Like most of the original Headmasters, Highbrow hasn’t gotten a proper update in a while. There was a pretty neat Highbrow back in the Hunt for the Decepticons sub-line of Revenge of the Fallen, though his alt mode for that line was a Lockheed P38-Bomber style plane, and he was mostly green instead of his original blue and white. It’s a neat toy mostly for using a cool alt mode, but it’s not very Highbrow and it wasn’t a headmaster.
Like most of Titans Return, Highbrow is a much more faithful remake of his G1 iteration. He has the same colors and turns into a dual prop Cybertronian helicopter. It’s not a toy without some pretty bad flaws though, mostly due to the helicopter blades. This is one of those areas where the lessened budget of newer toys actually become a bit of a hindrance. The helicopter blades don’t have any way to lock into place in robot mode and don’t fold out of the way in any meaningful way. They just sort of flip around, which wouldn’t be a problem except they tend to get locked up in his massive helicopter cockpit backpack.
He also suffers from a severe case of “wobbly head” syndrome, which seems to plague a few of these Titans Returns figures. Part of the problem seems to be that the hook for his head sticks out from his neck a few millimeters. On the plus side, it means he can sort of look up and down a bit, but it doesn’t make things lose and floppy. Something that was most common in the Wave 1 figure Scourge, which brings up another interesting bit…
Back in my review of Chromedome, I made a comment about how Chromedome looks like he is a remold of the Combiner Wars Breakdown mold, but isn’t, he just shares a transformation. Highbrow here has a similar sort of situation going, because technically, Highbrow IS a remold of Titans Return Scourge. That said, they share almost zero actual parts and their transformations are “reversed.” Where Scourge’s front form by joining his legs together, Highbrow forms the rear of the helicopter. The tell tale bit that these are remolds lies in the pull out section on the hips/legs used during transformation. That, and that they are part of the same lines, it’s actually pretty uncommon to have a remold cross over between lines the way Chromedome and Dead End would have done.
The toys are definitely different enough to warrant owning both of them if you are interested in both. The transformation results in a pretty near little helicopter. The cockpit is functional to allow for the Titan Master to fit inside. The two guns can attach to the underside of the wings to give the chopper some artillery, though they attach via the non round pegs, which is slightly against what you commonly see but it allows for the use of the molded landing wheels. There’s a third flip out landing gear that isn’t super obvious on the under side of the cockpit.
The helicopter mode looks good and holds together very solidly. It’s definitely a good addition to the vehicles for Titan Masters. If your interest in this line lies more with the Titan Masters and their vehicles and bases, Highbrow is definitely a good addition, even if his Robot mode is a little clunky.