Series: Generation 1
Alternate Mode: Van
Height: 5cm Length: 9.5cm Width: 4cm
Ironhide's vehicular mode is a red van. Aside from yellow pinstriping that's basically the colour scheme. He has chrome silver bumpers and headlights, chrome silver wheels, rubber tyres and clear plastic windows. The driver & passenger windows have no plastic - I guess they're wound down. He has an Autobot symbol on the front of the van and a single seat inside the cockpit for a Diaclone driver. Pretty simple, but then most vans are, and too much happening on a van mode would look silly.
It's a good van mode, actually. The wheels roll freely, although he lacks axles. The rear window is red plastic and there's a gap in the middle of the rear bumper, but otherwise it's a very realistic van. There's some technological kibble inside the back, visible through the windows, which doesn't have any reason for being there in van mode but doesn't detract from it. There are moulded doorhandles, including one for the sliding side door. The front section, the windshield and headlight area, is die cast metal.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Remove the rear section, and the gun stored under the wheel base, if you've stored it there. Swing out the arms, fold down the windshield, fold up the feet. Rotate the arms down, rotate the fists, position the arms.
TRANSFORMATION TO BATTLE STATION
Fold the centre tread out from the bottom of the rear section, fold down the rear window. Swing down the side treads and position. Open the sides, swivel up the missile launcher. Attach the missiles, gun post and gun. You can attach Ratchet himself so that he mans the missile launcher, there's notches on the base of the launcher tower to hold his feet in place.
Height: 9cm Width: 7.5cm
The first thing you notice about Ironhide's robot mode is that he doesn't have a head. Next you notice that he's predominantly red, although he has a silver groin. On closer inspection, you'll see he _does_ have a face, on the seat behind his windshield. The proportions are a little off (ie not humanoid), but you can see it as a face at chest level or a head on top of a really small torso with a facemask.
Head aside, Ironhide's robot mode is on the small side for a Diaclone car based Autobot. This is partly because it's accompanied by the battle station, but also because he's got a fairly spindly robot mode. The arms are attached with rather thin looking beams, but they are metal. A wise choice since otherwise they'd be very breakable.
Along with Ratchet, Ironhide has always been a somewhat controversial toy, and often the subject of derision. This robot mode doesn't look that much like the robot Sunbow portrayed on the show - they used creative license on the show to give him more human proportions. The differences between the show and toy only serve to add to the disdain towards this toy from a lot of fans. The grey back from the show was added by Sunbow - there's no grey on this robot mode at all.
The robot mode I'm fairly neutral on. The windshield on his chest is a good idea but the lack of a head hurts. Ratchet's looks better actually, the white makes this mould look nicer.
BATTLE STATION MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 9cm Length: 11cm
The forgotten half of the robot mode, the battle station is in itself a rather nice little emplacement. Having three treads, it's inherently stable, the missile launcher makes it look like a nice little gun emplacement. The missile launcher is mounted on an arm with two hinges, so it can shoot upwards or downwards. The gun at the front can swivel around to aim. Also, as previously mentioned, Ironhide can man this little post. Just behind the gun and in front of the missile launcher's base there's a small seat, perfect for a Diaclone driver. Which would have added to the Diaclone version's play value a fair bit.
Released in 1984 and again in 1990 as a classic, in 2000 in Japan as a limited release and again in the "Encore" line in Japan in 2008. Accompanying the Encore was a black e-Hobby repaint.
A much maligned toy, Ironhide isn't the best Transformer ever, but he's far from the worst. I don't mind him, but he's something of an acquired taste. The lack of a humanoid head and show inaccurate robot mode do drag him down somewhat. I'd recommend Ratchet over Ironhide though, Ironhide's colour scheme comes off a little boring compared to Ratchet's. One thing working in Ironhide's favour is his prominent role in the cartoon - 4/10