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Ganon578's review: Titans Return Titan Master Sawback

Name: Sawback (Lione)
Function: Titan Master
Subgroup: Titans Return

Well, here we are with a new Titan Master for the Titans Return line – Sawback, a.k.a. Lione. Lione was a Japan only character and toy, debuting in the Headmasters cartoon and seeing an standalone exclusive release, respectively. Lione’s cartoon appearances seem to be only from two episodes from what I gather. The original toy is a rarity – apparently the real deal goes for obscene amounts of money on the secondary market these days. For these reasons, I give the design team at Hasbro/Takara a major thumbs up for bringing these types of characters to today’s market; this is something you definitely would not have seen even a few years ago.

Lion Mode:

Lione’s lion mode is the best of the few modes this guy has, in my opinion. The lion looks pretty imposing, and has a good amount of detail. The color palette (which is consistent in every mode) is yellow and orange, with a tiny bit of blue for the eyes and silver on the ‘wings’. The lion stands well enough, but doesn’t do anything else that’s noteworthy. At least the Titan Master plugs into the back of the lion head very easily and stays snug. The only major problem here is the lion has a gaping hole in his back. And he’s got a stubby tail. Oh well.

Jet Mode:

Unplug the Titan Master, flip the lion upside down, close the head and open the wings. That’s about as tricky as it gets for these small guys. The Titan Master sits in the ‘cockpit’ of the jet, looking over a tiny windshield. Otherwise, you’ve got a boxy jet with cat legs for tail fins. At least there are a couple little guns to shoot from the wings. Meh.

Shield Mode:

Remove said Titan Master, flip the back legs down and rearrange the wings to get into shield mode. Honestly, having a shield mode is pretty neat for use with various Titans Return figures, as it uses a 5 mm peg for attaching it to fists. The downside? The peg only works on the underside of another figures hand. So while I thought Lione would pair well with Hot Rod in terms of color palette, you can’t use him with Hot Rod’s arm design. Furthermore, the peg sits rather close to the shield’s body, so having the shield rest on a forearm (as shields do) is unattainable on some figures. What could have been great weapon mode falls a little flat.

Robot Mode:

Lione’s robot mode is all bland plastic – you’ll find no paint here. A yellow torso with an orange head, arms and legs. At least his little head looks like a lion as well… so that’s neat.

Headmaster Mode:

Lione features a long, yellow face with blue painted eyes. He’s got somewhat of an orange plastic ‘helmet’, but overall the look is pretty good and quite spot on to the rare original. I like how the eyes are somewhat slanty, giving him a lion-like look. Plugging him into other TR figures is easily, but the snugness of that plug will vary from figure to figure. He’s pretty wiggly in my Hot Rod, but fairly snug in Brainstorm. Choose wisely.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 3. Not a whole lot of anything noteable or interesting.
Durability: 9. The plastic is good, nothing worrisome.
Fun: 4. If the shield were a bit better designed, this would be cool. And the jet mode is terrible.
Aesthetics: 7. The colors are nice and bright and the lion mode looks great (if you ignore his hollow back).
Articulation: 5. Well, he’s got joints where he needs them for a Titan Master. So, average?
Value/Price: 6. As a standalone toy, Lione would be a poor choice. If you’ve got other TR figures laying around, $5 isn’t too bad for an impulse buy.
Overall: 6. I honestly can’t say you need this guy. He’s your average Titan Master, and pretty cheap. He gets an extra point for being quite a rare figure. He would be an easier sell if the shield and jet modes were better designed.
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