Construct-Bots Transformers Ironhide Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Construct-Bots, Generation One, Scout

Construct-Bots

General Information:
Release Date: August 2013
Price Point: $14.99 (depending on retailer at time of initial release)
Retailer: General (Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us etc.)
Accessories: Wings/cannon halves x 2

Images:

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
Welcome to the incredible world of Transformers robots. It is a world of high technology, ancient history and a battle that has spanned the entire galaxy and millions of years. Optimus Prime, leader of the heroic Autobots, battles the tyrant Megatron and his evil Deceptions for the fate of freedom across the universe. There's a Transformers figure for every kid or collector. From big converting figures to miniature battling robots, you can team up with Transformers toys to create your own incredible adventures. Whether you're defending Earth with the Autobots, or conquering space with the Deceptions, the action is up to you. Transformers is a world-famous entertainment brand with 30 years of history, blockbuster movies, hit television shows and countless novels and comic books. With Transformers toys, you can create your own chapters in this epic, ongoing story. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Construct-Bots are a line of Transformers construction/action figure sets released in 2013. The intention is to bring a different type of Transformers play pattern than their KREO cousins. Instead of having to disassemble and reassemble the figure every time you want to transform it, Construct-Bots allow you to build a transformable figure focused around a central skeleton shared by all the Construct-Bots. One of the first of the "Scout" Class figures released in the line is Ironhide, based on the Generation One version of the character. The "Scout" Class are the most basic of the Construct-Bots sets, featuring approximately 40 pieces. Most of these pieces are standard across the Construct-Bots sets. What mainly differs set to set are the colors of the parts, the quantity and of course the head sculpt used to represent the character.

Construction:
Construct-Bots are essentially all the same. They utilize a basic skeleton that is molded in plastic with rubber coated ball joints. The rubber layer allows the joints to move and hold their position in a variety of poses. Not just your normal bending of elbows and so on, but doing things like handstands or kicks are also possible without too much fuss. The skeleton itself assembles in under ten minutes easily. After that, all the parts that attach are essentially armor. Some pieces are a bit more substantial, such as the upper arms, which wrap all around the upper arms of the skeleton. Other parts are smaller and more like armor plating such as the pieces that make up the top of the forearms. I'm hardly a master Lego builder or anything, but Ironhide came together in about twenty minutes for me, due in part to having a small number of pieces relative to the larger sets. I found this set straight forward but I confess I used the assembly instructions all the way through fearing that I might have to tear the whole thing down if I did something wrong and start over.

Robot Mode:
In this form, Ironhide stands at a little over 6.5 inches (16.51 cm), which appears to be the approximate size for most Construct-Bots. The focus of the classification system is how many parts the figure has. In Ironhide's case, he's rather basic. Each of his arms and legs have armor over the lower parts and sections that wrap around the upper parts. He has a single piece in the front which makes up his waist and chest and another part that forms his rear armor. Attached to both his arms and legs are wheels. The ones on his arms are attached to rods that allow them to swing up and out of the way of his hands. The hands have an interesting design, with two apparent "thumbs" on each hand, allowing you to use either hand on either arm and still have a thumb facing up. Ironhide is armed with a weapon that features a blaster barrel on top and what appears to be either a harpoon or a rocket underneath. His finishing touch is an Autobot symbol piece with a peg in the back, allowing you to attach it right on his chest.

So what makes this figure "Ironhide"? Mainly the torso armor and the head. The head sculpt has a rounded helmet section with a crest in the center and a face with a rather pleasant expression. These designs immediately evoke thoughts of G1 Ironhide's cartoon model. It differs a bit in that the sides of the head have vents on them rather than the raised circles seen on G1 Ironhide. The other detail that evokes G1 Ironhide is his chest, which has a vehicle mode window in the middle, much like his G1 counterpart.

Another element of the figure that helps identify it as Ironhide are the colors. The torso armor (front and back), forearm armor, lower leg armor and feet are all cast in red, one of Ironhide's signature colors. The rest of the figure is cast in silver and black plastic. The two colors alternate on the skeleton and most of his additional pieces including the fists, weapon, upper arm pieces etc. are all silver. The wheels are all cast in black with silver rims. Construct-Bots primarily rely on the plastic colors to provide visual appeal, but there are some paint applications. The head for instance is cast in grey, but painted red with silver and blue details. the chest panel and the back panel bith have blue "windows". Also, the raised portions of the Autobot symbol are painted red. This doesn't sound like a lot and really it's not. If you're looking for an expertly painted figure, look more towards the main "Transformers" lines. The focus here is on building a figure, and making parts interchangeable between sets. Nothing there really requires an intricate paint job. Indeed, for customizers, this set would be cool as it provides a lot of canvas to paint in details, adding to the "action figure model kit" aspect of the line.

There are twenty points of articulation on this figure, featuring a combination of hinge and ball joints. Each arm has four points while each leg has five. The head also sits on a ball joint. The range of motion on this figure is rather impressive. Thanks to his rather long feet and the rubber coating on the ball joints, you can get some pretty cool poses out of the figure. In addition to posing, this figure is made to allow parts from other sets to attach to it. This is generally accomplished in two ways: either via a 5mm peg attachment or a clip on one of the several pieces shaped like a rod. There are holes all over the figure to attach weapons with 5mm pegs. This includes the wrists, the sides of the upper arms, the forearms, the lower legs and hips. Want more attachment options? There are pegs on the inside of each forearm that can accomodate weapons. Thinking of adding parts like wings or something to the figure? You can do that too on the rods that lead to the shoulders. Still not enough for you? Well, the weapon itself has three holes on either side to attach even more weaponry! With this figure being a "Scout" and thus the most basic kind of Construct-Bot, having all these attachment points works very well since it is intended to be the "base" body.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the Autobot symbol and weapon and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the chest/waist panel forward.
  3. Push the robot head down into the chest cavity, then swing the panel back into place.
  4. Swing the back panel up, connecting it to the chest/waist panel.
  5. Swing each fist in, then up over the forearm.
  6. Pull the part of the skeleton that forms the lower body and waist connector down and forward.
  7. Rotate the central ball joint around.
  8. Above the central ball joint are two 5mm pegs. Attach them to the holes on the inside of each leg near the knees.
  9. Rotate the robot feet around and clip the two pieces together.
  10. Move each arm so the peg on the inside of the forearms connects to the hole on the sides of the ships.
  11. Swing the wheels on the arms to the back.
  12. Attach the Autobot symbol to the hole underneath the windshield.
  13. Attach the weapon to the top of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Unlike his G1 counterpart (and other incarnations), Ironhide isn't a truck or van in this vehicle form. Instead, he looks very much like some type of Cybertronian armored dune buggy. The front end has a big armor piece on it made up of the the two robot feet. The cabin seciton has windows on the front and back. There are windows sculpted on the sides as well, but they are unpainted. The vehicle then rests on four wide wheels which give the vehicle a distinct "off road" look. With the Autobot symbol mounted in front and weapon on top, Ironhide may not be some boxy vehicle, but he definitely looks tough! In a way, I imagine this to be Ironhide's Cybertronian form before coming to Earth or perhaps a form he adopts on some other world with rough terrain.

The vehicle mode consolidates a lot of the red pieces, making the front, middle and parts of the back mostly red. The black and silver colors distribute over the rest of the vehicle. Having the silver weapon on top helps break up the red a bit. The blue windows are featured nicely here, but I do find myself wishing the side windows had been painted. I do like having the Autobot symbol in front however. Even though it's painted red, it's cast in white, helping it contrast against the red plastic. The colors not only work well together, but they are also iconic Ironhide colors.

This mode has less connection points than the robot mode (naturally), but you can still arm Ironhide to the teeth. His wrists face up here, allowing you to attach weapons near his rear wheels. The upper arms wind up on either side of the cabin section, allowing you to attach weaponry there as well.

Final Thoughts:
Construct-Bots have to largely be evaluated as their "own animal" and not necesarily compared to figures like those in the Generations line. As a construction set, this is fun, doesn't take very long but you get tons of options on what to do with this base figure if you own other Construct-Bots sets. The ability to also have Ironhide utilize figures from the main lines (with 5mm pegs) is brilliant, and it's also awesome that figures from those other lines can in turn use the Construct-Bots weaponry. The character is also instantly recognizable as Ironhide in robot mode which is a huge plus. Recommended for construction kit fans!