Cliffbee.com: CyberSlammer 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 Ironhide for this review



CAR MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 7cm

   A black pickup with dark metallic blue windows, silver running boards, exhausts and headlights. Ironhide has orange front indicators, a red "GMC" badge on his grille, red taillights and a very subtle dark grey Autobot logo on the tailgate. The running lights on his roof are a deep blue and there's a dull brown wash of paint on the sides, representing dirt. This is a good colour scheme with impressive painted detail - to the point where it's on par with the full sized Ironhide. He's very dark but there's a lot of fine detail making sure that he's not bland. I'm quite happy with the shape - Ironhide isn't as obviously deformed as many of the CyberSlammers are, so he's one of the more realistic Slammers.

   The play value really relates to the gimmick, which is accessible in robot mode. He rolls very well and there are rubber belts on the rear tyres to assist the gimmick. He has a rear axle so he rolls quite straight, which is nice. There's a switch underneath but it doesn't do anything in this mode, except to transform it.

   While there's some simplification in the sculpt, this is a pretty impressive truck mode considering the age group it's aimed at. The paint job is great, the shape is good and he even gains paint on the exhausts, something the proper Ironhide lacked. It's not at the same level as that toy, but this vehicle mode is better, dollar for dollar.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Slide the white switch underneath back and the cabin pops up, revealing the robot. The front slides back slightly.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11.5cm Width: 7cm

   A black robot with some dark cobalt blue on his arms and lower torso, Ironhide's face is also dark cobalt blue with some odd light blur smatterings on his eyes. There's a red Autobot logo stamped on his chest. As with all CyberSlammers, there are no legs or feet - the front of the truck is a single foot of sorts while the torso just stems out of the back of the truck. There are false hood shoulder panels on his torso, complete with silver headlights. The black on the torso is actually painted, and this paint is glossy, much moreso than the black plastic. Combined with the use of blue, this made Ironhide lighter than he could have been, which I appreciate. I'm still not a fan of this robot mode, but the designer has tried to make sure he's not as black as Barricade, and it makes a difference.

   Of course, it's a very limited robot mode. There are no legs, which means that the front of the vehicle doesn't really look like feet. I've seen some fans compare the CyberSlammers to the Throttlebots - but they latter have legs, and while they're short, they ensure that the Throttlebot robot forms are robots - despite the bad proportions. The shape here is far from humanoid, the head and fists are only instantly recognisable body parts at a glance. The arms are simply hidden under the doors, and unlike the G1 equivalents (Throttlebots, Battlechargers), they don't lift out to the sides at all. There's not much of a gap and while they lift up, springs ensure they spring back down, so we can't even use the arms to help with a humanoid shape. The elbows are sculpted bent anyway, so with the arms down he's pointing his fist forward.

   The gimmick doesn't really justify the poor robot shape. The idea is that you push down the robot onto the base and it'll roll forward. In the case of Tiby's Ironhide at least, this doesn't work. Instead he'll roll an inch or two then stop. The metre or so the others roll is still not impressive, mind you. The gimmick is dumbed right down for a young audience (we're talking 3 year olds), but I still don't see why such a poor gimmick was implemented when a better gimmick such as a pullback motor would have worked better, and allowed a better robot mode.

   On the whole this is a limited robot mode. The gimmick isn't impressive - I can see kids becoming bored with it awfully quickly, even when it does work. Judging by the slow movement of CyberSlammers in stores around here, I don't think they've been that successful. On the upside, the designer has done a great job of making this black robot without it being too dark.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Ironhide, in all his blackness, was never a good candidate for a simple idea like this - but the designer has done a great job ensuring this toy isn't too dark. Yes, he's dark, but the detail of both modes is surprisingly well defined. I'm also happy with the vehicle shape - it's far less cutesy than the other Slammer vehicle modes. While the idea and the gimmick still sucks, this is the one I'd recommend as an example for adult collectors (if you're looking for one). The effort in the paint job and the vehicle mode stand out for me, and while any more than one is kinda pointless with such a limited premise, this is the one I'm most impressed with to date - 5/10

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