Cliffbee.com: Hosehead Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hosehead
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Emergency Rescue
Alternate Mode: Fire Truck



FIRE TRUCK MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 14cm Width: 5cm

   A red fire truck with black plastic tyres and windows, Hosehead has a grey ladder assembly on top along with a grey mid section. The colours are pretty typical for a fire truck, and while they don't stand out at all, I'm happy enough with them since they make sense. Hosehead has only four wheels, unlike many Transformer fire trucks.

   The sculpt on this fire truck is better than on many 1988 Transformers, and while he's not as realistic as the Autobots of 1985, the effort than has gone into the mould is quite good. Having said that, everything is red, so you won't notice a lot of the detail at a glance. There are some moulded rungs on the ladder, headlights and strobes on the roof, with a lot of generic detailing. More than anything else, the strobes disappoint me - even solid black plastic would have been better than just red. There are a couple of stickers, but only the Autobot symbols on either side of the ladder really mean much. The splashes of colour are nice, but I would have preferred some more fire truck detailing.

   The grey mid section is actually designed so that you can plug in the grey seat, allowing Lug to sit in this gap. It looks rather strange, since Lug is _behind_ the cabin, but I'm still glad they gave Hosehead this functionality, since both Siren and Nightbeat have it. It is actually possible to stow lug (but not the seat) inside the cabin - you can slide him in from underneath - but this is nowhere near as secure as the seat, which plugs in nicely. The ladder assembly is quite flexible, thanks to a ratcheting joint on the base, which allows it to swing right around, as well as two hinges - one at the base and one in the middle. The entire thing actually stretches out to 22cm, including the movable compound nozzle, which is designed to work as both a nozzle and gun. The main handgun can attach on top of the ladder, just in front of the nozzle while the two smaller guns clip into either side of the truck, making this a well armed fire truck.

   On the whole I like Hosehead's fire truck mode, despite some weaknesses. The play value is better than most Headmaster alt modes have, the seat looks weird but anchors firmly. I like the level of sculpted detail - but wish the detailing was highlighted better. While he's no worse than many 1988 Transformers, there's unrealised potential here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the seat (with Lug) and guns, if attached. Fold out the sides of the rear block to form arms, fold up the red panels on the sides of the midsection. Open out the panels on the front (the headlights and grille), then fold the cabin over to form boots. Stand Hosehead up, slide out his fists, plug Lug in to form his head, attach the helmet. Give him is gun and attach the small guns to either side of the helmet as antennae.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 9cm

   Again mainly red, Hosehead has grey thighs, a grey chestplate and of course the grey helmet. His hands and antennae are black along with the rear tyres on his waist. Hosehead has a silver face with blue eyes and quite a few stickers on his body, which are largely silver and red. This is a good colour scheme, with more colour than the truck mode - which is a good thing since the facial colours provide highlighted detail - something the truck lacked. There's an Autobot logo sticker on his chest, which works well.

   Hosehead's robot mode is better than you'd expect of the 1988 line, on par with Nightbeat and Siren. The facial sculpt is great and the general body shape is good, despite the boots being a single piece with nothing but a groove to separate them. I like the fact that we still get some truck remnants here, also - the front window sits on his knees, we have tyres on his waist and the front panels, which hang out from his knees, are an interesting feature.

   The play value here is okay, although Hosehead's only poseability is swinging arms. The ladder on his back can lift up and be deployed overhead, extending a long way above his head if you want it to. Granted, this isn't really an intentional feature, but it works quite well, and doesn't create any stability problems. The antennae actually plug into the sides of his wrists in truck mode, and can plug as wrist-guns in robot mode, although this will leave the head looking a little bare. As with all Headmasters, Hosehead has a built in tech spec meter - the grey chestplate can fold down to reveal his tech spec meter. Unlike the previous year's Headmasters, which had three tumblers, this mechanism is simply a plate that slides down when the head is inserted, although it still gives a reading of (SPD, STR & INT).

   A fairly good robot mode, despite its simplicity. Hosehead looks nice, has good colours and a lot of play value for a carded toy. While his vehicle mode isn't all that glamourous, this is one of the stronger Headmaster robot modes. As with all Headmasters, it's pretty much a loss if you lose Lug - although Hosehead still looks good without the helmet or antennae (which is good, since I don't have the antennae).

Lug
   A short Nebulon with a grey upper body and black legs, with a red face - the red paint would have masked the facial detail - if he had any. Hosehead's face is clearly visible on his back - which lacks the fold over panel of the larger, more poseable Headmasters of 1987. Lug can bend at the hips to sit down, but otherwise he's really all about the head mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of. His Japanese name is Cab.

OVERALL

   A good toy despite some cut corners in truck mode. Hosehead's play value is better than you'd expect of a small Headmaster, the robot mode looks good and the truck mode is detailed, if lacking colour. The best of the small Autobot Headmasters in my opinion - just shading the more prominent Nightbeat - 7.5/10

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