October 4th, 2009


Nightbeat killer.

 hortpacked!@TNI: They grow up so fast.
Shortpacked!: Meet the parents.

The current batch of Transformers Universe Walmart exclusives have helped me fill in a hole in my collection that's been long neglected.  I've been pining for a Hardhead for a while now, and, lo and behold, here one is.  In stores!

Astute readers will note that I'm a pretty big fan of the Marvel Comics continuity of Transformers over most others, but my love for Hardhead actually comes from the original cartoon.  Though Hardhead shows up in the Marvel Comics to advertise his toy a bit, he almost completely vanishes until his death at the hand (the foot?) of Unicron. He gets no interesting characterization.   But in the short three episodes in which he appears in the cartoon ("The Rebirth," parts 1 through 3) I find him easy to love.  He's a big, tough, loud, no-nonsense guy, though average in intelligence.  He's a good foil for the other three Autobot Large Headmasters, who are all inventers, snobs, or computer programmers.  

It's also nice that he's a redeco of the Universe Onslaught toy.  It's a big meaty tank of a toy, and that's besides the fact that he's an actual tank.  The solid form really suits him.  And, sure, the wheels and other details of the vehicle mode seem like a far cry from his original Cybertron-style treaded tank, but it's a much closer match to his Earth form as seen in the IDW Transformers comics.  Any visual discrepancies are ironed out by the good use of color.  The green, gold, tan, and black are unmistakably Hardhead.  (Especially the gold on his mouthplate, surrounded by his tan helmet.  The original toy had a similar mouthless face, though all his media depictions gave him some chompers.)

The deco on the shield is nicely done, as well.  There's a sloppily-painted Decepticon symbol on there, tagged with an equally-sloppy "NO" symbol.  And hash marks!  I guess somebody knocked off Durosand Hardhead's gettin' revenge.  (I wonder if when they bury Duros, they decide to dress his cadaver in pants or not.  Though I guess they don't really open up the casket that far...)

I strongly recommend this fellow -- especially if you don't have Onslaught, but even if you do!  It's an attractive toy and a fun character.  

(I'd note that the Universe Silverbolt toy would make a fine Brainstorm, but I have too many of that crappy mold already.)