Definitely not everyones cup of Tea!
First off lets dedicate this review to a few friends, they are Robin who lost his beloved pet, Morgan on recovering so well from being hospitalized a year ago and Mike for doing an amazing thing and going out of his way for me, now onwards with this weeks blog!
Well I wasn't sure what I was going to review this week..... and then my latest parcel arrived and when taking this product from the box made me giddy like a school girl, it was decided I would do my first review of one of the most popular Autobot Headmasters!
Headbanging with Hardhead!
Today's we are going to look at the different versions of G1 Hardhead. I really couldn't remember where my original Hardhead came from. My best guess would be from a job lot i acquired back around 2009.... and I am sure that at the time he was not complete and it took me a further year to hunt down the head and weapons at a good price. I am also going to chat about Toyworld Hardbone and Maketoys Iron Will! I'll talk more about the original toy after we do some information about the character!
G1 comic verse
Hardhead came into the comic at issue 131. The Decepticons under the command of Scorponok had just been engaged in a battle with Fortress Maximus and his troops. The Autobots had rescued a bunch of slaves from being tossed into the Smelting pools. After the Autobots had gone back to their base, Fortress Maximus had revealed he had had enough of the fighting and wanted to take the Autobots to a peaceful planet he had discovered, Nebulos. Hardhead was one that spoke out and thought of it as cowardice to leave but Fortress Maximus had reminded him and the troops that they were peaceful and that they could leave Cybertron for a new life. Shortly after the Autobots left Cybertron on the starship Steelhaven for Nebulos. You will have to read the original UK Marvel comic which i believe was issues 131 -149 for the rest of the story, unbelievably the Headmasters story was a back up story at this time and is still one of the better story's around.
Headmasters started here in the UK
The U.S got a 4 issue special series!
Some facts about our lad!
Ok this version is very different from the comics take! On Cybertron Brainstorm is working out a way to partner humans with the Autobots. Arcee and Daniel take out a load of targets and whizz past Blurr who is left reeling from the practice to prove Brainstorms point. We then get a shot of all the Autobots which include Hardhead that will undergo a change later. A little later Scourge opens the Plasma Energy Chamber and becomes incapacitated from the chambers energy discharge, and the Autobots just manage to shut the Chamber down, grab the key and get off Cybertron before a huge bolt of Energy strikes their ship and throws them across the universe to Nebulos. Titled The Rebirth these episodes are available on all good streaming sites and DVD And Blu-Ray!
Galvatron features heavily!
Ahh now this is a completely different kettle of fish! In the west we had the cartoon above for our version of Headmasters where as in the East the fans there got a different take. When Optimus Prime released the energy of the Matrix of Leadership to cure the Hate Plague, he could not have predicted the consequences of his actions. In 2011, without the energy of the Matrix to regulate it, the mega-computer Vector Sigma begins to destabilise, opening the planet up to an invasion by the Decepticons and their new Headmaster warriors. Although the Autobot Headmasters (which includes Hardhead), led by Fortress, arrive to help turn the tide of the battle, the day will not be won without the Matrix, and so Hot Rod and the Headmasters scour the Earth in order to recover the talisman and stabilise Vector Sigma once more. During the course of the conflict, Optimus Prime dies once again, and Hot Rod again becomes Rodimus Prime. Now lets get to the fun part and look at some toys!
Sixshot is a beast!
Brainstorm sporting his face!
At the time of creation Headmasters were basically little men (Nebulons like Humans) that binary bonded to their robot partner to become thier head. Over the years peoples views have changed and even some of the 3rd partys have changed the story that the robots have downsized to conserve fuel and have larger bodys they use when needed. Always thought the cartoon was a little strange as they were little green men in that... except for Daniel and Spike.... but they were only Headmasters in the cartoon which was the last of G1 cartoons for the west!
I think this was from Regeneration 1
Main IDW storyline!
Very popular in the new IDW comics. Check out IDW comics from your local retailer or find Sid at a convention near you!
Ahh picking this toy up brings back memory's of the cartoon (western version as I am from the UK) and Hardhead just kinda flattening to transform. Lovely simple transformation that was definitely intended for a 5-8 year old back in the 80s! Nice tech meter that still works and still a nice paint job. He has fake treads like a lot of G1 toys did back in the 80s but still has wheels to help him roll in vehicle mode. Not much in articulation as original G1 toys were built like bricks...... which to me is brilliant as G1 is still at the heart of all my Transformers even when buying new Hasbro/Takara/3rd Party I still think does it fit in my collection when buying something. Should you buy this now tho? Well if you still enjoy your G1 and you like Headmasters then yes.
U.S and Europe box!
Takara G1 box!
Out comes the old lad from my collection!
Vehicle mode with Duros!
Nice side view!
Back of tank!
Duros can pilot!
Working tech meter!
Oversize KO (dunno where his shoulder cannon is!)
Oversize KO with my G1!
This was a gift from my friend in China without my friend we would not have been able to review it, thank you Robin!
Nice back of package!
I know its just the card of the package but it looks so good!
Generations plus Hothead!
I'm unsure when this kit was released but it was designed to work with the new generations version of Hardhead as well as the old G1. Featuring a new unmasked face and new guns, this gave your Hardhead a more G1 toon look or just a more Hardhead look for the generations toy! Its not easy to obtain but can be found on Ebay from time to time around £25!
Toyworld Hardbone TW-HO1
Prototype next to GrindRod!
Front of box!
Nice back of box!
Right side of box!
Left side of box!
Biocard and instructions!
Yea you can put that big yellow wotnot on if you want!
From left to right Generation, G1 and Toyworld!
Fetching this out cabinets brings back a lot of great memorys! Released in February of 2013 this was the new homage for Hardhead from those clever people at Toyworld! Comes nicely packaged in a glossy box and he has a lovely futuristic tank mode that makes it him a lean mean Decepticon mauling machine! He also has great weapons storage and multiple weapons placements! The knife and mortar placements in tank mode are fantastic and the fact you can attach the knife to the gun 'bayonet mode' as well as the robot mode wielding the knife is just brilliant. His paint scheme is also very very nice a little more of a brighter green then the g1 Hardhead toy. Hardbone has a fun robot to tank transformation! To me this guy fits in better with a Chug collection but this is an incredibly well made and fun toy and if that's what your into then it will suit you. Drawbacks are that Hardbone does not roll and that he does not have a tech meter but this is a brilliant toy and probably will be a bargain now that Maketoys have released their take on Hardhead which will be the next chapter!
Maketoys Iron Will MTRM-04
Proto with Cupola!
Front of box!
Back of box!
Left side of box!
Right side of box!
Top of box!
Bottom of box!
The running 'Maz'!
Back of tank!
Spare head storage!
Side view of tank!
G1 style head!
Look rubber tracks!!!!!!
This arrived on my desk last week from those great people at Masterforce! When you lay your optical visual receptors upon the box it screams G1 Hardhead! Taking the toy out you realise it has a loft of heft which is a good sign of quality... at least that's what Katy says! Beautiful paint scheme and lovely detail with wait for it....... drum roll..... rubber tracks!!! Maketoys have even given you the choice of G1 Hardhead style head or G1 cartoon style Hardhead noggin! Transformation is not too difficult, but there are a few things to watch for, the first being the main turret that goes on his shoulder and in tank mode.... slotting that into the hole for it is a pain in the ass (sorry for swearing but Maketoys you need to know this!), persistence will pay off and it will eventually slot in, I used a flat head screwdriver just to ensure no plastic sprueing was blocking the hole and it seemed to work for me! Other things to watch for are firstly make sure when you are transforming the legs you leave yourself enough clearance and when finishing the legs that you have folded down the small black plastic tank tread cover part that is hidden inside the black leg housing. Something brilliant I wanted to point out is that you can store the alternate face plate inside the cockpit when not using it. Iron Wills headmaster partner can hide away nicely in the cockpit but strangely has some like stress marks on..... now we go to a story that Matt mentioned to me that some guy thought that the parts on the sprue at the factory were a mistake and cut them off, the parts cut off were to tab his hands into the head in headmode! Apparently Maketoys will do replacement parts, whether this will be a new headmaster or just a part (which will be tricky as its pinned) we will have to wait and see! Both robot and tank mode capture the look and feel of Hardhead, and in my view if you are a Masterpiece and G1 collector this is an essential purchase. One drawback is that the tech meter does not work but its only another minor niggle. I personally am amazed, definitely puts Maketoys near the top if not at the top of the 3rd party manufacturers! Oh yea, Iron Will is a costly toy but definitely worth the money I just hope that after Maketoys amazing Cupola and this guy we will see all the headmasters released from them! This was just one special toy, definitely one of the most fun products Maketoys have produced so far!
Top left Iron will, Top right Hardbone, bottom G1 Hardhead!
Rog won't let you have the toys!
Crazy and they're kooky the Duros family!
Exciting times coming from Takara and Hasbro soon. Scheduled this year is the new Titans series with Hardhead new release at the front of the release schedule!
Comes with Sled for Duros!
Limber up laddie!
Tankmode is a beast!
I hope you enjoyed this blog, it was great for me to get these toys out again especially Toyworld Hardbone had great fun messing with him!
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Daim Choc Reports
Robin from Transformers Galaxy
Google for the plethora of photos of toys that I did not have myself
TFWiki forthe Takara headmasters bit
My Mentors who continue to inspire me
Matt of knowledge and amazing transforming skills
And Katy who made me a lovely breakfast for dinner!
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