"Generations" Combiner Wars Ironhide Toy Review
Release Date: August 2015
Price Point: $14.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapon, Axe
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
The most dependable Autobot warrior would sacrifice his own spark to defend the cause of freedom. With the Combiner Wars raging, it doesn't take much to convince Ironhide to enter the battle as part of Optimus Maximus. Combine and convert for awesome Transformers action! This Ironhide figure brings his battle axe to the fight when he’s in robot mode, and he converts fast to combat truck mode when the ground game is on. But he can also become an arm or a leg when the battle calls for you to build a truly hardcore Optimus Maximus warrior! (Other figures sold separately.) Whatever mode your Ironhide figure is in, he’s going to bring maximum carnage to the fight! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The theme for the "Generations" segment of the "Transformers" toy line in 2015 is "Combiner Wars". The focus will be on updated versions of Combiners from the past (with some new elements thrown in for good measure). The idea is to take lessons learned from the Bruticus released a couple years ago and create better Combiners featuring a Voyager Class central body piece with Deluxe sized limbs. To spice things up a bit, some of the Legends Class figures released for "Combiner Wars" will be able to serve as weaponry for the combined giants.
The late summer of 2015 brought about a new wave of figures that fans had been speculating on for months. When a picture of Optimus Maximus' artwork leaked with a limb that looked like a yellow version of Sunstreaker, fans suspected the Stunticon molds would be given new decos and retooling as Generation One Autobot characters. At Botcon 2015 this theory was confirmed as Hasbro announced two waves of redecos and retools of the Stunticon molds representing Autobots from the 1984-85 period of G1.
Ironhide was part of the first wave of these Autobots. It's cool to see Ironhide receive the Deluxe treatment again. Ironhide received the "Generations" style treatment way back in Universe 2.0 with a Deluxe figure. In more recent time Ironhide was released as part of the "Arms Micron" toy line (outside of Japan this sculpt was released as Sargeant Kup). This figure is a retool and redeco of Offroad, so check out that review for a detailed look at the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
The packaging for this wave of the Deluxe "Combiner Wars" figures is significantly different then the first wave. The first wave was a typical bubble on card, with the character art printed onto the card and a separate trading card featuring art from the "Transformers: Legends" mobile app. The back of the cards contained a ton of multi-lingual information with photos of the figure and a diagram of a Combiner made up of four Aerialbots and Dragstrip.
Starting with wave two of "Combiner Wars", the packaging changed significantly. Now a comic book was packaged with the figure, so the card became longer and the bubble on the card wrapped around the edges of the card to offer stability and security. The comic book features an exclusive cover featuring Ironhide's artwork. The figure is in robot mode inside the packaging, making for a dramatic presentation. The back of the card has a brief bio of the character along with the requisite safety information in multiple languages. Interestingly Ironhide's artwork shows him with a very "young" looking face with smooth cheeks. Since Ironhide is known to be an older character this seems odd until you look at the figure and see that his face sculpt does have a slight "age line" at the cheeks.
One of the most interesting points of this new packaging style is the back of the comic book. It features a full page bio of Ironhide written from the perspective of the the Autobot psychiatrist, Rung. It really helps give more color to the character's personality and sticks with many G1 elements which is very much appreciated by this old fan. Overall the packaging for "Combiner Wars" wave two and beyond really stepped things up compared to wave one.
Ironhide comes with the same accessories as Offroad. This includes a hand/foot/weapon with a design that evokes a high powered car engine. This also includes his axe weapon, which also has designson it that remind me of a car engine. Both pieces are cast in silver plastic. Silver paint is used on the hand/foot/weapon while the axe is left unpainted.
Offroad's head sculpt was very distinct, so using it for Ironhide would have been a non starter in my book. Fortunately the designers agreed and gave this figure a whole new head. This design is based on Ironhide's many appearances over the years starting in Generation One all the way to the current IDW Publishing title. The design is pretty simple, featuring a rounded helmet section with circles on the side of the head and a high central crest. His face is generally set in a stoic or serious look. This new head sculpt includes all those features and it looks great. As mentioned above, there is an "age line" on the cheeks giving him a grizzled appearance and the size of the head works perfectly on this body.
The body of this figure is the same as Offroad's, but its colors are very different. The main plastic colors on this figure are metallic red, gunmetal and black. The red is distributed throughout the figure from the lower legs to the torso to the arms. Black is found on the center of the torso, the wheels and some smaller joints like the elbows. The red color in particular is a beautifully rich one. The metallic shine is beautiful. The same can be said for the gunmetal parts. Then the black offers a bold contrast to the other colors.
The deco pattern on this figure is similar in pattern to Offroad. The face is painted silver and the eyes are blue. The panels on his chest are painted metallic blue - a call back to G1 Ironhide who had a windshield on his chest in robot mode. Gunmetal grey is used to paint the sides of the torso in the middle section as well as the "springs" on his legs. An Autobot symbol is in the middle of the hip area (unlike Offroad whose symbol was on his chest). The deco is very simple, but it looks good. Ironhide isn't exactly supposed to be choc full of deco anyhow. This basic deco works for the characters.
All the joints on my copy of this figure have the same tightness as my Offroad figure. The hips are a tad loose for my taste, but they're not flopping around or anything. A touch of clear nail polish will take care of this. Ironhide has two 5mm ports in each forearm to connect weapons. These are found in the fist and the sides of the forearms. His weapons attach to all these points nice and tight, so no worries about mold degradation here.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the front of the lower legs down.
- Swing the back panels of the lower legs forward.
- Swing the robot arms down. I find the best way to do this is put your finger under the black shoulder connection piece to brace it as you push down to prevent stress on the shoulder ball joint.
- Swing the front panels of the lower legs up.
- Swing the front of the truck and the windshield piece down.
- The weapons can attach to the holes on the sides of the truck towards the back.
While G1 Ironhide transformed into a van, fans in general have not been particularly picky about what he transforms into so long as it is a tough looking vehicle of some sort. In "Generation 2" Ironhide became both a pickup truck and even a Humvee style vehicle. As a pickup truck in "Combiner Wars" Ironhide is continuing a tradition that started a long time ago.
This truck mode features no sculpt changes from Offroad. However the colors are dramatically different and really solidify this as Ironhide. Most of the vehicle is metallic red plastic and the wheels are black plastic. The windows are painted metallic blue (like the robot chest) and several sections are painted gunmetal grey (including the front end, the rims on the wheels and the back bumper). In a cool call back to G1 Ironhide, there is a yellow stripe running along the side of the truck from the doors all the way to the back.
The finishing touch is a silver outline of the Autobot symbol found on the hood. Like the robot mode, this deco is simple yet effective. The deco is instantly recognizable as Ironhide's and the colors used are nice and rich. Also, I'll give extra kudos to making sure the rims on the wheels are painted since this detail is often neglected nowadays.
The accessories included with the figure still attach without any issues. this includes attaching the foot/hand/weapon to the truck bed to make it look like a giant engine. I really like how this piece looks attached since the silver paint adds a burst of color to that section.
Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in robot mode):
- Detach all weapons.
- Take the fist/foot piece and fold the section with the thumb down, then swing the thumb up.
- Swing the forearms back at the elbows. There are grooves on the inside of each forearm, attach them to the tabs in between the two side windows from the vehicle mode.
- Connect the two robot legs together.
- Rotate the robot legs at the waist. Turn it to the right to form a right arm for Menasor and vice versa.
- Attach the hand piece to the hole on the bottom of the robot feet.
- Swing the center section of the torso out so the connection point for Menasor faces out.
With the vehicle mode of this figure being a truck, it's no shock that the arm mode has a thick, powerful appearance. This suits the character of Ironhide perfectly. I will say without tightening up the ball joints on the hips of the robot mode this mode is not strong enough to hold up heavier weapons like Powerglide in his weapon mode. Lighter weapons such as those included with the figure hold up just fine.
Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in vehicle mode):
- Detach all the accessories.
- Swing the front of the vehicle and the windshield back.
- Swing the center section of the robot torso up.
- Attach the foot piece to the hole on the bottom of the robot feet.
Just as the arm mode looks like a powerful limb, the thickness of the truck mode makes for a nice, strong looking leg. I also love the red plastic color on this figure so whether you combine it with Optimus or Silverbolt the limb really pops visually. Add to that the silver foot piece and I really love the way this looks.
Functionally there are no issues here. The foot piece attaches to the back of the truck tightly and the connector piece that links this figure to another works great as both a connection piece and a point of articulation.
Ironhide is one of my favorites out of this set. Sure he's a redeco/retool, but he's a really awesome redeco/retool. I love the colors used and the nods to G1 Ironhide. Some people may scoff at buying a retool/redeco, but in this case it's worth it. Recommended!