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with Stylor

Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Headmaster
Year: 1987

A battle plan is only as good as its programmer
Spent several thousand years crunching numbers at Cybertron's Institute for Higher Programming before a Decepticon attack reduced it to a pile of smoking microchips. Binary-bonded to Stylor, an egotistical Nebulan more concerned with personal appearance than warfare. In car mode, maximum speed: 478 mph. Range: 630 miles. Hood-mounted infra-red range finder automatically targets roof-mounted dual lasers.

Robot Mode: First thing you notice: Despite basically being a Deluxe-sized figure (there were no size-classes back then, but many of the 1986/87 figures fell into that size bracket), Chromedome is really tall. Much like younger figures such as Animated Lockdown or Blurr he transforms in such a way that the entire length of his car mode goes into his legs, making him tower over fellow Headmasters such as Brainstorm. Add to that his broad chest and powerful build, Chromedome looks like a giant, muscular warrior.

In terms of posability, though, Chromedome doesn’t do very well even compared to other figures from that time period. He can swivel his arms at the shoulders and that’s it. Okay, he can move his feet a bit (a transformation requirement), but that doesn’t really help much. Dynamic poses are not happening here. Also, Chromedome’s arms are basically just two rectangular plastic pieces, the hands/fists barely hinted at by some miniscule detailing. There are two holes for his two red rifles, but they don’t really look like hands to me.

As a Headmaster Chromedome’s head can detach and transform into a smaller figure (see below). When the head is on, the tech spec meter behind the robot’s chest panel displays Chromedome’s stats. Looks like he’s a big brain. All in all, though, Chromedome’s robot mode falls a bit short. The general look is okay despite the somewhat boring paint job, but posability and detailing are below average even for a 1987 G1 figure.

Alternate Mode: Chromedome transforms into what 1987 designers imagined a 21st century car to look like, or possibly a Cybertronian car. Well, it’s clearly a car of some sort, but with no resemblance to any particular real-world model. The car’s proportions seem a bit shortened, but that’s probably caused by the big cockpit, where Stylor (see below) can fit in. Detailing is in short supply, though the red chest panel does manage to somewhat look like an engine block. Chromedome’s twin rifles can attach to the roof, but prevent the cockpit from opening. So all in all a decent vehicle mode, but nothing more than that.

Partner / Add-On: Chromedome’s Headmaster partner is Stylor. Like most first wave Headmaster figures he’s a rather posable little guy (much more so than his bigger partner) and very nicely detailed considering his size. Stylor transforms from robot (or amored humanoid, depending on continuity) into Chromedome’s head.

Remarks: The various Headmasters didn’t get much of a chance to shine in the American G1 cartoon, as they only appeared in the final three-part episode “The Rebirth”, which was little more than a massive commercial for the new toys. The comics were a little better, but Chromedome wasn’t among the characters that got much in the way of limelight there, either. Not so in the Japanese Headmaster cartoon series, where Chromedome was among the more prominent characters, second-in-command of the Autobots, and even scored a guest appearance in the follow-up series Super-God Masterforce as the creator of the Headmaster Junior Transectors (aka the so-called Small Headmasters from 1988). Another claim to fame: Chromedome was briefly considered for a repaint, which would have become (*drum-roll*) Arcee, along with Headmaster Daniel Witwicky. It was not to be, though, and people had to wait another decade for their first Arcee toy.

Overall I’m a bit disappointed by Chromedome. For all that he was among the more prominent Headmasters (at least in Japan) his figure has little to it apart from a generally cool look. Posability and detailing are below-average even for his time and if it weren’t for the Headmaster gimmick, I doubt many people would remember this guy. I got him to complete my first wave Headmaster set (only Highbrow and Hardhead to go now), but can’t honestly recommend him to anyone but completists and Headmaster fanatics.

Rating: C
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