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Monday, November 25, 2013

White Headmaster KO Comparison Guide

For the longest time I have had a friend's KO white headmasters in my possession so I could do a comparison post on them, and I thought it was finally time I returned them to him. This post has been a long time coming.

I could probably count on one hand the number of people who would find this guide useful since most people really don't care about the white headmasters and if they do they are much more likely to plop down the $100 or so bucks on the KO's than spend thousands trying to track down the originals. However, for that small subset of people who are actually looking for the real thing, I hope this helps in identifying any unscrupulous sellers out there.

So let me start out with physical observations and descriptions. Obviously the biggest difference is the KOs do not have the copyright stamp on them. But if you can't get the seller to take a picture of the stamp or perhaps you don't speak the language of the auction site (thanks Yahoo Japan) there are a few other signs. The KO versions are a slightly different color of white than the real things. They are a bit more "creamy" in color, almost like that of skim milk, whereas the originals are a very solid white. I took all these pictures on a black background to try and highlight the differences better. These things are notoriously hard to photograph but I hope the pictures are different enough so you can see the variations.

So in the pictures above the originals look a little more yellow, which I think is due to the light around my lightbox. Nevertheless, they are a very clean white in person, notice how the KOs are a brilliant white, that translates to more "creamy" is the best way I can describe it.

On to the individual figures, unfortunately I am still missing a white Loafer so I can't compare him.

The next biggest thing you want to look for is the rivets holding the figure together. You'll notice on Trizer here the KO version's rivets are flared, whereas the originals are not. Also, the center rivet is set inside a cavity on the original that is not present on the KO. The "creamyness" comes through a little better on this picture.

With Lione here you can look at the rivets as well. The only other small difference is in the "mane" on the front of the figure the two halves on the original figure form a small indention that touches the face and follows around to the arm. On the KO this area is much more flush. It is a tiny, tiny detail, but it is there.

Again here, the rivets are the telltale sign, but it can be difficult to see them. Another big difference is the details on the elephant ears are not as crisp. This is common with KO's as they are usually cast from originals which means when the molds are poured not all the details come through. This is true of all the white (and color for that matter) headmasters.

Here you can really see the color difference, but it really does you no good unless they are side by side. The big difference with Rodney is the flap that covers his headmaster face in robot mode does not fold flush with the back of the figure on the KO. Again, check the rivets and details to see if they look crisp.


Kirk is possibly the best example I have because his photo came out so clear. Here you can really see the detail differences. Also, I wanted to include an example of the head mode just for posterity, notice the absent copyright on the KO. You'll also notice on the front of the head the KO is missing the two indention lines that run vertically down on either side of the face. This is most likely because of the recasting process.

I know these aren't big details and really won't matter to most people, but if there are any collectors out there who are searching for the genuine items I hope this aids you and prevents you from being the victim of any sellers trying to sell the KOs as originals.

There are more comparison pictures on the following posts:
Grail Find! Headmaster Rodney's White Counterpart
Wait, what? There's another one?
The White Lione
The final figure: White Headmaster Shuffler


  1. Man, side by side, the differences are pretty noticeable. This is a great guide! Thanks for the info! I still think Kirk and Rodney are the two greatest names in Transformer history.

    1. Absolutely, I hope it comes in helpful. Yes, I particularly like Kirk, but Alan (micromaster) is another contender.

    2. I read this post a few days ago and could not comment. I have to pick my jaw up from the floor; then I had to go buy a new keyboard because my drool ruin the present one. Ok, now I can type.

      It's awesome that you have all these. I have more or less given up on trying to find the White HMs. I haven't really been trying that hard, but yeah, these are obscure.

      Its a really great guide that you put together and like Optimal said, the differences are really marked once you put them side to side. It would definitely come in useful at some point. If all else fails, I guess I will just look to whether a White HM (if I ever see one in this lifetime) has a Takara stamp.

    3. Hehe, sorry about that keyboard. I know I've featured these before, but I thought it would be a good idea to throw a quick comparison guide together since I know of no other anywhere on the internet. If nothing else at least there are some pretty pictures :)

      And yeah obviously the stamp is the easiest telltale sign, but if you run into a situation where the seller can't or won't show you the stamp, perhaps this will be of help. I'm sure you'll find them somewhere somehow, you don't strike me as the type of person that gives up easily.