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with Nucleon

Series: Titans Return
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Voyager Triple Changer Headmaster
Year: 2016

Prelude: Depending on the medium, Galvatron is Megatron’s future self, a time traveler, a barbarian from Cybertron’s ancient past, a complete madman, a cross-dimensional agent of Unicron, or some combination of all that. Either way, we will soon get a new Galvatron figure in the War for Cybertron Kingdom series, so it’s time to look at the most recent Galvatron figure Hasbro gave us for Titans Return. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: At first glance Galvatron has all the necessary trappings you expect from a figure of that name. Big purple and grey guy, check. Big orange gun on one arm, check. Big silver boots with humongous knee pads of doom, check. Some grey kibble hanging of his back, check. Tank treads on his arms, check. That sure looks like Galvatron, now let’s check out the head and... oh, what is that thing?

Like all Titans Return figures Deluxe and up, Galvatron is a Headmaster. And since all the Headmaster heads from that series are the same size, bigger figures like Galvatron have additional kibble snapping out to make the head look bigger. But in Galvatron’s case said kibble is an ill-fitting purple headpiece. Not only does it look terrible, it also restricts any and all head movement except for a few degrees to each side. You can leave the headpiece in, but then you’re left with an all-grey head that looks like a cross between Megatron and Galvatron and doesn’t really fit with the rest of the body.

It’s made worse by the fact that, except for the head, Galvatron is a very decent figure. Some hollow forearms, sure, but he is nicely articulated, looks cool from the neck down, and ticks all the boxes for how a Galvatron should look. He’s even got ankle tilts. Sadly none of that helps mitigate the fact that he has a terrible, terrible head. So bottom line for the robot mode: pretty good body, but that head is a total miss.

Alternate Mode: The original G1 Galvatron was a triple changer, who could transform into a huge cannon and a hand gun. The hand gun mode was completely ignored by the cartoon and mostly ignored by the comics, most just remember Galvatron as a big cannon. Titans Return Galvatron also has a cannon mode, which is actually a pretty close match to the G1 version. It’s basically the robot lying down, the arms transforming into tracked stands, the legs folding together in the rear of the cannon. Now you might like this mode or not, but it’s a pretty decent recreation of the mode we saw in the cartoon and comics, so no real complaints here.

Now all Titans Return Voyager-class figures were required to be triple changers for some reason, so Galvatron, too, has a third mode. In his case it’s not a handgun, but rather a space jet. Why a space jet? I have no idea, possibly a homage to the brilliant Energon Galvatron, who knows? Anyway, the space jet has the orange cannon up front and a cockpit with room for the Titan Master, and as long as you’re looking at it from the front, it doesn’t look half-bad. Just don’t look at it sideways or from the back, because then you will see that the entire rear of the jet is just the robot legs doing a split. So... yeah, nice try, but that’s a mode whose existence you can safely ignore.

Partner: Galvatron’s head transforms into a separate robot called Nucleon, a Titan Master. Nucleon is a typical Titan Master robot and sculpted to kind of look like Megatron. Except for his eyes he is all-grey, though, swallowing up most of his detailing.

Upgrade Set: Almost immediately after his release, people started creating upgrade sets for this figure to replace the terrible headpiece with a proper helmet. There are several versions available on Shapeways, as well as a set from Toyhax, which I chose. It’s basically just a two piece helmet to replace the headpiece and, in my mind, it really makes a huge difference. I also put on Toyhax stickers to make the figure pop a bit more, in robot as well as in cannon mode. All in all I ended up with a pretty decent Galvatron figure. Not perfect, but worlds better than before. See below for pictures.

Remarks: As mentioned above there have been quite a few versions of Galvatron across various media. Most of them are future incarnations of Megatron (or possibly a Megatron clone), reformatted by the Chaos Bringer Unicron into a more powerful version.

Given that there are quite a few G1 fans who are not particularly enamored with the third season of the cartoon, it’s not that surprising that Galvatron has gotten far fewer figures than Megatron over the year. Talking strictly G1 incarnations of the character, this is only the third-ever mold we’ve gotten. It came out as part of Titans Return and as much as I liked many, many figures from that line, Galvatron shows that not every single one of them should have been made a Headmaster.

To sum it up: Galvatron is not a bad figure, but the Headmaster gimmick was a bad, bad idea here. The third mode is not particularly great, either, but doesn’t hurt the figure much. So the bottom line: this figure is worth getting, but only if you immediately get one of the many upgrade sets for the head, too. With a proper head, Galvatron is pretty good (though still has room for improvement). Without it, though, give this one a miss.

Rating: C- (original) / B (upgraded)

Update: The Toyhax upgrade turns Galvatron into a nice figure (see last 11 pictures in the gallery).
Toy DB Link

Picture Gallery:

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