Titans Return (Gen) Astrotrain & Darkmoon

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Starscream Gaga, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Starscream Gaga

    Starscream Gaga Protoformed This Way

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    Generations Astrotrain

    Found this guy in the Kmart next to my florist and decided it was a good opportunity to do a review! He's almost entirely just a repaint so I'll keep it quick, but here's Titans Return Astrotrain!

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    Astrotrain in every way except one is a repaint of Titans Return Sentinel Prime, however it is pretty clear that Astrotrain was the intended use of the mold from the beginning, even though Sentinel Prime was released first. A similar occurrence to CW Optimus Prime (Motormaster), Alpha Bravo (Vortex) as well as the future TR Optimus Prime (Tankor) and Megatron (Blitzwing). His robot mode is pretty fantastic, looking very similar to his original toon appearance. His silhouette is spot on and he has an absolutely perfect face-sculpt. As the second Classics version of Astrotrain, Hasbro really had to step it up to make this a worthwhile purchase for most and I think when it comes to robot mode this guy is a big winner, he's about the right size compared to his original Deluxe toy and he looks great. Colorwise, the Hasbro version is based on the original G1 toy, which by extension makes him closer to his Marvel Comics and IDW appearances. I personally would prefer toon colours, but I suspect Takara will give me that pretty soon.

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    As with Sentinel Prime, two pillars on either side of his head are concealed in his body and can pop up via springloaded tab on his chest. Assumedly these are to represent the similar details Astrotrain had on his toon model, but ultimately they are too large and too close to his head to look good. They can easily be pushed into his body and be ignored and I prefer it that way.

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    While Astrotrain and Sentinel Prime have a disappointing lack of retooling between them they fortunately have many ways to look different. On top of their different heads, Sentinel Prime holds his guns on his back and his wings folded backwards to represent his look in IDW, as well as having his feet back-the-front. Considering how great HasTak have usually been with retools in this line the lack of differences isn't ideal, but its good that the two characters each have individualised ways of "wearing" their robot modes.

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    Most contentiously, although it doesn't bother me in the slightest, Astrotrain has become a Headmaster! His Titanmaster is called Darkmoon. According to his biography, Darkmoon's special ability is allowing its body Transformer cloaking capabilities. Darkmoon must be removed from Astrotrain's body for transformation.

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    Astrotrain's face on his back is the only tooling difference between Darkmoon and Astrotrain and Infinitus, which unfortunately means that Darkmoon, just like Infinitus, is a tiny Sentinel Prime- except now he's purple. A big disappointment to me as I am enjoying collecting all the Titanmasters! I assume the reason Sentinel Prime got priority on the look of the Titanmaster is because Sentinel Prime/Infinitus is the major character of the Titans Return storyline in IDW while IDW Astrotrain is dead, making any appearance of Darkmoon unlikely. Unfortunately thanks to beings a pretty straight redo of Infinitus, Darkmoon has the same problem with his legs not folding properly in head mode.

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    Its a little sad that Darkmoon didn't get a lick of paint when even Infinitus got his faceplate painted, but in the end he's so tiny its not a massive dealbreaker, I just find Darkmoon as a whole disappointing.

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    Darkmoon (or any Titanmaster) can pilot Astrotrain's guns and be wielded by any Transformer! A nice way to give the figure some extra ways to make use of the Titanmaster gimmick.

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    As per tradition, Astrotrain is a triple changer with his second mode being a space shuttle! Definitely his stronger alt mode, all of his train kibble is hidden very neatly and he makes a very convincing shuttle. The transformation can be easily done in around 30 seconds and is rewarding even with its simplicity, even if it mostly boils down to flipping out panels to hide his robot mode parts and laying him down. If anything was to complained about it would be that he's a bit too flat. Otherwise the shuttle is in need of paint, especially the windows. Darkmoon can pilot this mode in the big cockpit in between his tail fins.

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    There's much less nice things to say about Astrotrain's third mode, his... Train. While I loved the idea of the original Classics Astrotrain being given a Bullet Train alt mode to modernise him, the new attempt by making him a "Cybertronian" train is much less inspired and not very effective. The wings of the shuttle are plain as day and the figure is in dire need of paint all over. The train is solid with no way to simulate turning and all-in-all is a very weak alt-mode. A saving grace could have been lots of slots for Titanmasters to sit on and interact with the train, but it surprisingly lacks any that I can find. Its a shame for a figure that was excellent in all modes prior to this one to disappoint on its final mode, but at least he's a train in some sense of the word.

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    In the end I do recommend Astrotrain, although I would advise waiting for the Takara Legends release as they will likely fix his lack of paint problems. He has excellent robot and shuttle modes and a terrible train mode, but the third sacrifice is tolerable to finally get a good-sized Astrotrain for your Classics shelf.

    Thanks for reading!

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Applejacktimus

    Applejacktimus Likes Alpha Bravo

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    Great review! Looking forward to this guy a bit more after remembering you can gut the Headmaster gimmick. (Not that I have a problem with it) Casting the gray in a darker, more metallic tone would've done wonders for him, though. Oh well, doing that myself won't be too hard.
     
  3. j.a.f.o.

    j.a.f.o. Just Looking, Not Buying

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    Outstanding review. Well done!
     
  4. megatroptimus

    megatroptimus Prime/Meg/Bee/SS completist

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    I already like Sentinel a lot, but this one looks even better.
     
  5. Wars

    Wars Regular At Swerve's™

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    Great review as always. I can't wait to get this guy. It's probably one of the figures I'm looking forward to most in Titans Return

    I'm not sure he's supposed to be a Cybertronian train though. Given the sculpting on the front and back of the train, I thought he was supposed to be a Union Pacific style diesel train with a deer catcher and a drivers cab on either end of the locomotive. Maybe that's just me though
     
  6. Swoop Dogg

    Swoop Dogg me King!

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    Nice review!

    I was lucky enough to pick up Astrotrain at my local Meijer. Admittedly, I'm a bit biased because Astrotrain is my favorite Transformers character, but I am totally digging this figure. My thoughts:

    I love the grey that Hasbro used on this figure - it works really well.

    The level of detail on this particular mold is AMAZING. Whenever I get a new Transformer, I usually take time out to look at the mold to see all of the detail that the designer put into it. Sometimes, there isn't much. Other times (as is the case with TR Astrotrain) it is a thing of beauty. Just look at all the ladders, windows, pistons, vents, railings, doors, shuttle escape hatches, and heat shield tiles! Gorgeous! It's a shame that the lack of paint prevents that detail from being more noticeable. But hey, that's what happens when one has to stick to a budget. It's also why we are only paying roughly $25 for this figure instead of something more like $50.

    I saw a picture in the Sentinel Prime feedback thread showing how the feet in train mode could be flipped around to make a decent looking boat (aka Broadside). Hasbro wouldn't have to make much of a mold change for that to work. I could see that happening.

    I'd say that Astrotrain is my favorite TR figure so far (again, I'm a bit biased). Assuming Takara does something different with the paint, I will definitely be double dipping!
     
  7. Starscream 91

    Starscream 91 Mech With A Mouth

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    I really liked Sentinel Prime and find the mold to be amazing so I'm really excited for Astrotrain, mostly cause he's one of my favorite Decepticons.

    Sadly I don't know when Amazon will get more in stock so I can get myself one. (Maybe Hasbrotoyshop will have him in stock soon)

    To anyone who has him, could you compare Astrotrain to Generations Blitzwing?
     
  8. Swoop Dogg

    Swoop Dogg me King!

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    Like this? (sorry - I know the pic is terrible)
     

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  9. neevnav

    neevnav The Flying Dutchman

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    The Space Choo Choo was the only TR figure I had been even interested in, and this definitely makes it a buy now. Thanks for the great review!
     
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  10. Starscream 91

    Starscream 91 Mech With A Mouth

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    Thanks!

    Really hope we get a voyager Octane in the future now seeing this pic.
     
  11. Wars

    Wars Regular At Swerve's™

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    I'd say we're pretty likely to get an Octane out of TR voyager Optimus Prime at some stage
     
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  12. Ektris

    Ektris Well-Known Member

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    I love this figure. The only negative I can think of is the lack of paint to really make all of that excellent detailing pop.

    But he looks great, transforms great, and is just fun. Glad I waited to experience the mold with him over Sentinel because I think he just looks so much better.
     
  13. PredaconElder

    PredaconElder Well-Known Member

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    The design that this toy is probably based on:IDW Astrotrain. It's meant to be a Cybertronian design.

    I think it's pretty clear that the latter alterations to try and evoke an armored train design is what screwed up the train alt-mode.
     
  14. ex dtw2003

    ex dtw2003 Well-Known Member

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    Great review.

    I'm looking forward to mine showing up tomorrow just trying to figure out where to add those extra couple paint apps.

    Silver face?
     
  15. cybeast

    cybeast Well-Known Member

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    Can I request a pic of him using Apeface's head? :D 
     
  16. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

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    Seconded.
     
  17. Swoop Dogg

    Swoop Dogg me King!

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    Here you go:
     

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  18. cybeast

    cybeast Well-Known Member

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    Damn, he looks weird, the face is too small :( 
     
  19. Swoop Dogg

    Swoop Dogg me King!

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    It's not any smaller that the Darkmoon/Astrotrain face.
     
  20. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

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    I think Apeface's head just... tends to look small on Voyagers. It looks tiny on Galvatron, despite being the same size as his unhelmeted head.
     

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