Cosmos. These listings contain a Hasbro product number, which can be found on a toy's packaging and frequently their instructions too, and the name of the product, often abbreviated to fit a limited length field. Generally, but not always, a similar product number indicates a toy will be released at the same time. There's lots of information in there but the sections we want cover the last two T30 Generations Legends Assortments. This section appears second, but we can assume it's earlier information because it's more divergent from what happened:


Already there's some confusion as to who A6686 is: is it Brawn, who could either be a new toy or a repaint of Swerve, or is it Cliffjumper, a likely repaint of Bumblebee? The Thundercracker listed here is probably a repaint of the Starscream which was on the shelves at the time. Lower down the list is Gears, who is likely to be a repaint of Swerve, and Gnaw, who is almost certainly a new toy.

However in the other block of listing things seem to have changed:



Brawn's gone as has Gnaw. Gears has swapped places with Cliffjumper and Nemesis Prime, an obvious Optimus Prime repaint replaces it. Thundercracker remains exactly where he was.

By the time these waves reached the shelves things had changed AGAIN with Thundercracker replaced by another Starscream repaint:

A6685 Acid Storm & Venin
A6686 Gears & Eclipse

A7804 Nemesis Prime & Spinister
A7805 Cliffjumper & Suppressor

We didn't have to wait long for Thundercracker, who was released without a Minicon companion in the first wave of Combiner Wars toys, but Gnaw & Brawn became legendary lost toys with each toy show or online toy reveal being greeted with disappointment when they didn't show up.

On the 5th February 2016 The Transmissions Podcast broadcast leaked information that Sharkticon Gnaw was coming. On the 25th of that month they leaked that a Titanmaster version of Brawn was coming, to much wailing and gnashing of teeth that that meant the end of the road for Legends Brawn. The Titanmaster Brawn was revealed on Saturday 9th March 2016 at Botcon 2016 but a couple of weeks later Transmission claimed that Legends Brawn was happening. Legends Sharkticon Gnaw was revealed on 21st July 2016 at SDCC 2016 and released as a Wave 3 Titans Return Legend in December that year. The Legends Brawn rumours rumbled on in the background, aided by a new computer listing, till he was finally revealed on October 5th 2016 at NYCC 2016 to much rejoicing from Transformers fans! Because we talked about them earlier I can show you that this Tweet from Radio Free Cybertron confirms Brawn's actual product number to be C1103 - click on the photo in the tweet and look at the bottom of the card above the Autobot logo.

Straight from the package Brawn looks exactly like his comic and cartoon appearance, mainly green, short and stocky. His chest is yellow, as are the lower arms but they're covered with silver paint so it's less obvious at first look but if you peak into the 5mm holes in his hands and on the outside of the arms it becomes obvious. The head is large and round, with a vaguely human face, again like the cartoon, instead of the visored & faceplated look the original Brawn toy had.

Brawn comes with a weapon in the form of something which looks like a shield, which comes mounted on the side of his arm. However check the details on it and there's 3 round marks moulded into one end, either gun barrels or missile tubes. There's a 5mm peg hole on the underside of it which means it can be hand held, mounted on his arm or, thanks to another hole on his back, worn as a backpack. The shield is a bit of an oddity as he's never used one before but while we're talking odd parts I draw your attention to the lower legs which are sloped from knee down to foot, not a feature commonly associated with Brawns. I suspect both these features are related and I'll explain why later.

Brawn's articulation is excellent, quite possibly the best for a toy of his size: his head turns, his knees bend and there's ball joints at the hips, shoulder and elbow. However it's the upper legs which really drew my attention because they have a thigh swivel joint. Yes, the action has been seen before on the toys with ball jointed knees, which turn as well as bend, but a purpose designed joint of this nature is I believe a first for the size class.

Transformation: Effectively the original Gears/Windcharger transformation: Bring the legs together and fold the lower legs over the back of the upper legs. Straighten the arms to the side, rotate each arm in 90° at the elbow then move them up & in at the shoulder. Put the vehicle down on it's wheels and put the shield over the very un Brawn like sloped rear.

The resulting vehicle toy looks just like the original Brawn, albeit with slightly more detailing. The tyre is still present on the roof and is now jointed by a 5mm hole, presumably to mount a gun on an Outback repaint. Like the other Legends toys this year he can have a Titanmaster drive him and it's a lot easier to access this feature on him than on Titans Return Legends Bumblebee: Simply lift the top of the vehicle up & forward and place the Titanmaster inside. I've found there's some clearance issues with the peg hole & Titanmaster's head but that's easily solved by tipping the toy upside down with the top just open, getting the Titanmaster's head behind the peg hole's shaft and closing the roof. Since there's already been a Titanmaster Brawn that makes him the ideal driver for this vehicle, as this picture shows. Titanmaster Brawn's Gun accessory can then be mounted on the roof. Since the Titanmaster's compartment is a solid unit, unlike those on Bumblebee or Wheelie which fold up during transformation, you can leave the Titanmaster in the toy in robot and give him the Titanmaster gun accessory to wield in this mode too.

Love this toy. Easily the best Legend since 2014's Swerve and enhanced by it's interactivity with the previously released Titanmaster. You want to buy this toy.

Brawn was released in Titans Return Legends Wave 5 at 3 per case alongside 3 lots of Titans Returns Roadburn, Bumblebee's repaint, and, somewhat inexplicably, 2 more of Bumblebee himself who most people thought was overpacked in the previous wave and should have been replaced by more of the massively in demand army builder Gnaw.

Future Repaints

If you've done Brawn you should automatically do his original repaint Outback even if you have to call him Fallback for copyright reasons.

However Brawn's removable shield bring to our attention some interesting possibilities. As highlighted above the shield piece is a bit odd and the only reason I can think it's there as a removable item would be if you want to remove it later. This gallery in the TFW2005 review thread provides a hint in this photo which shows the shield removed. With the shield gone the rear of the vehicle looks like a pickup truck with a sloped load in it. These piece translate themselves into his sloped leg fronts, not a feature commonly associated with Brawn. However both the pickup truck with load and sloped legs are associated with his Minibot colleague Gears who, as we saw earlier, took Brawn's original Legends product number. There was some supposition at the time that that Brawn, like Gears, would be a Swerve repaint - is this Brawn returning the favour? Although virtually everyone loves Swerve I can remember that there was some dissatisfaction with the head on Gears for being far too small. Is this an opportunity to sort that problem and give us a Gears with a decent head that a Titanmaster can ride in?

The release of Titans Returns Roadburn, a new version of Chase, has started modern remakes of the Throttlebots. Could Brawn be remade as Rollbar, who looks to me to effectively be a 1987 replacement version of the original Brawn anyway!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Titans Return Ravage & Legends LG-37 Jaguar

Titans Return Ravage

Although expected as a Stripes repaint, our first look at Ravage came at a Toyfair Australia event. There was immediately some confusion as Ravage's Official Images showed him with Stripes' head but, as pictures from Botcon confirm, and you can see it in close up here, Ravage does indeed have a new, thinner head without the mane that closely resembles his original.

The same thing happened with Rumble: his official images showed Rumble with same head as Rewind but later images showed the correct head.

While Titans Return Laserbeak is too black, Ravage ISN'T BLACK ENOUGH! He is, bar the new head, a simple colour swap of Stripes: Orange and yellow become black, black becomes an off white grey. Unfortunately that makes a large portion of his body grey and that just doesn't look right in the pictures. I hadn't intended to buy it but in the plastic in looks considerably better, an almost metallic grey, but I still think the body needs to be black.

Ravage was sold in Titans Returns Legends Wave 2 where he was packed at 3 per case alongside 3 of Laserbeak and just 2 of Rumble. Rumble's the only one with a robot mode, so I find it odd he's the least packed one, all three are tapes and all three have similar black colour schemes. I didn't think this wave looked terrible good and, like the first wave, was likely to shelf warm so I'm quite grateful that, at time of writing, it's only showed up in small numbers in the UK which makes it more likely we'll get the desirable Wave 3.

Legends LG-37 Jaguar

Fortunately Takara comes to our rescue with an all black Ravage which looks much more like what I want! If you were being picky then you'd say to look more like original Ravage then the lower limbs & feet need to be grey or better silver, but making the legs grey is what led to the grey body on the western Ravage.

Ravage comes with Bullhorn, a repaint of the Terri-bull who was previously called Horri-bull. Terri-Bull's grey chest & lower legs and blue everything else becomes a black chest & lower legs with grey arms & upper legs. The shoulders are painted black with a blue large robot head and the portion of his face not covered by his faceplate done in silver as is his forehead. Every time I see the Titanmaster from the rear I keep thinking the face is on the wrong way up and the silver forehead should be the faceplate! Apart from that the only problem I have with Bullhorn is I just don't see his connection to Ravage!

Future Repaints

I fully expect to see the Stripes version of the toy released in Japan under the name Steeljaw with the correct yellow colour and paired with the Sawback (Lione) head due to the lion connection between the two toys.

Titans Return Laserbeak & Legends LG-38 Condor

Titans Return Laserbeak

Where there's Buzzsaw there's usually Laserbeak and vice verse. Laserbeak was revealed at Toyfair 2016, but wasn't one of the toys even rumoured in advance though it was obvious there would be one! At first I thought he was just in the official images because he's not easy to spot in the display shots but you can find him in tape and eagle mode perched on Soundwave.

It's an odd colour scheme for Laserbeak, mainly black with not enough red. The only red really is the tails to each wings. Most odd. Have they coloured him this way to differentiate him from Rumble? It won't work, with a mainly black tablet mode he'll look the same as any Ravage they do!

Legends LG-38 Condor

The Legends versions of Ravage and Laserbeak attempt to fix some of the problems of the western versions. While Legends LG-37 Jaguar turns Ravage all black, Condor goes more colourful. The major problem I had with Laserbeak was there wasn't enough red and they've sorted that by painting the main body red which helps a lot. The choice to make 2/3 of the edging of the tape grey plastic is an interesting one. On the wing pieces the front edge is painted black, the bottom contains a black plastic insert and the top is mostly stickered so that the grey plastic is hardly noticeable but it is much more obvious on the two tail pieces so I'm guessing that the recolouring choice is all to do with making these pieces look like the original Laserbeak lasers.

Legends Condor comes with the long awaited Japanese release of the Japanese version of Titanmaster Apeface: his Ape/jet/gun accessory was released with LG-30 Weirdwolf in September, 3 months previous to the Titanmaster's release. In fact the accessory has been released a second time since then with LG-EX Convobat!

Legends Apeface swaps the black on the arms & head for purple and the purple in the body for an off white to give a different interpretation of the original Apeface Headmaster Spasma. The larger robot head looks very very similar except for the addition of some red eyes.

A nice package and a main toy superior to the Hasbro version but, like Legends LG-37 Jaguar & Bullhorn, I can't see any connection between the main toy and the Headmaster.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Legends LG-39 Brainstorm & Synapse

Legends Brainstorm

Many people were hoping that the Legends version of Brainstorm would solve the problem of both version of the Titans Return toy being hard to get. What they hadn't counted on was that Legends Brainstorm would have a new face, missing the traditional faceplate that western fans are used to but matching his appearance in the Japanese Headmasters cartoon. This also leads to some colour tweaks: the wings, air intakes and tail fins are now black in vehicle mode as are the hands, feet, shoulder wings and body rear in robot mode. This Tweet from Alfes2010 shows all 3 Brainstorms together in robot mode allowing you to compare them while Alfes Blog-entry-2739

compares all three with the previous Voyager Brainstorm. Interestingly as yet I've not see a set of pictures of all four of those with the original.

For his Japanese release Brainstorm is paired with Synapse, the jeep/gun accessory from Titanmaster Brawn, which is repainted to match the deluxe toy with green plastic becoming pale blue and the yellow pieces being done in grey. It's not the first blue jeep in Transformers and unfortunately it has brought the disturbing image of Energon Strongarm back to mind!

The darker colours on the toy's wings and the different head are something of a non started for many fans but I quite like it. The face matches his unmasked look in More Than Meets The Eye and the accessory is a nice little bonus. The news that the alternate toy accurate head is coming in Japan completes this set.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Unite Warriors UW-EX Megatronia

Unite Warriors Lunaclub

One of the big problems with the Torchbearer helicopters, Stormclash and Skyburst, is that they are very very similar toys. Yes I know there's something clever going on with mirror image colour schemes on the vehicles and robots, plus different heads, but they are basically the same underlined by Hasbro themselves not being able to tell the difference and mucking up the labelling for their official photos! Unite Warriors has hone a different route.

Lunaclub is the repaint of Torchbearer Stormclash and has the head with the eyes. She swaps Stormclash's institutional green for the black used on all of Megatronia's components while her red becomes a peach/pale neon orange. The faction symbol on the right of her chest becomes a Decepticon one while the square on the left, painted red on Stormclash, becomes a pale blue which will become significant later. He bladed weapon is still transparent blue but has the blade painted pint and the edging, previously silver, turned gold. See this tweet for a comparison between the two versions of the toy.

I'm not 100% keen on the peachy orange but it goes OK with the black and is a HUGE improvement over the previous colour scheme.

Unite Warriors Moonheart

Moonheart is the repaint of Torchbearer Skyburst and has the head with the visor. Her colours have taken a very similar approach to that used on her sister Lunaclub. Again Institutional Green becomes black but this time the red becomes pale blue producing a colour scheme that's sympathetic to the moon part of her name. All the other changes to Lunaclub apply here too but interestingly the square on her right chest, again previously red, is now blue. Their fictional biographies depict them as twins and it's nice to see that, although different, a piece of each other's colour schemes shows up on the opposing toy. Here's a tweet showing a comparison between Moonheart & Skyburst while this tweet shows the Four Guards Helicopter sisters together.

The better of the two helicopter colour schemes used in the Megatronia box, but the use of the colour on the chest helps tie her in with her sister and is a nice touch.

Unite Warriors Trickdiamond

Four Guards Lunaclub & Moonheart were direct repaints of Torchbearers Stormclash & Skyburst. Trickdiamond is broadly the same with black replacing green and yellow replacing red. However the frame for the top of the body, shoulder joints, elbow joints, waist & knees is now black instead of yellow with the yellow paint apps down the side of the body and on the robot reduced in size somewhat. Like the helicopters her shield weapon is still moulded in clear blue plastic but has it's paint applications changed to gold. You can see the difference between the two toys in this tweet.

Since the Breakdown mould, adapted for Torchbearer Jumpstream & this toy, has already been used to make Combiner Wars Sunstreaker seeing the car mode in mainly black, with yellow highlights, puts me in mind of the Generation 2 version on Sunstreaker's brother Sideswipe who, at the time of writing in February 2017, still hasn't received a Combiner Wars version presumably due to his presence in Robots in Disguise.

You can't really go wrong with a black Lamborghini. Well unless you stick the Botcon 2016 Ravage head on it. Looks great!

Unite Warriors Flowspade

Flowspade is almost a direct plastic colour swap for Torchbearer Dustup with institutional green becoming black and red becoming what my wife described as violet. The waist, knee, combiner wars & Hand/Foot/Gun frame breaks this pattern by going from red to black. The reason the colour swap doesn't look so simple is that the paint apps for vehicle mode have been dramatically changed as you can see in this tweet comparing the two. With Dustup the car, which would have been mainly that nasty green, was liberally painted red over the sides helping the red plastic elbow blend in. For Flowspade this has gone and the elbow sticks out like a sore thumb as it has done on most versions of Combiner Wars Dead End! Paint is kept to a minimum: the front bumper, centre of the bonnet, one of the few places that was the native plastic colour on Dustup, and the centre of the rear. The weapon is significantly improved here: like Megaempress the moulded plastic colour has gone from grey to black and coupled with the gold paint used on all the weapons in the Like the other deluxes in the Megatronia boxset it looks significantly better!

Big improvement over Dustup. But it's the 12th use of Dead End so I'm finding it hard to get really excited about.


When Megaempress was first hinted at in this Unite Warriors comic strip there was an assumption that she was Esmeral the wife of Deathsaurus in the Victory Manga. The reality when revealed turns out to be even stranger as the online comic introducing her reveals: She is effectively a female version of Megatron constructed from his spare parts! The idea here is to make the robot mode as close to Megatron as possible and they've done a pretty good job as this tweet showing Megaempress with the Legends Version of Combiner Wars Megatron shows. Even the female Prowl head works with the crest aping the details on the top of Megatron's head within his helmet. In fact the detailing is so close I'd argue that this Voyager robot should be called Megatronia instead of the combined robot which looks nothing like Megatron! The only downside to the detailing is that it does make the face hidden in the remoulded Pyra Magna chest panel more obvious than ever with the eyes, one red and one blue to match the panel on Megatron's chest, really standing out! For those upset at the lack of a traditional arm mounted fusion cannon the now black ladder can be folded over her shoulder as what's described on TFWiki as a Rail Fusion Cannon.

The colours result in a fire engine that has swapped it's orangey red for silver which, together with the black ladder, almost convinces me that this isn't a fire engine any more. I can almost believe it some sort of military vehicle with a big gun mounted on the back if. It looks totally different to the previous Pyra Magna version of the toy as this Comparison Tweet shows.

Love this toy. Fabulous repaint. If I could afford it I'd buy another just so I could display the Voyager in robot mode because I know combineritus will strike and she will spend the rest of her life as Megatronia's torso!


TakaraTomy loves it's Fembots even more than Hasbro do. The Legends line got Windblade, Arcee & Chromia like the Generations line did but in addition the first two were repainted in the Legends line as Slipstream & Nightbird Shadow alongside Blackarachnia, a remould of the animated toy. So it was rather likely that Takara would do a Japanese version of Victorion.

The existence of Unite Warriors "Victorion" was hinted at was first hinted at in a comic strip released on 28th June 2016 with official images following on 24th August and a revised set on the 31st of the same month which reveals the names used for the set. I've not found an official name for the team but TFWiki refer to the deluxes as The 4 Guards.

Essentially the Unite Warriors Megatronia Boxset is a repaint of the previous Combiner Wars Victorion Gift Set. The only change to the toy moulds used is that Torchbearer Rust Dust, a repaint of Combiner Wars Protetobot Groove, is omitted as have all the Legends companions for the Combiners issued in Unite Warriors.

All the deluxe in the set are predominantly black while the Voyager, Megaempress, is mainly silver with some black. I've listed bellow the toys in the set, with what they're repaints of and which colour in addition to black they toy has on it.

Four Guards Colour Torchbearers Comparison Combiner Wars
Lunaclub Peach Stormclash Comparison Aerialbot Alpha Bravo
Moonheart Blue Skyburst Comparison
Flowspade Violet Dustup Comparison Stunticon Dead End
Trickdiamond Yellow Jumpstream Comparison Stunticon Breakdown
Megaempress Silver Pyra Magna Comparison Protectobot Hot Spot
Megatronia Pink Victorion Comparison Protectobot Defensor

The pink on Megatronia is provided by the chest plate and stripes on the upper legs, both of which are hidden away when Megaempress is in robot mode. Her black from the ladder/rail fusion cannon becomes the chest and head of the combined robot. Black continues onto the individual robot weapons which combine to form Megatronia's sword and the hands & feet which are repaints of those used on Victorion which hadn't previously appeared on a Japanese toy.

Given this new colour scheme with the elements united by the black Megatronia is a far more attractive toy than Victorion with her clashing institution green and red. Yes, she does tend to lean forward but that's a problem common to all combiners using variants of the Hotspot mould. And Yes, the chest panels tend to pop off when you turn the arms, another fault common to Hotspot and Pyra Magna. My real problem with the new version of the toy is the name. I feel Megatronia is a much more suitable name for the Voyager, who looks like a female Megatron than the combiner which doesn't. I'm led to wonder if this is another case of names being mixed up so the Voyager should be Megatronia and the larger combiner Megaempress.