Robot Mode: G1 Ironhide
Series: Universe 2.0 Ironhide was built at a time when armour was thick and circuitry was simple. He is the oldest of the Autobots, tested in thousands of battles, over countless centuries. He has been injured many times, but never deactivated. For every scratch and scar that he bears he has a tale to tell, and most of the younger Autobots are all too eager to hear them. Gruff, and sometimes grumpy, he is also naturally protective of the other Autobots. He is tough, rough, and nearly impossible to damage.
is one of the most beloved Transformers characters, but he never got a decent robot mode to go with it. So when an Ironhide figure was announced for the Universe line, I was ecstatic. Sadly, the reality didn't live up to my hopes. Because Ironhide's robot mode is, at best, so-so. But let's look at the details.
Ironhide has decent posability and little restrictions in regards to movement, no problems here. But that's pretty much where the good news stop. The detailing, while more or less decent, is not up the standard of the Universe line and several things really bother me. For one: Why are all the screws in the arms and shoulders at the front? Why does he have a blue face? Why does the head not fully extend from the torso, making him look down all the time? These are just a few things that really drag this figure down for me.
Also, Ironhide is a jumble of loose parts once you stop looking at him from the front. His legs are somewhat reminiscent of Movie Swindle
in that they are almost hollow, connected just by small hinges. They're solid, but they don't look it. Ironhide's weapon also reminds me of the Movie line, that of Movie Bumblebee
, to be exact. The gun mode is okay, but why a sword? Finally, there is his colours. Okay, Ironhide is supposed to be red, no question. But I think a darker red would have suited him better. Besides, this is the exact shade of red that photographs worst (hence the somewhat lacking quality of the pics above). Red doesn't photograph well at the best of times, but this shade here really hurts my camera.
So the bottom line here is: This robot mode here actually makes me pause and consider whether or not G1 Ironhide might be the better robot.
This mode is where Ironhide shows his primary weakness: He's just a puzzle of parts. Looking at the side of the car mode, all you see is pieces. Looking at the car from the front makes it look more or less okay, but from just about any other angle it is barely tolerable. I wrote above that some of the robot mode designs reminded me of Movie Swindle, but Swindle managed a much more wholesome and solid vehicle mode. So I won't mince words here: Definitely the worst vehicle mode I've seen in Classics/Universe so far.
I don't think I've ever owned a Transformers figures where there was this big a diffence between what I hoped for and what I actually got. The bottom line here is, Ironhide is bad. Oh, he's certainly not the worst Transformers figure ever made, far from it. But compared to the high standard of the other Classics/Universe figures and compared to my hopes for finally getting a decent Ironhide toy, he disappoints severely. His robot mode is so-so, his vehicle mode is just plain bad, and he offers little to redeem any of that. And I doubt the Henkei version will be much better, because a non-blue face and a different paint job won't fix the problems of this mold.
So all I can really say is this: If you're a hardcore Ironhide fan or a Classics/Universe completist, then you might want to get this figure. If not, leave it be. As for me, I was planning to get the inevitable Ratchet repaint as well, but after having seen this figure here, I won't bother. Maybe I'll get another two Energon Towlines
instead and do my own repaints.