Sunday, 21 August 2016

Legends Hardhead. (Insert pun here)

This is a picture of Hardhead
Wow, LG 21.  Looking at the release numbers for these guys, I’ve been going backwards. Ha ha ha ha.  Oh wells.  In this post, I will be looking at Hardhead, the first Headmaster released in the Legends line.  I initially skipped ordering this guy because I thought the vehicle mode looked a bit flat.

Then I saw the robot mode and regretted that.  Being a stingey bugger, I refused to pay the prices he seemed  to be creeping up to on Amazon Japan (annoyingly enough, the marketplace sellers just seem to try and outdo each other pushing the prices higher and higher).  So it was a awhile after experiencing the joys of Skullcruncher and the mediocrity of Galvatron before I managed to find one (the last one) on the shelf of a shop.  Huzzah.

I bought it.

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Once again the box is very nice, although this time the artwork doesn’t grab me as much as Galvatron’s or Skullcruncher’s.  The headmaster is in head mode again and you have a good view of the tank mode and stuff.

Opening time.  
Once again, instructions and bio and stuff.
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Oh look at that, a translation.  How nice of me!

Back of the box

HardHead (19)Presenting Autobot Headmaster Hardhead.
The Headmaster Transformers concept is perfected.
Reborn transforming robot figure using modern design processes.

Function : Ground Assault.
Heavily Armoured Hardhead is a proud fighter.
His heavily armed outward appearance contradicts this warrior’s quiet, affectionate, nature,  however anyone who makes him angry will be on the receiving end of the fire from his shoulder mounted Hard-cannon.
His Partner drone Tankette acts like his secretary and is as kind natured as Hardhead however her firepower is equivalent to Hardhead’s Hard-Cannon.

Strength 10
Int  6
Speed  5
End  9
Rank  5
Courage  10
Firepower  8
Skill  6

There is a slight typo where a „ÉČ was left out of Hardhead’s name in the Tankette section.  Whoops.  His name is typed as “Harhead.”
P.S  Tankette is described as a tank on the instructions, but a tankette is actually a real thing.  Isn’t that interesting, it also makes a cute girl name for a tank drone.  She also transforms into a jet plane.  It doesn’t mention what type of gun she is though.

Hot damn, I must have been on a roll, here is the translation (Well, general gist) of the comic too!

HHComic (4)The headmasters fall from the sky announcing their arrival and that they have a request for the inhabitants of the Legends world.  The Headmasters have come from the year 2020 from the G1 World. 
FortMax asks Rattrap to build them some bodies (what will be Transectors no doubt).  
Primal asks them what their budget is and Max is surprised he has to pay,  Rattrap is surprised Max thinks he can get them for free. Primal and Max agree via the profits gained on using the HM technology.
HHComic (5)Axalon and HM  have joined forces, the company has become full of robots.
Hardhead is singing about how he likes his world and Chromedome complaining of being bored.
Then Twincast gets a call from “Managing Director Fortress that a Transtector is finished.  Hardhead is upset that it was done so quickly and Chromedome is happy because now he can go back to space and fight Decepticons.
HHComic (6)Tadaa, Rhinox announces that bodies are called Transtectors and the first one is Hardhead’s body!  Twincast is told to support Hardhead in the cannon, and Chromedome is having a hissy fit asking where his is.  However he is then introduced to Tankette and is a bit smitten.

HHComic (7)Later, a huge asteroid is about to crush Akihabara.  Hardhead is asked to put aside his love for Salaryman life and become a warrior again to protect the world.  Hardhead transforms, Rattrap and Chromedeme stay on Tankette in gun mode. They all fire on the asteroid but it isn’t enough.
Heardhead headbutts the asteroid, with comments of “What an amazing rock hard head!”   Then the next day, Hardhead is in hospital as he forgot that his whole body is his head.
So headbutting is a whole body hit.
They all laugh merrily

HHComic (5)Not much extra worth mentioning there, except for Hardhead’s penchant for wearing his tie around his head.

I hope he constantly drunk.  Or an office Rambo.

OOnto the tank.
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Okay.  Hardhead’s tank mode is very G1.  It looks nice, although I still believe it’s a bit too sleek to really pull off a tank.  It just really lacks any height at all.  I can imagine Batman driving this thing.  
Aside from that though, it’s a great rendition of Hardhead.  I think I said that before.  Really Hardhead’s tank never made much sense to me.  His turret didn’t rotate and the only thing going for his tank mode was a crap load of guns.  Which did look pretty cool.

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This tank has one cannon (his hard cannon) and the robot rifle which can be plugged into the top of the hardcannon.  I would have preferred the rifle being set somewhere else personally, especially since the G1 toys comes with two rifles, which can be mounted on the tank, it looks cool.  I do wish he had two rifles.  If you do have a spare HM hanging around, it does looks OK.

HardHead (27)HardHead (39)HardHead (25)YAY! Big-guns!

This hard cannon can be rotated and it angles up and down, you just have to lift the base up a bit.  It actually doesn’t look too bad with the turret raised.  The connection is a 5mm joint, so you can even swap it a round with other weapons.

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 Sculpting on the vehicle is pretty nice.  The tank treads look great and have vents and panels, as does the main body.    I think it’s really cool that on the cockpit window, there is a little aiming sight.

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Colours are pretty good.  The treads and surrounding bits have nice metallic flecks in the black plastic, the green for the body is just how my mind remembers it, as is the orange canopy.  The beige though, I dunno, surely they could’ve taken a bit of artistic license and done something with it, especially for the cannon.  The worst part are where his elbows will be, as you can still see a little bit in between the nice plastic of the front treads.  Still overall it’s pretty nice.

One aspect I adore is the side of the treads have been picked out in silver paint on both the outside and inside.  This manages to give the impression they are a different colour to the rest of the bit they are moulded on to.  Even if you look at it from the side, and roll him so you’re looking underneath, the treads look a tad lighter.  Some clever eye-colour-trickery going on there.

Well done TT, well done!!
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Underneath, well, let’s just not look there (but we did, didn’t we?).  It’s all beige robot-bits and if a tank gets turned over, we all know it’s in trouble.
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Hardhead has a lot of HM mounting points.  One on the top of each tread.  One in the hardcannon and one standing behind the hardcannon, oh and one in the cockpit.  If you want to, you can even leave a head in the head port, but that looks silly.   Sadly I don’t currently have enough headmasters to mount on every port. Sad.  One interesting point I will make here.  Skull and Megatron’s lower legs are too fat to clip into the cannon and cockpit seats, you can place them in, but they don’t sit as securely as Hardhead does.  Interesting, I wonder if this will be the case to separate them all?  Yo

Lets look at his little Hardhead.
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The headmaster looks great, with all the right cues in all the right places.  He actually has a decent amount of paint on him, with the beige forehead, blue eyes and yellow face.  Nice.

HardHead (47)In Head mode, he looks great.  I have the G1 toy at home and I was initially a bit annoyed that the head didn’t have the mask like the toy,  but actually came with a mouth inspired by the TV show (and comic).  Looking at it now though, I much prefer the mouth on him than the mask version.

Hasbro's HardheadHe has super crisp paint on the visor and the mouth has expression.  What expression it is I am currently unsure on.  All things considered, it is a very nice head sculpt.

Time for some hot Tankette action.
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Tankette is a small  quadruple barrelled tankette.  How cute.  She’s green and transforms into a gun as well as a jet plane.  Well, that’s how the instructions describe her.
Tankette (1)

The tanks mode is pretty neat and my favourite.  You can sit a Headmaster in the back and she can be piloted.  It’s very cute and I like it.  
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Flipping her over (oh my), unfolding a nose cone at the front as well as a little nubby handle at the back and she transforms into the gun.  Let’s face it, this looks nothing like a gun at all and when you put it into Hardhead’s hands, it’s too heavy for his arms. 
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You can mount a Headmaster this way in two ways.  One looks stupid and the other just doesn't secure them well.
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Her final mode is the jet.   Fold down the side pieces with the tracks, fold up the gun nub handle and you have the “jet.”


Once again I feel like these drone accessories don’t really add anything to the toys.  I will say this though, I prefer Tankette’s tank drone-i-ness over the craptacular bird monster thing that Batora is.

Hardhead, HEAD ON!

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Transformation is a nice twist on the original.  Just enough to make you think “oooh” with just a  little bit extra to make a nicer robot mode.

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It's a really good robot mode that he makes as well. This was the tipping point that pushed me to get this guy. His proportions are just so heroic. It just looks really, really good.
What I was most impressed with was the colour change he goes through.  You start off with a green and black tank, yet when you transform him you have a predominantly beige robot with the green chest. I think it's amazing and clever how they managed to minimise the green like that. Well done.

HardHead (4)HardHead (5)HardHead (6)HardHead (7)
The mode is nice and symmetrical, well aside form the shoulder cannon anyway and the chest has his panel painted rather nicely.  Annoyingly it looks good enough for me to wish there was a hidden tech specs meter in there. Yes. I'm probably going to say that about every single one of these toys...
HardHead (74)HardHead (75)HardHead (70)
The black arms look very nice, as do the black legs.  This is another part where the clever tread paint work comes into play. Had they painted the treads completely silver or metal grey, his shins would be somewhat overwhelming.  The only odd thing about the colours to me is the beige elbows and cuffs…  I don't understand why these were done in this colour. They really stand out a lot. 
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His sculpting is much the same as tank mode because he uses the same parts, so his arms and legs have panelling and vents etc.   However when I look at his arms, they seem very very long. I think this can be attributed to the wrist cuffs. They manage to extend the arms just that little bit too far. They allow him to have wrist swivels, so I am perfectly fine with this trade off.

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Articulation is very very nice.
  • Ball and hinged shoulders
  • Double jointed elbows.
  • Hinged and swivel wrists.
  • Ball hips
  • Swivel thighs
  • Good 90°  knees.
  • Hinged toes for vehicle mode.
  • Hard cannon can be swiveled and hinged.

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His legs lack ankle joints and the feet are angled for a default A stance which can make so poses a bit tricky, like crazy 1 legged poses, but generally it isn’t a problem.
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All of these allow for some good posing and since the hard cannon has its own joints, it can be nicely left out of the way when you don't want him to use it.  It slides to the side a little bit to make room for his head and this then hinders his right shoulder a tiny tiny bit.  If this bothers you though, just swing the cannon up a bit and you're good.
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Overall this toy is just really good.  While the vehicle mode is not exactly as tanky as say, Bludegeon/Gigatron or Warpath, I have grown a bit more accustomed to it.  He is listed as ground assault and looking at his firepower he’s not the powerful blasty guy, so I have accepted him as being a more manoeuvrable light tank, which also fits a bit with having a tankette as a buddy.
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The robot mode is great.  All the right bits just where he needs them and while a waist swivel would’ve been very cool, it’s a still a good toy without one and can be coped with well enough.  His head sculpt with the mouth is also very nice and personally I like it more than the masked version.  Although if I could get individual Headmasters, I would buy the masked one as well.

Hell, I’d buy them all.

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Base mode for this guy is hard, as he’s already laying down and the best I could really come up with is one that the whole internet has discovered.  A raised battle platforming thingamajig.

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I have eyes in the back of my head!
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1 comment:

  1. Tankette is the same mold as the tank that comes with Titans Return Terri-bull (it's always HORRI-BULL to me...) & Skytread (that's gonna always be FLYWHEELS to me). But yeah, just like the weapon modes of the Legends class figures during Combiner Wars and the weapon modes of the Micromasters of Siege & Earthrise, I think that the only ones that can reliably hold them are Voyagers & Leaders; some Deluxes can, but I wouldn't trust their shoulder & elbow joints to be able to do it for long.


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