Lazy Luddite Log

18.8.20

Titans Of Titan - The Role-Play Game

What follows is fiction and much of it is a fiction within a fiction. It expands on what was described here...

The Titans Of Titan Role-Play Game was hastily written to try and revive flagging interest in the toy franchise and a small run was published in 1988 by Aquila Publishing (producers of quality books on cookery and wine-making). It came as a boxed set comprising a game book (including a colour insert of images drawn from the telemovies), a card-paper ‘Game Programer’ screen with cellophane windows, some dice, a plastic hex-map scaled to the toys, and a pad of player character record sheets. That pad included pre-filled sheets for characters depicted by the toys.

Games such as Dungeons & Dragons were controversial in the 80s. The Duchess Gloriana XIII and her Ducal Minister for Trinkets ‘Professor’ Dom Woodlock were aware of this but figured that the rather matter-of-fact science-fiction story-telling of Titans Of Titan as shown in the telemovies would escape the scare. After all, there was nothing supernatural or pagan in its content. You cannot please everyone however, and the rather occultist Grand Fenwick chapter of the Worldwide Order of Oddballs (WOOB) objected to this very lack. How could such cold and clinical story-telling ever prepare the hearts and minds of Alpine youths for the wonder of transcendent oddness? Woodlock attempted to placate this influential group, with whom he regularly shared drinks at the Fenwick Grand Coffee House, by reminding them that key Titans Of Titan characters were named for immortals of antiquity. Gloriana went one better, however, by hinting to them that there were coded occult messages hidden within the text and illustrations of the boxed set. To this very day, Fenwickian WOOBs argue over the true meaning of the game.

The telemovies were all set on Earth but the Titans Of Titan game proposed storytelling on the never-named technological homeworld of the Titans. It was a setting of clashing factions, side-switching mercenary crews and non-aligned energy shelters. Several elements of back-story were described only in the game book. The homeworld was of immense age and the Titans themselves told tales of its design at the hands of an utterly impersonal yet clock-work obsessed prime mover. They went onto say they were the oldest existing sentient species and that it was they who had created organic life as an aberration of nanotechnology. Despite this, key aspects of the Titan body plan were distinct from those of other life-forms. They had what looked like heads but only sensors and a sense-coordination processor were housed within. The central computer of a Titan was located well inside its torso and as such the head was technically an extremity.

Titans were far from self-sufficient however and needed external technology and energy. The ability to assume fresh camouflage was renewed by ancient and sophisticated installations called Progenitor Kilns. Likewise new Titans could only be forged in these same devices. The only way to activate a Progenitor Kiln was for two existing Titans to work in tandem. This ensured a degree of collaboration and negotiation in the fabrication of such powerful robots. Each Titan was programmed with a 'code key' that interfaced with Titan technology. Titans possessed either an electronic or a positronic code, the former more common than the latter, and activating a kiln required the involvement of both codes.

Woodlock regarded robots as neuter but Gloriana insisted that they be masculine or femimine for the sake of character appeal. Only in the pages of the game book was a compromised explanation given. It was important for long-term Titan survival that they identify who possesses which of the two code keys. Automatic translation of Titan communication into human languages tended to render this distinction utilizing gendered pronouns. Humans observed that the electronic coded Titans tended to be bigger and had more bass-toned vocal simulations. They went onto regard electronic and positronic code-holders as masculine and feminine respectively. Titans responded by saying this was a flawed understanding and one that overlooked the role of the kilns themselves. Some Titans advised humans that they wished to be known as ‘it'. Others however were happy with and adapted to the human perception.

Only some of the game book was given over to such esoterica. Most of it was dedicated to character generation and game-play. The rules were rudimentary and had many gaps which players were left to fill. Some of its game mechanics were the work of an original mind but others were very derivative. The most blatant of these borrowings was that the concepts of Strength, Intelligence, Speed, Endurance, Rank, Courage, Firepower and Skill were taken directly from rival Transformers brand toy packaging.

Rank And Ability Scores

Rank is separated from the others characteristics as the equivalent of experience level in the game. Characters start adventuring at Rank 1 and can advance as far as Rank 5. Promotion is awarded by the Game Programer (the referee-narrator) following successful missions. Every promotion beyond Rank 1 results in an improvement of 1 to each of seven Ability Scores (and consequently the re-calculation of other derivative scores).

To generate Ability Scores players are allocated 35 points to distribute as they wish among Intelligence, Skill, Courage, Speed, Firepower, Strength and Endurance. However each initial score cannot exceed 10. The maximum Ability Score of 15 is the result of additional bonuses described herein. A Titan named ‘Template’ (the most average of all alien robots) at Rank 1 has a score of 5 in each ability.

- Intelligence determines access to a list of computerized super-powers. Each super-power has a value of 3 Intelligence to compute. So far Template can only use one super-power but at Rank 2 once it has an Intelligence of 6 it will have access to two.

- Skill determines how well one performs functional tasks. A 20-sided dice is rolled and Skill score is added. An 11 or better total is needed for a task to succeed. Template rolls a 5 and even with its bonus of 5 still falls short of success in a chosen task.

- Courage determines position in the sequence of turns taken in combat. Template takes its actions after someone with a Courage of 6 but before someone with a Courage of 4.

- Speed indicates how many actions can be taken within ones turn. Actions include mode-changes, using a super-power, performing a duty, attacks or seeking shelter. A character can take one action for every 3 increments in Speed. So far Template can only take one action but at Rank 2 once it has a Speed of 6 it will be able to take two actions.

- Firepower is added to damage done by all projectile and energy weapons. Template can add 5 Life Force damage to what its energy blaster automatically inflicts.

- Strength score determines damage dealt in hand-to-hand combat and is added to damage done by melee weapons. Template can punch or kick for 5 Life Force damage.

- Endurance indicates how much damage is regenerated per turn. Template has a total of 5 Life Force restored to it per turn (assuming it has taken that much damage in combat).

Size

All Titans fall into the sizes of Small, Medium, Large, Huge or Massive (only the Game Programer can operate characters of the last size which tend to be gestalts or armoured augments). Each limits what a Titan can camouflage themselves as. Among Probots a small Titan could be a motorcycle, a medium Titan a car, a large Titan a truck, a huge Titan a passenger helicopter.

Small characters get a +1 bonus allocated to Speed but a -1 penalty to Endurance. Large characters get a +1 bonus allocated to their choice of Strength, Endurance or Firepower. Huge characters get bonuses of +2 to allocate to one or two of those same scores. Massive characters get bonuses of +3 to allocate across any of those same scores. In all cases however a total score can never exceed 15. Template is Medium in size so nothing changes.

Life Force

Life Force is generated by multiplying Speed and Endurance scores and is re-calculated at every Rank promotion. Damage is deducted from Life Force. If it is ever reduced to 0 then the character is deactivated. If half of ones total Life Force is deducted due to just one attack then it results in the loss of a robot or camo-mode extremity. Template has a Life Force of 25. If it is promoted to Rank 2 then that will be recalculated to a Life Force of 36. If it takes 13 damage from one attack (half of 25 rounded up) then Template could lose its head!

Camo-Charges And Camo-Modes

Camo-Charges are expended by Titans to assume Camo-Modes in addition to the default robot mode. Expending one charge gives a character one form of camouflage to use as much as they wish. Expending another allows either the replacement of that form with a new one or the adoption of modularity. Modularity allows a character to combine into a new form with fellow Titans as a gestalt or to itself be composed of separate modular components with limited autonomy. A character can only be using two Camo-Charges at a time. A character is given a maximum of three Camo-Charges at a time by the Progenitor Kilns. Template has so far expended one so has just one rather pedestrian Camo-Mode of a utility vehicle.

Factions

The game lists the Factions that a character can belong to as the Probots and Kronotons. It also provides suggestions on how to devise new factions and sub-factions. Probots and Kronotons tend to assume civilian and military Camo-Modes respectively.

Belonging to a faction can convey particular super-powers to a character free of the limitations of Intelligence. Krontons have Short Range Flight and Signal Blocking for free. Probots have Magnetism and Pressure Resistance for free. Note that Template is a Probot.

Functions And Tasks

A character can choose to fulfill one of the following roles known as Functions - Warrior, Scout, Engineer. Occupying such roles determines which functional Tasks a character can perform. Massive characters can only be Warriors. Characters of Rank 4 or 5 can occupy two of the three functions. Template is yet to choose a function. Each Function can perform the Tasks unique to it on a successful Task check as described under Skill.

- Warriors must have Courage of 6 or better and either Firepower or Endurance of 6 or better. They can (i) Anticipate And Deflect one attack from the turn of a following opponent if they choose to use one action of their current turn. Warriors reduced to Life Force 0 can still have one more turn to perform a (ii) Drone Attack - a final instinctive berserk assault.

- Scouts must have Courage and Skill of 6 or better. Smaller ones tend to act as spies. Scouts can (i) Detect Energy And Minerals (including metal and therefore fellow Titans) within as many kilometres as they have ranks. They can (ii) Hack Security Protocols. And they can (iii) Secretly Store Sensitive Data.

- Engineers must have Skill and Intelligence of 6 or better. Larger ones tend to act as labourers. Engineers can (i) Multiply Life Force Regeneration by 2 for themselves or another robot. They can (ii) Modify And Maintain Machines. And they can (iii) Design And Construct such structures as shelters and energy stores.

Super-Powers

All Titans can perform the sorts of technological acts one would expect of sophisticated robots. This includes direction and altitude sense, short range remote communication, recording and relaying sense data, infra-red and ultra-violet vision, super-and-sub sonic hearing, universal translation and whatever operations arise from particular Camo-Modes. They can also choose extra super-powers within the limits of one per every 3 increments of Intelligence from the following list. Which super-power should Template choose?

- Armoured Camo-Mode allows one to take one-third damage from any attack while in camo-mode. One cannot use robot mode weapons while in this mode.

- Force Field Generation forms a barrier that has half the total Life Force of the robot that generated it and can be utilized in the service of that and two other Titans of the same size. It can last as many turns as the user has ranks or till it is extinguished.

- Holographic Projection can produce an illusion within line-of-sight that includes visual and audial components and lasts as many turns as the user has ranks.

- Invisibility can deflect light around the user to grant it invisibility for as many turns as the user has ranks. This allows one surprise attack before Courage scores are arranged for combat sequence.

- Long Range Remote Communication exceeds the limit of short-range communication (as many kilometres as the user has rank) and can extend to an entire Earth-sized planet. It can be performed once within a turn.

- Magnetism allows the user to move ferromagnetic objects at a distance of as many meters as they are tall. The objects cannot be bigger than something that the robot could move by handling them. It can be performed once within a turn. Probots have this automatically.

- Pressure Resistance allows Titans to survive in environments of significant pressure such as dense atmospheres or oceans. All Titans can survive thinner atmosphere or even space. Probots have this automatically.

- Program Override allows one robot to temporarily take over the actions of another within as many meters as they have ranks. The potential victim can resist by rolling its own Rank or lower on a 20-sided dice. The effect lasts as many turns as the user has ranks and the victim can make a resistance roll every time. Also acts of self-destruction cannot be forced by this power.

- Signal Blocking prevents short range remote communication and reduces Long Range Remote Communication to only short range. It can be performed once within a turn. Kronotons have this automatically.

- Short Range Flight allows flight in robot mode within as many kilometres as the user has rank. To fly long range a character must possess an appropriate Camo-Mode (such as a plane). Kronotons have this automatically.

Weapons

All Titans can punch or kick but can only interface with one weapon. Warriors get an additional weapon. Huge or Massive characters also get an additional weapon. An oversized warrior therefore has three weapons. Template however only has one. Weapons themselves determine chances of hitting on the roll of a 20-sided die.

- A Punch or Kick (only at close range) successfully hits on a roll of 11 or better and does damage equal to attacker Strength.

- Melee Weapons such as Electro-Blades and Vibro-Maces (only at close range) successfully hit on a roll of 11 or better and do damage generated by one 6-sided die.

- Machine Guns successfully hit on a roll of 8 or better and do damage generated by one 4-sided die.

- Energy Blasters successfully hit on a roll of 11 or better and do damage generated by one 8-sided die.

- Explosive Projectiles successfully hit on a roll of 14 or better and do damage generated by one 12-sided die. They also inflict half damage to any characters standing next to the character hit.

Any weapon incorporated into a Camo-Mode (such as explosive projectiles of military vehicles) does half the damage that an equivalent weapon would wielded in robot mode. Remember to add Strength or Firepower bonuses. With these and other rolls round up or down in whichever way benefits the player characters the most.

The role-play game managed to survive despite its rudimentary game mechanics and is still played as a novelty now-and-then. Complete boxed sets are very rare but the basic Titans Of Titan rules have been preserved online so anybody can play them. And if you are very lucky you may crack the code of its alleged esoteric lessons...

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2.8.20

Titans Of Titan - The Telemovies

What follows is fiction and much of it is a fiction within a fiction. It expands on what was described here...

Three Titans of Titan telemovies were made which blended live-action human actors, stop-motion robot models, different sets scaled for both humans and robots, and tilt-shift photography rather than standard stock footage. Much of the work was done using Swiss facilities and staff. These were the first Grand Fenwick Radio And Television productions aimed specifically at tween and teen audiences and were more popular than the toys they promoted. The first even got public screenings at the Grand Fenwick Theatre as Titans Of Titan The Movie.

That first movie drew the ire of Grand Fenwick’s sole morality campaigner, Marika Weisshauser, who objected to both its action violence and some very skimpy clothes that featured in its nightclub scene. Weisshauser had a lobbying method that was as unusual as it was effective. She would visit the Grey Goose Pub frequented by Fenwickian parliamentarians and sing her favourite arias until they gave her what she wanted. The Duchess Gloriana XIII and her Ducal Minister for Trinkets ‘Professor’ Dom Woodlock quickly mollified Weisshauser (even if they wished they could immolate her). In the two Titans Of Titan sequels nobody was destroyed and everyone was modestly-dressed.



Only the first movie was released for home consumption. Some fans suspect that the other two have been erased but Grand Fenwick Radio And Television have never confirmed this. They could have been lost, along with many other records, in the Fenwick Fondue Incident of 1990. Scripts and still images did survive however, partly thanks to the Titans Of Titan role-play game. Story descriptions of the three telemovies follow.
 More information on the alien robot characters can be seen here.

Saturn From Titan

Titans of Titan (1986)


In the year 2000 a staffed expedition to the Saturnian moon of Titan discovers something startling inside its icy surface. Two very large and geometrically shaped objects are detected. Some speculate that they are two portions of a crashed spacecraft while others say that they may in fact be two separate crafts.

Excavation finds two much smaller objects closer to the surface. They seem to be large statues. The closest is successfully removed from the ice and transported to Earth for further study at the Alpine Institute of Human Advancement (establishing shots for this and other urban settings imply that they are set on Lake Geneva). Due to its long incarceration in ice the relic is named Kronos for the ancient Titan of longevity.

Next the survey crew work on freeing the other ‘statue’ from the ice and notice its vibrant red livery. This prompts the explorers to name it Prometheus for the ancient Titan who gifted humanity with fire. They are disrupted by a sudden attack from a flying saucer. All the crew present are killed off-screen while automatic cameras film the attacker altering form into another ‘statue’ and proceeding to dig its way to one of the entombed structures. This robot dubbed Charon had been hibernating in the rings of Saturn but was awakened by a passive homing signal transmitted by Kronos.

The two huge ice-encased structures are the spaceships of the rival Kronotons and Probots. Charon makes his way into the Kronoton ship and starts the process of re-activating its crew. Soon he has revived the espionage specialists and also gets the teleportation chamber operating. A ship with the power to cross interstellar space also has the power to teleport crew members within interplanetary distances but takes time to recharge and has a limited capacity. The Kronotons who journalists will soon name Specteron, Waveform and Crookbook are sent to Earth to find their leader - none other than Kronos - while Charon continues to thaw others from hibernation.



Much closer to the surface Prometheus is revived by exposure to the atmosphere of Titan. He digs his way to the Probot spacecraft and in his turn starts reviving his followers. Soon the Probots that will be called Hornet and Ace Rider are revived and teleported to Earth on a mission to make contact with the locals and find a safe haven for the Probot crew.



In Europe, the Kronotons are teleported to a warehouse but cannot get a more accurate fix on Kronos, whose signal has ceased. They assume he still functions but that the signal has been blocked by humans who are hiding him. They study Earth media and decide to kidnap the European President and use him as leverage to free Kronos. Specteron thinks he can do this alone and so visits a Geneva television studio at which the statesman will be giving a speech. Specteron is like all Titans and can assume new camouflage (known as 'camo-modes') to fit the local environment. They can each adopt a fresh camo-mode a total of three times and Specteron takes on the form of TV cameras. However, the security service of the President is surprisingly effective and manages to get him away from the marauding alien robot, who flees in panic.

Hornet and Ace Rider teleport onto a traffic island and quickly adopt the forms of a sports car and a street bike before speeding away. However they had startled several motorists and caused a minor crash. Both a roadside mechanic and a local traffic reporter attend the scene. Andrin and Talina get hot chocolates together at a late night cafe to compare notes on the odd things several witnesses told them. Hornet and Ace Rider park at a nearby drive-in and watch a movie in the hope of understanding Earth culture. They see an advertisement which declares that “Autobahn Nightclub is the centre of the universe” and assume it is a seat of government. There is also a glimpse of what looks like Transformers The Movie, suggesting that in this setting it is fictional.

Waveform and his pet Crookbook devise a new scheme to leverage human power structures. They have discerned that the European President’s daughter, Letizia, is an avid ‘clubber’ with a far smaller security compliment than her father. The two Kronotons assume the form of a speaker stack with DJ booth and a laptop at the Autobahn Nightclub and attempt a kidnapping. However, Hornet and Ace Rider had just parked outside and come to the rescue. The Kronotons, who can fly short distances and jam surveillance, escape. The Probots make contact with Earth authorities, aided by a grateful Letizia. A frustrated Talina, accompanied by Andrin, gets there too late to witness any of the action.


Back on Titan, Charon revives Astra who then takes over operations. She loves Kronos and so is far more motivated to succeed. With Cloudwrench and Stormburst she teleports to Earth with a new and more ruthless plan. The warrior trio arrive at a British air base and destroy it once they take on new military plane forms. They fly to and terrorize an Alpine sports stadium, while a soccer game is underway, and hold all humans present hostage.

Hornet and Ace Rider send a report to Prometheus who decides to bring reinforcements himself, taking Panega and Argus with him and leaving his lieutenant Epimethius in charge of more revivals. The three newly arrived Probots assume the forms of emergency service vehicles outside the stadium, enter to take on the Kronotons and allow the humans to escape. Waveform, Crookbook and Specteron arrive, however, and outnumber the Probots. Hornet and Ace Rider try to get into the stadium but panicking crowds hamper them.



All this time Kronos has slowly been reviving and discovers he is in a secret military and scientific bunker. In his own rush to escape he uses his last camo-mode charge to assume the form of the first vehicle he encounters - an experimental tank. Had he held off even minutes longer he would have seen a hover jet and could have mimicked that, however he can still fly a short distance and follows the signals of his minions to the stadium. Around this time, Talina and Andrin also arrive, and narrowly escape their vehicles before they are destroyed by falling debris from a destroyed light tower.



Back on Titan the teleportation device is recharged and Epimetheus makes the rapid decision to bring all those currently revived with him to help on Earth. There are only two others and they set the teleport to automatic transmission, hoping it will successfully home in on the other Probots. They are separated, however. Epimethius appears on the roof of a truck stop, which collapses, and then assumes the form of a prime mover sans trailer. Phantom appears on a Formula One racing track and assumes the first form she sees. Tracker finds himself in forested hills and, coming to a road, models himself on an abandoned four-wheel drive he sees parked there.

All three Probots converge on the stadium just as the Kronotons, now lead by Kronos, destroy Penega and Argus. Prometheus and Kronos are fighting hand-to-hand while Hornet and Ace Rider are in a pitched blaster fight with the rest of the Kronotons. The Probot reinforcements get into the action and, suddenly, human military forces arrive too. Astra and Specteron are both destroyed and at this, Kronos calls a retreat.

Talina, with help from Andrin, managed to get much of the action on tape. Later, the European President and his daughter present the Probots with medals for helping save the lives of so many sports lovers, and welcome them to Earth, offering to house them in a secret Alpine bunker.


The Progenitor Kiln (1987)

These are some key scenes from the second telemovie:

- Ace Rider and newly revived Dusty are racing each other along a lakeside beach. A drunk notices these cycles have no riders and throws his booze away.


- Newly revived Atlas and Waves rescue a recreational fisher stuck in stormy conditions - he is Dr Ito from Japan who is a visiting fellow at the Alpine Institute of Human Advancement. The scientist is delighted to discover the helicopter and jet-ski are in fact the famed alien robots.

- 

Waveform and Crookbook destroy an old abandoned mansion overlooking the lake after finding evidence in it directing them to the ancient lost progenitor kiln that the Titans were aiming for when they got into a fight around Saturn.

- Ace Rider, Dusty, Waves, Atlas and Dr Ito meet at the burning structure and manage to salvage some evidence from its even older cellars. Atlas informs Dr Ito that a progenitor kiln is a device that can both generate new Titans and imbue them with the fresh ability to assume camo-modes.

- 

In a flashback depicting some long-since destroyed progenitor kilns, the dead characters Specteron, Astra, Panega and Argus are seen.

 It is shown that the installations can only be activated by two Titans working in tandem.

- In separate scenes both Prometheus and Kronos are shown giving orders to discover the progenitor kiln or prevent others from finding it.



- Newly revived Streetslick and Spanners assume camo-modes to compensate Talina and Andren for vehicles lost in the stadium battle and work with them as undercover operatives.



- The five newly revived Democrons are in work vehicle cameo-modes at a seeming construction site, but they are really excavating for the lost progenitor kiln. Streetslick, Talina, Spanners and Andren discover this.
 Groundhog, Dirtdigger, Flatchat, Forks and Doze attack the interlopers.

- Hornet, Phantom and Tracker are all transported to the firefight by Epimethius using his new trailer. They convert it into the Probot defensive stockade at some distance from the excavation in which the Democrons shelter.



- Prometheus and Kronos arrive and have a deliberate collision in camo-modes and follow it with fighting as robots.



- Atlas has a dog-fight with Charon who had lead Cloudwrench and Stormburst into battle over the impromptu battleground. The three Kronotons threaten to overwhelm the big Probot.


- The Democrons combine into the gestalt Demolizor and clash with an exoskeleton-augmented Epimetheus, who eventually gets the upper hand, and shatters their unity.

- Members of both factions attempt to take control of the progenitor kiln - Waveform and Crookbook for the Kronotons and Hornet and Ace Rider for the Probots. In struggling to do this both Hornet and Crookbook accidentally activate the device.

- However at that same moment human military jet fighters blast the progenitor kiln in a desperate effort to end the urban conflict. The explosion sends a peculiar burst of energy across the city.

- The Kronotons retreat and the Probots are left to help tidy the damaged site. Dr Ito asks if there is any way to restore the progenitor kiln but the Probots think this is a very long shot.

Portal To Andromeda (1988)


These are some key scenes from the third telemovie:

- Dr Ito has been studying Titan technology and developed his own radical new machine - a wormhole generator located in a secluded Alpine ravine. Prometheus says that the Probots could use it to return home to the Andromeda Galaxy. He even suggests negotiating with Kronos so that the Kronotons can also go home and let humans live in peace once more.

- The energy wave from the activated then destroyed projenitor kiln resulted in the random metamorphosis of some local works of artifice into Titans - some animatronic Mesozoic reptiles in the Alpine Museum and some arthropod sculptures in the nearby lakeside plaza. These have been living secretly for some time but then the two groups clash one night and suddenly all the world is aware of them.

- Atlas, Streetslick, Spanners, Dusty and Waves intervene and manage to end the clash. The arthropods escape into the sewers. The reptiles however stand firm and the Probots manage to convince them they can be friends. The new allies are named Mesobots.

- The arthropods exit at a rubbish tip but are confronted there by the Democrons. The new Titans are so awed by the combined form of Demolizor that they offer to ally with them and so become the Invertocrons.

- Both Mesobots and Invertocrons have issues integrating into the factions. They also express a desire to live in a world that belongs to them rather than one that is dominated by organics.

- In a surprise to all, Prometheus and Kronos come to an agreement to work together on perfecting the wormhole generator.

- The new Titans known as Grindstone, Whirlpool, Wingspan, Locus, Scorpio and Slator all volunteer to test the wormhole generator.

- The volunteers are gated away from Earth and the final scene shows they are indeed on another planet orbiting a distant binary star. However it is a barren world rather than the technological marvel they were expecting. The two trios glare at one another across a small space and wonder how well they can get along.

- The end credits inform viewers to "prepare yourself for the coming Cold-Blooded Clash"...

The only thing that ever came of this promise was new packaging for the few Titans Of Titan toys sold in stores in 1989. The telemovies soon became the sort of faded memory that aging Gen-X Fenwickians would half-think they had imagined rather than seen.

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