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Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon

Transformers News: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon

Sunday, January 11th, 2009 9:44AM CST

Categories: Reviews, Site Articles, Site News, Toy News
Posted by: Skowl   Views: 41,627

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The year 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Transformers franchise. To celebrate this incredible milestone, Seibertron.com will look back at a quarter-century of great Transformers toys, bringing back into the limelight some brilliant figures that have fallen through the cracks over the years. Once a week, a fan (be it a member of the staff or a user on the site) will have the opportunity to write about one of their favourite "hidden gems" of the Transformers Universe, and have their review posted on the site's front page.

We hope this feature will be a great success, and that many of you will be encouraged to look back at the last 25 years of Transformers and perhaps take a worthwhile second-look at some real unsung classics of the Transformers universe.

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Buried Treasure - Snapdragon (Generation 1 series - 1987)

by Jeep?

Ah, good old Snapdragon. Who could forget that loveably stinking filth-ridden Horrorcon? Well, if you were one of the unfortunates without the toy in your collection, you’d be forgiven for missing his hi-then-bye appearances in “The Rebirth” and the Marvel Comics series, since this is a character whose real legacy lies in moulded plastic, screws and washers. Now, since I didn’t have the toy growing up (being raised in the time of G2 and the European ‘Classic Series’ re-releases, coupled with the fecker being three years older than I am), I can’t speak for precisely how awesome he was considered ‘way back when’, - though the TV advert for the Horrorcons does feature a suitably enthused kiddo revelling in owning the thing. No, I’ve owned the fellow for a grand total of around six or seven months, and even in this day and age of high-tech ball joints and flashing lights, he blew me away.

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For those who don’t know, the Horrorcons were a triple-changing subgroup (well, duo) of the Headmasters series – which meant that in addition to the Headmaster gimmick of a removable head which transformed into an additional robot, the Horrorcons (Snappy and his buddy Apeface) also featured two modes, one being a fighter jet and the other an animal - in Snappy’s case, appropriately, a dinosaur. Another interesting twist is that the Headmaster partner forms both the robot-mode and animal-mode heads, which I suppose could be considered two triple-changers in one box? Eh? Ah, worth a try.

It’s probably best to look at the jet mode first, as it’s the mode he’s packaged in whilst in the box, and the mode I received mine shipped in when I got it second-hand. As you can see here:

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He’s got quite a long nose for a jet, with an opening cockpit to place his Headmaster partner – the oddly named Krunk – into. His twin guns fit under the wings, whilst two detachable fins adorn the top side. As jets go, it’s quite interesting, with a strangely sleek design more reminiscent of a star-ship than a fighter jet. Either way it’s a bundle of awesome.

Next mode is the dinosaur mode (labelled as a lizard, but damn it, you know that’s a T-Rex, and you knew it back then too!). It’s a relatively simple transformation, most of which involves flipping the jet round and spinning the turbines round to form the legs. Here’s the first instance of Krunk being used a Headmaster, when he fits into a socket in the flip-out neck used for the dinosaur. Showing an angry gob full of teeth, appropriately enough coloured a nice suggestive red, the angry lizard is further augmented with the addition of the two guns which can now be mounted on his back (or in his stubby little dino hands if you really want). You can see the blighter here:

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Worth noting here is the articulation in his tail – while not as articulated as some later figures, it’s surprising for a toy of this era to have detail like this, especially when the tail serves a whole other purpose as a jet nose – but there are two points of articulation there, allowing a few poses to be worked out, and helping with any balance issues the toy might have.

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However, the real joy of Snapdragon's toy is his robot mode. Humorously, the robot seems a complete reversal of the dinosaur, with the legs of one forming the arms of the other, and vice-versa. In fact, the robot mode head even plugs into what we could assume to be the dinosaur’s, well, poop hole. Again armed with his twin balance-destroying gyro guns, the figure is remarkably articulated for a toy of its time, as you can see here:

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Of course, the main gimmick of the Headmasters line is revealed behind the flip-down panel on his chest, revealing three of his tech spec stats – speed, strength and intelligence. Without Krunk, all of these seemingly read as zero, but plugging in the Headmaster partner gives our little Snappy a definite boost to Strength 10, Speed 9 and Intelligence 9. Head on! The Headmaster gimmick is interchangeable throughout the entire line, with each Headmaster partner giving different stat boosts to whatever robot they’re attached to. Try it out if you have any of them.

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As for Krunk himself, there isn’t a lot to say but it’s worth saying it, I suppose. His small size and the necessity for several uses means he’s not much more than functional, though he is able to move his arms up and down, either for a hug or a zombie shuffle – or, in a pinch, the monster mash. The nature of his dual head modes means that as a robot head, he’s got the yellowest cheeks you’ll ever see, and as a dinosaur head, there’s a disturbing purple mouth-plate on top of his noggin, but overlooking these is easy enough in light of everything.

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Overall, the toy holds up well even today, although it is prone to a bit of yellowing due to the huge areas of white adorning it. Thankfully, with the black and dark purple parts offering a good contrast, this isn’t enough to ruin the figure. A highly recommended figure, and a buried treasure well worth digging up – or searching for.

Links:

Snapdragon gallery
Headmaster Krunk gallery
...Or find your own buried treasures by visiting all the toy galleries here!
** If you would like to submit a review for our Buried Treasure feature, please send a private message to Skowl on the Seibertron.com forums!

Previous Buried Treasure Reviews:

{L_IMAGE} Cannonball by Skowl (Link)
Credit(s): Jeep?
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Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865152)
Posted by Lorekeeper on January 11th, 2009 @ 12:15pm CST
Bird mode!

Alternate transformation of jet mode.

Cockpit=head, bend at tail articulation points.

Dinohands= bird feet.

This made me think of Snapdragon as a cousin to skylynx :)
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865155)
Posted by 8 bit on January 11th, 2009 @ 12:33pm CST
Great review! Snapdragon has some pretty decent articulation for G1.
Jeep? wrote:The Headmaster gimmick is interchangeable throughout the entire line, with each Headmaster partner giving different stat boosts to whatever robot they’re attached to. Try it out if you have any of them.

I never knew this. Unfortunately, I only have one Headmaster.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865171)
Posted by Technically weird on January 11th, 2009 @ 1:12pm CST
Officially 10x cooler thanks to you.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865175)
Posted by Sledge on January 11th, 2009 @ 1:17pm CST
Top choice, sir. Easily one of my favorite G1 figures. Shame I need to get the fins and gyro guns for mine. :( But a cracking figure, and one I'm always surprised isn't more widely regarded.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865205)
Posted by Dread_Wing on January 11th, 2009 @ 2:08pm CST
Snapdragon was always neat. I have never seen him for an affordable price. Something about a WHITE SR-71 Blackbird, lol.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865238)
Posted by Jeep? on January 11th, 2009 @ 3:08pm CST
Dread_Wing wrote:Snapdragon was always neat. I have never seen him for an affordable price. Something about a WHITE SR-71 Blackbird, lol.


You're going to hate me for saying mine was twenty pounds sterling, aren't you?
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865249)
Posted by Rodentus Prime on January 11th, 2009 @ 3:27pm CST
This guy is the only headmaster I bought as a kid and I still have him - I agree that he's a top figure.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865272)
Posted by Dread_Wing on January 11th, 2009 @ 3:48pm CST
Jeep? wrote:You're going to hate me for saying mine was twenty pounds sterling, aren't you?


60 NZ dollars for one in that condition? Nice. I do want at least one headmaster for my collection, I have a powermaster and a couple of targetmasters, I would like it to be either Snapdragon, Scorponok or Fort Max. In my current 'Out of work and still want to buy MP Grimlock' mode, I would probably be forced to turn him down even for 60 dollars. :(
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865278)
Posted by Mykltron on January 11th, 2009 @ 3:52pm CST
Nice review - full of childish excitement and bounce! Don't be offended - I'm like that with a new TF and I grew up with G1! I had (and still have) Snapdragon as a kid and I can tell you he was SO awesome for me then.

FYI his jet mode is based on the Blackbird SR71, which is what Jetfire is going to be in ROTF.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865325)
Posted by Rated X on January 11th, 2009 @ 5:28pm CST
Pretty cool. I got this guy from my childhood collection. Still in good condition too. Only thing I always hated as a kid was how in dinosaur mode his head points up in the air instead of looking straight foward. I actually bought him cause his jet mode is a spin-off of the SR-71 Blackbird, one of my favorite jets. Cant wait to see how the ROTF Jetfire is gonna look in voyager !!!

Peace
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865463)
Posted by Stormrider on January 12th, 2009 @ 12:23am CST
Fun review. I have both him and Apeface. They're a cool spin on the Headmaster series. If you're into Headmaster, you definitely should get him. The dual use of the head is creative. I also think the coloring is rad.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865501)
Posted by High_Q on January 12th, 2009 @ 3:22am CST
BumbleScream84 wrote:Great review! Snapdragon has some pretty decent articulation for G1.
Jeep? wrote:The Headmaster gimmick is interchangeable throughout the entire line, with each Headmaster partner giving different stat boosts to whatever robot they’re attached to. Try it out if you have any of them.

I never knew this. Unfortunately, I only have one Headmaster.


This cool ability is called "Cross Head On!" in the Japanese Headmasters cartoon series.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865534)
Posted by SJ21 on January 12th, 2009 @ 6:25am CST
I had this guy and my brother had Apeface when we were kids. Those to toys got more use that any other. Great toys.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865556)
Posted by Random on January 12th, 2009 @ 8:15am CST
Wow! I loved this guy when I was a kid. He was the first headmaster I ever got. I remember when we got home, I transformed him a few times then set him up in dino form in front of Zod-from the Gobots.

Come to think of it, I have his head somewhere.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865566)
Posted by Cyber Bishop on January 12th, 2009 @ 8:59am CST
Snapdragon has always been one of my favorite Headmasters.
Great review.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865581)
Posted by Black Bumblebee on January 12th, 2009 @ 9:50am CST
I got this guy as part of a junk lot once... unfortunately, he was missing his fins and guns--but he did come with a headmaster head...

...the one for Apeface. :?

So, although I cannot fully appreciate the awesomeness that is Snapdragon, I'm 85 percent of the way there!
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865690)
Posted by ponycorn on January 12th, 2009 @ 1:18pm CST
Oh slag yes! I think I saw that guy at a vintage toy shop recently. Didn't know who the white decepticon jet was. After that review, I'm definately going back to see A: If it is Snapdragon and B: If he has a head/Krunk and C: Pick him up if all of the above are true.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865720)
Posted by Iron Prime on January 12th, 2009 @ 2:21pm CST
Very nicely done! I always thought he was cool - someday I'll find one for my collection!
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865763)
Posted by craggy on January 12th, 2009 @ 3:22pm CST
got this guy when i were a wee lad.

very fun toy, gimmick mash-up that he is. quite a lot of articulation for the time (head, shoulders, knees and toes...well, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees anyway, double the standard headmasters) a couple of cool alt modes. i think i still have mine complete stored away.

recommended if you're into that sort of thing.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (865890)
Posted by Firebird on January 12th, 2009 @ 8:14pm CST
Black Bumblebee wrote:I got this guy as part of a junk lot once... unfortunately, he was missing his fins and guns--but he did come with a headmaster head...

...the one for Apeface. :?

So, although I cannot fully appreciate the awesomeness that is Snapdragon, I'm 85 percent of the way there!


Hey at least your 85% closer than I am.

Snapdragon is on the short list of G1 transformers that I hope to start picking up soon.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - G1 Snapdragon (879741)
Posted by pietrestan on February 6th, 2009 @ 1:22am CST
great review. nice articulation and the blockiness of the character makes it almost "cute." had forgotten about the headmaster gimmick showing different tech-specs depending on what head you used.
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