. Cliffbee.com: Transformer Toy Reviews: Movie Ironhide

Cliffbee.com: Movie Ironhide Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




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



TRUCK MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 18cm Width: 7cm

   A very black sports pickup truck, Ironhide is a licensed replica of the GHM Topkick. There are some dark blue running lights on top, cobalt blue fuel tanks (actually robot mode weapons) as running boards and transparent blue windows, but Ironhide is really all about black. The doors are painted black over the blue plastic, and while this paint is slightly more matte than the black plastic, he's well matched. The tyres and wheels are black plastic while the relevant details on the front and back are painted - details such as the headlights, taillights, indicators and badges. There are "4x4" logos on either side of the tray and an unpainted Autobot logo on the tailgate. I should point out that Ironhide has a four door cab - this particular vehicle is more of a passenger than work truck. The colour scheme is dark, but this works well enough, since the sculpt is very well done and the lights etc are all painted.

   As mentioned, the sculpt here is impressive, with the front end being a highlight - the grille, lights and bumper are all sufficiently detailed. The bumper has "ROAD ARMOR" sculpted in and the fog lights buried within his bumper are actually transparent blue plastic. All four doors have complete seams and handles, the rear vision mirrors and wipers are present and there's even a petrol cap on the left side. The wheels are fairly well sculpted and the plastic tyres have tread patterns. The end result of the great colour scheme, sculpting and real vehicle model is one very nice looking truck mode - easily better than anything produced in Armada and Energon, and a notch above the realistic vehicles we saw in Cybertron.

   If there's a downside to this vehicle mode, it's the play value. Ironhide's wheels roll and that's all we get. The doors do not open, the tray cover and tailgate are fixed in position, as is the hood. Whilst I would have liked to see some okay value here, the inventive transformation doesn't really allow it. Perhaps some way to deploy his weapons would have been possible, but otherwise I'm not complaining.

   A static yet very visually impressive truck mode. Other than the Binaltech/Alternators line, we haven't seen licensed vehicle modes of Ironhide's calibre since G1 - and it's a welcome return. The colours are very dark, but this suits the high end passenger vehicle chosen here. The painted details prove that the dark colour is a design choice, not a lack of paint application - and I'd much rather an all black, realistic, truck, than a black truck with some random fluorescent painted highlights any day. It's worth noting that G1 Ironhide was done once as a van and twice (in G2) as a pickup truck, so this is a suitable homage to that character.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Complex and innovative, Ironhide's transformation is probably my favourite amongst the movie toys. You don't have to remove the tanks from either side, although I'd recommend it.

   Unclip the arms underneath, allowing room for the waist. Unclip the rear from the rest of the truck and fold down, forming the waist and legs. Split the legs, lift out the rear of the cover tray forming his feet, which will cause some nifty automorphing - the heelspurs deploy, the rear tyres swing back, the front of the cover tray swings away to reveal his shins and the sides of his boots lift out a little. Lift up the sides of the cabin, which will detach, taking the halves of his bonnet and front with them. Fold the rear doors underneath the front doors. Swing up the front wheels & arms, swing down the bumper, clip the waist into place, swing down the chest panel hidden inside his cabin and rotate the top, just above his waist. fold the rear window under the roof then fold the roof and windshield down onto his back. Lift up the head, plugging in the front wheels, stabilising both the head and shoulders. Pivot Ironhide's shoulders, position his arms, lift out the sternum and fold up his chestplate, attach the weapons on the outside of either forearm and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 11cm

   It's probably not surprising, but Ironhide's robot mode centres on black. There are cobalt blue and gold paint apps on his boots, groin, and face while the gold also appears on his shoulders and the blue on his chest. Ironhide's face is dark and brooding, and for mine looks vaguely like a robotic dog's face - mainly for the nose. Ironhide lacks any paint on his eyes, and there's no lightpipe - this is my main complaint about his robot mode. He wears the halves of the front of the truck as giant shoulderpads, on angles, dipping down towards the sternum piece. It's a dark robot mode which looks powerful and menacing, and again I generally approve of the dark colours used - save for his eyes.

   The shoulderpads, which also include the front doors (the rear doors are folded under the front), are the signature of this robot mode - the way they've been configured is something we've never really seen on any Transformer before (Clench is the closest we've seen - black truck with fluoro, funnily enough). The boots carry some truck mode elements, but the shoulderpads are the main carry over. The blue weapons on his arms are huge, powerful looking cannons. One (nominally the left) is armed with four missiles, the other (right) four cannons, and in this configuration both are effectively cannons - the missiles can't fire like this. All the same, they look _really_ powerful and menacing, which fits into Ironhide's persona very well.

   Poseability is good, if not spectacular. The head turns, although the sternum doesn't actually lock into place so you need to be careful when accessing his head, or you'll sink the sternum. The sideways vision is restricted by his shoulderpads, of course. The shoulders rotate and lift out to the sides while his elbows bend and there are rotators above these hinges. His fists rotate, and have standard holes for weaponry. Ironhide doesn't actually come with a handheld weapon, but I appreciate that the designers left play options open. The waist is fixed, the hips swing and lift out to the sides while Ironhide's knees are hinged with rotators. The feet are fixed, since they're part of the automorph, and have springs attached, but both the feet and heelspurs are big and flat. Ironhide is a little back heavy, so you'll need to offset this with at least one arm forward - but there are a wide range of poses available.

   Ironhide's "gimmick", if you want to call it that, since this line has seen the idea of gimmicks relegated to an afterthought (a very welcome change, in my opinion), relates to his cannons. They combine very well - plugging the right side into the back of the left side creates a super cannon, which is now able to fire the four missiles, using a ball-pressure system. The smaller cannons are quite impressive, this thing is downright colossal. Ironhide's one bad mofo!

   A really nice robot mode, Ironhide drips attitude, is very well armed and has some great visual elements. The sculpt is good, although visually he's dominated by the shoulderpads and weaponry. The poseability is really good - other than the fixed waist, and Ironhide has a wide range of gun-toting poses available. There are two flaws here - the eyes do bother me and the sternum really needed to be fixed in some way. The latter would have been very easily avoided with a notch on it's hinge, and obviously paint on the eyes would have been really easy to do. Despite these two flaws, this is still a great robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although there is a Off Road repaint.

OVERALL

   A worthy G1 name reassignment, and a great figure. The truck and robot modes both look really great, and the aesthetic suits the character portrayed in the film. The truck mode is very static, but there's lots of play value in his robot mode, and great weaponry that makes him a fun toy. The automorph is one of the better ones amongst this line, the transformation is very creative and is complex without being difficult. There are two real flaws here, both relate to the robot mode - a loose sternum and unpainted eyes. It does frustrate me since these would have been easy to rectify, but they're not enough to ruin one of the best movie toys - 9/10

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