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Triggerhappy is another character that has been neglected in terms of toy updates over the decade that modernized G1 has really been a thing. But it's a design and character I've long been taken with. So much so that I even requested my friend HeyMickey to make a custom for me using a Universe Dirge as a base. And though I've always been very happy with that, I think the new one is going to force an upgrade.
I love the look of the robot mode. The cockpit canopy blends so smoothly in with the lines of the torso, and the torso is styled where it looks to me like it's trying to represent the whole front half of the vehicle mode being squashed up together. I often don't like attempts at faking vehicle anatomy in a robot mode, but this is done in a way I think is more subtle than something like an entirely fake car windshield, for instance.
The legs have smooth lines and don't vary in size or shape greatly, making things look sleeker, and flowing very nicely off the torso shapes. The stabilizers on the shins offer just a little visual interest to ward off being overly generic looking. But these details aren't originally from Triggerhappy, and are in fact more consistent with Slugslinger. Interesting, that...
The arms skip design elegance and go wholly the other way with the engine nozzles, wings, and large cannons all stacked on. This is one of the design elements that I like about Triggerhappy. It goes further with this version since there's a contrast to the visuals between streamlined main body and equipment-heavy arms.
The main color is wonderful, this slightly desaturated blue that's edging over toward indigo, maybe? The off-white secondary color sometimes doesn't look all that great, but in use on Triggerhappy it matches nicely with the muted quality of the blue. And this tone is intentional, as can be evidenced by looking at the stripes of paint on the wings which are very similar.
The copper on the engines and a bit more on the chest, plus the silver all stand out so nicely, finished off by the lighter blue stripes on the wing surfaces. It remains subtle, but gives a nice little pop of bright color to the toy.
Articulation is mostly standard. You have a good deep knee bend.
The ankles have some decent back and forth, though no side to side.
And the leg mobility is all what we come to expect of Deluxes from this line.
The arms have the same basic articulation as most everything, but despite all the junk on the arms, their movement is basically unrestricted. The arms guns and the wings have clearance to let the elbows work with the arm oriented forward.
If you want to use the bicep swivel now, the hinge on the cannons effortlessly moves to get them out of the way of the wing. The shoulders are solid universal joints. On this copy the swivel joint is a little far to the stiff side and can feel difficult to move sometimes. And even with the engines sticking up, you get a fair bit of outward movement before you hit the head.
Also, I'm really digging this face sculpt. It's not complex at all, but there's a layered look to it from the faceplate to the inner face surface, and the eyes sunk in even farther. The face design is based on the old media design rather than the toy. And I'm okay with that since this came out so cool looking. If you want something more toy oriented, a Skytread could work as a substitute, especially if you felt like painting it blue.
And is it just me, or does the Titan Master's own face resemble Jazz a bit?
To transform, fold the fists in, and flip the arm cannons down.
Pull up from the bottom of the side pieces to untab the shoulder parts.
Rotate the waist.
Pull the pelvis down, and then move to the coolest part of the process.
Rotate the whole torso 180 degrees.
You can then close the nosecone on to complete the cockpit and canopy.
Now, fold away the feet, making sure the heels fit all the way down inside. The toes will stop at this position.
Tab the legs together at the shins, and raise the thighs up parallel with the top of the pelvis, then fold the lower legs over until they stop. Then you can just lift the assembly and tab it in.
Pull the arm assemblies back, and they'll easily tab along the fuselage.
Make sure you have the wings raised, and then connect the arms to these thick tabs.
Bring out the landing gear, and you're all set.
I can't even tell you how much I like this. The original Triggerhappy was more than a little on the chunky blocky side, but this is anything but. It's been streamlined and made to look more advanced in the process.
The most important design element, the nacelles running full length from cannon to engine are properly represented.
And to either side you have either a sleek fuselage with just enough square mass to it to look powerful, or forward swept wings that while maybe a little on the small side, add to the whole image especially in adding more guns. He's Triggerhappy for a reason, right?
The only place it looks kind of bad is around the back where the thighs are hanging out.
Outside that, everything is well concealed. There's even this nicely detailed panel with vents and maybe a vertical thruster. Nothing else about it is overtly robot, everything incorporates very well to form a solid looking vehicle.
It's pretty impressive when you think how close it skews towards generic looking as a robot. And this probably will fuel it in retool potential. Swap out the distinctive parts for different distinctive parts and get something that represents another character just as well.
Now, mine does have a minor issue in that the cannons won't point straight forward. I think the pins were misfired so it pushes back out. This is probably not going to be a common issue though. I'm just lucky.
The cockpit interior is detailed fairly well. The best of that being the console in front that extends under the forward half of the canopy in a way that's at least somewhat realistic. I like attention to little details like that.
As goes placing Blowpipe inside, I find it necessary to unclip the nosecone for extra room. I haven't been able to get the feet secured inside without taking that step.
You get a dual cannon as the accessory, and I'm not particularly happy with how this worked out. The separate halves of the gun are okay, and only have a small open space in them. I like the styling, including how they tried to mimic the sculpted details on the hollow faces.
But joining the guns is where it's weakest. It only has the foot port to accommodate a Titan Master, and Blowpipe seems impossible to peg in there which is a small issue. The bigger problem comes when you find there is no decent way to utilize the combined, Titan Master carrying weapon. In robot mode you can have it held sideways, or awkwardly pegged to the side of the arm, neither of which looks good.
In vehicle mode there is nothing you can do with this. The ports for attaching the guns are under the wings, and there's not enough ground clearance at attach the combined weapon, even if you were okay with doing so sideways.
There's no other way to attach these parts. The best thing they could have done based on what's here already would have probably been to make the gun able to peg on the Titan Master foot legs on top of the fuselage. It would have been a solid position for the weapon and not required anything that would have further blemished the appearance of either spaceplane or guns. But as is, this functionality feels entirely useless.
If you put the accessories aside, and I ignore my one QC problem, Triggerhappy is flat out fantastic. I'm probably biased a little since this is a design I already loved which I think they made better in almost all respects. But look at it piece by piece. The robot mode is solid, manages to have no poseability compromises even when there is unusual design elements that need worked around, and I think it came out really nice on its aesthetics. You've got a transformation that takes an unusual path even while going to largely the same destination as a lot of other figures in its price point. And the vehicle mode is sturdy, evokes the character and original design wonderfully, and hides it robot elements almost completely. For me that far outweighs any of the small issues I took with it along the way. Is it the best of the line so far? Well, I'd rather say that Titans Return has been a generally strong line since it started, and Triggerhappy definitely measures up.
|Date||December 7th 2016|
|Score||(9 out of 10)|
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