Cliffbee.com: Movie Armorhide Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Armorhide
Series: Movie Tin-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Tow Truck

Thanks to Pulse for donating Armorhide for this review



TOW TRUCK MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 9.5cm (truck, 13 with hook) Width: 3.5cm

   A black truck cab with silver on his grille and headlight assembly, silver windows and extensive yellow painted details including danger stripes on his sunguard. Armorhide has six dark grey tyres and a lighter grey plastic visible in places, notably the hook on his black and yellow towing arm. This is a very different colour scheme to the original, although it's not really any better or worse.

   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 a 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 - most Cybertron moulds can't _stow_ the key somewhere other than the activation slot, so this is a nice bonus. 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 - and different to those on the original. 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.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9.5cm Width: 9cm

   A short, wide little fellow, Armorhide has black boots, head and torso with light grey upper arms and thighs. His forearms, feet and kneecaps are dark grey while the gun is black and much of his chestplate is painted silver. The gun sports a white S7 logo - the only allegiance symbol on this toy. His face is silver with yellow eyes and is quite well detailed if sloppily painted - something fairly common on this repaint from what I've heard.

   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 yellow 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). The repaint is slightly weaker than the original, due to paint problems.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of the Cybertron toy of the same name, as mentioned.

OVERALL

   A worthwhile basic, Armorhide's strongest aspect is the attention to detail in design. 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. The mould is great and this is a well thought out repaint but I'd recommend the original over this one, purely for the better execution on the paint job - 7.5/10

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