Long before the Beast Wars came along and made the name “Predacon” into its own faction name, it was the name of a sub-group of Decepticons, and not just any Decepticons. These Decepticons were of such reknown, not only did they eventually have an entire faction named after them, they even got their very own faction-style symbols later in the IDW Beast Wars comic book series. These five robots were vicious hunters and even worse, for the Autobots at least, they were effective. Where this effectiveness as hunters and as a military unit really shown was when they were combined as one. They were the components of a combiner like no other. Whereas most combiner teams are rendered mentally challenged or just downright lunatic by the act of five brain modules inhabiting one giant, destructive form; the Predacons combined become a creature of singular purpose. That single, obsessive focus is the hunt. Their minds meld together in such a way that each individual member’s particular strengths are used for the good of the whole.
Headstrong certainly does not bring any level of mental, or for that matter, visual, acuity or overall speed to the talent pool. He is a rhinoceros in not just alt-mode, but attitude as well.
There’s a reason that his function is simply “Ground Assault”. What he brings to the mix is a raw power and tenacious resolve. Part of what allows the Predacons to remain so focused on their prey is that they have this hulking bulldozer of a beast plowing single-mindedly through. Basically, if the ground begins to tremble and you find Headstrong bearing down on you like an earthquake, just get as far away as fast as possible, and pray that you are not the one they are hunting.
When not in his terrain shaking Rhino mode, Headstrong’s robot mode is… well, this is G1 we’re talking about, so he’s pretty much a brick. His only points of articulation are forward shoulder rotation and elbows.
Like all his Predacon brethren, he has a gun and a sword. The reissues, have returned to the use of diecast metal, lending Headstrong some serious heft. These newest reissues have replaced the yellow plastic with gold and changed the colours of both robot and alt-mode eyes to a more cartoon accurate gold rather than the original toy’s red. There is a sheet of stickers included to return their eyes to red, but I think I will stick with the cartoon accuracy. Speaking of stickers, the new reissues apparently also have redesigned stickers but, never having had the original toys, I personally don’t know the difference. What I do notice is that this figure has some impressive molded details, such as the appearance of rivets along his back and along his alt-mode’s head.
Also, like many of his Predacon team members, he can use the piece that completes the combined form’s limb as a weapon. Overall, a great toy and collection piece, and I am so glad that I held out for this re-reissue. I will always prefer a new, shiny toy that has never been touched to a 24 year old toy that has seen better days. I am seriously looking forward to the next four days, seeing each of these Predacons for the first, leading up to the last day when I combine them all and — finally! — can display Predaking amongst my other Combiners.
Up next: This psycho kitty is certainly no LOLCat. Rampage!