My Headrobot's Hothead Review - Lots of pics

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Reviews' started by Predacon, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Predacon

    Predacon Well-Known Member

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    Here are my views on Headrobot's Hothead:

    Pictorial Video featuring a complete Gallery

    I personally found this upgrade kit very gratifying. The improvement that it makes on the toy is monumental.

    Universe Hardhead

    The upgrade is packaged as following:

    [​IMG]

    Although it's nice, the accessories however cover the pretty awesome art work on the back featuring upgraded character models of Universe and G1 Hardhead.

    [​IMG]

    Robot Mode

    The 'out of the box' Universe Hardhead isn't a bad repaint but the G1 character tribute is lacking mainly due to the very defined Onslaught head. However as you can see in the pics bellow, once the head is changed the personality of the toy changes radically.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The character tribute to G1 Hardhead is improved even further when you add the weapons included in the kit.

    [​IMG]

    The weapons can be configured in different positions but I prefer the classic G1 look.

    [​IMG]

    The robot mode upgrade is very impressive as you can see in the pics above. What was before a somewhat lackluster character tribute is now cemented as G1 Hardhead. The colors also match very nicely to the base toy.

    The Headmaster attachment is very easy to do once you remove the Onslaught head but can be somewhat scary at first as it feels a bit hard to push (no pun intended :p ) but once you do it once, it's very easy to do. I must have popped the head in and off about a dozen times already with no problems at all. As mentioned in other reviews, the eyes still light up but are subdued due to the thick clear blue plastic but still looks good. The red adds a kind of 'combat' or angry look to the head when triggered.

    There is a flaw that I encountered with my Not-Duros and this may be present in some other units but this is not a flaw of the design and more of the mold injection process. Within the figure you may notice a 'bump' which is likely residue from the plastic injection process 'scar' or a bit left over from the parts tree. You need to shave off this bit as it blocks the Universe Hardhead's 'neck' from properly going in.

    [​IMG]

    I suspect that this is what caused FFN's Hothead to break since forcing the head down with the 'bump' caused the head to split apart due to pressure.

    Vehicle Mode:

    The upgrades on the vehicle mode are not as defining as it is for the robot mode but they do add some playability mainly due to the weapons but specially due to the new 'Not-Duros' Headmaster. I have also heard some fan opinions that the vehicle mode seems to fit Hardhead better than Onslaught. I wasn't sure about this before but with the new colors, I have to agree now.

    Out of the box:
    [​IMG]

    After Upgrade:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The weapons simply attach to the assembly on the back and although you can place the guns in different arrangements, you don't get as much freedom in creatively positioning them as in the robot mode.

    G1 Hardhead

    As many of you know, the Hothead set is also compatible with G1 Hardhead. The difference here is that the kit is not intended to be an upgrade and more as an accessory kit for the thousands of headless and weaponless Hardheads out there.

    So as far as this kit goes, this is all you need:

    [​IMG]

    Before you proceed, you do need to make an adjustment to 'not-Duros'. The kit comes with an adapter which is otherwise stored within the backpack when used with the Universe release. It simply plugs into the Not-Duro's head socket.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Once this has been done, you can simply connect the head as you would any other Headmaster. Note that the head also activates Hardhead's techspec bars matching the same readings as his original G1 Headmaster.

    [​IMG]

    The new weapons also attach as the G1 guns once did making a once uninterested and incomplete junker into a piece that one can be proud to display.

    [​IMG]

    An added bonus is that the head can now turn!

    [​IMG]

    Just like with the robot mode, the new Hothead accessories can be placed on the tank mode to replaced lost weapons

    [​IMG]

    Not-Duros can also ride within the cockpit!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When it comes to applying the kit on the G1 figure, it is certainly an excellent and relative inexpensive way to resurrect a once dead husk of a toy into a wonderful display piece. However don't expect a radical improvement or upgrade here as it is with the Universe toy as when it comes to G1, the kit is designed to serve as replacements to lost accessories than upgrades.

    The only down side to applying the kit to the G1 figure is that the backpack which is very necessary with the Universe figure is actually superfluous here. You can still attach it to the back of the tank mode and hide in the the hollow section on the back of the robot mode but it is otherwise useless.

    Conclusion

    Putting the 'bump' flaw aside, overall this is a fine kit. Headrobots are gradually gaining a place among the greats of the 3rd Party kit makers. The plastic quality is good, the detail on the sculpt also very well done. The massive improvement of the lacking Universe repaint into an undeniable representation of G1 Hardhead is fantastic and with added playvalue too! When it comes to the G1 figure, they are awesome replacement parts for the countless of headless Hardheads out there - This is something that I like about Headrobot's attitude. They seem committed to bringing back life to these otherwise discarded junker toys.

    [​IMG]

    This is what a 3rd Party upgrade kit should be, something that improves or compliments an existing official figure allowing it to achieve it's full potential which unfortunately Hasbro was unable to achieve.
     
  2. Roanstalker

    Roanstalker Great Baan Gaan fan

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    I wish I still had my G1 Hardhead.
     
  3. rizuan76

    rizuan76 Banned

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    Thanks for the review bro. yr pixs are nice too.

    Good to know that it's also compatible with it's G1 counterpart.
     
  4. ORIO

    ORIO Plant-Based Bot Super Mod News Staff

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    Got mine and I love it. My ONLY beef is wanting to have the gun placed better or more (Geewun) in vehicle mode. Plus they don't seem to stay on all that well in vehicle mode.

    Either way, it was totally worth the price. I hope they do more Headmasters. Do Mindwipe next!!!
     
  5. Tiller

    Tiller I don't know nothin'

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    Man I was really hoping from some more articulation on this guy (been spoiled by Fansproject..I mean look at Sidearm). I dislike the way that the hot head backpack doesn't at least slide up to cover the visor a bit and that the headmaster has little articulation. A few more paint apps on the headmaster and especially the guns would have gone a long way. As much as I want this kit to fix it up, I don't think I can justify $30 for it.

    Someone convince me otherwise or else I might as well get rid of my universe Hardhead. :<
     
  6. Predacon

    Predacon Well-Known Member

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    lol you Americans are spoiled. We pay $30 for just a deluxe figure here in AU! :p 
     
  7. Fast_Draw

    Fast_Draw Pretender

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    I love this upgrade kit. It really makes the Universe Hardhead sizzle. My Duro5 did not really have that bump though. I really like the way it looks now and he's got some much needed firepower.
     
  8. Matt Booker

    Matt Booker Fantasy Adventure Author

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    Could someone post a picture of the lightpiping working?

    I've seen people mention that it works, but no proof.

    The reason I ask is because on my Duros you can only barely see a hint of red if its completely pitch, and in normal light you can't see a bit. If you slide the head up on the post a bit his whole face lights up red but the light piping remains dark.

    ~Matt Booker
     
  9. xanthax

    xanthax choppaface

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    I love me some good 3rd party stuff. This guy looks great. My set is on the way.
     
  10. jason jupiter

    jason jupiter weird/ rare g1 KO hunter

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    the eyes glow red on mine when i press the button, i don't think the eyes are supposed to work like normal piped eyes since the clear blue piece doesn't extend to the back of the head.

     
  11. Matt Booker

    Matt Booker Fantasy Adventure Author

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    Yeah, I know how the light piping works, just wondering if it actually does.

    Thanks for answering, though.

    ~Matt Booker
     
  12. Thundershot

    Thundershot The guy with 28 Sweeps

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    Could we get a pic of him standing next to Nightstick, for size comparison?
     
  13. Matt Booker

    Matt Booker Fantasy Adventure Author

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    Overall, I think the set is worth the purchase, and really turns Universe Hardhead into Classics Hardhead. The headmaster, the design of the head itself, the guns, and the shoulder cannon are the most iconic things about the character's appearance.

    [​IMG]

    However, the set does have a few problems.

    Hip Joints
    The shoulders and the hips share the same basic construction, but where the shoulders are all around okay, the hips have a section that looks way too thin.

    You can see it up near the top, just above the slot on the side.
    [​IMG]

    It doesn’t look too bad in that picture, but remember, Duros is tiny.
    [​IMG]

    It looks like the thick backing piece for the cup on the hips was omitted so there would be room for Duros’s hands when transformed. I’d rather they gave Duros just a pair of fists and bulked up his hip joints than giving him compatibility with lego weapons. (I don’t know how well he holds those, but its’ an advertised feature. He can hold Megablocks Halo weapons, but it is very loose.)

    On a part of the figure where pressure is important, the thicker cup design from the shoulder should’ve been used. It works well enough, but it shouldn’t be so fragile.

    Head Angle
    As on Onslaught, the head is at a rather steep angle, so that Hardhead is looking down. This actually wasn't as bad on Onslaught, because he had a more open visor. Hardhead's is worse because of the protruding ridge above his visor.

    Still, he's at least taller than most deluxes and voyagers, so he's got plenty of figures to tower over. :lol 

    Head Backpack
    There is no flap or transformation used to hide the face in Duros mode. It’s a minor complaint, but given the price of the set it should be mentioned.


    Lightpiping
    The lightpiping on mine does not work.

    If the head is completely attached, the visor has a small spot of red that can only barely be noticed in the dark.

    If the head is barely attached, the led lights up the whole face. Just the face. Not the visor. His face turns red and his visor remains dark.

    I have yet to see pictures of it actually working (or it working in a video review) on anyones. I know two people who have the exact same problem on their set, and have seen a few people on other boards describe the problem as well.

    I have also seen people mention that theirs works.

    Variance in plastic for the visors could account for some of this, but I think a lot of it is the way the head is designed. Leds tend to aim light straight up, with various ones having different spreads. The original Hardhead head has a reflective piece inside, set at an angle so the led aims the light up and it reflects it out the visor.

    Duros just has a round section with a nub for the led to fit into. The majority of the light from the led is going to aim up, not out the visor.

    [​IMG]

    Unless you have a light aimed at Hardhead the visor it looks dark navy to almost black in color. If the light piping worked, this wouldn’t have been so bad but it still would be an issue because, unlike regular light piping, you have to actively be pushing a button for it to work.

    I would've rather seen the plastic in a brighter, opaque color, or even painted.

    Attachment to Hardhead
    This is my biggest complaint with the whole set.

    Hardhead’s head post is like a thick T with an led on the top. A cylinder with a wide flat bit, sort of like a small table or a bolted on barstool. I was expecting something that fit around it to make a swivel, sort of like the joints on say, Terradive’s upper arms. A vague aproximation of that, especially if it slid open and clamped around it, would make the most sense and cause a secure connection with hardly any wear.

    However, the figure not only just pops over all that, but there’s no ledge and recess to contour for it. There’s just a hole.

    You slide the T joint in and it stretches the hole, causing Duros’s backpack and body / faceplate and head to gap slightly. It’s only slightly, and not something you’d notice normally, but if you’re looking as you attach it to Hardhead you’ll see the gap open.

    Duros Before Crack
    [​IMG]

    Duros On Crack
    [​IMG]

    Look closely where the back of the faceplate hits Duros’s shoulders.

    It just sits on there via pressure, and it’s pressure that is, however slightly, stressing plastic tolerances.

    Overtime, this could be a problem. Either it breaks, or it eventually warps the plastic into the headmaster being loose. How long will this take? Given the size of the crack and the tightness of the halves, it could be a long time. You might not even notice.

    I’d say the headmaster getting loose is a much more probable outcome than it outright breaking, but this is still poor design. Especially so when you consider that Optibotimus’s early sample wasn’t glued together, so the pressure could be adjusted.

    People already had to unscrew their Hardhead’s original head for this, so if a special attachment piece was included that could have screwed on over the existing post I don’t think people would have complained too much. Especially if it was one that granted more articulation.

    But even with those complaints, I still like this set.

    [​IMG]

    Very recommended!

    ~Matt Booker
     

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  14. Maverick Hunter Christian

    Maverick Hunter Christian Choke on that, causality!

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    ...anybody have a bastard of a time getting the large screw out of the back of Hardhead's original head? Thing just won't come out on mine...
     
  15. siniquezu

    siniquezu Well-Known Member

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    i just wish hardhead wasn't so expensive. :( 
     
  16. jason jupiter

    jason jupiter weird/ rare g1 KO hunter

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    oh, oops. that's what you meant.

    yeah...people probably aren't posting pictures because it was a pain in the butt to press the button and take a picture with the other hand. it works but it makes him look pissed, lol.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Matt Booker

    Matt Booker Fantasy Adventure Author

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    Thank you!

    I've since seen more people talking about the same issue mine (and the two other people I know) has over on allspark and other boards, so I was starting to wonder if people who said it worked were just talking about the whole face lighting up.

    There must be a lot of variance in the visor plastic.

    ~Matt Booker
     
  18. Tirade

    Tirade Hate Plague Autobot

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    Interesting discussion on some issues with the upgrade.

    Honestly, I could not care less about seeing the lit up visor. Hardly a make or break issue. Also, I certainly understand the issue with the legs (around the hip), but i can't see it as that much of a problem. As for the lack of a head flap, not a big deal for me. I always thought the flap for the original G1 HMs was a joke. I'd say the head attachment is the biggest issue for this set. Even so, I don't think that issue will be that big any time soon.

    Glad to read feedback regarding the set. However, some of the complaints/problems do amaze me. I consider myself a perfectionist and I don't have as many worries over this set as others. Go figure.
     
  19. fabexmax

    fabexmax Well-Known Member

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    Funny, but my Duros popped right on the head stump with no problems. Lucky me.
     
  20. TGping

    TGping Well-Known Member

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    Well, it IS a nice chunk of change, so people will be more critical of it... which I completely understand. For me the positives far outweigh the negatives. Seriously one of my fave TFs right now, and only because of this upgrade.

    Can anybody compare the quality of this with Natobot's Roadbuster upgrade? Actually I'd like to see a thread comparing the smaller 3rd party outfits offerings.
     

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