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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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zeoman4.5's review: Ironhide VS Desert Blackout

Ironhide Vs Desert Blackout
Subgroup: Allspark Power Movie Legends Class

When two of the biggest bruisers ever constructed on Cybertron clash, the result is a quaking, roaring fireworks display powerful enough to level mountains. Ironhide is the Autobot weapons master, with millions of years of combat experience and a tactical database including the greatest battles ever fought. Blackout is one of the largest Decepticons ever, with an array of weapons designed just for cracking the armored hides of his Autobot enemies.

Ahh Legends Transformers, truly the poor man's friend. During the heat of the movie these tiny titans where greatly over priced, and under sold. Now, Hasbro has cut us some slack and is selling them at a low price and two to a box. What's not to like? Nothing, that's what.

I'm unsure whether these battle packs are depicting the actual battle for the Allspark or if it is supposed to be some kind of aftermath battle. I have no clue. The bios are a little vague – plainly speaking they only cover the immediate mentality of the included characters. Which, I guess, is good because the idea of having a post movie version of Blackout, or any other fallen bots can be very confusing for children. They are the main demographic for these toys, afterall. Now that I have effectively bored you, on to the review.

Name: Ironhide
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Weapons Specialist

Robot Mode:

Ironhide will go first. Let me start by saying this is a very nice little figure. He stays true to the movie character – something which the larger figure didn't do quite as well. He has almost identical proportions to the movie model, unlike the voyager class figure which seemed too thin and jumbled up. He is rather stout, with a sort of "Bring it!" posture to him. The upper body consists mainly of the front end of the truck, with the side panels and doors as arms. He has one large central piece for the chest and torso, and the bed of the truck becomes his legs.

As far as his sculpt is concerned, he is molded quite nicely. His body piece is near identical to his larger counterpart's. The thing that sold me on him was his face. With a shape similar to a bull, and with a look in his eyes that would give any Decepticon the surges, he looks as though he is prepared for anything. He is armed with a pair of arm-mounted cannons, another reason for my getting him. They’re rather vaguely designed, but it is done so to help them blend in when he's in vehicle form. He has one silver Autobot symbol on his right arm, behind the cannon.

Articulation-wise, he's alright, but not the most articulated figure of his line. He has ball-and-socket joints in his elbows and hips. His shoulders can move but only vertically sideways. He really doesn't need any more joints, but it would be nice if he was a little more poseable.

Overall a nice little robot mode.


Alternate Mode:

After a very simple transformation – basically straightening out his arms, folding them up while folding his head back, finally connecting his legs and pushing the parts together – you have a mini GM Topkick. There are a few problems with this mode, however.

The colors are all correct, and it definitely looks like a truck, but nowhere near as good as the larger figure. The main reason is that there isn't enough space to place all of his parts and have it exactly right. The cab is a little too long and isn’t wide enough. The bed is super small and mostly filled with the arm cannons – yes they’re in the back, not underneath like the larger toy. The robot hands are sticking out of the back of the cab where the rear view window should be. Even the railings on the sides are incomplete. These things take away form the realism of the toy, but not the play value. It is still a fun little truck and if you can over look the minor details, it is a good display piece.


Name: Desert Blackout
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Desert Warrior

Lets move on to Blackout. I'd like to address two things before I get to the toy itself.

One is that in his bio, and every bio for Movie Blackout figures, they always mention that he is one of the largest Decepticons. In the movie he was the biggest, next to Megatron, but as far as the toys are concerned he is the shortest Voyager Class figure and one of the smallest Legends toys I own. Not funny Hasbro, so not funny.

The second is his desert colors – what's up with them? Converting his dull grey/blue exterior to a sand brown color, with purple detail bits, gives him a new look, not a better one, not bad either, just new. I just don't see the point, its not like he was gonna do any fighting with the Autobots in the desert any way, unless it was cut from the film. Even still, they would do little good even with camo, he's still a 30’+ robot/helicopter with plasma cannons.

Enough Ranting…


Robot Mode:

Well, I guess I already went over the colors…

He is sculpted very nicely, and his colors bring out the small details in his armor well. His face looks a little less like a bad burn and more like a face, due to his new silver, brown and black medley. His dark red eyes and scowling face invoke ear in all who see it.

He is lacking in weapons compared to Ironhide, although he has one small gun mounted on the underside of his right arm, and a pair of stationary guns on his back (but they point at the sky in this mode).

Unlike his larger counterpart his rotor doesn't come off, but it can fold over itself. It is made of two separate half rotors, one over the other, which can be folded to make him a little more manageable.

He has excellent articulation in his shoulders, hips and knees. For best balance, bend his knees and lean forward. A nice robot form, good play value, displays well – I like it.


Alternate Mode:

Blackout's transformation is no worse than Ironhide's but to explain it out would take a while and I really don't like to explain how to change TFs in my reviews.

His alternate mode is a Pave Low helicopter. I'd have to say I kind of prefer the brown color to his standard blue in this mode. The details in this mode, like Ironhide's, are less than accurate. It is much more rounded than the larger figure. Once more it doesn't detract from his play value, just display, and not so much from that factor either. His weapons are a little more useful in this mode as his cannons are directed forward now. Not much else to say about his vehicle, I'm not so fond of helicopters, as I am jets, but he is nice. I'd even say grand.


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 3.5 – Easy, but you have to get used to sticky parts.
Durability: 7 – Not indestructible but strong enough for normal use and falls.
Fun: 10 – These are really fun little bots, and make great display pieces as well.
Price: 9 – That’s what I liked most – they're cheaper than a Real Gear bot, at about $6.88 a set. A great buy!
Overall: 7.5 – A very nice little set. If you are a collector of small TFs, like me, or quite poor (also like me), then they would be a great addition to your collection.
 
 
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