Monday, April 20, 2015

REVIEW: Transformers Tiny Titans Quillfire

Tiny Titans
Tiny Titans are a line of blind-bagged minifigures, based upon the new Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series. The series is now in its third wave but boxes from Wave 1 and Wave 2 are still available at retail.

It's from this latest wave that the subject of today's Review, the Decepticon Quillfire, comes.

Disclaimer: Before we proceed, it's worth pointing out that I've never been a fan of the Transformers toys. I like robots, for sure, but I've never been a fan of the compromises that come from having a 2-in-1 toy and I'd much rather have a good-looking robot and a good-looking vehicle toy than a single toy that's not really either.

I've also not been following the animated or movie series, so my familiarity with the characters is limited to that which I've assimilated through an exposure to general pop culture. I know Pop Will Eat Itself dig Optimus Prime (and not Galvatron) and that's pretty much it. I'm therefore attempting to Review this toy as a toy only, without reference to the back story or the Transformers universe. I'm sure there will be other Reviews online that will serve fans of the Robots in Disguise better but my aim is to stick to simply commenting on what I see here. There may be factual errors in this Review as it relates to the character and show (and if that is the case, please feel free to comment below) but my goal is simply to assess the piece of plastic I currently have sitting before me.

Quillfire is a Decepticon, a member of the ''evil'' Transformers faction and one of the characters created for the new Transformers; Robots in Disguise animated series, as featured on the Cartoon Network (since the demise of the Hasbro-owned The Hub...)  He's a porcupine-like creature in his robot mode, who can transform into a Humvee-esque transporter in his vehicle mode.
Before we look at Quillfire himself, let's take a quick time-out to discuss the Tiny Titan figures. As you'd expect for figures of this size, there's no articulation and certainly no transforming going on here (not that I'd expect them to, but I just wanted to clear that up...) The figures are, instead, cast from solid plastic, the feel of which is pretty stiff, unlike the kind of softer, rubbery plastic used on such figures as SLUG Zombies. The closest level of ''rubberiness'' I can equate them to is the Gormiti toys. Indeed, design-wise I'm very much reminded of those toys, but rather than being based on nature forms the Tiny Titans are - as you'd expect - mechanical in their aesthetic.
Each pack includes both a figure and a collector card. On the face side is an illustration of the specific character, with the rear featuring a checklist of all twelve figures in the wave.
The artwork appears to be lifted directly from the animated series, as it features the same, slightly odd cell-shaded-ish, polygon-ish style as the show. Personally I'm not impressed with the show's look but I'm sure it has its fans and at least the art style remains constant. And although the figures are blind-bagged, there is a tiny clear window on the rear of each pack, near the bottom. Although I've never been able to utilize it myself, you may be able to manipulate the figure to this window and, from there, figure out which figure is within.

With all of that out of the way, let's move onto Quillfire.
Overall, this is a pretty neat-looking figure. Without hammering the ''I don't like Transformers'' thing to death, I have to admit I was surprised at how much I like this figure. I really like the overall design and there's some great up-close detail on the character, particularly on the back. I'm sure if this were a full-scale, fully-transforming figure I'd find these details distracting but on a figure of this scale it's neat to see all the mechanical pistons and wheels and all that other vehicular stuff that I normally dislike on full-scale Transformers.
I mentioned Gormiti above and that's definitely the kind of vibe I get from Quillfire. And I mean that in a positive way, as I'm a big Gormiti fan. 

However, there is one major point I find confusing. In all the illustrations I've seen, Quillfire is gun-metal and ochre yet, as you can see here, the figure is cast from purple plastic with a minimal application of black paint around his head and down his back. This makes no sense to me and I don't understand why Hasbro elected to do this. The fact that they even include a collector card showing him in these colors just compounds matters and whilst the actual paint app is very nicely done (his red eyes are particularly clean) it's simply not correct. I'd have loved to see him in his proper color scheme and with a few additional details beyond his eyes (such as having his quills painted with a glow-in-the-dark blue and his shoulder and waist lights being picked-out in yellow (they're certainly present on the sculpt.) Did they change the design at the last minute or is he simply displaying the ''Decepticon Colors?'' 

Final Thoughts
You're probably wondering why a self-confessed non-fan of the Transformers toys decided to buy and then review a Transformers figure but the fact is that I'm a toy collector and fan first and foremost and, theme aside, the Tiny Titans check a lot of the boxes I like in my toys. I'll buy most anything if it's a blind-bagged minifigure at a good price and so hopefully that'll explain why I decided to pick up a few of these figures (yes, we have more Tiny Titan Reviews to come...)

Quillfire is certainly a good-looking minifigure. There's a bunch of great up-close detail on the figure (particularly on his back) and the overall design is quite striking. As I keep mentioning, the Gormiti line springs to mind and, as they're no longer available in the US, it's good to have a new line to collect. I doubt they're quite awesome enough to convert me completely to the Transformers cause but if you're in the market for a neat-looking little robot minifigure then you could do a lot worse than grab a few Tiny Titans.

It's just a shame the paint design is not only so wrong but also so minimal. I've no idea why he's cast in the wrong hue of plastic but the fact that there are also so many details that could, with a little bit of effort, made him a superb recreation of his animated counterpart. It's just weird that the app is so clean yet so wrong...

Overall, a neat-looking figure with a great sculpt and cool pose, marred by odd color choices.

Worth a few bucks of anybody's money - even if you're not a Transformers fan.

Image Gallery


  1. Am not for sure if i seen these around my area yet.

    1. I've found them at Target so far but I'm not sure if they're available elsewhere.


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