October 25, 2010 02:05 pm
The "third-party" add-on products that I purchase are few and far between. Not a lot of them appeal to me, even the ones that are entirely new toys like not-Springer and not-half-of-Bruticus. I'm more in favor of new heads for redecoes that would have benefited by them. (This is something that will probably happen less and less as Hasbro themselves have started putting in multiple heads in the original toolings of their toys.)
Case in point... I am totally for Headrobots Hothead, aka Duro-5. It's a new transforming head for Hardhead, whose Headmaster's name was Duros. Eh? Eh? See what they did there? Ehhh?
Yeah, it's pretty crafty. No one will see through their ruse!
Anyway, this add-on set got my attention in a number of ways. First, dude, it's a Headmaster. The head transforms from head to robot/Nebulan and back. And, yeah, sure, that's neat, but what makes it even cooler is that the "stock" Universe Hardhead toy has a cockpit area for "Duros" to sit in vehicle mode, just like the original G1 Hardhead toy. It's like a perfect storm of awesomeness.
Of less interest to me are the weapon add-ons. The "Hothead/Duro-5" pack comes with recreations of the original Hardhead toy's weapons plus a few parts to help you attach them to the toy. In vehicle mode, the two attachment parts plug together and you can attach the three guns to it in several configurations. In robot mode, the two attachment parts unplug -- one attaches behind Hardhead's head so you can rig his shoulder cannon there, and the other plugs into his ass and stores one of the other extra pieces, though not as securely as I'd like.
(This extra piece is a "converter" piece that allows you to use the new head with the original Hardhead. It plugs up into the neck socket and provides the same Headmaster tech-spec plug that the original head did.)
"Duro-5" is a little looser in humanoid mode than I'd prefer, but he's a solid toy, especially for a third-party product. One bit of warning... his hands appear to be compatible with the new snap-on weaponry that current Transformers have built into them, and so I tried to have him operate Straxus in weapon-emplacement mode. Do not try this! They are not actually compatible, and now my Duro-5 has a nasty stretch mark inside of his palm. This did, however, prove the durability of the toy. I pushed like a motherfucker on this thing trying to get him attached, and he's not broken.
All you have to do to get the new head to replace the old head is to remove the three screws in the back of the old head, the old head will basically fall off at that point, and then you push the new head down onto the neck joint. The easiest! The electronic lights and sounds even still work, as the middle of the new head is translucent blue plastic, so when you press the electronics button the lights will still flash through the visor.
To sum up, this is a great set that immensely pleases me. I like Hardhead and I also like his pantsless headbuddy Duros, so giving him a more-accurate noggin makes the toy come alive for me. Plus, hey, somebody has to shut up my new Blurr toy.
I got my Hothead/Duro-5 set from TFSource.com, who are a major sponsor of the Transformers Wiki. Go check them out!