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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Blackjack's review: Armorhide

Name: Armorhide
Allegiance: Autobot
Size Class: Scouts Class
Accessories: Gun/Towline, Cyber Key

Up against an enemy like Megatron and his followers, the Autobots can't afford to be nice. To Armorhide, this fight is about nothing other than total victory, and the only way he sees to achieve that is to become as much like the Decepticons as possible. He knows Optimus Prime doesn't approve of his methods and he doesn't care. Once the Decepticons are wiped out the historians can argue as long as they'd like about whether his way of fighting this war was right or not, but at least they'll do it in peace and safety.

Oh, look, a good guy that isn’t afraid to fight dirty and doesn’t care about the consequences! How original. Anyway, Armorhide (or Armourhide, if you will) is an Autobot I picked up on a whim back on my ‘buy everything’ phase early during my sojourn into the Transformers fandom.

Armorhide is kind of a nobody. He’s a name slapped randomly on non-entity toys from RID to Armada to Cybertron. I wager he’s appeared a few times in the IDW and Titan tie-in comics but probably never did anything beyond being a wallflower or a cannon fodder, and I don’t particularly care enough to check. In my playtimes, though, Armorhide was one of the major players thanks to not really owning a large amount of Autobots back at the time (hey, can you blame the Decepticons for looking so cool?) so I’ve got a fair bit of sentimental attachment to Armorhide even though he’s a nobody.

Anyway, kiddie sentimentality aside, Movie Armorhide is repainted from Cybertron’s identically-named Armorhide, this time in a mainly-black deco to apparently represent a Sector Seven vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Armorhide transforms into a rather modern-looking six-wheeled semi-truck cab similar in appearance to Classics Optimus Prime. According to TFWiki, he is a ‘Volvo FH Globetrotter’ and I don’t really care enough about truck cabs to check. He’s mainly black with the rear parts being cast in light gray, with details picked out lovingly in silver and yellow. Yellow lines are painted on the side of the cab, and a pretty nice set of silver-and-yellow emergency stripes adorn the panels above the windshield.

For some reason Armorhide only has a single right headlight, which is pretty blatant since said headlight is a big yellow sticker in a sea of black. I thought it was only on my Armorhide, but all pictures in the internet shows that it’s apparently how Armorhide is supposed to look. Weird. Less evident is that the detailing on part of Armorhide’s otherwise-impressive silver grill stops short and suddenly becomes smooth before reaching the left end. Maybe Sector Seven just has asymmetrical trucks just because?

Armorhide’s a decent looking semi-truck cab that despite originating from another line fits pretty well amongst the Movie lines other than scale. Of course he’s not perfect – ball joints and pegholes are pretty blatantly shown on the rear half of the cab with no attempt made to hide them. You can, however, peg the Armorhide’s gun which has a little tow hook thing to make Armorhide less obviously a cab with robot hands masquerading as wheels. The hook can swing about, and there’s a nice little S7 insignia painted on it, but is otherwise a static hook crane with a giant missile jutting out of it.

Originating from the Cybertron line, Armorhide comes with the retarded gimmick that is the cyber key, although they had the decency to give Armorhide a brand-new cyber key. The original Cybertron-era Armorhide came with a vanilla Earth cyber key, but Movie Armorhide comes with a painted Planet X key with a Sector Seven insignia and painted in Armorhide colours – black and silver with yellow borders. The key does have an embossed Decepticon insignia on it, though, which is pretty odd. Armorhide is supposed to be a rule-breaker, so that apparently means that he wears Decepticon and S7 insignias without a single Autobot one anywhere in his body.

The key can peg onto Armorhide’s towline thing to be carried around, and is probably the only cyber key that doesn’t look stupidly out of place and can be somewhat integrated into the alternate mode as storage. Pushing the cyber key into the slot on the back of the cab causes the entire grill assembly to flip down to reveal a rack of pretty nice-looking non-firing yellow missiles.

He doesn’t roll very well. Or at least, mine doesn’t anymore thanks to the robot head becoming very loose, so it drags down onto the ground if I try to roll Armorhide.

Robot Mode:
Armorhide transforms very simply and quickly into a boxy robot, thanks to the stupid cyber key gimmick causing the portion that corresponds to require to stay in the same position in both modes. He looks like a pretty tough little bruiser, especially armed with his gun which draws attention by showing the bright-yellow side. His body is extremely boxy, with a thin waist-crotch section sliding out. Overall he’s a simple-looking robot that looks far more like a more ‘traditional’ Transformer instead of the Movie line he’s supposed to be in. He’s short, though, a good head or two shorter than Crosshairs.

Armorhide’s articulation is somewhat limited thanks to the main body being a literal box. His head is on a very loose ball joint. It doesn’t pop off all the time, but Armorhide’s head just lolls around like his neck muscles have atrophied. His shoulders and elbows are ball-jointed, his thighs are ball jointed and his knees are hinged.

The cyber key activates the same gimmick, though this time his chest swings up which doesn’t look as cool as the grill of a car swinging down all bulldozer-like. What ends up being glorified nipple missiles aren’t exactly as dignified as a missile-launching truck either.

Armorhide can hold his towline thing as a gun with a hook attachment. It’s a bright yellow gun that attracts attention away from Armorhide, though I do appreciate the little accessory. You can imagine Armorhide slashing at Decepticons that get too near with the hook attachment before blowing their heads up.

Not much else I can say about Armorhide, really. He’s pretty generic.

Marks out of ten for the following:
Transformation Design: 3/10 It’s not exactly creative. Granted there’s only so many ways to transform a semi-truck cab design and all of them result in boxy robots, but Armorhide’s robot mode is just a box with limbs and they really could’ve gone for a much better one.

Durability: 7/10 The head ball joint is very, very loose but otherwise he’s a pretty solid toy.

Aesthetics: 5/10 Armorhide’s got a pretty awesome-looking alternate mode and a great paint scheme but his robot mode leaves quite a bit to be desired. It’s not horrible, but it’s not exactly something I would readily say that I like.

Articulation: 2/10 Compared to toys created even in the Cybertron line, Armorhide is a brick. His legs aren’t really conducive for articulation either.

Fun: 7/10 I had fun with Armorhide, though most of it involved him being the butt of jokes from Autobots or decapitations from Decepticons. Popping his head off all the time might be why it’s so loose, come to think of it.

Price/Value: 2/10 Not exactly the best Scouts class toy out there.

Overall: 4/10 Armorhide is… okay, I suppose. He’s got a great paint scheme, a great alternate mode, just a weak robot mode. He’s a decent toy that’s not bogged down by the cyber key gimmick like many other toys (and Armorhide’s gimmick actually looks pretty good), and despite my whining about his boxy upper body, it’s not really as bad as the sacrifices taken for many other Cybertron-era toys. He’s a serviceable army builder, I suppose… I can’t really think of many good things to say about him.
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