Titans Return is trickling out in dribs and drabs across Sydney, and I am almost as excited as Big Kev used to be. I’ve already taken a look at Crashbash and Terri-Bull – and I plan to look at Galvatron in the next…ooh…week…?
Though I’m DECEPTICONS 4 LYFE™, Hardhead has such a cool design I couldn’t pass him up. Hopefully though, there will eventually be a Decepticon version released, preferably in some kind of purple, black and grey colour scheme.
Hardhead isn’t a character I’d ever heard of before, but he was an original Headmaster back in 1987, paired with his partner Duros – now known as Furos, presumably due to trademark reasons. He’s primarily green and grey, though has black treads and a couple of yellow bits here and there. While the concept of transforming from a masked robot through into some kind of Cybertronian tank isn’t really new, this figure is an example of how the Titan Masters concept really shines. Hardhead’s head – Furos – pops off, turning into a fun little robot of its own. Furos can then be stored in the cockpit of the tank, giving it a little driver. Or alternatively, part of his cannon pops opens and he can be placed in there as a gunman. It’s such a small thing, but it’s immediately elevates it several notches above just about any other tank Transformer out there
As we know, correct scale is virtually non-existent for Transformers – but I like to think of the Titan Masters being around human size. This works quite well with Hardhead, and I’ll probably keep it as my yardstick for future reviews too.
Hardhead’s transformation is that rare blend of easy and memorable, while not being dull. He has a couple of tell-tale signs of being designed by computer rather than by hand, but overall it’s a much smoother process than I have had with a larger Transformer in quite a while. Were that they were all so well-engineered.
Articulation is also excellent – a (detachable) ball-jointed head, ball-jointed shoulders, double-hinged elbows, cut wrists, ball-jointed hips, cut thighs, swivel-hinged knees (due to the transformation mechanism). If there was one thing missing that I’d like to see included, it would be a waist joint – but that’s just the nature of the figure’s transformation, and I can live without it. Even better, he’s still easy to keep standing – he doesn’t have that whole vibe of being able to be blown over in a stiff breeze which plagues some of Hasbro’s more heavily articulated figures.
In vehicle mode, the tank’s treads are moulded rather than moveable, but they have been equipped with some discreet miniature wheels so they can be rolled along the ground. Additionally, there’s a few spots on the treads where other Titan Masters can be attached – you can up to six ready for action once you factor in the two cockpits. My only other Titan Masters are Decepticons, so they will not be taking Hardhead up on the offer -- but it's nice to know what the issues are head.
Hardhead has the rare distinction of being a Transformer that has equally cool bot and alt modes, something few have managed to achieve in the 30+ year history of the brand. Irrespective of your allegiances, he is a truly must-own toy. Highly recommended by the Lupine Book Club.