Series: Generation 1 If it doesn't get you dirty, it's not worth doing.
Categories: Triple Changer Headmaster Horrorcon
Wading up to his neck in grease is his idea of a good time. Lazy, difficult to motivate, but has a hair-trigger temper. Binary bonded to Krunk, the vicious, vile bodyguard to the Nebulan leader, Lord Zarak. In jet Mode, maximum speed 8800mph... has 2 independent booster fins. In reptile Mode, carbon-steel claws and teeth can cut through almost anything. Has 2 balance destroying gyro-guns in robot Mode.
The first thing I noticed when I took Snapdragon in hand was how amazingly posable he is for a G1 figure. He's got shoulder and elbow joints, can move his legs at the hips, has double knee joints and even a bit of foot movement (though that is due to the transformation). For a figure from that time, he's a full-on contortionist and can adopt a lot of cool poses. And in case there is trouble with balance, you even have the option of flipping out the dinosaur-arms on his lower legs as heel spurs. So in terms of posability there is absolutely nothing wrong with Snapdragon.
As a Headmaster Snapdragon's head detaches to form an extra robot Krunk (see below). When the head's plugged in the tech spec meter behind his chest panel displays his character stats, strength, speed and intelligence. Judging by that Snapdragon does pretty well in all three categories, though strength is preeminent. He looks the part, too, with very bulky arms and a massive torso. Snapdragon does carry a bit of a backpack (the folded up nose of his jetmode), but compared to quite a few much more modern figures, that backpack isn't much of an impedement to him. The turquoise jet fins on his forearms can detach and be used as 'blades', but that doesn't look all that great. Better to leave his two big rifles in his hands.
The only cause for complaint I have about this robot mode is that there's no Decepticon symbol visible anywhere. I'll have to fix that with some left-over Reprolabels-stickers I've got. Maybe on the shoulder. But apart from that, an excellent robot mode. Two thumbs up.
As a triple changer Snapdragon has two alternate modes. The first is a beast mode, which you can either interpret as some kind of dinosaur (kind of a cross between a T-Rex and a Velociraptor) or possibly (given the name) a dragon. Whatever your interpretation, the beast mode looks surprisingly good for what is clearly the mode with the most compromises. The long nose of the jet mode becomes the tail, the robot mode arms become the legs (again, with knee joints!) and short, stubby arms unfold from the robot mode legs. Krunk becomes the head of the beast as well, with the small figures legs being the lower jaw in this configuration, which works surprisingly well. The resulting reptile is also quite posable, able to move legs, arms, jaw and even the tip of the tail. Best of all, Snapdragon's two rifles can be mounted on the reptile's back, which just looks awesome for some reason. So bottom line: A very good beast mode.
Snapdragon's third mode is a jet which somewhat resembles an SR-71 Blackbird, though mostly in white. The jet mode isn't all that detailed or elaborate, but it does look pretty good and wholesome with no obvious robot bits visible anywhere. The jet actually has two cockpits. One painted in a yellow hue at the very front, and an actual cockpit for Krunk somewhat further back. Krunk fits inside in a sitting position. Not much in the way of interior detailing for the cockpit, sadly. Snapdragon's two rifles can be mounted underneath the wings to give the jet all the firepower it needs. To me this is Snapdragon's least impressive mode, but it's still a good, solid jet mode with no obvious flaws. Not outstanding, but decent.
Snapdragon's head detaches to become the smaller figure Krunk, a Nebulon. Krunk is actually something of a triple-changer as well, being able to become two different heads, one or the robot and one for the beast mode. Of course no actual transformation occurs between the two head modes, you basically just turn the head around, but it still works very well. In 'robot mode' Krunk has the same basic posability as most of the early Headmaster figures, able to move his legs at hip and knee (the knees are joined, though) and his arms at the shoulders. The teeth of the dragon's mouth that frame him in this mode also give him a pretty scary visual. So all in all a very nice support figure.
Snapdragon is one of the more obscure Transformers characters, despite several things that should make him a lot more popular than he is. First off and most important: He's the guy who almost managed to kill of Daniel Witwicky. In the three-part "Rebirth" episode of the G1 cartoon (Snapdragon's only Western TV appearance) he mauled the annoying little guy and God alone knows how Daniel survived that. He should have been bitten in two. Anyway, Snapdragon also has the distinction of being the 100th Decepticon in Transformer history, at least according to the Japanese numbering (he's got D-100 as a number), and he's one of only two Transformers I know who belongs to three different gimmick groups. He's a Headmaster, he's a Triple-Changer, and he and Apeface together are the Horrorcons. Oh, and he kicked off Nightbeat's
head in the final story arc of the Marvel Transformers comics run. How come this guy isn't an all-time fan favourite?
Well, at least Snapdragon gets to be the first review I do with pictures taken in my new miniature light studio. Still getting used to the different lighting and texture of those pictures, but I think they came out pretty well, don't you? Anyway, when I got Snapdragon I was pretty amazed how awesome a toy he is. Whether you like the Headmaster gimmick or not, Snapdragon is a great Transformer. Three good modes, superb posability for a G1 figure, no loose parts in any mode, great play value... I tried to think of a reason not to like this guy, but unless you're completely opposed to all things G1, I can't imagine why one wouldn't like him. Fully recommended.