Cliffbee.com: TFU Spychanger Ironhide Toy Review

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Name: Ironhide (but it's ridiculously obvious it was meant to be called Trailbreaker)
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Pickup Truck

(Note: This is the fifth time a toy of this mould has been sold as Ironhide. For the sake of comparison, and to keep faith with the designer's intention, I shall refer to this toy as Trailbreaker)



CAR MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 7.5cm Width: 3cm

   A black pickup truck, with matte charcoal windows and a silver headlight-grille assembly, as well as a silver painted tray, Trailbreaker has the white pinstripes and red, orange and yellow elements that the original Trailbreaker had. Additionally he has the word "4WD" stamped on the sides in white. There are mysterious red rectangles on his hood, as well as a not so mysterious Autobot symbol, which looks pretty cool against the black background. This looks better than RiD Ironhide, either of the two clear repaints, or Gobot Ironhide, and is arguably better than Motormouth, although that'll probably come down to colour preference.

   There's a couple of things worth bringing up about this new colour scheme - the first is the odd choice of paint for the windows. In a way I prefer the matte charcoal to the shiny silvers they've been using a lot for Spychangers, because it makes for sense to have tinted windows than metallic reflective ones. Also, it's cool that they went to the trouble of doing a matte rather than just leaving the windows unpainted. The other interesting aspect is the use of the character Trailbreaker himself - which I really like, since he's one of the few pre-movie carton characters that's never been revisited by the toyline, and now he's a sports ute which is something of an upgrade.

   It's a fairly good truck mode for it's size, and this is a sweet colour scheme, not just due to choice of character, but how they implemented it. He can actually stow his gun in his tray, although I wouldn't recommend it since it's likely to scratch the silver paint, and the white gun just wont look right anyway.

   Yes, it's a tired mould by now, but this is probably the best use since it was first used in 1995. The free rolling wheels are a nice feature, and for this size it's pretty good. The main thing separating Trailbreaker from the other ute Spychangers & Gobots is colour, so it's a good mould.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pretty simple. Pull down the rear to form the legs, fold down the hood to form the chest, pull out the arms. Give him is white handgun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7cm Width: 4cm

   Again largely black, but unfortunately the shoulder-head-thigh piece is bright yellow and the shoulderblade piece (part of the hinge) is pearly white like the gun - these are a straight transplant from RiD Ironhide. It would have been much nicer had they used blacks or reds, or even a silver. The face is yellow but the eyes are painted red. While it's certainly not a horrible colour scheme, it's only average and doesn't look nearly as much like Trailbreaker.

   The chest, which is the front of the truck, sticks out quite noticeably, and can get in the way of him standing up, but he's far more stable than Motormouth was when the mould was first used. The Autobot logo is now on his chest, and those two mysterious red rectangles are now brought to the fore. They're mimicking the red hinge pieces visible on the chest of G1 Trailbreaker, which might seem odd, but I really like that the designer put in such a subtle detail to help the robot mode resemblance.

   This robot mode is about average for a SpyChanger, and while the colours are better than a lot of SpyChangers, it's not a fantastic robot mode colour scheme - the white plastics could have been red.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, this mould's being over used, with seven Anglophone uses and a further two Japanese ones (Ox and the clear Ox). No variations on this release though, as far as I know.

OVERALL

   A nice homage to G1 Trailbreaker, sullied slightly by the lazy Hasbro marketing choice of calling the mould Ironhide _again_. This mould is way overused, but that doesn't stop the vehicle mode from looking really good. The robot mode isn't as nice - the hinge mimicry is nice but the white plastic was a mistake. The mould, with it's huge protruding chest, isn't the best of the line, and whether or not you want another version is your call. He's sold with a SpyChanger Ultra Magnus repaint which also pretty good (I don't have it to review - I got Trailbreaker off a friend who only got the pack for Magnus), for less than the price of the original SpyChanger Magnus, it's a good pack, and I give Trailbreaker 6.5/10 on his own

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