The massive Predacons were a result of the popular combiner concept of Generation 1 designs. 1986 included the largest of these designs to date: the Predacons. A team of robotic animals, each figure was larger than most of the other combiner teams’s leaders. Headstrong is a yellow, red and black robotic Rhinoceros Unicornis (Indian Rhinoceros).
Headstrong was designed by Teruo Kitamura. His US Patent, titled Reconfigurable animal toy rhinoceros (aka Transformers G1 Headstrong) was filed on December 13, 1985 (U.S. Patent No. USD298560 S).
Headstrong transforms into a primarily yellow robotic rhinoceros with a red head, shoulder and hip armor, and black legs. He is decorated with large silver foil stickers that have dots suggesting riveted armor plates. His well-articulated rhino head features a single hard rubber horn, painted yellow eyes, and a broad, flat jaw. A hole on top of his hips allows the included Predaking foot plate to be attached as a huge double-barreled back cannon. His transformation involves extending the robot legs down from the rhino hips, and folding away the rear rhino legs. The front legs can then collapse into the robot’s chest, the arms extend from the red shoulder pads, and the head flips up against the jaw of the rhino head. Additionally, a small “stabilizer” flips down into place between the robot's heels, to compensate for the bulk and center of gravity of the heavy die-cast back plate (see Variants below), and prevent the robot from tipping backwards. His robot mode is stocky and muscular-looking, and only adorned by some additional molded detail not seen in the rhinoceros mode. He can wield any combination of his gold sword and two black rifles in this mode. He can transform into the left leg of Predaking by pushing the robot legs up (they will not collapse completely due to the front rhino legs being retracted), tilting the heads down, and rotating the rhino hip plates around to attach the included footplate. He can also form the right leg of Predaking, but the original version of the mold does not have a hole for Razorclaw’s leg clip on the opposite side (see Availability below).
Headstrong’s stocky design makes him quite sturdy. However, the red hip plates can loosen over time, until their retaining screws fall out completely. Most often, even if the hip plate is still with the toy, the small spring-loaded pin that makes the joint click will be missing. Also, use of the horn as a weapon against Autobots, dogs, and younger siblings can result in it being chewed and frayed.
Headstrong has two primary variations, like most 1986 toys. The earlier version has a massive die-cast metal back plate (with an inset plastic plug to attach the back cannons) and the elongated raised area on either side of his sword blade was sharply defined by a sculpted indentation. At some point, the raised area was blended smoothly into the blade surface, and later in 1986 production switched to an all-plastic body. All versions of Headstrong feature a rubsign on the the rhino's back, as well as the stabilizer (mentioned in Description, above), although its use is not needed for the plastic-bodied variant.
Headstrong was available worldwide (except the United Kingdom) in 1986. In Japan, he was available in a Predaking gift set in 1986. He was available in the US again in 1987. Headstrong was re-issued in Japan in 2004, nearly identical to the 1986 metal-bodied giftset version. He recieved a second Japanese reissue in 2010, branded with the “Welcome to 2010” logo. This version again uses the metal body, and features a redesigned sticker sheet, as well as metallic gold replacing his yellow parts, a gold face (instead of red), and metallic shades of his other plastic. This version features a symmetrical connector socket to facilitate attaching Headstrong as either Predaking leg. A similar version was released in the US in 2013’s Platinum Edition Predaking.
Redecos & Retools
Headstrong’s mold has not been re-used.