Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Transformers 3rd Party: Headrobots - Cobra (Headmaster)

Name: Cobra
Line: Head-On!!! (Headrobot)

Year: 2010
Price: $17.95 (TFSource)

It seems that ever since the first live action Transformers movie hit the big screen the Transformers property has been hotter than ever. The old Generation One (G1) toys have always been popular with people who grew up with them like myself and a quick scan on eBay will show the toys can bring in a pretty penny. With the current success of Transformers there have been several "garage companies" overseas that have popped up that produce unofficial/unlicensed Transformer action figures, accessories or add-on items for official Hasbro/Takara Tomy Transformers. Some fans hate the stuff, some fans love the stuff. The quality of the items range from craptacular to spectacular. Love 'em or not it appears this stuff is here to stay (at least for awhile). So today we'll take a look at one of my favorite "fan made toys" to be released in the last few months, Headrobot's Cobra.


Headrobot's first release is called Cobra. From what I understand the idea behind this toy is that it was an unused idea back in the 80's in Japan that Takara never used. Takara did manufacture and sell several Headmasters figures separately in Japan (3 robots, 3 beast Headmaster heads), but Cobra never made it past the drawing board. Cobra is a traditional sized G1 Headmaster head. Instead of a robot mode however he has a beast alternate mode...of a Cobra. Never would have guessed, huh? Cobra comes packaged in a really nice re-sealable clam shell case. Headrobot even made additional inserts for the clam shell so you could mix it up if you chose to display the figure in the packaging. The default packaging mimmicks the original Japanese G1 Decepticon Headmasters packaging. To avoid copyright infringement the usual Transformers logo has been replaced with "Head-On!!" which is a direct homage to the Japanese Headmasters animation where "head-on" would be shouted at the time of transformation.


The back of the packaging isn't nearly as beautiful as the front, but it does offer up some information about the toy in both English and Japanese languages! Also note the Robo Points in the bottom left corner. A very nice touch. They even re-create the ST logo albeit slightly changed. Underneath the ST logo it reads Seibertronian Made Figure (designed in the USA). If you are wondering what the information is read on:

What is Head On Cross?!

The evil Headrobots started training to further strengthen themselves again the good robots. Headrobots can connect to the Transtector after they master the art of combining. The Power Meter on the chest shows their abilities.

Now, it is your time to cross head on to D-85 Crocodile, D-86 Wolf, and D-87 Bat!

The references made to the animals of course are the Decepticon Headmasters Skullcruncher (crocodile), Weirdwolf (wolf) and Mindwipe (bat).


Let's take a look at Cobra out of the packaging. The head module of Cobra is mainly comprised of a creamy white and a light olive green while the visor is painted yellow. You'll notice that the shape of the head is quite different when compared to G1 Headmaster heads in that it features a sloped look. It was hard for me to capture the detail on the face with my camera, but a great deal of detail went into this sculpt. The "mouth" has two vent like features right underneath the visor. You can tell a lot of care was given to this form. The Transtector nub on the bottom of the head is also sculpted differently than most G1 heads in that it is almost entirely square like a peg. The notches on the right and left sides are barely noticeable, but they serve the same function as we'll see shortly.

Now let's plug Cobra onto a G1 Headmaster body and see how well this new toy blends in with the old.


I chose Skullcruncher here for several reasons. First he is one of my favorite Headmasters, but more importantly I thought the green used on Cobra would better match than the dark purple on Mindwipe or the yellow on Weirdwolf. As you can see he attaches to the body just as any other Headmaster head would. I think this body is a really good match and at least to me Cobra doesn't look out of place.


Here's a better close up of Cobra attached to Skullcruncher. You can also get a better idea for the level of detail on the head module as well as see how well he blends in. If I didn't know better I may have thought this was the original or intended head for Skullcruncher.

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Here we get a glimpse of Cobra's "abilities" once attached to a Headmaster Transformer. First we'll take a look at Grax attached to Skullcruncher (top photo). You can see that Grax's Speed is around 4, while Strength is maxed out at 10 and Intelligence is probably a 9. Plug Cobra into the body (bottom photo) and now we can see that Cobra's Speed is around 7 while Strength is 5 and Intelligence is 6 or 7.

Enough time spent on Cobra's head module form. Let's take a look at his namesake's form...the cobra.


Cobra has a unique look. Top half cobra, bottom half tank. The tank treads are molded in the same creamy white plastic as the top half of Cobra. Transformation is rather simple.

1) From head module, flip up the flat white portion of the head.
2) Flip over the middle portion forming the snake head.
3) Pull up on the snake assembly and pose as you like.
4) Underneath the treads is a white tail piece, flip it out.


I forgot to pull out the tail portion before snapping this side view of Cobra. Oops!


This is a fun little toy and I have no regrets with my purchase. I'm not a huge fan of the olive green color scheme, but it does blend in very well w/ Skullcruncher. The original pre-production colors was a darker shade of gray. I've found one on-line retailer selling this version, though I'm not sure how many exist or if the quality is the same as this final version I hold in my hands. Headrobot did a fantastic job making this forgotten idea reality. The level of detail is quite good. The quality of the plastic and materials is top notch. While $18.00 may seem like a lot of money to some for such a small toy it really is worth the purchase. Headless G1 Headmasters are easy to come by @ flea markets and on eBay and when matched up with Cobra the toy really shines. If you are on the fence whether or not to buy Cobra I say go ahead. Not only will you be getting a cool little toy, but you will be helping Headrobot financially. They have already stated that if the sales of Cobra are good enough then they will release another Headmaster beast (Iguana). If you are looking for a good Decepticon Headmaster to match up w/ this version of Cobra then I highly recommend Skullcruncher. Head-On!!

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