Cliffbee.com: Protect Ironhide Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Ironhide
Series: e-Hobby Exclusives
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Security
Alternate Mode: Van



VAN MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 9.5cm Width: 4cm

   A black "repaint" of the G1 Ironhide, this is essentially a reissue of the black Diaclone van on which Ironhide was based. This version of Ironhide is a black van with yellow pinstriping on either side. 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. The overall effect is pretty similar to that of the red Ironhide.

   Like the exclusive Green Ratchet this toy represents the same character as the standard toy. It's something of a shame since most of the Diaclone "reissues" released by e-Hobby have been new characters. The paint mask is very similar to that of the red toy - it's just a swap of red for black here.

   It's a pretty nice van mode. The wheels roll freely, although he lacks axles. The rear window is black plastic and there's a gap in the middle of the rear bumper, but otherwise it's a realistic van. There are moulded doorhandles, including one for the sliding side door. The front section, the windshield and headlight area, is die cast metal. Sadly, some mould degradation is present - the top and bottom halves don't quite line up properly. He'll stay together just fine but the seams are a little out of kilter.

   The mould is quite dated now, but it continues the Diaclone reissues. I would have preferred this to be sold as a new character or Movie Ironhide, rather than just G1 Ironhide.

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 Ironhide himself so that he mans the missile launcher, there's notches on the base of the launcher tower to hold his feet in place.

ROBOT MODE
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. The black face matches this black robot mode better than on the original Ironhide. There's actually quite a bit of red here, mind you - not all of the red has been switched for black. His ankles, fists and various connections remain red.

   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. The mould degradation doesn't really come into play here, thankfully. He's very slightly pigeon toed, and while this makes it a little trickier to plug Ironhide into his base it also means he attaches better.



   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 mix of black and red makes this version slightly more interesting, and the black face matches better, but these can't remove the mould's limitations.

   The robot mode I'm fairly neutral on. The windshield on his chest is a good idea but the lack of a head hurts. The red and black makes things more interesting than on the original, but of course this robot mode diverges from Ironhide as seen in the cartoon.

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.

VARIATIONS

   This is is essentially a reissue of the Diaclone on which Ironhide was based, released exclusively through the Japanese company, e-Hobby.

OVERALL

   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. This reissue of the Diaclone colours works quite well - the red and black is more interesting than the all red of the standard version - but of course that toy matches the cartoon/comics. Despite the mould's limitations, this repaint is recommended if you like the Diaclone style cars in general (and if you have the means) - 4.5/10

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