thedaytimeninja.com is excited to present an exclusive interview with the guys over at Headrobots, of 3rd party Transformers fame!
(thedaytimeninja) It seems like Headrobots has been coming out with some off-the-wall awesome projects as of late. What goes into the thought process of a Headrobots’ project?
(Headrobots) Well, we are made up of a pretty diverse group who all hold full time jobs and specialize in engineering, design, illustration, graphics, etc…As part of our daily jobs we are making things for really big brands, the craziest thing that has to be on our members CV is toilet designs and airplane interiors! Toy design is a hobby and we do it to blow off steam from working with corporations, part of the off-the-wall-ness just comes from that mixing pot of different experience and cultures but also unleashing creative energies without the sort of normal restrictions we are used to.
I guess you can say we are all pretty competitive too. We challenge each other all the time and that leads to things like the release hothead. The original idea was just to get the head to work on the body. In between we had critiques to make it work with brick-weapons and the super challenge to make it backwards compatible with g1. We had pulled all that off, it took at least 5 different totally different variations before we finally posted those first test part pictures.
Even though we are all from weird backgrounds we’ve always been friends through collecting and we all started at a time when G2 was still on shelves. None of us really got into the beasts and later stuff so we are super g1 freaks and design for people like us.That’s why all our projects are off the wall, we throw around tons of ideas to make things a mix of new-school and old-school and have a ton of nerdy in jokes and references maybe only 10% of our buyers understand.
All projects begin as personal internal projects based on lots of research for greater accuracy and then thrown to the group for judgement. The normal process is research, sketch, mockup, and prototype. When we see a good stock figure we work with the body to make the right design and not try to force a design on the wrong body. Sorry E. scorp, we’ll never take a picture of our kit on that body, you guys are free to.
(TDN) Even though Big Road is just a concept figure and isn’t necessarily going to be released, does Headrobots like the idea of venturing into more territory other than what you do right now with with add-on kits?
(HR) Right now HR is totally happy doing what we are doing. We don’t know how other groups would feel but it’s actually harder to make parts to work with something existing than make it from scratch where you have full freedom to make things go where you want them to go, there’s also some pride in being able to make a lonely, undesirable, or “ok” thing awesome to adult collectors just through design.
Big Road was an experimental piece and if we do ever make stand-alone type robots we definitely learned a lot from that process. In fact, it was encouraging enough that more experimental pieces like it are in the works.
(TDN) I’m personally looking forward to the Darksol add-on kit for Mindwipe. It’s been announced that there will be a “Lightsol” for Reveal the Shield Strafe. If you can tell us, how do you guys plan on doing this kit compared to Darksol?
(HR) Well, for most recolors we always like adding new parts or different features to keep it from being just a repaint, for Cobra even though we were trying to create seed money for hothead we still paid the money to create a new gun part though unfortunately that mold had to be used as much as possible to pay for the significant cost on hothead (you can consider Cobra retired now).
There will be something special about Lightsol to make it different than Darksol. The parts are about halfway done. As for any more reveals on it, it won’t be put online until darksol is already released.
(TDN) The Ronin add-on kit is obviously for HFTD Banzai-tron, who is a repaint of the ROTF Bludgeon, who you made the Blood kit for. Why did you decide to take such a different approach to the Ronin add-on kit (the gun, headsculpt, etc.) then the design you did with Blood?
(HR) We like differentiating our releases and for us Blood: The Dark Warrior was an honorable fighter from the age of old who still has high regard for customs and more hands on death with his wakizashi(sword) and tanto(dagger). Ronin is a completely different machine, he is a mercenary for hire and for him the best method for killing is the fastest one, hence the gun. We did pay our design respects through a homage on the gun which allows it to be held upright and a bayonet holder piece which allows the tanto to plug in.
(TDN) Speaking of Ronin, when can we expect to see some more pictures or get some more information on both Ronin and Tauros?
(HR) Sure, you can check out some of the first headshots of tauros. Keep in mind a lot of details are still missing and it’s a WIP that’s why we normally wouldn’t show it like this, it’ll change dramatically by the time its ready for release. This is being done by the same sculptor for the Blood DX tank parts, so that release will be a good preview for his work.
(TDN) Why did Headrobots decide to do a project so big withCenturion/Courageous instead of something a bit smaller or something that more people may have access to?
(HR) We had noticed some people using hothead on those bodies so we thought it would be cool to make the head properly done. It started out as an exclusive that somebody backed out of and since the design was already done we decided to proceed anyway since we liked it so much. Originally the intent was just to make one head but we thought a proper homage would have two of them to give people choice.
For megatoyfan.com since their previous exclusive was a red crystal cobra we thought a red courageous would be a nice store exclusive for them, as a set the two of them look great together.
(TDN) We just got news of the Blood DX preorder and I can’t wait. Even though the price is about twice as much as Blood, Blood DX obviously comes with more stuff. Can you tell us why you chose to include all of the extra accessories instead of just doing the swords and head?
(HR) For Blood DX it was actually started on before the larger Blood, we liked the smaller body a lot more and we saw huge opportunity to improve the appearance of both modes. With Tauros they would look cool together and tell a cool story as minions of Darksol so we did go a little crazy adding a bunch of bits to that kit.
The pricing on the large Blood kit was an experiment to see if a smaller price point would help more fans by our product, unfortunately that project did not generate a lot of seed money for future projects for us and it was made worse by the recent inferior KO of our product.
(TDN) Any idea on what types of project Headrobots would like to work on in the future?
(HR) Well, as you know every week another 3rd party company seems to be popping up so the future is unknown. It’s pretty exciting to see the fans embrace DIY culture so wholeheartedly but it does seem like there it a little too much going on.
We are proud to be one of the “originals” and no matter what happens with headrobots we’ll still keep creating even if the brand vanishes. A funny anecdote about our history is the cobra and iguana designs were already done for a year before it was even posted. We had to decide on whether or not to just make a small run for our internal group and friends or see if other people would actually want it so yeah, its in our nature to always be making stuff and in the future that shouldn’t change.
The most interesting ideas is to start going into other markets, maybe toy related maybe not but as long as our product is doing OK enough to fund future projects we’ll keep doing headrobots.
(TDN) Anything else you’d like to say to the Transformers community and Headrobots fans?
I want to say thanks again to the guys at Headrobots for giving me the opportunity to do this, as well as providing us with some brand new pictures! I know everyone can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future.
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