Alternate Mode: Tow Truck
TOW TRUCK MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 9.5cm (truck, 13 with hook) Width: 3.5cm
A metallic blue truck cab with grey on his grille and headlight assembly and rear, Armorhide has darker grey for his six tyres and windowshades while the hook on his grey towing arm is white. It seems to be rare for Cybertron toys to match their Planet Key, and Armorhide is one of those rare cases, he has a blue Planet Key (code: s645) - although Undermine, from the same assortment, also matches his key. There's extensive metallic red paint on the towing arm, and an Autobot logo stamped at the base. The headlights are painted blue and there are various other paint apps, including pinstripes on the sides that meld with the grey plastic panel at the front. Armorhide has metallic blue windows, rounding out a thoughtful colour scheme.
Armorhide isn't really designed as a tow truck - he's more of a semi trailer cab (think Pipes), complete with hitch at the back. However his robot mode gun slots into the hitch nicely and sports the little white hook so it has a reason to be there. I suppose it's entirely possible that he's a tow truck modification for semi trailers, so I'm not going to complain. If you prefer the bare truck, you can easily remove the weapon, although since the towing arm covers up the robot fists sitting at the very back of the truck, I prefer to leave it on.
There's not really a lot of play value here, but then there rarely is on basic vehicles. The towing arm itself is fixed, but the hook can swing back and forth. The hook itself is facing forward, which isn't much use for towing, but I guess it's just twisted on the cable. All six wheels spin, but if you roll him on a hard surface the ridges often prevent all six from actually moving - he's fine on a rougher surface like carpet. There's a slot on the right side of the towing arm into which you can slot the Planet Key - finally a Cybertron toy that can _stow_ the key somewhere other than the activation slot! It looks tacked on, but at least it can attach.
While this is a fairly straightforward tow truck mode, it's a good one. The paint applications are numerous and thought out, proving that whoever designed Armorhide was focused. The towing arm might not move around, but then it has to double as a handgun, and plugs into a socket that splits apart - that it clips securely is enough for me. There's enough moulded detail here to make this a good truck mode - doors, lights, grille, hubcaps and even wipers are all clearly visible.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Remove the tow arm and set aside. Lift up the roof of the cabin, which will split into two halves. Extend and straighten to form his legs, slide the boots out to the sides and flip out his feet. If straightening the legs didn't do so, unfold his waist properly. Stand Armorhide up, split the hitch section and swing around to the sides to form his arms. Rotate the shoulders and elbows to bring the arms into position, flip up and rotate the head (it stows at 90° rather than 180°). Give Armorhide his gun.
Height: 9.5cm Width: 9cm
A short, wide little fellow, Armorhide has blue boots, head and torso with white upper arms and thighs. His forearms, feet and kneecaps are dark grey while the gun and chestplate are the lighter grey. The gun sports the red Autobot logo, which now faces backwards, but it's the only faction symbol on the toy. His face is silver with gold eyes and is quite well detailed.
The unorthodox transformation provides a whole bunch of visible truck parts here. The boots are the roof while the keepcaps are the windshield, the chest is the grille section of the truck, upside down. The rear two sets of wheels sit on the outsides of his forearms. Even without the wheels this is a wide robot mode, Armorhide is a very stocky little fellow with a blocky chest.
The play value here is great for a basic. The head turns while the shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed and the knees hinged. The waist doesn't really move but can fold back as part of his transformation. The gun is a nice big, powerful affair with a red tip which can slot into either hand. Armorhide is quite poseable and while he doesn't have proper heelspurs, action poses are possible.
And then there's the gimmick. Plugging the Planet Key into a slot on his back will lift up the chestplate and push out eight red missiletips underneath. While they don't fire, this bank of missiles certainly looks impressive. It's sort of possible to deploy them in truck mode, but you have to squish the key in, with the towing arm removed. While the gimmick doesn't in itself have any play value, it's one of the more worthwhile key gimmicks, certainly at this size class.
A good robot mode with lots of well-integrated truck elements, great articulation and a worthwhile key gimmick. Again it's evident that the designer was paying attention, from the slide-apart boots to the detailed facial sculpt to the transformable feet (which could easily have been skipped, but make the toy look better).
None that I'm aware of. Armorhide is not part of the Galaxy Force line, being sold only in Cybertron. BotCon 2007 Huffer and Movie Armorhide are repaints of Armorhide.
A very worthwhile basic, Armorhide's strongest aspect is the attention to detail. A lot of Transformers are released now with obvious - and easy to rectify - flaws, but Armorhide has all the little things done right. The truck mode is detailed and makes clever use of both the gun and Planet Key while the robot mode is poseable and has a good key gimmick. While there are better basics out there, there are a lot more that are weaker. Grab him if you find him - 8.5/10