The Foot-Fryin’ Warrior Dragon
Released in 1992
I have to be honest here (I wonder how many times I’ve written that so far), I didn’t know this character existed until a year or so before writing these retrospectives. Hothead is a massive red dragon that is known for spewing fire wherever evil may lurk. I know that within TMNT media, there have been several versions of this character across the mediums of cartoons and video games, but I am shocked by how little I was able to find on this guy. I do love his backstory that came on the figure’s card back though. One day, an average New York fireman was battling a blaze in “Old Town” when he accidently broke a statue of a dragon. At that moment, one of New York’s finest was transported to another world, and in his place was our heroic, fire breathing friend, Hothead.
While I don’t think we ever find out what happens to the fireman that vanished, whether he came back or maybe even became Hothead, I do not know, but what I can say for certain is that this figure is a pretty ambitious one if I may say so. While a massive dragon figure would’ve been enough to sell me on why he is needed in your collection, this guy ups the ante by decking himself out in armor befitting the grandest of samurai warrior, armor that happens to be purple and gold and somehow does not make him look ostentatious.
Hothead’s frame is also littered with detail such as scales and spikes that break up the monotony of red that is his body. While not all of his details are painted, Hothead is covered in blue and green scales as well as blue veins that pop and grab your attention. For whatever reason, he is wearing one green boot…because, why not? Honestly, I do think Playmates went a little overboard with the “make all the limbs different” initiative they had going back in the day. While neon green boot on a human looking foot (what?) can be a bit distracting, it is more than made up for with the real money maker of this figure, the head sculpt.
I know that this guy is supposed to be a samurai and all, but due to his head sculpt I have to say that this guy seems to be inspired by drawings of Chinese dragons as Hothead seems to look more in line with the spinney look of the massive puppets you would see in a Chinese New Year’s parade. This guy has hors, fins, a top knot, dangerous looking teeth, yellow eyes, a braided beard and honest-to-god flames painted on his snout to emulate his fire breathing abilities. On top of all of that, Hotheads neck can extend to give him a more serpentine vibe and separate himself from all the other humanoid figures in the line. Gently pushing the head towards the body will cause the neck to retract into the figure, but this gives him a much stockier look that makes him seem as if he always looking up and overall making him seem shorter and less imposing.
However you decide to pose him, Hothead is a welcome addition to the Turtles and their friends as he breaks up the monotony of mutants as he is one of the few non-mutant characters in the line. Now, what the hell happened to that poor fireman?
Turtle Trivia: In the 2012 animated TMNT series, Hothead (known as Kavaxas) was voiced by the clown prince of crime himself; Mark Hamill.