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Head on!

Hasbro Transformers Headmasters Chromedome

A photo of Chromedome, a Hasbro G1 Transformers Headmasters figure from 1987.

The Headmasters were so named because the head of each figure transformed into the principal of an educational institution. No, I’m kidding. The head actually transformed into a smaller action figure which could sit in the cockpit of the Headmaster’s vehicle mode.

Hasbro Transformers Headmasters Chromedome

Hasbro and Takara differed in the story justification for the Headmaster concept.

In the US comic and cartoon continuities, the heads were aliens from the planet Nebulos who were binary bonded to the Transformers. The Headmasters couldn’t transform to robot mode without their binary bonded partners but gained superior tactical awareness and reactions once combined.

Meanwhile, in the Japanese stories, the heads were the actual Transformers who had downsized to conserve energy. They would combine with their vehicles to form super-robot forms called Transtectors.

Hasbro Transformers Headmasters Chromedome

The transforming head gimmick tied into another Headmaster gimmick. The panel on their chests flipped down to reveal the robot’s strength, speed and intelligence ratings once the head was attached.

The heads of the Headmasters were interchangeable between different figures and different heads would provide different stats for the larger figure. This neat little trick was downplayed in the US continuities but it was used in the Japanese anime series a few times.

Hasbro Transformers Headmasters Chromedome

The Headmaster vehicles were slick future-tech designs but the robot modes were disappointing. I got Chromedome in 1987 and it was poor even by the standards of 1984-vintage Transformers. Chromedome had all of two points of articulation, had dodgy proportions (his arms only reached his waist) and felt cheap. It felt like a scaled-up minibot.

That said, I would love to see Takara Tomy and Hasbro revisit the Headmaster concept. Imagine if you will a Transformers Classics Headmaster figure. Or how about a Triplemaster combining Headmaster, Targetmaster and Powermaster concepts in a single figure?


Posted in Pix, Toys, Transformers.

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