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View Full Version : Titanium Series Ultra Wave 1 (X-wing & Rep Gunship)



JediTricks
12-08-2005, 06:43 PM
Recently, Hasbro has been testing the waters of Micro Machine collectibles again, and for some reason the die-cast metal world has been the center of their attentions, offering several successful waves of Titanium Series 3" die cast vehicles at Wal-mart as well as this wave of Titanium Series Ultra 6" die cast vehicles, also exclusively at WM, and in '06 the Titanium Series line goes mass-retail and adds 4" figures to the mix. Anyway, these Titanium Ultras are metal versions of the Action Fleet vehicles, this initial wave is slight remolds of existing AF vehicles and the next one will be all-new. I've been fairly happy with the 3" line, so let's see how the 6" Titanium Ultra X-wing and Republic Gunship stack up.

Packaging: 4/5 (Both)
The box looks great, really it does, it makes a great display and has lots of nice graphics... unfortunately it's less collector-friendly than that jerk employee at TRU who tells you "everything we got is on the shelves". This is basically a giant bubble surrounded by a diagonal half-box, the bubble's cardboard base is glued to the half-box, the ship is held up on clear trays welded to the base (with the included stand INSIDE the large tray) and there are multiple twisties that pass through the base -- freeing it is more difficult than rescuing Leia from the Death Star, I'm still completely unsure how they INTEND for you to free it from the packaging, but if you want to salvage the packaged look you better have some sharp tools and some heavy determination.

There could be more text on the back, but otherwise the graphics are all attractive and themed around the individual vehicles inside, the Micro Machines logo appears on the simple black bottom alongside other corporate logos which is nice. I still don't like the little pop-in window on the back with the Clone Wars animated Yoda that's on all the Hasbro stuff though but oh well. The Gunship stands out in the packaging better than the X-wing because of the X-wing's dark background against the toy's dark paint scheme.

Sculpt-Design: 4/5 (X-wing); 3.75/5 (Gunship)
The X-wing Fighter is a decade-old mold which at the time was limited by how big Galoob was allowed to make ships, so it's a little fat and the nose could be longer, but it does do a decent job of conveying the X-wing (the full-scale movie prop more than the fx miniature model) and has a decent amount of detail. Hasbro has added a "Titanium Series" logo badge to the bottom of the ship, it's not too intrusive but it does detract from the realism. The die cast metal body and wings give the ship a good heft, it feels very substantive and satisfying. Some of the smaller elements are plastic, the canopy, the landing gear, the engines, the cannons; while others are a softer rubbery plastic, the glued-in R2-D2, the thrusters, and the nose. A couple of the cannons were slightly warped and one of the thrusters was glued in pointing a little downward, plus the vents on the fronts of the engines weren't glued in evenly so they're slightly askew.

The Republic Gunship is a much newer mold, created by Hasbro's team for their Saga line's Action Fleet which didn't focus on features or minifigures (the cockpit still doesn't accept minifigs), and as such is a different feel from the X-wing. The overall look does a very good job conveying the Gunship, though the right side has several large, unattractive screw holes (the Action Fleet one did as well, although the Titanium has 1 more). I feel that the sculpted details on the Hasbro Action Fleet just weren't as good as those on the Galoob Action Fleet, some details got downplayed or lost, and the Gunship is no exception - it's got details, they just don't feel alive to me. Nevertheless, the Titanium Gunship does look decent. There are several mold changes from the original to this, the missile sticking out the missile tubes have been cut off, the "Titanium Series" badge has been added to the bottom (it's more noticable here than the X-wing), and they made a major blunder in my eyes by making the opening doors part of the main body and thus unopenable anymore, plus I think they should have corrected the original's mistake of having no doorway between the front and main hold, not to mention the manned ball turrets are still nearly half the size they should be. Also, the main wings and engine are plastic instead of metal which is a bit of a bummer, it weighs the same as the X-wing though. The little guns are rubbery plastic yet hold their shapes well, the missile tubes on top however are also rubbery but one warped just enough to be noticable.

Normally I don't give three-quarters-points but saying the Gunship is a "3.5 out of 5" here isn't exactly the case, it's not a "C+" it's more of a "B-".

Paint-Deco: 4/5 (both)
The X-wing's paint scheme is the same Red-5 design as it was back in '96, except now with more weathering and a slightly darker overall tone. While it's always been "alright", to be honest it's never been all that accurate and there are some odd choices such as the blobs behind the torpedo tubes and the big broken stripe along the top front and the incomplete red stripe along the sides. Anyway this Titanium's paint job is pretty good, the plastic matches the metal paint well, the metal makes the paint look even better, I would have liked to have seen more weathering at the front of the engines but the weathering that is there is decent, even the R2 gets a good paint job although he and the area around him are blackened. The Titanium Series badge is neatly painted, though this makes it stand out even more. The only problem I have is the canopy, the gray paint doesn't match the rest of the ship.

The Gunship's overall paint job is accurate and nearly identical to the Action Fleet original, except with a little more shine and a darker maroon. The look is a little drab and unsubtle for my tastes, and though the green and some of the maroon got intentionally worn edges, there's no weathering to make it pop - the front halves of the missile tubes have blackened weathering as the original did but there should be an overall subtle weathering to bring out the sculpted lines and give it more realism. Hasbro did paint the main hold's clear ball turrets this time around and they did a nice job of them, the wing's ball turrets still remain unpainted.

Features: 3.5/5 (X-wing); 2.5/5 (Gunship)
Features used to be what Action Fleet really did best (that and accomodating minifigures) but when Hasbro brought the line back a few years ago they switched focus away from cool features which many including myself felt was a massive mistake.

The X-wing has opening S-foils, an opening cockpit, and fold-down landing gear - for some reason, the packaging doesn't mention the S-foils which is odd since it's the main feature. The S-foil wings stay open or closed fairly well, although closed seems to have developed a tiny gap. Oh, and closed still requires realigning the main body a few degrees. The cockpit canopy hinge was redesigned due to the metal body and thus feels a little loose but it does stay closed. And the cockpit can still accomodate most Action Fleet minifigs.

The Republic Gunship lost its best feature, the Hasbro Action Fleet version had the main doors open like they did in the movie, but this Titanium version has the doors welded to the body, it's a real shame. The only feature the package lists is the opening cockpit, which it does, to reveal a bland 2-seater cockpit that cannot hold minifigs (even though with only a few slight redesigns it could have!); the packaging neglects to mention the movable turrets and front blaster features. The wing turrets still rotate snugly inside the wings, the main body turrets are still hinged at both ends of the arm, and the front cannons are still on ball joints, none of which are super exciting but all are decent and add to movie-accuracy.

Value: 2.5/5 (X-wing); 2/5 (Gunship)
As others have pointed out, this section only gets put in reviews when it's a bad thing, and that is unfortunately true here as well: $20 is way too much. Metal doesn't cost all that much to use, Mattel makes a fortune shooting Hot Wheels in metal and they have lots of licensed cars that cost $20 which are 3 times the product that each of these are. Action Fleet were worth the $10 back when Galoob was putting them out, the Hasbro Action Fleet cost the same only a couple years ago, and I can even factor in a little extra for using metal and making these exclusives, but that still tells me that these are at least $5 overpriced and that's a major frustration for a small toy ship with a generic Action Fleet stand, not to mention they're both from recycled molds rather than paying for all new tooling. The next wave of Titanium Ultra will come in plastic displays which does add to the value, but I suspect moving away from the ridiculously overly-convoluted packaging on this wave will save them a big chunk of change.

That said, they do have metal and I do like how it was used, but there's more on the X-wing than the Gunship, and the Gunship actually lost a feature from the original so that's a small hit in the rating.

Overall: B (X-wing); B- (Gunship)
I like the concept, and how they feel, and how the packaging looks, and I still love the Action Fleet scale & original concept, so there's plenty to like about these. I do wish these weren't being passed off as dust-collecting, unopened "collectors items" as they could be more than that, and the price definitely doesn't feel right. Nevertheless, despite some flaws, they're pretty cool and would make nice additions to many Star Wars fans' collections.

Blue2th
12-08-2005, 07:20 PM
I really like the Gunship. Didn't know the back doors were supposed to open. Of course if I would have opened my only Action Fleet Gunship I could have learned this. Opened the Die cast one, it does look cool. Makes me want to buy more for a squadron of them. 20 bucks a pop though I don't know. I hope they re-issue it again in different scheme. Like say Shark Teeth Clone Wars version. Speaking of Hot Wheels, the next wave of non Walmart small Titanium will have a White Tie Fighter, one per case. They even call it a "Treasure Hunt" Vehicle. Oh No! Will I have to stand out in front of Target in the morning and run to the toy isle in the back just to snake the Treasure Hunt like all the Hot Wheels guys. Can you imagine the Havoc this little Tie Fighter is going to cause?!! Thinking about ordering a case from EE just so I know I will get one. I have every die cast Action Fleet going way back. Even the Hard to get Sith Infiltrator, Republic Cruiser, Trade Federation Tank, Sebulba's Pod Racer ( I heard they were going to re-issue some of these. The only one I don't have is the Gold-Gold Leader X-Wing. Though I am working on that.

Blue2th
12-10-2005, 01:33 PM
Getting back to what the subject was (the Ultra Titanium) I noticed a small difference on the die cast Gunship and the Action Fleet. The turret window pains are painted on the Ultra and not on the Action Fleet. A small but important detail. Being somewhat of a completist (MIMB and loose) I went back to Walmart and bought another Gunship to have one in the package. You were right about trying to open these. I tried to save as much of the package on the first one while opening it. Finally got fed up and ripped it open like a kid. Managed to save the Genosian background only. I am eagerly awaiting the Arc Fighter and Droid Tri-Fighter. These are new sculpts and have never been offered as Action Fleet. I will definitely be getting at least 2 of each.

JediTricks
12-10-2005, 02:56 PM
I mentioned the turrets themselves being painted, is that what you meant or did I miss something else?

I'm glad to see there's some interest in the Titanium Series line, I don't think there will be as much for the 4" figures but who knows, it's the ships though that I think are really the heart of the line, and unfortunately this is the only type of Micro Machine-type product we're getting right now (I suppose the Micro Vehicles line at Target is too, but they're like a step-child of this line).

Blue2th
12-10-2005, 04:55 PM
You did, I stand corrected (embarassed) That'll teach me to read over things carefully before I open my typing mouth. There is some interest in this line. I hope enough to continue it. I forgot about the Die Cast 4" Boba Fett with removable helmet and Darth Vader. That'll be interesting. I skipped over the Target Micro line. They look pretty cheesy.

JediTricks
12-11-2005, 06:22 PM
My reviews are long, I don't fault you for overlooking it.

The Micro Collection line *is* cheesy.