Cliffbee.com: Pulse Cannon Ironhide Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Ironhide
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: GMC Topkick Truck

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Pulse Cannon Ironhide for this review



TRUCK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 14cm Width: 7cm

   A grey four door pickup with metallic blue windows, Ironhide has black plastic wheels and black painted front bumper & grille. He's a somewhat random repaint of FAB Ironhide, with the usual switches in paint job. They've added silver paint to his wheels but stripped it from some more important areas (such as the smokestacks). The GMC badge on his grille is painted red and the grille itself features a lattice pattern while this taillights are red. The sculpt isn't all that detailed, which makes this grey toy look quite bland. Considering that this repaint has no real reason for existing, the bland look is a distinct liability here.

   The shape of this truck is pretty good compared to most FABs. He's pretty close to the realistic proportions of the full sized toy, although slightly more angular. The tray is covered and the tailgate is fixed, since the rear forms his legs (as on the larger toy). There's a charcoal block visible on the hood and some hinges on the back doors, but otherwise this is an impressive truck mode, one of the stronger alternate modes of the FABs. As is common with movie toys, there's no play value here aside from the rolling wheels, which is to be expected. I can't really fault Ironhide for this since the entire like more or less takes the same approach, but I'm happy to report that this is a solidly formed truck mode.

   Aside from the hinges on the sides and that block on the front I have no complaints, mouldwise, but some of the colour changes hurt a relatively strong mould. The loss of paint on the smokestacks is really annoying and the low detail of this mould just doesn't work with such a drab grey. The mould still looks okay, but it's hard to get excited about the truck mode this time around.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the rear, loosening the legs. Unclip the door panels and fold back against the rear fenders, stand him up. Flip up the front, which in theory causes the front fenders to pivot in, revealing the robot arms while the roof falls back to reveal his head. Flip up the chest panel and swing his arms down into position. Remove the missile from inside his left boot and plug the missile into the cannon underneath his left hand and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 13cm

   A cobalt blue, grey and black robot with some yellow and silver paint applications. His face is silver with mid blue eyes and a nice silver Autobot logo stamped on the forehand. While the addition of paint to the eyes this time around is a distinct plus, and I like the allegiance symbol, the bright orange missile ranks up there with the worst of the colour choices. Leaving the missile aside this repaint works very well, with enough blue and black to make that drab grey more interesting, and no stupidly bright paint apps to get in the way. I'd strongly recommend leaving the missile aside and enjoying the head's paint job.

   In simplifying his transformation the arms end up sticking out from behind the shoulderpads rather than underneath, which looks rather unnatural. Ironhide looks like he's at the rearmost part of a double breasted rowing stroke. The guns under the forearms are a nice feature of this character, but they're tucked away because of the angle the arms are on, which is disappointing. The shoulderpads are still a nice feature but his arms needed an extra transformation joint somewhere. The good news is that there's no collapsing panel on the chest of this toy - another improvement over the larger toy. Overall the look is slightly inferior thanks to the arms.

   The gimmick is very simple - the left cannon fires the missile. I guess if it doesn't hurt you it'll at least cause retinal damage with that orange - which is nowhere else on this toy (a feature shared with the original FAB Ironhide). The missile fires reasonably well, but the gimmick's effectiveness is hampered the angle of his arm - Ironhide can fire to the side or into the ground, but not straight ahead or upwards. His poseability is poor, which you'd expect based on the arms. The head wiggles slightly from side to side while the elbows have rotators, not that this does much. His waist is spring-loaded (the designer of the FABs is obsessed with this idea, I have no idea why), and if you twist it to the right and release, Ironhide will spring back to the left - not that he has a melee weapon or a sword to slash with. On Tiby's Pulse Cannon Ironhide, the waist is every so slightly off-centre at rest - a minor flaw I also noticed on his FAB Ironhide. His hips are ball jointed while the knees are hinged and the feet fixed. While the legs offer some posing, the awkward arms pretty much ruin any gun-totting poses, which is a real disappointment.

   While the truck mode is pretty good and there's not much dumbing down here, the arms are so simplified that they barely work. They don't pose, and are stuck in an awkward position which also conceals his cannons and renders the missile launcher fairly useless. The colour scheme is excellent once you discard the missile, but it's hampered by the poorly designed arms. If there was a reason for this repaint, I'd be happy enough with this robot mode as a display piece, but it's too random for me to be keen enough to overlook the poor arm design.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Ironhide has a decent truck mode with simple colours and a paint job that's not as good as the original. In contrast the robot mode colours are very well done - missile aside. While the mould is strong in vehicle mode, it's poor in robot mode. Considering that this is a repaint for the sake of a repaint, the flaws in both modes hold this one back too much for me to recommend based on the strengths - 3/10

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