Cliffbee.com: FAB Ironhide Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Ironhide
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: GMC Topkick Truck

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Ironhide for this review



TRUCK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 14cm Width: 7cm

   A black four door pickup with metallic blue windows, Ironhide has black plastic wheels and extensive silver painted details including the headlights, running boards, outline of the grille and taillights (which are themselves painted red) and the exhaust stacks (which weren't even painted on the regular Ironhide!). The GMC badge on his grille is painted red and the grille itself features a lattice pattern. The sculpt isn't all that detailed, but it's good enough for a toy that's black, anyway. The colour scheme works quite well, Ironhide has been kept simple, and that works for a truck that's all about black. He lacks the sheen of the larger figure but he's not matte either, and on a toy designed for younger kids, the sheen would quickly become a liability.

   The shape of this truck is pretty good compared to most FABs. He's pretty close to the realistic proportions of the full sized toy, although slightly more angular. The tray is covered and the tailgate is fixed, since the rear forms his legs (as on the larger toy). There's a navy blue block visible on the hood and some hinges on the back doors, but otherwise this is an impressive truck mode, one of the strongest alternate modes of the FABs I've reviewed so far. As is common with movie toys, there's no play value here aside from the rolling wheels, which is to be expected. I can't really fault Ironhide for this since the entire like more or less takes the same approach, but I'm happy to report that this is a solidly formed truck mode.

   Aside from the hinges on the sides and that blue block on the front I have no complaints. I really quite like this vehicle mode as far as the FABs go - it's on par with some of the true movie deluxes, and better than some of the alt modes of larger toys (such as the unaerodynamic Starscream. Sure he's not quite as accurate as the larger Ironhide toy, but the paint job is essentially on par, and even adds paint to the exhausts.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the rear, loosening the legs. Unclip the door panels and fold back against the rear fenders, stand him up. Flip up the front, which in theory causes the front fenders to pivot in, revealing the robot arms while the roof falls back to reveal his head. Flip up the chest panel and swing his arms down into position. Remove the missile from inside his left boot and plug the missile into the cannon underneath his left hand and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 13cm

   A very dark robot, Ironhide is black with navy blue forearms, boots and a navy chestplate. There are some subtle silver and gold paint applications on his face and boots, along with the silver elements carried over from the truck onto the giant shoulderpads. The colour scheme is broadly similar to that of the larger toy, and to Ironhide in the film, except without the lighting tricks Dreamworks used to try bring more definition to the blacks. Overall the colour scheme is as it should be, although I wish Hasbro had decided to give the Ironhide toys some colour on the eyes

   In simplifying his transformation the arms end up sticking out from behind the shoulderpads rather than underneath, which looks rather unnatural. Ironhide looks like he's at the rearmost part of a double breasted rowing stroke. The guns under the forearms are a nice feature of this character, but they're tucked away because of the angle the arms are on, which is disappointing. The shoulderpads are still a nice feature but his arms needed an extra transformation joint somewhere. The good news is that there's no collapsing panel on the chest of this toy - another improvement over the larger toy. Overall the look is slightly inferior thanks to the arms.

   The gimmick is very simple - the left cannon fires a light blue missile. This light blue plastic is used nowhere else on the toy, curiously. The missile fires reasonably well, but the gimmick's effectiveness is hampered the angle of his arm - Ironhide can fire to the side or into the ground, but not straight ahead or upwards. His poseability is poor, which you'd expect based on the arms. The head wiggles slightly from side to side while the elbows have rotators, not that this does much. His waist is spring-loaded (the designer of the FABs is obsessed with this idea, I have no idea why), and if you twist it to the right and release, Ironhide will spring back to the left - not that he has a melee weapon or a sword to slash with. On Tiby's Ironhide, at least, the waist is every so slightly off-centre at rest - I can't confirm if this is a common flaw, but it's a minor one anyway. His hips are ball jointed while the knees are hinged and the feet fixed. While the legs offer some posing, the awkward arms pretty much ruin any gun-totting poses, which is a real disappointment.

   While the truck mode is pretty good and there's not much dumbing down here, the arms are so simplified that they barely work. They don't pose, and are stuck in an awkward position which also conceals his cannons and renders the missile launcher fairly useless. The sculpt and colour scheme are okay, but they can't save Ironhide from his arms, sadly.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Pulse Cannon Ironhide is a repaint of this toy.

OVERALL

   Ironhide has a great truck mode - one of the best alternate modes amongst the FABs - with a good paint job and good sculpt. Sadly the robot mode really drops the ball, with awful arms ruining the aspects of this toy that should have been fund. The poseability and display value are bad and the gimmick is compromised as well. While this isn't the worst FAB (thanks to the relatively strong truck mode), it's far from the best - 4/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.