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Series: Fans Project
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Headmaster
Year: 2013

Prelude: Legal stuff first as always. Code is not a figure from Hasbro or Takara-Tomy, as such he's not legally a Transformer. He's from third-party provider Fansproject and a clear homage to G1 Chromedome, but for legal reasons he can't be called that.

Robot Mode: One look at the robot mode and there is little doubt who he’s supposed to pay homage to. He strongly resembles Chromedome – the cartoon character more than the rather blocky toy – including paint job and choice of arms. Code is a good head shorter than Chromedome, but Chromedome was a truly massive figure compared to the other 1987 Headmasters, so that’s not a surprise.

Big surprise, Code’s articulation is a whole lot better than that of the barely articulated G1 figure. Still, it’s not as good as it could have been. Despite the fact that Code has ball-jointed shoulders and the legs are connected to the hips via ball joints as well, the way the joints are attached does limit him somewhat. He can pose, don’t get me wrong, but the range of movement isn’t as big as it could have been if the joints had been given just a tad more space.

One of the things I’ve heard a lot of people complain about is the fact that despite being a Headmaster, Code is missing the old tech spec meter on his chest. The G1 Headmasters had panels on their chest that would flip open and if their heads were plugged in, you could see how they rated in terms of strength, intelligence, and speed. Code doesn’t have that gimmick and... yeah, I don’t really care. For all that I’m a hardcore G1 fanatic, I never had much use for that gimmick and don’t mind its absence. If you’re completely into it, though, it might just bother you.

So, what else? As a Headmaster Code can detach his head to form a separate figure (see below). He can store his weapons on the back of his arms when he’s not using them. And... yeah, that’s pretty much it. A nice figure that does a very good job of updating G1 Chromedome. Good enough for me, so thumbs up.

Alternate Mode: Code transforms into something that looks very much like a car, though it does not resemble any particular model I’ve ever seen. Considering the setting of Chromedome, consider this how people in the 80s imagined cars in the early 21st century to look like. Despite being a good deal smaller than the car mode of the G1 toy, the detail work on this car looks pretty nifty. It’s got some kind of gizmos on the sides (Blasters? Turbines? I have no clue), black afterburners on the back, and you can mount Code’s two blasters on the back for added firepower.

One definite improvement over the G1 car mode: Chromedome couldn’t open his cockpit when the weapons were mounted. Code can, so you can easily put his Headmaster behind the steering wheel (and yes, there is one) without removing the guns. So bottom line: a nice-looking semi-futuristic looking car that looks close enough to the G1 original to be easily recognizable as a homage, but different enough to stand on its own, too.

Partner: As a Headmaster Code's head detaches to form a separate figure. Now Chromedome's partner was called Stylor, at least in the US cartoon and comics, while in the Japanese story the smaller figure actually was Chromedome himself, with the larger body being a mere tool for him to pilot. Either way, the Fansproject version of the head has no name as far as I know and whether he's a separate being or not is left to your own imagination. Suffice to say the Headmaster figure is nicely done. The figure is actually smaller than the G1 Headmaster and actually slightly less detailed, but a bit more articulated, so it evens out, I guess. Anyway, a nice companion figure.

Remarks: Chromedome was among the core cast of good guys in the Japanese Headmaster cartoon, his main claim to fame. More recently he's joined the main cast of IDW's brilliant "More than Meets the Eye" comic, which (to me, at least) is a far better reason to get an updated version of him. This figure was available as part of a charity drive by Fansproject and BigBadToyStore, where a portion of the sales price went to "Toys for Tots" in time for Christmas.

Now let me put this as simply as possible: this toy here is nothing more and nothing less than an updated version of G1 Chromedome. So whether you like it or not really depends, I believe, on whether you want an updated version of a 1987 G1 Headmaster figure. I, being the die-hard G1 fanatic that I am, am very happy with this guy and I’ve already put in my preorder for the Fansproject version of Brainstorm, too. People who are not fans of the G1 Headmasters, though, should probably spend their money elsewhere.

Rating: B
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