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Transformers Titans Return
by yo go re

Transformers toys come in many size classes, and this year's Titans Return theme is no different. From the huge toys like Fort Max, we work our way down through the large characters like Sixshot, the "merely big" ones like Broadside, and average ones like Wolfwire. But since the gimmick wouldn't work on the little itty bitty ones like Kickback, Hasbro is doing something different: they're selling Titan Master heads by themselves.

Fangry will explode with fury if any bot gives him orders. When Fangry unites with other bots, he gives them a blind rage strength boost: the ability to unleash a blinding blast of steam, then attack with furious super strength.

In Generation 1, Fangry was indeed a Headmaster - though he was the body part, not the head. His head, upon which this toy is based, was a fellow by the name of Brisko, a cartographer with a photographic memory. Sure, why not? No idea how they came up with the stuff about steam or super strength, but it's no sillier than any of the other newly invented Headmaster powers, is it? Anyway, since "Fangry" is a more memorable name than "Brisko," that's what this toy is sold as.

The bot is small - not even 1½" tall - and has a level of detail commensurate with his stature. There are angled panels on his chest, the front of his legs look like springs, his head features a mouthplate with some kind of vertical slats in it... there wasn't a lot of detail on the original thing to copy over, but Hasbro did their best.

He's still pink and black, but the colors have been rearranged: the arms used to be pink, and now they're black; and the legs used to be black, and now they're pink; his head is solid black, rather than being pink with a blue visor. He's got much more articulation, though, with a single hinge each moving the knees and the hips, and balljoints for the neck and shoulders. You still just fold him in half to turn him into a larger head, but this adds a little playability when he's by himself.

The head he turns into is a wonderful re-creation of the original Fangry's noggin. The face is green, with a trapezoidal chin and a smooth, curved visor with just a bit of nose poking out from underneath. Around that is a black "helmet" portion, with a sort of squared-off V shape on the forehead and small nozzles flanking the temples (probably what he uses to shoot steam).

Since the modern Fangry is just a head, not a full Transformer, you'll have to lend him to another Titans Return figure if you want him to be useful. Thanks to his green face and the bit of pink still visible on the back of the head, he looks particularly nice paired up with Skullsmasher. But really, any Deluxe, Voyager or Leader Class figure from this year will do (though you may have to turn his head around backwards to make it fit into the figure's neck).

It would be really stupid to try selling a toy's head all by itself, the Titan Masters come with a small vehicle or beast, which also converts into a second vehicle or beast. It's vehicles and beasts all the way down! Fangry's pack-in is a bipedal wolf with bat wings - the same thing Fangry turned into back in 1988! You can tuck the head mode into the wolfbat's hollow chest, both making it look complete and mimicking the way Brisko could be stored inside the 1988 toy. The wings can fold forward, both shoulders swivel, and the hips bend as one. This mode is slightly over 2¼" tall.

Taking advantage of the fact that Fangry had wings, the beast's second mode is a little dragon. It can either work as its own thing, or you can have the tiny robot sit in its back and go for a ride. The eyes are yellow and the throat is white, but there's a 5mm peg sticking straight out the front of its neck, because the toy has a third mode that's supposed to be a triple-barreled blaster, but really still just looks like the wolfbat's feet and tail.

All the 1988 Decepticon Headmasters were weird chimeras - a wolfbat, a dogbull, and a crab... thing. Anyway, it's clear to see why they might not have been prime candidates for modern updates, and so are relegated to simply being sold as their old Headmaster partners. It's a weird way for Hasbro to market them, but it kind of works. Still, I'd rather have a full character than just their head.

-- 04/25/17

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