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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Heinrad's review of: Ironhide (Botcon Exclusive)

Name: Ironhide
Allegiance: Autobot

Profile: An Autobot of few words, Ironhide prefers actions over excessive talking which he refers to as "Leaking Lubricant". A vetran of several Great Wars, Ironhide is one of the oldest and most experienced Autobots currently in active service. His gruff exterior hides a kind inner soul whose concern for life knows no bounds. Younger Autobots often joke about Ironhide as an antique from a bygone era, but his skill, experience, and loyalty often win them over in the end.

Abilities: Following the battle of Moon Base Four, Ironhide's body was severely damaged. Utilizing the legendary Reconfiguration matrix, Optimus Prime generated Ironhide's new form. His new body retians his original trithyllium-steel alloy which has been blended with a new material and formed a special ablative armor making him more resistant to artillery and electromagnetic attacks. Ironhide's arms house chemical mixtures that can generate anything from supercooled liquid nitrogen to metal dissolving acid. He can fire these from emmitters built into his wrists. Ironhide is able to combine with his trailer unit for greater mobility on the battlefield.

Weaknesses: Ironhide is still one of the slowest Autobots, though his speed has increased thanks to his new form. His compassion for living creatures can also be used against him.

As a side note, I wish they'd used a larger scan of the tech spec card. I thought my eyes were going to cross while typing this...

Okay, here's my first ever review, and it's of my favorite of them all, Ironhide! Well, okay, not the original Ironhide figure(somebody beat me to that one), but the most accurate one released so far to the G1 model sheet look.

For a basic idea, look at the Energon Tow-Line figure. I'll start with robot mode.

Robot (and base) Mode:
Ironhide's primary color is red. Red forearms, red legs(with grey trim on upper and lower legs), red torso(with white Autobot emblem). His head is red(with silver face and blue optics), and silver trim paint highlighting his headlights and midsection. His shoulders and the connector point/hinge on his back are grey. His combat deck is largely red with a black center section, black treads with red supports, grey support struts, and silver paint highlighting the gun emplacements on the sides.

Now, for all you Tow-Line owners out there, you know what I'm talking about with this. The laser rifle/cannon/whatever it's supposed to be that came with Tow-Line looks a lot better on the combat deck than it does in Tow-Line's hands. The same goes for Ironhide. Some of you may have even done what I did, popping that flat sensor plate off the end and putting it into the third hole in the center of the deck(just behind the cannon, making it look like a little readout display/control panel). I've even armed my Ironhide with a handgun swiped from my Fire Convoy figure. All in all, robot mode is an impressive homage to the G1 Ironhide character.

Powerlinx Mode:
Ironhide inherits from Tow-Line the ability to being the only Energon figure of this size(that I know of) that can powerlink with itself. He, like Tow-Line before him, looks like a reject from a bad sci-fi movie in this mode, but at least it gives you something to do with the "toes" that have been shown in all the Hasbro pics.

Vehicle Mode:
Flip his arms back, flip his head down(making sure the face is to the front, and even then, be very gentle. The crest scrapes), flip his hips back, fold his legs and doors down, and he looks like some futuristic hovervan with some odd looking sides. However, after removing the laser cannon and dish from the combat deck and flipping up the panel that represents the rear doors, the robot part locks into position(again, thanks to that Powerlink point) onto the combat deck. Flip up the side panels, fold up the grey support struts, then the black tread assemblies, and voila, Ironhide in vehicle mode.

He's a van. I'm guessing a camper-van of some form, and his main color is..... you guessed it. Red. Very red.He's got very little detail coloring in this mode, save for a grey stripe running along each side, grey trim on the roof, blue(for windows), silver rims, black tires, and silver paint highlighting the headlights. He's a solid looking van. He's a massive looking van. For a little added color, reattach the sensor dish to the cannon barrel, fold the whole assembly back up and put it on his roof. If it wasn't for the fact that the whole assembly is made from transparent blue plastic, I could see that being the upper works to a futuristic RV of some kind, or maybe a newsvan.

Analysis:
I admit it, I'm a little biased here. I love this figure. We've been waiting for 21 years(well, I have, at least) for an Ironhide figure like this. But I'm not saying it's perfect.

First, the head. Aside from Ironhide being one of the BotCon exclusive toys this year, Ratchet is as well, and the Ratchet figure is this figure in white with red trim. They might paint the crest, but Ratchet's crest stands out more than Ironhide's fin. The head winds up looking a little funky from an angle as Ironhide's helmet is no longer smooth, but it's understandable. If the fin was higher, it, too would be scraping during transformation.

Second, the paint. I have a feeling this paint scheme was devised centering around the robot mode, which is why it looks so good(well, save for quibble #3, but I'm not there yet), and vehicle mode looks so bland. Reproducing the yellow/orange stripe from the original figure, or the yellow/black stripe from the cartoon, would make the figure look better in vehicle mode. Even detailing the grille section would help.

Third, the Autobot emblem. Painted on emblems are all well and good in this stickerless age, but couldn't they have done it in, say, metallic red, or just done it as an outline? I say this because, somehow, I managed to smudge the painted on Autobot emblem on Tow-Line, and now I'm in a panic that I'll do the same to Ironhide.

Would I reccomend getting this figure? Yes, especially if you're an Ironhide fan. Even if you're not, it's still a cool looking figure, IMHO. Of course, I also like the color red...

Is it readily available? Not right now, no. I lucked out thanks to eBay, a friend with a Paypal account, and putting off (again) the brake job my car needs. Not that the price was prohibitive. It was US$49 before shipping. Depending on how the deal is set up with Master Collector(and how many box sets Hasbro has left after the 'con), Ironhide might find his way into their Collector's Club.

Is it fun/easy to play with? I think it is, although at my age, I generally just stand the figure up and look at it, picking it up and transforming it occasionally, and posing it now and then.

Is it worth the money? I believe it is, as long as you wind up paying no more than what I did for it. More than that, no, mainly because at that point it goes from slight markup for acceptable profit to price gouging.

Will your Tow-Line figure get along with Ironhide? To be honest, I don't know. I don't think mine likes him too much. Sees him as competition, I think...

Transformation: 5, if not more. A friend of mine (who's an engineer, mind you) couldn't figure it out.
Durability: 3. Unfortunately, the plastic isn't as heavy as Tow-Line's.
Fun: 10, more fun than a barrel of monkeys! Of course, I'm biased...
Price: 6. Having looked at some of the auctions, it's not that hugely expensive..... yet.
Overall: For me, it was a 10. That whole bias thing again. But the average is a 6, if that helps any.
 
 
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