Titans Return Titanmaster Sawback

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by payres, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. payres

    payres Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Posts:
    9,156
    News Credits:
    166
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Likes:
    +7,565
    Ebay:
    Titans Return Sawback

    One of the main inspirations behind the Titanmasters is the Autobot Master Warriors released exclusively in Japan at the same time as the Headmasters in 1987. Sold separately they are one new Headmaster head which can be used as a substitute or replacement for an existing Headmaster. Kirk, Rodney & Loafer are fairly similar to the original Headmasters in that they transform into robots but Toraizer, Shuffler & Lione are different, they turn into animal robots: a tiger, elephant and lion respectively. It's not altogether a surprise to see them being done in Titans Return as Titanmaster though I have to admit that I thought they were on the lower end of possibility on people's wish lists. Shuffler was shown at New York Comic Con 2016 while Lione was revealed earlier in the year at San Diego Comic Con and was renamed Sawback, matching the recently released RiD Lion Minicon.

    The Titanmaster itself deviates from the original Lione by giving Sawback a humanoid robot form but, in a nod to the original, gives him a lion's head which means he'll line up nicely alongside Twinferno's Titanmaster Daburu. The colours are in line with the original too, mainly orange with a yellow chest and yellow upper legs. The head mode is pretty close to the original, moulded in orange but they've painted the face yellow to differentiate it from the rest of the head. It's a bit different but it works better and it matches the head of his accessory's beast mode. The detailing on the head is good down to having what would of been the original toy's lion head embedded in the forehead. As an orange head you instinctively want to use him with Sentinel Prime but annoyingly the shades of orange are just slightly different, Sawback's being a tad paler. However the yellow on the face helps tie in with Sentinel's yellow highlights so it just about works.

    Onto the accessory: I haven't seen a Transformer packaged in such an odd way for such a long time! You might think it's Sawback's shield mode but it's not! Both lion legs point down, with the tail at the bottom, handle at the top and lion face the wrong way up! Not exactly helping to sell the toy....

    So start by turning the toy the other side up, so the face is looking at you the right way up. Then swing the set of legs which are now at the bottom back and down 180°. The legs are connected to each other and the shield's handle so they'll move as one piece. You'll run into trouble half way through as the handle makes contact with the Lion head's beard but help them pass each other and you'll be ok. That contact is however quite annoying and I don't see a way round it. Fold the rear legs down behind the toy. Fold the silver wings down and bring them together under the Lion head.

    In hand the shield is much better than it looked in the pictures and is surprisingly solid. It's not without an issue though! Most Transformer weapons have the 5mm peg inserted into the top of the hole. Sawback is different for the lion head to be the right way up on the shield facing you the handle needs to be inserted from the bottom of the hand which means he can only be used with figures with a hole right the way through their fist. Sawback's handle also needs decent contact with the hand hole to hold him in place. I tried him with Blaster and he slipped out the fist! He was fine with Sentinel Prime though. Yes you could hold him the other way up but then the face on the shield would look wrong. The handle also isn't that far out from the back of the shield so larger hands, like on Combiner Wars figures, can't hold him and figures without a 5mm peg won't be able to either.... but there again I don't think any toy in the Generations line should be without 5mm peg hole hands.

    From shield mode fold the legs down under the toy and stand it. Separate the silver wings and fold them so they point backwards over the rear legs. Fold the Lion head forward. Fold the Titanmaster into head mode and slide it into the rear of the Lion's head so it faces down: there's a square hole for the Titanmaster's head and pegs on the top of it's mane for it's feet holes.

    The way the Titanmaster's arms and legs integrate with the lion head to form a complete and textured mane is really rather good. It's just about passable as a lion without the Titanmaster and really works with it in place. The only real issue then is a big gap in the rear of the lion's body but that just provides a space for a second Titanmaster to ride in. The silver wings, which are mounted on ball joints, can be folded forward to provide guns at the side of the head just like Beast Wars II Lioconvoy. Articulation otherwise is a little limited: the rear legs move independently of each other but the front legs are connected to each other and the shield handle. The shield handle is now resting against the Titanmaster so it can't move forward, and thus the legs can't move back. You could move the front legs forward but that would then hit anything riding behind the head. Best treat it as a static item.

    Sawback also has a vehicle mode. Start by removing the Titanmaster. Press down on the tail to raise up the rim of the rear of the body and fold the Lion head back into it before closing the rim back round the head. Fold all four legs back. Turn it over onto the lion's back. Fold the wings, which are orange on their underside, out to the side. Sit the Titanmaster in the front of the vehicle with his feet on the yellow pegs visible through the hole.

    This is very much a "stretch your imagination" mode but it appears they were aiming for some sort of Cybertronian aircraft with the shield handle forming the gun poking out the front. A bit odd and a nice bit of fun.

    The main purpose of the toy was to provide new version of Lione. I think they've managed that. OK the head doesn't turn into a Lion any more which is a shame but the lion theme is still there in the head's design and the accessory. Shields are rare in Transformers so the accessory makes a nice add on and the Lion mode looks nice. From there the plane is a bit of extra fun. Sawback hadn't done much for me from his pictures but in hand he's a lot of fun.

    Sawback is a Wave 3 Titans Return Titanmaster sold with Fangry, Overkill & Ptero (Swoop).

    Future Repaints

    Several repaints suggest themselves: Blue as the aforementioned RiD Sawback, White & Gold as Lionconvoy, Black & Yellow as Predacon Leader Razorclaw, brown & yellow as Beats Wars Prowl and all white in a homage to the exclusive version of the original Lione. I can see an all white set of him, Shuffler and whichever other Autobot Master Warriors are done being lined up for a 2017/18 convention exclusive somewhere!

    =-

    No photos today, the batteries are dead in both cameras, can't find the charger and my hands are really wonky in the wet weather so the pictures wouldn't be that good anyway!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Death333

    Death333 Otherwise known as Dx3

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Posts:
    2,915
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +84
    I love the Titan Master but the accessory leaves so much to be desired.

    The Shield mode is the most solid, believable and usable of the three. I wish the fore legs weren't hanging off the bottom but that's a personal aesthetic choice.

    Beast mode is almost great but then there's a HUGE hole in his back and there's nothing you can do short of setting another titan master in there for a ride along. Those wings really should've been on a hinge so they could fold in and cover the gap. It's really unfortunate because everything else in this mode is good.

    Ship mode.... Has Tak, look, beast legs don't make very convincing vertical stabilizers. Stop doing this, it doesn't work. :lol  The most laughable part about this mode to me isn't even the fact that it is completely ridiculous and unbelievable (and it is) but that, if you turn this thing upside down and fold the rear feet right up against the forelegs.... it's much more convincing as a ship but even more convincing as a weapon! It just needs a handle.... Talk about a missed opportunity.
     
  3. Zylly103

    Zylly103 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Posts:
    958
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +1,056
    I like this one a lot, even if the vehicle mode's not especially convincing (though some of the molded details are really nice).

    But the lion mode is flat out great.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Purple Heart

    Purple Heart Pure Passion

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Posts:
    25,760
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    357
    Likes:
    +21,301
    We've found conputer listings for Toraizer(literally they kept his name!)
    So I'd expect him to be a direct repaint of this dude! Speaking of him, Lione has to be my favorite Titanmaster yet!
     
  5. payres

    payres Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Posts:
    9,156
    News Credits:
    166
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Likes:
    +7,565
    Ebay:
  6. pokemonsdoom

    pokemonsdoom Cultist of Unicron.

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Posts:
    5,998
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Location:
    Trypticon Prison
    Likes:
    +11,663
    Ebay:
    man no word on this one, outside of the first comment, i am curious if sawback's titan master mode is a female since it is a lion without a mane
     
  7. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Posts:
    5,063
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +710
    The repaint I really want is Nightstalker.

    Sawback is, as far as I'm concerned, Steeljaw (like Overkill and how I've decided Terri-Bull is Raindance). And then the Titan Master can be repurposed as Ravage, thanks to having a feline head and all!

    The vehicle mode really oddly grew on me. It's just so goofy and fun. It looks piecemeal but there's an odd charm to it.
     
  8. smf2045

    smf2045 Aficionado of Combiners

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Posts:
    6,650
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Location:
    Sac o' Tomatoes, Calif.
    Likes:
    +41,323
    Which figures can hold Sawback and look good with him, other than Hot Rod and Sentinel Prime, who I don't have? I'm having a very hard time finding him a partner.

    Combiner hands (both hand/foot/guns and PE hands) can't hold him, and Leader Blaster can't hold him, which is frustrating, because I wanted him to sub for Steeljaw.
     
  9. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Posts:
    5,063
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +710
    Huh? Blaster holds him. I know this because he was in my Blaster's hands and he was his head ( as Marvel Blaster http://tfwiki.net/mediawiki/images2/9/93/BlasterUS17.jpg).

    EDIT: You know, I think I did have to do something wonky like turn Blasters arms so his elbows were the wrong way, so if that's an issue then I get it.
     
  10. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Wields Mjolnir!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Posts:
    17,247
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    387
    Likes:
    +4,323
    Picked him up today.

    Quite an odd duck of a partner. TBH, since I haven't had him that long, I can't really judge whether I like him or not, but the shield mode is the only one that I actually like.

    However, the Headmaster part though, I love. The sculpt for both the small beast head and the TM head are really nice, I almost wish I had a Sentinel just to give him an apt larger frame. He does look nice on Hot Rod, though he's not bodyjacking it.
     
  11. kylash327

    kylash327 ThePlasticGeek

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Posts:
    4,855
    News Credits:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Location:
    Watertown, WI
    Likes:
    +653
    I appreciate this:

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. smf2045

    smf2045 Aficionado of Combiners

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Posts:
    6,650
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Location:
    Sac o' Tomatoes, Calif.
    Likes:
    +41,323
    Oh, Sawback, you were a hope and a curiousity and you turned out to be a mediocre disappointment.

    [​IMG]

    The Good:

    The winged lion mode is pretty cool. The shield mode looks pretyty kickass. The individual Titan Master figure has a lion's head, which is a nice change of pace.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Bad: The lion mode has a hole in its back that you can't cover up by folding parts or wings over it. You can akwardly stand a Titan Mastwer in the gap to ride Sawback, which helps fill the hole, but not very well, since the Titan Master doesn't peg in or stay put.

    [​IMG]

    The so-called vehicle mode is a bad joke of lion limbs sticking up with the Titan Master riding in the middle of it. This mode won't even sit flat because of the lion's face on the underside.

    [​IMG]

    The shield mode looks the best of the three, but is very problematic for figures to hold since it has an undehand grip. Some figures don't have holes all the way through their fists, while others have widening gaps or kibble that block the peg coming up under the hand.

    [​IMG]

    For people thinking this was going to be the Steeljaw to their Blaster, I'm pouring some ice water on that right now. Blaster can't hold Sawback in an underhand grip because the recess in his fist is too wide at the bottom. The shield just slips out. The only way that Blaster can hold Sawback is upside down, with the lion face inverted, and this looks ridiculous.

    [​IMG]

    I usually Sawback in shield mode to Alpha Trion, since I don't have Sentinel Prime or Hot Rod. The colors may not match, but Trion going sword and board (and they can both turn into cats!) works out pretty well.

    [​IMG]

    The Verdict: I can't recommend this figure. The accessory mode is a problem, the animal mode is very flawed, and the vehicle mode looks like a junky afterthought.
     
  13. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Posts:
    5,063
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +710
    If anyone happens to have a spare Titan Master head, hit me up. I... well, let's just say mistakes were made.
     
  14. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Posts:
    25,408
    News Credits:
    99
    Trophy Points:
    392
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Likes:
    +5,475
    Ebay:
    So according to the Legends comic this is actually the Battle Beast Tigerburn. Weird huh?