Hardtop (Transformers Cybertron)

Transformers Cybertron Hardtop

Observe everything, remember even more.

Decepticon faction symbol and Earth planet force symbol
Name: Hardtop
Allegiance: Decepticons
Function: Sniper
Timeline: Unicron Trilogy

Toyline: Transformers Cybertron


Transformers Cybertron Hardtop robot mode
Hardtop is an exception to the mass of petty, self-interested individuals who serve under Megatron. A rare team player, he works for the good of the Decepticon movement as a whole without thinking of furthering his own ambitions. He works as a scout and spy, tracking Autobot operations and relaying the information to the rest of the Decepticons. Hardtop prefers to keep back in combat, acting as a spotter for Decepticon flyers, coordinating bombing runs while picking off Autobots with his sniper rifle. Another way in which Hardtop differs from most other Decepticons are his views on the Earth. He doesn't particularly hate the Earth - in fact, he is quite found of it and its outdoor environments far more than the cold metallic landscapes of Cybertron, and intends to petition Megatron to be permanently stationed on Earth as a part of its Decepticon garrison, once the quest for the Planet Forces has ended in a Decepticon victory.


Hardtop possesses some of the most sophisticated and advanced sensors of any Decepticon. They are so sharp and refined that once he's on the trail of a target, very little can be done to evade Hardtop. Hardtop's sensors also extend to intercepting radio signals - including Starscream's treacherous whining. Hardtop's primary weapon is his laser-targeted sniper rifle, which interfaces with his sensors to enable Hardtop to hit a target with pinpoint accuracy at distances of five kilometres. Activating his Force Chip abilities allows Hardtop to greatly extend the effective range of both his sensors and his rifle, making his already impressive skills an even deadlier force to be reckoned with.


While extremely dangerous at a distance, Hardtop is less effective in short range and close quarters combat. Given Hardtop tends to separate himself from the other Decepticons for sniping and coordinating bombing runs, this means he often places himself in situations where if surprised by the Autobots, reinforcements are unlikely to reach him in time. Additionally, Hardtop can sometimes focus so intensely on a single detail that he may overlook other important details.

Jeep mode:

Transformers Cybertron Hardtop jeep mode

Force chip weapon deployment:

Transformers Cybertron Hardtop with Force Chip Weapon deployed

More information on Hardtop at TFW2005

Author notes:

When writing Hardtop I read his packaging bio, and from that I constructed an idea which makes Hardtop a Decepticon version of Generation 1 Hound. In fact, given Hound doesn't appear in this timeline, perhaps there's a "for want of a nail" type of scenario where Hound ended up on the Decepticon side instead? That inspired my choice of motto for Hardtop, who intentionally reuses the Generation 1 Hound bio. I very nearly had Hardtop's function as "tracker" as an evil version of Hound's own "scout" function.

I wonder - what would an encounter between Hound and Hardtop play out like? That's one to visit later.

The other big thing about Hardtop in every version of the character is that he's a sniper. That's pretty much his entire thing in the other lines he's been featured in. So I built up his abilities and weaknesses with that in mind - he's a long range specialist but if you get close to him (say via teleporting Mini-Con) he's pretty much defenceless.

As far as toys go, Hardtop is a great one. I'm biased as I'm a huge fan of the Cybertron line, but Hardtop offers up a fun little toy with a decent transformation. His robot mode design is slightly generic - giving him the impression of a rank and file soldier - but that's fine in its own way. Not every robot needs to be super-memorable like Starscream.