There are certain things you can count on in the world of transforming toy collecting, specifically regarding the 3rd party scene. One of these is that Mastermind Creations and their Reformatted line will continue to put out excellent toys, so it should not surprise you that R-21 Titanika is another corker from the group that have given us insta-classics Feral Rex, Carnifex, Anarchus, Spartan and Hexatron.
Titanika is one of those special figures where you can sense its quality and the level of satisfaction it will bring straight out of the box. Lovely metallic finish on the arms, knees and accessories (that would be two rifles and two rocket ‘launchers’ – inverted commas because, you know, 3P figures don’t fire squat), a great feel of solidity to the limbs and a truly striking (ahem) colour scheme.
Originally featured in Beast Machines with a cameo appearance in Animated, Titanika is based on a female Transformer, and is quite the breath of fresh air as she does not have the traditional delicate fembot physique. Titanika is bulky, wide, intimidating and obviously powerful. Above you can see the rifle storage on her back (not advertised in instructions) as they clip into the ball-jointed panels. Those panels can be rotated so that the rifles are pointing upwards also. The ‘launchers’ can attach to the rifles too.
Another immediate impression made by this impressive bot was to do with how nothing felt loose or insecure, and how posable she was with the exception of the shoulders. They are limited in their range of upwards/outwards movement and because of the length of the rifles. When she holds them she cannot get too much bend on her elbows. That’s the end of my criticism. That’s it. From hereon in you’re going to get a lot of praise lavished on R-21.
Excellent balance, double-jointed knees, great inward and outward ankle AND heel articulation, a toe bend, opening hands with individually articulated index finger and thumb supporting very good weapon grip…I could go on. So I will: Good range of head movement, studded mace cover for the hands that just slides over them, swivels everywhere you want swivels…she’s just wonderful to pose. Such expression and a tremendously unique appearance. Well, unless you count Dicamus who comes out later this year with the same base mould.
For a headsculpt with no humanoid mouth or nose, Titanika packs a great deal of character into that face. I love the sculpt, it has a really interesting shape and the eyes/eyebrows are so expressive, an almost tribal feel to it. I’m glad the rear of the head is not painted, because if you don’t transform that section correctly (in the right order) then you can get it to rub against surrounding surfaces, and I’m doubtful that gold paint would have lasted all that long under those circumstances.
Another rarity for a 3rd party figure of this price and stature, a simple, accessible and highly repeatable transformation to – and from – vehicle mode. There is not a single complex step, but it is a little tricky to get the hood panels to come up again as there’s no immediately obvious place to get a finger/nail hold. One of the things that always impresses me about MMC Reformatted products is how ingenious the tabbing and holes seem to be, always having a great multi-functional aspect to them for either weapon storage/mounting or securing sections together. Tolerances are excellent and you will not experience much frustration in getting Titanika into this mode where she clips together solidly and in an aligned fashion.
There’s a great deal of power and presence in both modes, and a lot to look at despite the slightly mundane overall shape of Titanika’s armoured vehicle mode. You might feel as though the windshield could have been translucent plastic instead of just a painted rasied section, and it’s a fair point. It rolls well and the weapon attachments are solid. While I have said that the alignment of tabs is very good when you transform her correctly – and yes you may have to go back one step to correct before proceeding occasionally – there are times when not all 6 wheels appear to be in contact with the surface the toy is on. Adjust and correct as necessary, you can get all six to roll. I don’t get it right every time. Interestingly, the instructions do not make reference to the necessary rotating of the gold kneecaps which double up as the sides of the rear bumper. I also thought that the comic was poorly edited, almost felt as though the last line of many speech bubbles was missing. Maybe that is just me and I didn’t quite connect with the dialogue or tone of this particular chapter.
In terms of size, Titanika sits between current voyager and leader class figures in robot mode, and you can see she has significant size in vehicle mode compared to the Masterpiece MP-10B truck cab. Honestly, putting the collection of Reformatted figures next to one another, you will be astounded at just how much quality there is in this line, quite a good deal of variety and a very welcome change from most of what’s coming out. Although to be fair, there is a good amount of diverse stuff being produced again on the 3P scene. Titanika adds beautifully to the range of Reformatted toys MMC have been putting out over the last 4 years or so, and for a character I have zero connection to or frame of reference for, they’ve produced something I cannot put down. MMC at their best, a great figure.
All the best