Combining Returning Primes Last Updated: 11/18/18
Walgreens Wreck-Gar added.

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    2015-2018 saw the Generations line knuckle down and take line-wide themes seriously. Combiner Wars may not have had everything combine, but pretty close to it. When the Titans Returned, every toy was somehow compatible with the Titan Master figures. And then Power of the Primes mixed the two previous years together and added Leaders with variations on the Matrix of Leadership. Each year also brought back some sort of post-1985 characters, such as Headmasters, Targetmasters, Powermasters, Pretenders, even Duocons, in some fashion.

  • Combiner Wars: With a tighter connection to the IDW comics, this brings back combiners in a big way, full on Scramble City intercompatibility rather than the limited combining of Season 2.
  • Titans Return: Need to go bigger than combiners? Try Titans! Well, in this case, it's a line-wide revival of Headmasters, with many of the Titan Masters head figures representing full-sized Transformers who then treat the really big ones as bases.
  • Power of the Primes: The 2018 line replacing faceplates with more Powermaster-y Prime Masters and bringing back combiners.
    Bolded names got Strongly Recommended, while italic indicates a rating of neutral or worse.


    More Titan Masters, but the Prime Masters carry the essences of various Primes and become something like Powermasters, rather than Headmasters. Combiners are also back for this assortment to do the Deluxe and Voyager sizes, while Leaders play the "Apex Armor" game.


   The Pretender Shells are revived here, as "Decoy Armor," letting the Primes walk amongst us while pretending to be someone else. This is the only way to get Prime Master figures, although the Leaders come with non-Prime items that fit in the same slots. Backplates are now pinned in place, not just screwed. $5 price point.

  • Wave 1: Micronus (Cloudburst armor), Liege Maximo (Skullgrin armor), Vector Prime (Metalhawk armor).
  • Wave 2: Alchemist Prime (Submarauder armor), Alpha Trion (Landmine armor, retool of Vector Prime).
  • Wave 3: Quintus Prime (Bludgeon armor), Megatronus (Bomb-Burst armor), Solus Prime (Octopunch armor).
  • The last four got cancelled, the inner Prime Masters will be available with various store exclusives, but no word on if we'll ever see their Decoy Armors.

   Same basic idea as Legends in Titans Return, the new molds provide places for Prime Masters to ride in their altmodes. No indication of a Combiner Wars style third mode on new molds. $10 price point.

  • Wave 1: Slash (Utahraptor femme), Beachcomber (dune buggy), Windcharger (sports car), and reships of Skrapnel without a Mini-Con and in slightly darker purple plastic. All of the new molds can carry Titan Masters and Prime Masters as passengers.
  • Wave 2: Tailgate (Windcharger retool), Battleslash (Duocon helicopter), Roadtrap (Duocon SUV).
  • Wave 3: Cindersaur (Slash retool), Outback (TR Brawn retool).

   Not just compatible with Combiner Wars figures, many of these are retools of Combiner Wars limbs. The hand/foot kibble pieces are new, and provide chest armor for the robot mode that can hold a Prime Master in them. Only two full combiners are promoted, the rest are "Voyager grabs whoever's handy (and leggy)" situations, but this time not all limbs are even dedicated to a particular Voyager. $15-20 price point.

  • Wave 1: Jazz (sportscar), Swoop (Pterodactyl), Slug (Triceratops), Dreadwind (jet, Aerialbot retool).
  • Wave 2: Sludge (Bronto), Snarl (Stego), Blackwing (jet, aka Darkwing), Rippersnapper (shark monster thing), Moonracer (Cybertronian car). Blackwing and Moonracer are shortpacked.
  • Wave 3: Cutthroat (bird monster), Blot (ogre monster?), Sinnertwin (two-headed dragon monster). Wave also includes the MAGA-less Jazz reprint. Note: a re-release of wave 3 contains a repaired Cutthroat, which is worth picking up.
  • Wave 4: Novastar (Moonracer retool) and reships of the non-Moonracer parts of Wave 2.
  • Capstone Trio: Three Amazon Exclusives that come with redeco Prime Masters and each represent one of the three parts of the Prime Wars. Blastoff (redeco of Japanese exclusive shuttle version) for Combiner Wars, Repugnus (a full sized one based loosely on the Twinferno mold) for Titans Return, and Punch/Counterpunch (entirely new mold) for Power of the Primes.
  • Wreck-Gar: Retool of Combiner Wars Groove, a Walgreens exclusive and possibly the last of the line.

   The cores for the combiners. Grimlock and the Dinobots will combine into Volcanicus, but several of the combiners have no canon names. $25-30 price point.

  • Wave 1: Starscream (jet) and Grimlock (T.rex).
  • Wave 2: Elita-1 (very heavy retool of Starscream) and Hun-Gurrr (new mold).
  • Wave 3: Inferno (retool of Combiner Wars Hot Spot with Starscream's Prime Armors and Hun-Gurrr's Enigma), plus reships of wave 1.

   Only twelve Primes are going to be represented at the Prime Master class (well, reportedly they're cutting the series off early, so we won't even get all twelve), with a competition for who will be the thirteenth Prime. Each figure will have a trailer or other part that turns into super armor, a la Powermaster Optimus Prime or God Ginrai. $45-50 price point.

  • Wave 1: Evolution Optimus Prime with Orion Pax, Evolution Rodimus Prime with Hot Rod.
  • Wave 2: Rodimus Unicronus (evil retool of Rodimus Prime, with Shattered Glass coloring and mustache).
  • Nemesis Prime: Retool of Optimus Prime with new weapons and a new Arms Micron partner, Amazon Prime Day exclusive but since then available without Prime membership.
  • Optimal Optimus (Beast Wars) won the "who should be the next Prime" and should be getting an actual store-shelves release at some point. But given the focus on Cyberverse and Bumblebee, who knows if it'll actually hit any brick and mortar locations?
  • Throne of the Primes SDCC Exclusive: A redeco of Optimal Optimus in Optimus Primal colors, with a cardboard throne and the remaining Prime Masters that didn't get into Decoy Armors. The weakest of the three Evolution molds, but the degree of difficulty on the design side was a lot higher.

    The year's big toy, they use this for either citybots or giant combiners. $150 MSRP. If there's any box sets of combiner teams (usually $100) I'll list them here as well.

  • Predaking: Titan-sized combiner team of the G1 Predacons. Better engineering than Devastator, but the individual robots are still pretty iffy (too aggressively G1, so the beast modes are pretty bad).


    What's bigger than a Combiner? A TITAN. Except for the Legends class, every toy has a Headmaster-inspired "Titan Master" partner. Galvatron was the first review I did for the line, so check it for some of the general line-wide stuff.


    Titan Master (head) figures that come with a small vehicle that can transform into a different vehicle, with the Titan Master riding in one version and integrating with the other. A cheap way to get lots of extra heads out there for head-swapping play pattern.

  • Wave 1: Crashbash with dino/wyvern, Loudmouth with hovercar/APC, Nightbeat with jet/drill tank, Terri-Bull with tank/dropship.
  • Wave 2: Brawn with offroad vehicle/sand rail, Apeface with jet/ape, Skytread with redeco of Terri-Bull's vehicle, Clobber with redeco of Crashbash's dino/wyvern.
  • Wave 3: Overboard (Overkill, yet another Crashbash redeco), Ptero (Swoop) with pteradon/jet, Sawback (Lione/Steeljaw) with lion/flying chair, Fangry with wolfbat/dragon.
  • Wave 4-5: Mostly reships, so I combined the new characters into a single review (and forgot to post it here for a few months). Wave 4 did eventually get into stores in decent numbers, but as of October 2017 Wave 5 was still scalper bait (I got lucky and won it in a drawing). New characters are Repugnus with bug monster/jet skiff (the other two Monsterbots are Deluxes, which Repugnus must HATE), Shuffler with elephant/tank, Ramhorn with rhino/tank (retool of Shuffler).

    A mix of "regular" Legends figures made with cockpits for Titan Masters, and data pads like Buzzsaw from Combiner Wars (triple-changing from pad to main robot or beast mode, to vehicle). $10 price point as before.

  • Wave 1: Autobot Rewind (tablet/robot/tank), Autobot Stripes (tablet/tiger/jet, a Ravage predeco), Autobot Wheelie (driveable futuristic car).
  • Wave 2: Ravage, Rumble, Laserbeak. All are redecos or retools.
  • Wave 3: Gnaw (Sharkticon), Kickback (grasshopper), Bumblebee (compact car). All can carry a Titan Master, although in Gnaw's case it's more like "eat" than "carry".
  • Wave 4: Roadburn (Bumblebee retool), Brawn (Hummvee). Both driveable by Titan Masters.
  • Wave 5: Seaspray (hovercraft, pilotable), Cosmos reissue (not driveable, no longer has MiniCon). Final wave, but easier to find than most tail end charlies.
  • Clone Two-Pack: Salvaged from cancelled $100 sets, Wingspan and Cloudraker sold as a two-pack through Walgreens in the US, EB Games in Canada.

    More like traditional Headmasters, each comes with a Titan Master partner and is an update of a G1 character (initially, at least, some with trademark-issue name tweaks). $15-18 price point.

  • Wave 1: Blurr with Hyperfire (Haywire, sort of), Skullsmasher (Skullcruncher) with Grax, Hardhead with Furos (Duros), Scourge with Fracas.
  • Wave 2: Highbrow with Xort (Gort), Chromedome with Autobot Stylor, Mindwipe with Vorath, Wolfwire (Weirdwolf) with Monxo (Monzo).
  • Walgreens Exclusive Brainstorm with Autobot Teslor: Significant retool of Blurr, very good.
  • Wave 3: Autobot Hot Rod with Firedrive (Firebolt), Autobot Twinferno (Doublecross) with Daburu (White Lion), Triggerhappy with Blowpipe, Autobot Breakaway (Getaway) with Autobot Throttle (Rev).
  • Wave 4: Sergeant Kup with Flintlock, Perceptor with Convex, Autobot Topspin with Freezeout, Decepticon Krok (Skullsmasher redeco), Decepticon Quake (Hardhead redeco)
  • Transformers Tribute: Optimus Prime and Orion Pax: A redeco of War for Cybertron Optimus Prime (see waaaaaay below) and a slight retool of Sergeant Kup as Orion Pax.
  • Wave 5: Windblade with Scorchfire (mostly new parts but a few Scourge bits), Misfire with Aimless (significant retool of Triggerhappy), Twin Twist with Flameout (retool of Topspin), plus a reship of Wolfwire.
  • Wave 6: Slugslinger with Caliburst (heavy retool of Triggerhappy), plus reships of Hot Rod, Kup, and Hardhead. Final wave at regular retail.
  • 2017 Convention Sets:
    • Hascon Arcee set: Arcee (Blurr retool) with Leinad (Daniel) and metal Titan Master Ultra Magnus. Salvaged from the cancelled Intelligence $100 set. Initially sold at Hascon and VERY briefly on HTS (went on sale just after one of the classes I teach started, sold out just before class ended), then through TRU.
    • NYCC Grotusque set: Grotusque (heavy Twinferno retool) with Fengal, plus metal Titan Master Scorponok. Another big set salvage. Sold at New York Comicon and again very briefly on HTS (managed to snag one this time) with expectation of TRU later.

    They seem to have decided these will all be triple-changers, which works better in some cases than others. $25-30 price point.


    Triple changers as well, but with their third mode being a base of some sort for the Titan Masters. $45-50 price point.


    What would Titans Return be without Titans? $150-170 price point. I'll also include the $100 box sets in this category.

  • Wave 1: Fortress Maximus: heavy retool of Metroplex with removable Cerebros that has its own regular Titan Master, Emissary.
  • Wave 2: Trypticon: Very nice update of the G1 character, with chestplate car robot Full-Tilt and Titan Master Necro (based on G1 comics Wipe Out). Unfortunately, unless you get lucky, it'll need significant maintenance to get it in shape, and no amount of luck will save you from the stickers.
  • Toys R Us/BBTS Exclusive Gift Sets: $100 for redecos or mild retools of a Leader, a Voyager, a Deluxe, and a Titan Master head, plus a Legends size Clone (Fastlane, Cloudraker, Pounce, and Wingspan from G1, not all got to keep their names). The Titan Master head has die cast metal faceplate and torso. This ended up being only two sets rather than the planned four sets (one for each techspec), some of the new molds will come out in other ways, such as a planned Walgreens exclusive for the other two Clones.
    • Chaos on Velocitron: Quickswitch (Sixshot with new face), Laser Prime (G2 color deco of Optimus Prime Voyager), Nautica (Blurr with new face and shoulders), Fastclash (Fastlane update), Rodimus Prime (Firebolt with new faceplate and metal parts). Speed stat.
    • Siege on Cybertron: Magnus Prime (Japanese mold of Powermaster Optimus Prime with some tweaks), Tidal Wave (Broadside redeco with new head), Metalhawk (Triggerhappy redeco with new head), Decepticon Pounce, Thunderwing (uses bits of Fangry, shares metal parts with Rodimus Prime). Strength stat.
    • The Intelligence and Fireblast sets were cancelled. Their Titan Master exclusives were produced, as were their clones (review elsewhere on this page). Arcee and Grotuque (also reviewed elsewhere on this page) may have been their planned Deluxes, but no word if things got far enough that there's a cache of Voyager or Leader redecos lurking about. My guess is that the Godbomber mold would have been brought over for one set, and the other would have used a slight retool of Overlord as Dai Atlas.


    Anniversary over, time to brain back combiners! Voyager cores, Deluxe limbs, Legends accessories, weapons, or armor.


    A mix of Thrilling 30 retools or even just redecos, and new molds dedicated to working with the new combiners.

  • Wave 1: Bombshell (insect, weapon), Thundercracker (Starscream redeco), Windcharger (Tailgate retool), Powerglide (A-10-ish jet, Superion weapon).
  • Wave 2: Blackjack (car, Menasor chestplate), Huffer (Optimus Prime retool).
  • Wave 3: Viper (Cobra-themed redeco of Powerglide), Groove (motorcycle), Warpath (tank, retool of Megatron).
  • Wave 4: Rodimus (Blackjack retool), Skywarp (Starscream redeco).
  • Wave 5: Buzzsaw (Condor/Tablet), Shockwave (cannon), Chop Shop (Skrapnel retool), Pipes (Huffer redeco, not reviewed).
  • Wave 5a: Wreck-Gar (Groove retool), various reships (likely Shockwave, Bombshell, Warpath).

    Limbs, they come with combiner kibble and can become arms or legs. Waves are mixed, so you can't make a "pure" combiner right away. According to an interview at, the mixed waves were because of a production problem that delayed Air Raid, and Dragstrip was ready to go, so got slotted in.

  • Wave 1: Dragstrip (Menasor 1), Skydive (Superion 2), Alpha Bravo (helicopter, Superion 4), Firefly (Fireflight, Superion 5).
  • Wave 2: Air Raid (Superion 1), Dead End (Menasor 2), Breakdown (Menasor 4), Offroad (truck, Menasor 5).
  • Wave "2a": Brake-Neck (Dead End retool as Wildrider homage), Quickslinger (Firefly retool as Slingshot homage). Online exclusives.
  • Wave 3: Protectobots: Streetwise (Dead End major retool), First Aid (Offroad retool), Blades (Alpha Bravo retool), Rook (new SWAT vehicle). And yes, TakaraTomy has already shown off prototypes of a Deluxe Groove to replace Rook.
  • Wave 4: Sunstreaker (Breakdown retool), Mirage (Dragstrip retool), Ironhide (retool of Offroad), Prowl (retool of Streetwise). Canonical limbs for Optimus Maximus, not Ultra Prime...a new white deco Optimus figure that I will not be getting is the official core.
  • Wave 5: Combaticons - Vortex (Alpha Bravo redeco), Blast Off (Quickslinger redeco, sigh), Swindle (MASSIVE Rook retool), Brawl (new mold, tank). One might consider Vortex to be the true version of the mold, and Alpha Bravo a predeco. :)
  • Wave 6: Sky Reign limbs, more G1 Autobots made into combiners. Wheeljack (heavy retool of Breakdown), Hound (head swap of Swindle), Smokescreen (redeco of Prowl), Trailbreaker (retool of Offroad). Largely skippable unless you have nostalgia for one or more of the characters and really want them as a combiner limb...better standalone interpretations of the characters exist from the last decade and are still fairly easy to find.
  • Deluxe Groove: Made for the Takara Defensor giftset, eventually made available (in limited quantities) online where it became scalperbait. It's...okay. Motorcycle altmode reallllly doesn't work in this aesthetic. But it makes a good limb.

    The cores of the combiners, natch.

  • Wave 1: Optimus Prime (Ultra Prime 3), Silverbolt (Superion 3). Silverbolt is definitely the better of the two.
  • Wave 2: Motormaster (Optimus Prime retool, Menasor 3). Updated with some Menasor notes.
  • Wave 3: Hot Spot (fire truck, Defensor 3), Cyclonus (Silverbolt reshelling, Galvatronus core).
  • Wave 4: Battle Core Optimus Prime is a white deco of Optimus Prime, intended to sell with the Wave 4 limbs. I won't be getting it. Almost picked it up when I had a coupon, but it had sold out by that point.
  • Wave 5: Onslaught (heavy Hot Spot retool), Scattershot (heavy Silverbolt retool). I did buy Scattershot, but took it back when I found the limbs would only be available in a gift set.
  • Wave 6: Sky Lynx (shuttle to beast). While it doesn't separate into shuttle and lynx, it's a decent update of the idea, and possibly the last entirely new mold of Combiner Wars. Sadly, it's also serious scalper bait, and might not be worth the cost and effort.

    These don't combine, but are meant to be imposing enough to be a match for a combiner. And I suppose they can use some of the Legends figures as weapons.

  • Wave 1: Megatron (big tank with working treads), Armada Megatron ( Megatron).
  • Wave 2: Hard to say what constitutes this wave. Thundercracker (extensive Leader Jetfire retool) and Ultra Magnus (car carrier truck) started showing up around the same time, but not in the same places at the same time, suggesting each is its own case lot in some shipments. I was going to pass on Thundercracker, but I was told of a brief sale on Amazon where it dropped to $25. Still haven't (as of November 13, 2015) seen either of these on the shelves anywhere, but I have gotten a handful of sightings.

   Metroplex need not be alone any longer....

  • Devastator: Not as tall as Metroplex, but composed of six individual toys with robot and vehicle mode, each averaging Voyager size. Suffers from some of the usual quality control issues, and from corner-cutting. Worth getting at a discount, iffy at full price. Especially since "full price" went up from $150 to $170 a few months after release.
    • DK-01 Devastator Add-On Kit: I got it as a birthday present. It helps with some issues in the original toy, not all of which were issues I personally had. Well-made, though.
  • Victorion: A $100 gift set of (mostly) retooled figures based on various fan votes. She's the first female combiner. Too bad so many of her base molds left me unthrilled.
  • Computron: Another $100 gift set. Scattershot was available separately as a Voyager, but the limbs are only available in a gift set. This is more of an extended capsule than a full review.