Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - The Transformers: Headmasters Issue 1, July 1987 / Issue 75, February 1991
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 130, September 12th 1987 / Issue 131, September 19th 1987
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 96 (Season 4 #1), November 9th 1987 / Episode 98 (Season 4 #3), November 11th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1987
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - FansProject
Toyline - Function X
- Added an Autobot symbol to the chest
What I remember about Chromedome from G1 is that I don't really remember him, and I think that's down to a few things. Firstly, the Decepticon Headmasters were very cool, with crazy colour palettes and interesting beast modes. The first few Autobots weren't bad either, with Hardhead in particular standing out. Then there was Chromedome, who was spectacularly underwhelming. He had a very uninspiring colour scheme, along with forgettable alternate and robot modes. It is interesting to me, then, that FansProject decided to homage him first, as part of their ongoing 'Function X' line. But then he was way more popular in Japan, having an almost starring role in the Headmasters series. I decided not to bother with any Headmasters figures as I assembled my modern-day Transformers collection, partly because they were featured pretty sparingly outside of Japan, and partly because I always thought that Headmasters concept was stupid. So, why then, has this guy found his way into my collection? Blame FansProject for that.
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
For some reason this figure polarises opinion, but for me this is a very accomplished figure. This figure is very clean and coherent, with none of the frankly bonkers detailing or wildly conflicting angles abundant on their Springer homage. There is almost zero kibble on display, no indication that this robot could conceivably transform into a car. I also think the proportions are spot on, as is the brown and beige colour scheme. The impressive headsculpt has been picked out in red, notably absent from the G1 figure, but I think it works because it breaks up the muted tones nicely. The dual blasters this figure comes with are also very nice, and as usual for a FansProject release, the paint apps are plentiful and spot on. I have 2 complaints about this figure which stop it from scoring higher; the first is that the gaps around the chest and shins which are a little jarring, and secondly while the feet are nice enough, they remind me of an old man's slippers!
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 8/10
This is one of the nicest alt modes I have seen from FansProject, and we even have judicious use of clear plastic, which is very welcome indeed! This means that if you peer closely enough, you can see the wee driver sitting in the cockpit. The vehicle looks equally good with the guns attached (which have a swivel to allow them to point straight) or without. It really evokes a futuristic or vaguely Cybertronian vehicle nicely, and FansProject have pulled off the impossible by making a vehicle with a dull colour scheme still look attractive. The red paint apps really help in this regard, by breaking up the mediocrity somewhat. This is the sort of concept car I would have expected to see in car shows of the 1970's - it has a really nostalgic feel to it.
I never thought I'd see the day where I could comfortably transform a FansProject figure without continually referring to the manual. But I have to say that this day has come. Transformation is simple here without being simplistic, and still contains the unexpected moments of flair synonymous with FansProject. Firstly, the head is removed which seems a tad barbaric, but then as a Headmaster this is no big deal. The head is unfolded in a pretty simplistic manner to reveal the small robot/Nebulan companion (delete as appropriate) and in a nice touch, straightening the back of the figure hides the eyes of the head, so you are not greeted by an upside-down face on the back, as is the case with some of the Headmasters. Back to the main figure, and the whole chest slides right down to the crotch, once a vaguely-functional looking appendage is unfurled from the 'junk' area. Then the waist is spun, and the cockpit lifted form the back to reveal the rear wheels. The arms are folded up with the wrists tucked in, and are lifted towards each other to form the rear. Then back to the legs where the shins are pulled out and the feet rotated, and then unfolded to form the sides of the vehicle. Everything then tabs together very effectively and the little dude slots into the cockpit via a helpful tab. It all sounds very complicated but in fact is exceptionally well implemented.
As usual with FansProject this is pretty damn good. The head is on a swivel, and can also tilt down which is a nice and unexpected bonus. The waist also has a swivel. The shoulders and hips are both ball-jointed but are restricted slightly by neighbouring panels. Bicep and Hip swivel are both present. The elbows are practically double-jointed and the knees give you and angle of at least 90 degrees. Finally the wrists swivel and the ankles have limited tilt in one direction, but you cannot splay the legs and adjust the feet to be planted as you can with some other FansProject offerings. This is a minor criticism though and the large feet do contribute to a great center of balance.
I'm tempted to score this figure more highly in this area, because on the face of it, the transformation has no scary moments which are synonymous with older FansProject figures. Also, the plastic feels very good quality and all the joints feel tight and resilient. However, my figure came without a small piece of plastic on his arm which, in vehicle mode, is used to tab the 2 arms together. Luckily the whole thing holds together fine without it, but I was really disappointed that there was a part missing.
Overall - 40/50
I was pleasantly surprised by this figure, because I have seen mixed reviews on it. I really appreciate the simplicity and aesthetic elegance of this character, as well as the transformation sequence which is so much more user-friendly and intuitive than some earlier efforts by this company. I am really looking forward to getting other figures in this range now, and I hope that subsequent releases are as nice (and fun) as this one.