Review: Transformers Titans Return Brainstorm

Hasbro has the art of mold reuse mastered these days. 2014’s Generations Springer and Sandstorm are generally regarded as the first “modern” retools that demonstrated just how much modern retooling could accomplish, and since then retools have gone from simple color-and-head swaps to in-depth part remolding, even going so far as to engineer in parts and mechanisms for future retools (like the lower legs on RTS Tracks/Generations Wheeljack). They’ve even begun to blur the lines a bit with figures like TR Chromedome and Highbrow, who reuse structural parts from Blurr and Scourge, respectively, but otherwise are entirely new molds. With retools getting more an more complex, it’s nice to see a slightly more traditional retool in the form of Titans Return Brainstorm, a Walgreen’s exclusive.

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Vehicle Mode

Unlike Chromedome, Brainstorm is very obviously a retool of Blurr, with a new shield/nose, sides, and fin on the rear. The mold usage does mean that Brainstorm ends up looking much less like his original G1 toy compared to his fellow redone Headmasters in the line, but it’s really not too bad. It’s got the colors and basic shape right, though it would be nice to have a proper second tailfin. Brainstorm comes out looking more like a stylish hovercar than a spaceship, though.

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The similarities are very evident when you put two altmodes next to each other, and I have to say that Brainstorm does look a little more impressive, thanks to his wings and lengthened front area. The varied color scheme helps, too. Speaking of which, his entire front section is painted to match the teal plastic of his torso. The color matching is spot-on, but I really wish the gun barrels were painted. More on those later.

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Titan Master

Brainstorm’s Titan Master, Arcana Teslor, should look very familiar by now, since he’s just a repaint of Hyperfire. That being said, he looks really nice thanks to his painted orange face and detail-accentuating plastic colors, putting him far above Stylor as the better repaint. Hyperfire still wins out with properly painted arms and legs, however. The first guy always wins, I guess.

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Robot Mode

Brainstorm’s Blurry origins come out hard in robot mode, but thanks to the different colors, it’s almost hard to notice at first glance. The new shoulders also do a whole lot to change the figure’s silhouette, and of course there’s the new head. The G1 sticker-referential tampographs are a really nice touch, driving home the figure’s resemblance to the original toy. The only thing throwing off the homage is his head, which is extremely faithful to Brainstorm’s IDW design, but it’s hardly an issue. The only part that sort of bugs me color-wise are his fists, which make him look like he just dunked his hands in teal paint and can’t get it off.

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Brainstorm’s articulation is entirely identical to Blurr’s, as are half of his accessories. The rifle that looked really great painted silver with Blurr, now looks very dull as unpainted teal with Brainstorm. It doesn’t help that this is the third toy to come with this same weapon, but hey, it works. What doesn’t work quite as well is the nosecone, which can remain on Brainstorm’s back (looking very clunky) or mount on his arm. It’s big and looks terribly unwieldy, and I really really wish the two molded guns were separate weapons that he could hold. I would have happily traded the rifle for two smaller guns, but alas, it was not meant to be.

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Titans Return Brainstorm manages to look radically different from Generations Voyager Brainstorm, which came out two years prior. The size and Blurr-ness has a lot to do with this, and that Voyager Brainstorm was modeled entirely after the character’s IDW appearance, while the TR Deluxe is very much a G1 toy homage. I don’t think either toy is particularly better than the other, considering their very different goals (though, ironically, TR Brainstorm’s head is far more comic-accurate than the Voyager’s). The Deluxe is, I will say, a bit more fun to pick up and mess around with than the Voyager, plus he scales much better with his fellow Headmasters.

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Overall

We’ve been expecting this figure since before the release of Blurr in Wave 1, so I’m sure a lot of people ended up passing on Blurr in favor of Brainstorm. Blurr turned out to be the best figure of the first wave, and Brainstorm does little to improve upon or take away from the base mold’s excellence. His weapons are a little disappointing, but the colors and overall look are pretty much spot-on. Having all four classic Headmasters in the same line and scale makes for a great team shot, as well. Even if you have Blurr, Brainstorm is definitely worth picking up, and thanks to Walgreens’s generally excellent distribution, he shouldn’t be a hard exclusive to track down.

Where to Buy

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Comments
2 Responses to “Review: Transformers Titans Return Brainstorm”
  1. Anonymous says:

    excellent reviews; Picture evidence for all statements, while the statements made are clear, concise, to the point and very detailed

    Liked by 1 person

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