Cliffbee.com: Hardhead Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hardhead
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Ground Assault
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Tank



TANK MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 9.5cm

   An army green tank with a dull brown cannon on the right side and a brown hatch at the front. Hardhead has four black treads, two on either side underneath black 'fenders'. There's a transparent yellow window on the left side, which defines this tank as a one-man mini tank. The colours work well, defining this as a military machine, giving it just enough colour to be interesting.

   The green central part of the tank more or less slopes down towards the front, which sports a rubsign indent (and rubsign). The treads have chrome silver highlights on the wheels and links, which are all sculpted. There are small black wheels underneath each tread that allow Hardhead to roll. There are two green guns which can attach, one on top of the cockpit and another on the left of the cockpit, opposite the main cannon. There's no turret here, since the one-man cabin forms much of the central block.

   Hardhead's tank mode has as much play value as you could really expect. The wheels allow him to roll, as I've mentioned, while the main cannon can lift up about 30. The green smaller cannon on the roof can rotate through 360, since it's on a round post. The cabin opens, allowing Duros to lie down inside.

   I quite like this tank mode, even if it lacks a turret. While it's not an earthen tank, it's still quite a believable tank, and the three cannons all look good. This is very much an assault vehicle, and has good colours which are sensible without being dull.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the green cannons, swing the underside of the tank out to the front, dragging the rear treads forward with it. Swing the rear treads down to form the boots, flip out the feet. Fold the cabin down onto his back, flip the fists out from the arms, formed by the front set of treads. Take Duros out of the backpack, transform him into head mode and slot him into the neck. Attach the green cannons as handguns and lift up the main cannon to form a shoulder cannon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20cm Width: 9cm

   The same colours carry over here, with the green now on his chest and hands, while the boots and arms are black. Hardhead's groin, thighs, chestplate and head are brown while his face is a lemon yellow colour. The rubsign sits just above his waist and there's a prominent silver and red sticker on the groin. The brown actually lines up on his head and his body, unlike the mismatched head colours seen on many 1987 Headmasters. There's more brown than green now, which makes this robot mode a little dull.

   Hardhead is tall for a Headmaster, and while he's not lanky his waist is longer than it should be. The extra height gives the false impression of short arms, but the arms are bulky enough to not look puny. There are some cool tank aspects here, such as the hatch on his chest and the cannon attached to his right shoulder.

   The poseability is limited to swinging shoulders, which is average for the 1987 -master toys. The shoulder cannon has a much wider range of aim now - from 50 back to 90 forward (ie to the floor). Hardhead has the standard tech spec meter - when you plug Duros into his neck, you can flip open the hatch on the tech spec meter and click in the head, which will cause his specs to appear (SPD 5, STR 9, INT 6).

   The added height is a bit of a distraction, but this is still a solid robot mode. The tech spec meter is a nice gimmick that's well centred on hardhead, thanks to the hatch, while the integrated shoulder cannon is a highlight. His stocky look suits both the character and his function, and with three guns Hardhead is suitably well armed.

Duros
   Duros has a brown torso and head with a yellow face - like the giant face on his back. He has green arms and legs while his hips and knees bend, allowing him to sit. His shoulders also swing, giving Duros better poseability than Hardhead himself. The face has tiny eyes, nose and mouth, which is cool. The colours are fairly dull but match those of Hardhead better than most Nebulons manage to do.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   With two solid modes and a good set or weapons, Hardhead is a fun toy. The tank mode is pretty impressive and makes for a cool assault vehicle. The colours work against the robot mode slightly, and the waist is slightly misshapen, but there are minor flaws. Hardhead is a solid, in unspectacular, toy - 7/10

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