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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Blackjack's review: Ironhide

Name: Ironhide
Function: Security Officer; senior veteran
Series: Classics Universe Deluxe
Alternate Mode: Van

"High-tech circuity is no replacement for guts."--Ironhide's motto
"Leakin' lubricants!"--Ironhide, MTMTE part 1
"When are we going to start busting Deceptichops?"--Ironhide, Transformers the Movie.

When asked who their favourite Autobot apart from Optimus Prime, fans would say Bumblebee! Prowl! Ratchet! and most definitely Ironhide!

Ever since Generation One, Ironhide has been one of the most interesting Autobots. Transforming into a Nissan Cherry Vanette (or Minivan as we now call it), Ironhide is the Autobots' battle hardened, (slightly) trigger happy and tough warrior.

Needless to say, Ironhide is one of my favourite characters. However, his Generation One toy is less than show-accurate, with the battle platform and a headless robot mode. Now I don't hate it just because of it's difference, but I want a show-accurate Ironhide.

And then came my favourite line--the Classics line. It rather surprised me that guys like Mirage and Astrotrain got the first Classics treatment while Ironhide and Prowl got shoved into the 2008 Universe-Classics line.

The name Ironhide has appeared several times, for more-or-less the same character. G1 Ironhide is a vanette, as mentioned above. In Beast Wars, one of the Maximals that form the combiner Magnaboss. Supposedly the same character with G1 Ironhide, he transforms into an elephant. In Energon there is an annoying arsehole known as Ironhide, or Roadbuster in Japan. Either way, he's the worst rookie-character, and does not deserve the name Ironhide. Next is the Movie version (more or less the same character with G1) and Animated. In Animated, however, the show makers tried to be cheeky and made Ratchet (Ironhide's medic mold-brother) old and Ironhide young. What the hell?

Anyway, the old grizzled warrior appeared in all media relating to G1--Sunbow, Marvel, Beast Wars, Dreamwave, DDP, IDW, Universe...

Anyway, as I was on a shopping spree, buying Galvatron, Acid Storm, Prowl and others, I stumbled on Ironhide and bought the red guy without hesitation. After all, Movie Offroad Ironhide leaves something to be desired. It would've been better if Offroad were red... Ah well. On to da review!

Ironhide is a van. Not the Cherry Vanette he once was, but a modern-ized version of the van. It quite resembles his IDW Dodge Magnum design but has a more... how to put it... sleeker form. And Ironhide has a ramming bar. Hell yeah.

Solid red colouring with gray and black to round it up. I love this alternate mode. The plate number at the back reads "OREGON", the site where many Earthbound Transformer slug-fests takes place.

The windows are coloured a shocking shade of what we call "Allspark blue" now. That's not good--Ironhide, a old grizzled war dog wearing neon? Crap. It is worsened that the clear blue plastic is not the same with the baby Allspark blue of the painted windows. The creases where the different pieces of the plastic meet are lard as well, making the windows look unauthentic. And the final point-the wheels are unpainted, unlike what the stock photos suggest.

In G1 Sunbow Animated continuity, Ironhide is a major player in Season 1 and 2, sharing the role of second-in-command with Prowl and Jazz. The big red (Prime's pet name for him in IDW) was killed alongside Ratchet, Brawn and Prowl in the opening moments of Transformers the Movie. This is one of the worst decisions Hasbro would make. Hey, kill off Sideswipe or Bluestreak or Skids or Grapple or even the entire Aerialbot team! Why Prowl, Ratchet, Brawn and Ironhide? This ain't fair. And they had the cheek to place a rather uninteresting Kup in place of Ironhide. (I love Kup in the comics though.)

In the comic though, Ironhide is a more durable guy. Scriptwriters seem to know who we like (hooray for Simon Furman) and Ironhide continued to appear across the Marvel series, even if only as crowd filler. Not sure how he got deactivated, but he was not seen after the Underbase battle against a super-powered Starscream. Although he wasn't shown to be present, his body was revived unintentionally alongside Sunstreaker, Wheeljack, Silverbolt and Prowl in the UK comics by Galvatron II. Anyway, Furman used Ironhide a lot in Earthforce comics.

Back to the toy. Like all car toys, Ironhide can't do much in van mode other than roll around. His box-weapon thing can be stored under him, but like Prowl it falls off easily in storage.

I have a love-hate relationship with Ironhide's robot mode. For one his robot mode's arms, chest and legs are excellent embodiments of an updated version the Generation 1 character we all love.

The back of the van, with "OREGON" and all form the chest. The legs are unique... hard to describe, but it works for me.

The weapon is the weak point of the toy. It is basically a gray box that attaches to Ironhide's wrist if you fold his hand backwards. Depending which side, a tiny machine gun representing his liquid nitrogen gun or a blue blade point will slide out. Pathetically too small compared to his Movie counterpart.

And he has no peg holes in his hands, so importing weaponry from other toys is impossible. Damn, Ironhide would've looked so good with Dropshot or Blaster's weaponry.

The main detracting feature would be the face I guess. Although stock photos suggest silver, it's Allspark blue yet again. The helmet is nice and G1-esque, but the face is too blue, until it meshes with the equally-blue eyes. The rather tall torso portion, although not so much as the Prowl/Silverstreak mold. Unlike Classics Rodimus, Ironhide is quite flexible and poseable. Now if he came with actual guns...

The Ironhide character has influenced various others, including G1 Kup (his grumpy replacement), Beast Wars Rhinox (although he's more gentle and slow), Cybertron Landmine and Animated Ratchet.

So, yeah. If you'd rather not wait for the Animated Ratchet retool that would come soon, knowing Hasbro, buy this guy. Like Sunstreaker and Prowl, the IDW-based design works swell with me. Or maybe you'd wait for Henkei Ironhide or Classics Ratchet for a (hopefully) better face job.

DURABILITY 8/10 joints can get loose. Tempted to give 7, but having it nearly break my toenails when I dropped it, I'll be nice.
TRANSFORMATION 5/10 like Prowl and Tankor and Galvatron, hard the first time.
FUN 10/10 Megatron: "Such heroic nonsense."
PRICE 8/10 deducted a fraction for ugly weapon and face.
OVERALL 6/10 for the older version (which I reviewed here) and 8/10 for the revised edition. Yep Ironhide fans, there's a Universe revised edition, with silver face, recently released due to evil fans (like me) complaining to Hasbro. So yeah, get it.
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