The SDCC exclusive Fort Max might have come with the Brave Sword, but for me this part of the package turned out to be the real star, with a cartoon-accurate depiction of Cerebros’ face as appearing on the Japanese Headmasters TV show.
Hey, masks on robots are awesome, don’t get me wrong. In fact, all throughout my life I have liked figures with masked faces almost exclusively, from Prime to Soundwave, Chromedome, Sixshot, and the list goes on and on. I usually prefer a masked face over a mouthed one, especially when choosing between two versions of the same character, e.g. Hasbro Titan Wars Brainstorm vs. Takara Legends LG-39 Brainstorm. That is, unless the sculpt is exceptionally good, as it is in this case. Both Fort Max’s head reboot, and the SDCC version of Cerebros (and even Emissary) are so well executed, I now have even higher hopes for future HasTak releases down the line. G1 (Headmasters) homage at its finest!
While it’s not meant to be a separate standalone character, Cerebros in control tower mode is pretty interesting. Reminds me of some Star Wars garbagebot, or a Microchange powered armor suit. It’s also cool that the electronics work in this mode as well.
It’s not perfect by any means, but Cerebros is a great figure. Good articulation, nicely proportioned, nice paint apps, and (mostly) good plastic on the torso and limbs. Plus, electronic gimmicks and the fact that he himself is a Headmaster that forms the head of a Titan with a head that forms a little bot (or Nebulan based on your lore of choice)! C’mon, what more could you ask for? (Fists that hide, finger articulation, ball-joint shoulders, diecast parts, oh man how we spoiled have we become over the years?)
It’s interesting that with the Titans Return and Combiner Wars lines, almost every single figure released under the Hasbro Transformers franchise is either a gestalt, a headmaster, or a targetmaster. I think that’s funny because even though those are maybe the most gimmicky design features within the brand, those exact elements are very closely related to those features of Diaclone and pre-TF toys. Robots that had little drivers controlling the non-sentient mecha bodies. Robots that could combine to form larger robots. (More on the Diaclone driver story faithfully covered by “All the Best” Maz here.)
So yes, the Takara versions have the most cartoon-accurate paint apps, with the most accessories (e.g. Constructicons with guns), but for a convention exclusive, this is an awesome upgrade from the regular Hasbro release. Nice chrome apps, autobot insignias, pre-applied factory stickers, and the Master Sword, all for $200 – sold in my book.
Takara’s version of Cerebros may be the most show-accurate in color, but I’m not a big fan of the color execution elsewhere, regardless of how accurate it may be. If that’s what floats your boat, go for it. This shiny Hasbro Cerebros is good enough for me.