Transformers Generation 2 1995 Toy Reviews: Ironhide

in 1995, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation 2, Generation One, Powermaster (G2)

Transformers Generation 2

General Information:
Retailer: European Exclusive
Price: Approximately $8-10 in US funds
Accessories: Guns x 2

Images:

*Tech Specs courtesy of the Hartman brothers at: http://www.tsarchive.net

Towards the very end of the Transformers Generation 2 era, a small subgroup of Transformers appeared in Europe (and according to some reports, saw limited release in the US) called Powermasters. Now, you may be thinking "Wait a sec, Powermasters were in G1!" and you'd be right. Originally Powermasters were Transformers whose engines became smaller figures. In this context however it was a subgroup of Transformers whose gimmick was a variation on the old Throttlebot "pull back and go" feature.

Vehicle Mode:
Perhaps one of the most appropriate "upgrades" of a G1 character's form ever is Powermaster Ironhide. Instead of a van, the veteran warrior is now a humvee, a definite upgrade in the right direction. Most of the standard humvee features are there including angled back windows, the winch in front and wide front windshield. However, unlike most real life humvees, Ironhide is a two door vehicle rather than a four door (probably a good way to avoid licensing issues).

Ironhide is mostly gray with neon green windows (there's that G2 aesthetic creeping in). On either side are dark green "camoflage" splotches towards the rear. On the top of the vehicle is the standard "Optimus Prime head/Autobot" stamp used on so many toys of the era. On the hood is a sticker with a black and green camo pattern and the words "Ironhide PM2". "PM2" indicates Ironhide is the second of the four G2 Powermasters, and "Ironhide" just continues the G2 convention of Transformers announcing who they are to everyone.

So what's the gimmick? Well, there are two holes on the top of the vehicle that allow you to attach Ironhide's guns to the vehicle mode. Take out the left side weapon and pull the vehicle back. You'll hear the rear wheels click as they lock into place. Now push the left weapon back into its hole and the weapon will go moving forward on its own. It's a cute gimmick and an interesting variant on one that the line has used about three times before.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the guns.
  2. Swing the front of the vehicle back.
  3. Flip the robot head up from the front of the vehicle.
  4. Raise the arms and put the guns into the fists.

Robot Mode:
The comparison of Ironhide to a Throttlebot is rather appropriate outside of the gimmick. His transformation is about one level above a Throttlebot, and I've always gotten the feeling that the Hasbro designers were either told to make these Powermasters on a super-limited budget, or the design was made by the junior design staff.

The primary problem with this design is that the gimmick has to be stashed in the lower legs/feet of the robot mode, so they wind up just being a big chunk of the vehicle in robot mode. The upper body is nicely designed with plenty of detail on the upper body, but since it is mostly black, it's hard to see any of them. Some extra paint apps here (or even just an Autobot symbol sticker on the chest) would have been nice. Oddly, the robot face looks unfinished. He has eyes and a nose and then a the lower part of the face is just blank. No lines or breaks indicating a mouthplate, just a plain, no mouth lower face. Odd.

Thankfully, the designers did make the arms able to move up and down, giving Ironhide some semblence of play value in this form. Unfortunately, the gun designs are rather weak, with little to no detail.

You can use the vehicle mode gimmick in this form as well since the entire lower legs/feet section contains the gimmick.

Final Thoughts:When I originally bought this toy shortly after its initial release, I remember being thrilled to have a "new" Ironhide. At that time, the G2 Laser Rods and Cyberjets were probably the epitome of Transformers that were posable and still had a gimmick, so my sensabilities were still tuned into a more "unposable with ok gimmicks" wavelength. In that respect, this toy was satisfactory, but in retrospect, with designs like the Cyberjets out there, and Throttlebots having preceeded this toy by about five years, you'd think the designers could have done much better.