I mentioned in my 2017 Roundup that the Titans Return range was one of my favourite things of last year. So it seems fitting that for the first review of 2018, we take a look at one of the Titan Master figures.
Being a huge sucker for prehistoric creatures, it’s actually a wonder I hadn’t picked up the mammoth-shaped Autobot Shuffler sooner. Largely it’s down to his Autobot status; though I have picked up a number of Autobots from this range, I am increasingly loath to by Autobots product. They don’t tend to fit into the larger collection, and space is increasingly at a premium within my house. But I made an exception for this little guy.
Shuffler has three modes – the aforementioned mammoth, a tank and a gun for larger figures to hold. Typically, the Titan Master-scale figures look good in one or two of their modes and totally crap in at least one. Not so the case here; all of them look pretty good!
In bot mode, Shuffler is a bit plain. It’s been a running complaint that there isn’t enough paint on the Titan Masters, even at the top-end models, and the same applies here. Even some eyes would have done wonders. However, his face is a little interesting by virtue of having a “snout” where his nose would be. It’s a nice sculpted detail.
Shuffler’s mammoth mode has the rare distinction of appearing “complete” even when his head isn’t inserted into it. In fact, when he is inserted into the base body, the tab that sits on the back of his legs kind of makes it look like he has a big ol’ robotic dong. Hilarious.
The tank mode hides the elephantine look of the head more effectively than you might have thought. Shuffler serves as pilot, but if you leave him off the vehicle still has a nice mecha-style look to it.
While the gun (not pictured) is definitely the weakest of the modes, it still gives off a nice missile launcher vibe. The designers are to be commended for not simply trying to make the whole thing look like a giant pistol, which is something that has plagued a lot of the other Titan Master accessories.
In head mode, he gives the appearance of definitely being a Decepticon, with his masked face and red eyes. Still, it’s oddly friendly, and I find myself sort of wishing that he had a “real” body to attach to. In fact, the only real downside about Shuffler is that he’s an Autobot. I mean, why cast him in these colours and NOT have him as a Decepticon?
|"Curse your betrayal, Shuffler!"|
Brand history is one thing, but he’s hardly a major character in the mythos. Recast him in a different colour scheme and call him a new character for the Autobots; new characters aren’t going to hurt. But in my personal canon, he will be serving strictly as a warrior for Galvatron. Maybe some kind of undercover spy, lurking among the Autobots until the time is right. Maybe even hijacking Autobot bodies in the process…who could say?
Though I only picked him up quite recently, Shuffler has rapidly become of my favourite figures from the Titans Return line. He’s sturdy, yet easy to transform, offers multiple play patterns and is easy to carry around in your pocket. Well done Hasbro.