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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Kremzeek75's review of: Hardhead

Name: Hardhead
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Ground Forces Commander
Sub-Group: NA

A large bump on Hardhead's cranium makes for a strong skull, but as its interior isn't exactly packed with cerebral circuitry, he's not that intelligent. He's a stubborn type who doesn't listen to what people tell him. His Head Attack, a head-bump-first charge is surprisingly destructive. Hardhead also wields a Pilesaber blade, and is an expert in swordplay.

In the long line of Transformers Repaints, the Beast Wars Dinobot mold has been used many times, arriving to the consumer in many different colors and variations. To recap on the various versions, here are the stats:
Dinobot (1996)
Beast Wars Grimlock (1997)
Fox Kids Dinobot (1999)
Thrustor (1998, Japan)
Dinobots Grimlock (2003)
Dinotron (2000)
For this review, however, I am doing the Beast Wars Neo version of the Dinobot mold named Hardhead, which was released in 1999 along with a number of original molds and further repaints which made up the exclusive Japanese line of Beast Wars Neo. I have been on a BWNeo buying spree lately, and the character of Hardhead was one of the more attractive pieces of the line, so henceforth, I thought he would make a great review.

Alternate Mode:
In purely scientific terms, Hardhead's alt mode is the dinosaur subspecies Corythosaurus, which in real life, was actually a rather peaceful herbivore that congregated in packs, so when I first saw the mold, I was a little apprehensive at the idea of making a rather non-violent dinosaur sub-species a Destron character, who are noted for the ruthlessness and conquering that makes the faction noteworthy. So, I looked past that little detail. but I do think Takara could have used a more "velociraptor-like" mold to inspire the fear Destrons are remarkable for. So, to the toy itself- Hardhead consists of a primary purple with light green spots color scheme, with an occasional touch of metallic silver. For features, if you press on the top bump of the cranium (which was the telltale sign of the Corythosaurus) the dinosaur jaws open and close, revealing a quite detailed mouth full of teeth. The legs are fully pose-able; making Hardhead great for interesting shots and dioramas. One thing I never cared for in the Dinobot modes in general were the placement of the legs in alt mode- IMO, I tend to think they are too noticeable and detract from the overall look of the dinosaur. The placement of the feet on Hardhead's chest also tends to get in the way of the two short arms. The tail, which becomes a weapon in robot mode, is actually quite a nice feature, and you can twirl it by pressing on the sprin-loaded mechanism that is clearly visible in both alt and robot modes. Hard head measures an approximate 7 inches in length when in dino mode.

Robot Mode:
If you are familiar with Dinobot and any of the repaints, you will know the sequence of events to transform him into robot mode- that in it of itself can be tricky, as Hardhead was my first introduction to the mold and I popped the legs off a couple of times when transforming. However, it was worth it- the robot mode is simply fantastic. Not only does the tail make a twirling weapon referred to as a rotor blade, but the tail also conceals a sword which can be placed in the other hand, making Hardhead a pretty stacked bot in terms of accessories, especially considering his size. Hardhead's arms and legs are immense, making the possibilities for articulate, detailed stances endless. And, as you might have guessed from some of my other reviews, Hardhead does not follow the typical "head for an arm" ideal that plagued so many of the Beast Wars characters in general. His head becomes his chest/torso, and the small arms are fixated to the rear of the robot. The robot's head is also quite impeccable, not following the facial expressions that also tended to detract from the Beast Wars family.

Transformation: 7 - a little tricky, but once you have done it a few times, it becomes easy.
Durability: 9 - considering that I made the legs pop off twice, they snapped right back into place using the ball in socket method for joints.
Fun: 10 - Totally articulate, totally detailed, and totally pose-able; you can have some serious fun with this guy.
Price: Due to the fact that Hardhead was a Takara exclusive and only available in Japan, I paid about fourteen dollars for this guy, which I thought was worth it.
Summary: One of the more impressive examples of the Beast Wars Neo line, and the second most impressive version of the Dinobot mold, first being (IMO) the other Japanese exclusive Thrustor. Hardhead is a great addition to my collection.

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