Hasbro’s Titans Return Trypticon Is The Best Dinosaur Spaceship a Transformer Can Be [Review]
The Transformers I had as a kid really don't compare to the current run from Hasbro. Today's figures in the Transformers family are larger, more detailed, and they all have an air of excitement around them. Don't get me wrong; when I was a kid, I thought the smaller robots were amazing. However, Hasbro's advances in making Transformers and the brand's continued popularity has had me longing for updated takes on those older toys.
The nostalgia lives on in the Generations line, and has already seen fan favorites like Superion, Devastator, numerous Optimus Primes and Megatrons, and many more revisited under the new style. With the Titans Return collection, we've seen even larger figures like Fortress Maximus make their long-awaited return right alongside new itty-bitty Titan Masters. Trypticon is the latest Titan Class character to get some love, and the Decepticon dinosaur/ship/city is as glorious a dinosaur/ship/city as you're likely ever to see.
Back in 1986 when Trypticon first released, he was but 12" tall in dinosaur mode. At the time however, he was still a fairly substantial Transformer, and easily one of the biggest you could get at the time. The 2017 version clocks in at 20" tall as a mechanized Tyrannosaurus Rex, making him not only one of the largest Transformers ever made, but definitively the biggest Decepticon ever. He is still outpaced overall by Fortress Maximus, but that's not surprising given the 2016 Autobot's incredible size and stature at ~25" tall in robot form.
Unlike Fortress Maximus, Trypticon doesn't come fully assembled and ready to rumble out of the box. The core body and two legs are separated, and Trypticon comes packaged in near-final spaceship form to start. You do have to attach the legs to either side, which for most people I'm guessing won't be a problem. They both slide into locking grooves that are easy to spot. Unfortunately, my Trypticon had a manufacturing flaw that left him with two right hip joints. That meant I had to take the left hip apart to invert all the pieces before I could do anything with the Decepticon Titan.
It was a simple fix, though the two pieces didn't fit together 100% smoothly upon resetting them in the right direction, so there's now a tiny gap in the hip joint. That slim gap is not visible to anyone looking at the figure when it's assembled, but it does make the hip just a few centimeters too large to fit correctly in the sockets along Trypticon's side. Closing the left leg in gives a fit that's much more snug than it should be, and doesn't give me great hope that this figure will last through many transformations without more substantial damage.
With that out of the way, I can say there were no other issues with the Trypticon figure, and it went through the rest of its paces in turning from ship to dinosaur to city and back with relative ease. The most difficulty I had beyond the leg was getting all of the decals into the right spot. The included directions do an okay job of explaining where everything goes, but don't zoom in enough on certain areas to give you a complete overview. Still, I was able to get Trypticon looking like his true self with relative ease with the aid of some tweezers and a lot of patience.
I never realized just how much my parents did for me as a child when it came to toys until I got older and had to do all those things on my own. Taking things apart or assembling them out of the box is one thing, but my god, the stickers. Even though Trypticon is the size of a toddler (give or take), the decals placed all over his body barely register an inch in width or height, and never both. Most are just a few centimeters in any direction, making them inordinately challenging to apply evenly in the right spots. It's a good thing I've been going to the gym and working on controlling my breathing. You need a steady hand and watchful eye to get all these Cybertronian warnings stuck on without error.
The good thing about Trypticon coming basically set in one form out of the box was how easy it made following the sticker instructions. You'll notice through the photo gallery that not all the stickers were in place at a given time, until the very end when I got the beast into city mode. Each form made it easier to find the right slots and spots for all the intricate decal designs, and I was able to add more and more as I went along. All told, it took roughly an hour to get all 160 stickers in place, but your mileage may vary there depending on your own stickering skill level. Mine is clearly barely above that of a six year-old.
Between all that decal work though was some relief and fun tinkering and transforming Trytpicon through his various modes. Obviously dino mode is the best, but you can't get there without first assembling the spaceship. The ship version of the build is still impressive, and its design calls back to the original 1986 iteration while improving on it tremendously. Since today's Trypticon is nearly double the size of the original, there's a lot more room for some fine sculpted detail. The "power supplies" on both sides of the ship don't just look good, there are also small pegs to attach Titan Masters to have them appear as if they're working on Trypticon as he goes.
The large cockpit, which you can fit some of the smaller Transformers in (Deluxe is about as big as you can fit in there), looks great too. Even that has a wealth of detail, and shows some great technical elements in a place Hasbro could just as well left clean and blank. The only complaint ship mode brought about was being able to see Trypticon's full dinosaur head on the rear. It takes away from the silhouette just a bit, but understandably there's no real place to put the head. The figure just wasn't built for hiding that menacing maw.
Moving from air to land, the pieces all fall into place rather easily to get Trypticon looking like a dinosaur you don't want to mess with in the least. The good thing about larger Transformers like this is how easy the many moves are when shifting between modes. Some of the smaller figures can be a bit of a hassle due to the delicacy of their parts. Even though there's still more than a dozen different changes you have to make for each of Trypticon's modes, they never feel too complicated. You flip that, you fold this in there, and you slide this other thing out, and all of a sudden you're staring a dinosaur right in the face.
There's no doubt dino Trypticon isn't the best Trypticon. Don't @ me. This is such a sweet Transformer, it's hard not to put it front and center in the living room. Not only is it massive, it's also so detailed you can't help but notice new elements every time you peek at it. Plus, he can actually eat Titan Masters, and they go to his belly prison. I wish I had a belly prison. Chocolate cake would never escape. That is a sweet feature though. I mean, how many toys do you have that can actually eat other toys? Yeah, I thought so.
Despite the hip joint issue I had, Trypticon seemed to stand upright just fine. There was even some mobility in his legs, but I didn't want to push it too far. He's not automated like he was in the old days, but I gladly sacrifice such a needless feature for the bigger size and better detail. I do wish his arms weren't so tightly constricted to his sides, but then again, Trypticon is a T-Rex, and we all know those guys had little baby arms on big ol' bodies. The science checks out.
Switching from dinosaur to city mode is relatively easy, even if the metropolitan version of Trypticon is the most boring. That's not to say Hasbro's done a bad job bringing the classic wide wing mode to the modern era, but robots aren't as cool when they're just pretending to be a home base. Plus, it's a lot easier to find space to hold a 20" tall figure than it is a 36" wide one. The cityscape is wide and has plenty of room for figures of all sizes to interact, but you really have to have some space to take advantage of Trypticon's final mode.
As a standing installation, Trypticon's third transformation is a solid if unspectacular one. The base does present some playability for other figures, and can attach to some of the other larger Decepticon sets to create an even bigger domain to plot Autobot genocide. It just feels like you're not letting Trypticon take advantage of his best self when stuck with all those ramps out.
Trypticon also includes the Titan Master Necro and the Decepticon Full-Tilt. Like Trypticon, Full-Tilt getting a larger release gives him more detail and personality than the 1986 release. The purple drone car Full-Tilt fits Necro inside the cockpit, and Necro does also serve as his head. The car transforms easily enough into a Deluxe-sized figure, though his monochromatic look limits his appeal compared to most others. Full-Tilt can stick to Trypticon's chest with a small attachment, which also serves to shoot the car off into action. You can also store Full-Tilt in the front of the cockpit/tail to sneak out on adventure.
Every year Hasbro manages to find one or two releases in the Transformers line that truly stand out from the pack. Trypticon is no exception to that, and is one of the best Decepticon figures ever released under the Generations banner. He's not without his faults of course, but they are overshadowed by the great sculpt, immense detail, and ease of transformation between modes. At $150, Trypticon isn't cheap by any means, but he certainly will make a great addition to your growing Decepticon army if you've got the room in your budget and your house.
The Transformers Titans Return Trypticon figure is available now for $149.99. This figure was provided by Hasbro for review.