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Old 2017-01-19, 10:32 AM   #1
Blackjack
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Default Titans Return Hardhead & Furos [uploaded]

Name: Hardhead
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Ground Assault

”It’s either my way – or no way!”

Man, what a crazy series of years, huh? 2015 brought to us Combiner Wars, which reinvented the Scramble City style combiner formula, but in a far larger scale and adapted with individual toys that function quite decently as standalone Classics/Generations-style figures. It’s something that everyone said was impossible when Classics was just starting out… and in 2016, we get Titans Return, a subline-slash-successor to the Generations line, which features… everyone as Headmasters.

And in a pretty awesome manner, Hasbro released every single ‘basic’ Headmaster released way back in 1987 as Deluxe class toys, all of whom have brand-new moulds and transforming heads. Brainstorm, Hardhead, Highbrow, Chromedome for the Autobots, and Mindwipe, Weirdwolf and Skullcruncher for the Decepticons. We’re actually missing Apeface and Snapdragon from the 1987 lineup, but they kind of count as Horrorcons, who are a slightly different from the basic Headmasters.

One of the first toys I experienced from the Titans Return toyline is Hardhead, and boy, what a fun little bugger. I didn’t plan to buy this and he was given to me as a present, but what a fun little toy! He’s what convinced me to eventually splurge and buy a huge chunk of the Titans Return toy line.

Hardhead as a character is your average stubborn, aggressive soldier, and while he didn’t have that much to do either in the US cartoon (only appearing for three episodes as the cartoon closed) or the original Marvel comics (basically being the dude that tells everyone to fight during the couple of issues that introduced the Headmasters, before being shoved into the background). He probably had a lot more to do in Japan’s Headmasters cartoon, but a quick glance through summaries doesn’t seem to indicate that he’s got much of a distinctive personality. Relatively recently, around 2007, Hardhead was randomly brought in as one of the characters to feature in IDW’s relaunch of a modernized Transformers comic, participating in a huge chunk of the Furman-written arcs, before being killed and brought back as kind of an undead fellow, sticking around for a huge chunk of the Costa run before dying again.

An unrelated Predacon in Japan’s Beast Wars Neo toyline is also called Hardhead (I actually own that dude!), a purple retool of Beast Wars Dinobot. That Hardhead is a dumb goon. Over the years since his original release in 1986, Hardhead has been given a homage during 2009’s Universe toy line, which saw Ultra-class Onslaught repainted in Hardhead colours, but this version of Hardhead is a far more slavish reproduction of his original toy, taking cues from both his original toy as well as the character model used in the cartoon and comics.

Alternate Mode:

Hardhead transforms into a space tank, because all kinds of futuristic vehicles were on the rage back during the post-1986 Movie toy line. Hardhead’s tank mode is a bit of a combination of an armoured vehicle and a tank, and while it’s less boxy and more obviously splayed-out compared to his G1 counterpart, Hardhead’s alternate mode takes all the cues from his original toy. He’s got a mainly green body, four tank-tread assemblies, an orange cockpit on one side, and a huge-ass cannon on the other side. It’s a pretty cool-looking space tank, and rolls around well. There aren’t any real obvious robot parts that show in this form beyond the obvious hinges here and there. It’s a pretty attractive tank, with the green, gray and black working well to make Hardhead look attractive but still practical, and the transparent orange cockpit being a very nice detail that stands out.

The main gray turret is impressively large in proportion to Hardhead’s body, and it’s a bit refreshing after so many older Generations/Classics/Universe toys have these dinky excuses of plastic that kinda-sorta have gun details moulded on. Hardhead’s turret can be angled upwards and downwards, and rotate on its post. It can’t aim towards Hardhead’s left side thanks to the cockpit getting in the way, though. You can plug Hardhead’s hand-held rifle on top of Hardhead’s turret for extra firepower.

What I really love about the Titans Return toys is that each little figure is its own transforming playset for the little Headmaster figures, and Hardhead, I think, is one of the most successful ones. A lot of the other toys like Triggerhappy and Highbrow are happy to just have guns that combine into a gun emplacement that little Headmaster figures can ride around in, but Hardhead goes the extra mile. The orange cockpit opens and you can slot a little headmaster in there. The rear end of Hardhead’s big tank cannon slides open in a very smooth manner, allowing another Headmaster to sit there and pilot the huge cannon. The way that the piece of cannon slides backwards really makes it look like it’s part of the design of Hardhead’s alternate mode, maybe by whoever designed Hardhead’s alternate mode before he scans it, instead of an oddly large gun with a random chair the way some of the other Headmasters have.

Robot Mode:

Hardhead’s transformation is simple. You basically transform the four tank treads into Hardhead’s individual limbs, fold up the tank, flip up a bunch of other parts, snap his head on, and voila, you get his robot mode. Of course, it’s very faithful to the original toy, except after 30 years of engineering development, Hardhead has joints now. He’s got a fair amount of articulation. All the Headmasters have pretty secure joints that allow the head to rotate around and look up a little, and a very kibble-free robot mode allows Hardhead to move a fair bit and assume a lot of poses. He’s got shoulder joints, two articulation points on his elbows, double-jointed wrists, a hip joint, double-jointed thighs and knee joints. It’s pretty much the standard for most Deluxe-sized figures nowadays, which is fun. He’s stable enough to maintain a fair amount of poses, that’s for sure.

Again, Hardhead looks a lot like his original figure, just updated to have, y’know, joints and a more proportioned look. I really love the translation of his alternate mode colours into his robot mode, though he’s got a lot less green and a bit more grey. There are additional paints of silver, red and yellow on his crotch area, two Autobot insignias on his shoulders, and his head is painted very well to highlight his bright baby-blue visor and his yellow faceplate. To note is that Hardhead uses his toy’s faceplated head, whereas in all of his fictional appearances, Hardhead has a mouth. I actually prefer Hardhead’s faceplated head, so yeah.

Hardhead is a bit of a brawler, so he comes with guns. There’s the green-coloured sidearm, which is delightfully chunky and scales well as a big rifle-sized weapon for Hardhead to hold. Hardhead’s huge tank cannon can aim upwards for a more passive pose, or aimed forwards to blast people in the face. If you want, you can remove the tank cannon and have Hardhead hold it in his other hand.

A very pretty robot mode, a very well-articulated one and one that’s very faithful to its source material

Furos:

Hardhead alone is already a very cool Deluxe-class transformer, but he also comes with a little Headmaster buddy, Duros… mis-spelled as Furos due to trademark reasons. Duros is basically the same with every other Headmaster dude out there, with his head on a ball-joint, his arms being able to hinge up and down, and one-way hinges on his hips and knees. He can’t be too complex, after all – better for more of the engineering to go on the bigger Hardhead toy. What I really like is how well-painted Duros is – his head and limbs share Hardhead’s green, whereas his torso and abdomen are gray. His face is painted, with his eyes being blue and his face being yellow.

I’m actually surprised that the other Titans Return toys I purchased after Hardhead have Headmaster partners that are just… unpainted, relying on the ‘arms and legs are one colour, body and head are another’ formula. Monzo, Vorath, Blowpipe, Revolver, and Infinitus don’t even have paint at all. Duros is a very pretty little Headmaster, and I really like him for that.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 8/10 Very simple, but it achieves what it’s trying to do without cutting corners or making the toy needlessly complex. Hardhead’s very fun to fiddle around with, and both modes aren’t compromised by the other.

Durability: 9/10 There aren’t a lot of parts in Hardhead that look like they're fragile or would be easily subjected to stress. There’s always the problem of losing the little Headmaster piece, but that’s not a big problem, to be honest.

Fun: 10/10 He’s a very solid Transformer even on his own, but the added Headmaster gimmick, and the idea that even a simple Deluxe class toy can function like a little playset for the Headmaster figures without compromising the integrity of the toy (which is a huge problem for a lot of the Armada line) is very well executed.

Aesthetics: 9/10 Hardhead is pretty much a spot-on adaptation of both his original Generation 1 toy and his fictional appearances, and the choice of colours they made – even for little Duros – is well done.

Articulation: 9/10 Hardhead’s clunky feet kind of gets in the way of some poses, but other than that he’s a very well-designed and well-balanced toys with a wide range of articulation.

Value/Price: 8/10 Oof, Deluxe class toys are kind of expensive nowadays. But for Hardhead, you’re getting one of the better figures of the toy line, and definitely more bang for your buck.

Overall: 9/10 Hardhead is easily one of the best toys that Titans Return has to offer. He ticks all the right spots without actually having any major problems, and is a very pretty and fun toy. I’ve since acquired several other toys from the Titans Return toy line, and while some might be more interesting visually than Hardhead – who by design is a pretty simple toy – Hardhead is still one of the most solid entries in the Titans Return toyline, and indeed, the entirety of Generations.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2017-02-12 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 2017-01-19, 10:33 AM   #2
Blackjack
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Might be a mite too enthusiastic with reviewing and scoring this toy, but Hardhead is indeed a very pretty and fun little dude.

Pictures to follow soon.
 
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Old 2017-01-19, 05:52 PM   #3
ganon578
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
Might be a mite too enthusiastic with reviewing and scoring this toy, but Hardhead is indeed a very pretty and fun little dude.

Pictures to follow soon.
I think the enthusiasm is well warranted. Hardhead is a fantastic toy all around, and I think the sentiment is echoed in our 'Newest Acquisitions' and 'Titans Return Discussion' threads.

Wholeheartedly agree with your review.
 


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Old 2017-01-20, 01:11 PM   #4
Blackjack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganon578 View Post
I think the enthusiasm is well warranted. Hardhead is a fantastic toy all around, and I think the sentiment is echoed in our 'Newest Acquisitions' and 'Titans Return Discussion' threads.

Wholeheartedly agree with your review.
He is, really. Even compared to a lot of other Titans Return toys I own, the thing about Hardhead that makes him truly stand out is that I just can't find anything objectively bad about him. Like, I really like, say, Mindwipe as a toy, but he's got a slightly sub-par beast mode. Weirdwolf's got some durability issues on the hinge. Triggerhappy and Highbrow are pretty but their articulation is hampered by their shoulders. Stuff like that.

With Hardhead I thought long and hard about anything I can bitch about, only to find that, well, I really can't find fault with this fellow.

Anyway, piccies:





 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2017-02-12 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 2017-01-22, 12:55 AM   #5
HotShot81
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Black, if you could post if you like this box shot, it'd free Hardhead from my own boxed version of this toy.

-Hotshot81
 
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Old 2017-01-31, 07:13 PM   #6
ganon578
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Proofed and ready to go.

Also, IIRC (since I am at work eating lunch while proofing) the tank turret can hinge up a bit in tank mode while a Headmaster mans it - giving it enough clearance over the cockpit to swivel that direction. I could be wrong though.

Hardhead is one hell of a fun toy!
 


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