Cliffbee.com: Off Road Ironhide Toy Review

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

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Off Road Ironhide for this review



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

   A navy blue sports pickup truck, Ironhide is a licensed replica of the GHM Topkick, redone in slightly brighter colours. There are some "AllSpark" blue running lights on top, dark brown fuel tanks (actually robot mode weapons) as running boards and transparent blue windows while the wheels and front bumper are black. The doors are painted blue over the transparent plastic, and the shades match very well. The navy blue is slightly metallic although this can be tricky to actually see. There's some brown mud slashing painted just behind the wheelbays which is an interesting touch, which fits into the name of this repaint. The rear vision mirrors and exhausts are grey while details such as the headlights, taillights, indicators and badges are all painted. 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. As on the original version, this is a well painted truck mode. The added colour brings out the detail a little better, although the AllSpark blue doesn't really belong here and the mud paint isn't going to please everyone. Despite the colours bringing out his detailing, I prefer the original's colours, simply because that's what we saw in the film.

   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. Combining a good colour scheme, great 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 only the designer had left the AllSpark blue off this mode.

   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 a little lighter here, and while this brings out detail, he also cops some unwelcome bright blue. Otherwise this is a good repaint. 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

   A navy blue, brown and black robot. The three colours are more or less equally represented, with most of the blue on the truck parts and the bulk of his limbs a mixture of black and brown. There are yellow and AllSpark blue painted elements here. The head is blue with a silver mouthplate, AllSparkk blue eyes and a silver Autobot logo on his forehead. 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. I'm really glad they've painted the eyes this time - the unpainted eyes of the original were one of my few complaints about that toy. Overall there's a lot more colour here, and nothing is really out of place - even the AllSpark blue works here.

   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). The boots carry some truck mode elements, but the shoulderpads are the main carry over. The brown weapons on his arms are huge, powerful looking cannons. One (nominally the left) is armed with AllSpark Blue 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. The missiles _are_ visible in truck mode, although it's easy enough to remove them if you prefer.

   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. The eyes have been painted this time around so the loose sternum is the only real flaw now. It's still a good robot mode - in fact it's an improvement over that of the original, although it's not as we saw in film.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although he is a repaint of the original Movie Ironhide, as mentioned.

OVERALL

   A good figure and a good repaint, for the most part. The truck and robot modes both look really great, and the slightly brighter colours bring out the detailing more than on the original. The AllSpark blue so common on Movie repaints works well in robot mode but should have been left off the vehicle mode. Still, they painted the eyes this time, and I'm happy about that. 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. They fixed the unpainted eyes although the sternum is still loose. It's not Ironhide as we saw in the film, so most will take the original over this one, but it's a good repaint all the same - 9/10

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