Cliffbee.com: Metrotitan Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Metrotitan
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Commander
Alternate Mode: City/Rolling Fortress

Thanks to heroic decepticon for loaning me Metrotitan for this review



CITY MODE
Height: 22cm Length: 32cm Width: 42cm

   A sprawling white city with two extended repair bay ports that can extend to the sides or forward - depending on your preference, as well as a helipad and three towers on the central main block. Metrotitan is a repaint of Metroplex, with only some of that toy's whiten retained. There are black repair bays and a black ramp leading into a cavity on the right side of the central block. There are a few bright red elements and black and yellow stickers deliniating the helipad area. Metrotitan has some black, blue and white guns here are there. The colour scheme is much brighter than Metroplex, and a little less focused, so the "city" feel isn't quite as strong, although the window stickers on the towers have been retained, thankfully.

   Most of Metrotitan's accessories can be attached in this mode. At the extremities of the repair bays are mounts for his large white missile launchers, the black guns can be attached to the right tower and the compound gun tower slots into the back of the helipad, giving Metrotitan a total of six guns - all formed from various parts of Metroshot (one of his sidekicks). The fists, loose antenna and Metrotank's turret will be spare, along with the companion robots' handguns.

   You can fit four Micromasters into the repair bays, as well as another on the helipad, although the scale isn't quite right - Metroplex was sold alongside larger Transformers than Metrotitan found sharing the shelves with him. The ramp is more or less designed for Metrodash, but there's no reason you can't drive another vehicle into his garage. You have the option of attaching Hot Spot in repair bay mode and Silverbolt in launchpad mode to the repair bays (although Fire Chief, Guard City component, was the only version of either available in Metrotitan's era). Each repair bay has a ramp on the black side pieces, onto which you can drive small Transformers. The missile launcher mounts detach, revealing Scramble City style sockets, into which you can plug limbs (of Guard City, I guess - although Protectobots might be easier to find). There's a black button on top of the main block, above the ramp. if you have a vehicle (Metrodash works best since he has axles), pressing down on it will send it rolling down the ramp.

   Large, sprawling and imposing, Metrotitan is imposing and really is a playset all on his own. It's quite a detailed mode, too, and the various towers give it a sense of scale. In some ways this is more of a field headquarters than a city - especially in this eclectic mix of colours.

   Well it's a fun playset even if he's not so much of a city as Metroplex. The overall effect is similar - Metrotitan is fun and versatile. This is his best mode, easily beating the rolling fortress mode, which is almost an intermediate mode. Big, impressive and lots of fun, it's just a shame that most of the toys from his era don't scale well with this mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROLLING FORTRESS MODE

   Remove all the accessories, slide the ramp into the main body of the toy and fold up the helipad. Flip out the gunrack on top of what was the helipad, align the two remaining towers on either side, extend forward the antenna on the right side and attach the left side antenna. Fold up the ramps of the repair bays, rotate the waist of the toy so that the repair bays are pointing forward with the wheels underneath the toy. Attach the maroon missile launchers to the front platforms, the black guns to the sides of the toy and the detachable tower - upside down, with the gun that lives inside it pointing up.

   OK, this is a simplification of this transformation, and it leaves Metrotitan in a configuration that's halfway between city and robot modes, adding to the intermediate mode feel here.

ROLLING FORTRESS MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 23cm Length: 32cm

   This is the robot mode with the head and arms tucked and the robot legs sticking out in front, and it kind of looks like it, to be honest. There are eight tyres underneath which exist only for this mode, but everything else is part of one of the other modes.

   It does look like an attack mode, since it's armed to the teeth, with a total of ten guns, although the city mode still looks more powerful. This is a big toy, but without the height of the other modes and with the towers tucked away you lose the sense of scale that makes the city mode so cool.

   The play value here is pretty limited. Metrotitan can roll along on his wheels, but the front platforms don't stick together and on rougher surfaces will bobble around. The launchers on front can barely fire their missiles - the missiles really unlock more than fire. Metrodash and Metrotank are able to accompany this mode, however Metroshot is deployed all over the fortress itself. The spare accessories in this mode are Metroshot's torso and the robot fists.

   It's nice that they gave Metrotitan wheels for this mode, but it's still little more than an intermediate mode. It does add to the playset as a whole, so I'm glad they included this mode, but it's a fairly minor part of Metrotitan's appeal.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the missile launchers, swing down the legs and fold up the shinplates. Swing down the arms, rotate his shoulder-guns and attach the fists. Press the little black button on his back to pop out the head, and swing up his maroon antennae. Deploy the missilerack on his left breastplate. Give Metrotitan his missile launchers as handguns. You can also detach the black shoulder-guns and use them as handguns, although the missile launchers won't fit into the shoulder sockets. Curiously, these sockets are Scramble City sockets, so you can arm him with attack-mode Protectobots if you want (c8

ROBOT MODE
Height: 28cm Width: 52cm

   A giant stocky, white and blue robot composed of a series of blocks, and despite the asymmetry of the city mode this is fairly symmetrical, although the chest is asymmetrical. There are red and black highlights, and his head is red with giant white antennae. The face is entirely chromed silver with green eyes, which looks nice even if green is an odd choice. The nose, mouth and chin are all moulded into the face, which also features cheeklines and the eyes are also moulded. There are various yellow and black stickers visible, and a slightly off-looking purple Decepticon logo sticker on the right side of his chest, which is bright red. I'm not a big fan of the colours now - they're fairly garish - but at least the give this repaint a different feel from Metroplex.

   Metrotitan has a total of eight guns and has white antenna on either shoulder and white antennae on his head. Metrotitan has twin white cannons behind his right shoulder and twin white cannons on the left shoulder that can lift up to about 50.

   Metrotank and Metrodash are again available in this mode, and if you strip Metrotitan of his sidearms and the white cannons on his back, so is Metroshot. The robot itself is very unposeable - the shoulders ratchet up and down, allowing him to aim his missile launchers, and the wrists rotate. The missiles can of course fire and the left shoulder cannon moves, as mentioned. I don't so much mind the lack of poseability. And the simple fact is that this is a huge robot mode, impressive next to most other Transformers.

   A large, imposing robot mode, and because of this he's impressive despite fairly garish colours. The three companion drones supply a lot of the play value here, which is slightly disappointing, but then this robot mode is more about impact than anything else, and looks good, with liberal use of weapons and lots of detail.

Metroshot

   The tallest of the three companions, but also the weakest. His legs are the white missile launchers, the black guns are his arms and the blue helipad gunrack his torso. The twin white cannons form a backpack, but can be left off if you like. For those keeping count, he's composed of six weapons with eight barrels. Oddly, he has his own black handgun, which is a little redundant when his arms are large guns anyway. The face is simple and unpainted but he does carry a Decepticon logo sticker on his chest. The only poseability here is swinging arms. Metroshot's components arm Metrotitan in all three modes, so considering how weak this robot is you might just prefer using the weapons and not worrying about Metroshot.

Metrotank

   A small blue tank, who's mission in life is to form a tower of the city mode, and he has a spire underneath for this purpose. There are tread stickers on either side and the turret which attaches for tank mode, making a simple yet distinct tank mode. While it's totally static this is a better tank companion that Metroshot is a robot sidekick, and since it's only needed for one mode, forming Metrotank doesn't detract from Metrotitan himself. The attachment point on Metrotitan is actually one of his wrist sockets, so you can attach his in either mode in place of a fist if you want to. As with Metroshot, he bears a Decepticon logo sticker, on top of the turret.

Metrodash

   The best of the companions, Metrodash is included solely to allow you to utilise the ramps and repair bays without needing to purchase another Transformer - which is handy considering almost everything else in Zone was Micromaster sets. His car mode is 8cm long and most red, with twin black cannons on top and on his six wheels. Impressively, he has three axles, allowing him to roll down the city mode ramp quite well.

   The transformation involves lifting up to top of the car, folding the roof down to form his back and moving the arms from his back to his shoulders. The arms are held in place only with friction. He has fistholes on both hands and can hold his gun in either hand. As with the car mode this robot mode is mainly red with black arms and a Decepticon logo sticker on his chest (visible on the car mode hood, by the way). The robot mode is far too weak for this to work as a standalone Transformer, but it's pretty good for an included car that's only really there to give you a companion vehicle. My main complaint is the ease with which his arms - and his backplate - detach.

Metrobomb

   A fairly minor repaint of Skystalker (see that review for a full review of the mould), Metrobomb is basically the same in vehicle mode, with the purple chest now black (matching his thighs) in robot mode. The colours are so similar that he's neither better nor worse, really. He sports a Decepticon logo sticker on his hood, which looks slightly off, as on Metrotitan. It's a good Micromaster mould, so he's a nice bonus even if Metrodash works much better with the city mode (due to scale issues).

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Metroplex, and features the plastic tyres found on the later versions of Metroplex.

OVERALL

   As with many of the Japanese G1 repaints, Metrotitan is expensive and fairly obscure, but unlike many of them, his paint job is less effective than that of the original toy. His colour scheme isn't awful, and whether or not his bright, bold colour scheme is better than Metroplex's or not depends on taste - but it makes the city mode less city-like. Which is a shame since it's his strongest mode. The city mode is very good and the robot mode imposing and detailed, although Metrotitan has a weak rolling fortress mode and a dependance on detachable accessories, making missing pieces a pain (especially since you'd never source them alone for a rare toy like this) The only major flaw of the toy itself is the central swivel in his waist. Snapped or accessory-less Metroplexes are far too common, so I suspect there'd be a few Metrotitans in the same condition. Given his obscurity and the more effective colours on Metroplex, I'm hesitant to recommend Metrotitan, but if by some chance you get a chance to acquire him at a comparable price to Metroplex, he still has a lot going for him (and comes with a Micromaster) - 6/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.