Transformers Movie (2007) Ironhide Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action Movie

Ironhide Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: May 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $19.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Missiles x 4,Missile launchers x 2
Skill Level: 3


Tech Specs:
AUTOBOT weapon specialist and old-fashioned warrior, IRONHIDE is the big stick that backs up the soft steps of OPTIMUS PRIME. Paint scarred and chrome chipped by shrapnel from hundreds of battles, he is the oldest of the AUTOBOTS. His right hip is a mass of bypasses and temporary solutions, his power core and timing system are irregular, and his idle is set way too high; but his optics are the sharpest on CYBERTRON, and his cannon arm is as steady as ever. OPTIMUS PRIME relies on him for tactical advice and a cool head. As long as they keep making missiles compatible with his cannons, he’ll keep fighting, until every last DECEPTICON is a smoldering wreck.

Strength: 7  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 9
Rank: 8  Courage: 9  Firepower: 6  Skill: 5

When you hear the name Ironhide you think of a tough, gritty warrior. Whether you're looking at the G1 version or his Robots in Disguise counterpart, Ironhide has generally stood for someone who can take a bit more abuse than the average 'bot. Some G1 profiles listed him as Optimus Prime's bodyguard and not too long ago he appeared as part of the Botcon 2005 set reborn in a new body that resembled his original form. In the feature film, Ironhide is no less of a tough bird, sporting a rough and tumble vehicle mode with a robotic visage meant to make Decepticons think twice before attacking him!

Vehicle Mode:
Ironhide's vehicle mode is based on the real life GMC Topkick. While not as well known as say, the Dodge Ram, the Topkick has been around for a few years. It is an interesting pickup truck in that it can take many configurations allowing it take on a back storage section like a moving truck or even a storage container for liquid like a tanker. Perhaps it was this that made the designers choose such a diverse vehicle for the form of Ironhide. This is hardly the first time the name Ironhide has been associated with a pickup truck. The Robots in Disguise character of the same name was also a pickup truck, and even further back in time during the Generation 2 era Ironhide was also a pickup truck.

There is no doubt that Ironhide is one tough looking truck. The front section is outfitted with a Road Armor brand bumper. These are specially made for trucks and SUV's and have a characteristic shape that slopes at an angle downward from the sides towards the middle before evening out and a horizontal section in the front where a hook and line would extend out from. To the sides are circles angling upwards indicating where lights would shine through. The front end has all the characteristic design elements of the Topkick including the GMC logo in the center of the front grille, rectangular headlights on either side with smaller lights mounted above them and the hood has the characteristic slope and "bump" towards the front. A look at the sides reveal this is the Topkick configuration with two doors on each side instead of one (which would be typical for a pickup truck). The top of the vehicle has a row of lights sculpted along the front and on the back are two exhaust pipes. The truck bed is flat, presumably with a cover. The rear of the vehicle features an Autobot symbol sculpted into the back panel, just like the movie vehicle. The sides sport the Topkick's vertical rear lights leading to the rear fender. While the proportions of certain parts are a bit off (the wheels and exhaust pipes are much larger on the real life vehicle for instance) the designers did a good job of approximating the real life vehicle.

Perhaps the biggest design embelishment comes with the robot mode weapons. Each is mounted on either side of the vehicle under the doors, and truth be told there really was nowhere else to put them. They detract a bit of the authenticity of the vehicle, however nothing says you can't just disconnect them for display. The next biggest change are the sideview mirrors, which are really large and vertical on the real life Topkick whereas here they are smaller, horizontal ones.

Ironhide is primarily cast in black plastic. Silver, red and orange paint decos are used for smaller details such as the edges around the rear lights and the headlights themselves. The GMC logo is painted red along with the rear lights. The orange is used for the small lights above the headlights. The row of lights along the top of the cabin are painted blue. On either side of the the truck bed you'll find a "4x4" symbol in white and red.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach each of the weapon pieces and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing out the panels that say "4x4" on them.
  3. Flip the vehicle over and separate each half of the truck's rear section.
  4. Swing the front bumper down.
  5. Move the doors and halves of the front end out to the sides.
  6. Swing the rear section of the cabin up.
    Swing each robot arm out to the sides, connecting the center holes of the tires to the pegs on the base of the head piece.
  7. Rotate the top section of the robot around.
  8. Connect the three pegs at the center of the body to the corresponding holes on the metallic blue piece that connects the two halves of the body.
  9. Fold each door in half.
  10. Swing the lower front panel of the robot legs forward. This activates the Automorph feature which slides several panels and the heel pieces out.
  11. Swing the rectangular piece up from the chest piece and then swing it back against the main body.
  12. Attach the weapon with the missiles to the right arm and the other to the left.

Robot Mode:
Looking at the CGI model of Ironhide one can imagine turning this guy into plastic form must have been a daunting task. You would think tons of parts would have to be sculpted separately to make this figure look like the movie character, but in fact the designers managed to use superior sculpting to replicate the look of complicated parts made up of several pieces.

The logic behind the head design is a lot easier to see when you have a three dimensional representation in front of you. The head design is clearly meant to look like the mechanical equivalent of a robotic bull, complete with a detail going through the "nose" that looks like a ring and parts that angle upwards resembling horns. It's really quite amazing how many angles and small details there are on this head sculpt, I'm quite impressed. Even the platform the head piece rests on is detailed with curved tube shaped pieces extending up.

The torso section clearly takes the "front of the car as the robot chest" in a different direction. Functionally the designers could have just done the traditional thing and made the vehicle front end the entire chest. Instead it divides and a chest piece folds up into th emiddle. This section angles upward in a V shape with layers of rectangles and curved lines that have almost the appearance of an alien bone structure. Instead of becoming the chest, the vehicle's front section becomes shoulder armor pieces, a welcome change to a traditional transformation pattern.

Ironhide's arms are very well sculpted with lots of layers of details, some raised higher than others. His fists are sculpted with circles where his knuckles are, a detail directly from the CGI model. Of course the most impressive part about his arms are the big honking cannons attached to them. They are distinct from each other on purpose. In the movie, the right arm cannon has a wide barrel with several tear shaped bits around the edge of the cannon. The other cannon has a barrel that closes in at the end and has small horizontal and vertical line details instead of the tear shaped pieces. To make a fun and functional toy, missiles have been added to the left hand launcher. However instead of firing just from that launcher, you combine the two weapons (the left arm weapon becomes the front) and then you push the pistons on the right hand weapon to fire each missile. The combined cannon looks awesome and I love the way you need to combine the weapons to fire the missiles. The method of launching the missiles is neat as well, preventing accidental firing of missiles (which for me almost always result in losing them).

The leg designs are perhaps the most complex. The CGI model from the movie has a ton of parts on the legs, to the point where you can stare at the model for quite a bit and still not quite figure out where everything comes from. Using a combination of the Automorph feature and excellent sculpting, the designers managed to replicate the look of Ironhide's legs. The hips have triangular pieces on them leading to upper legs sectioned off into three parts, the top, middle and bottom leading to th eknees. Thin, arrow shaped knee armor comes up from the lower legs and the car panels make up his armor to the sides. The feet wind up on flat platforms here, allowing for stability when standing, however the three "toed" look of the feet from the movie is still present in the form of sculpted toes in front.

Ironhide's primary color remains black. Gold and metallic blue make up paint details from the head to the chest to the legs. The patterns are simple and match up to details on the movie model. I do wish a bit more gold had been used, specifically on the "knuckle" details since they are quite prominant in the CGI renderings released of the character thus far.

Ironhide features nineteen points of articulation. He doesn't have waist articulation due to his transformation scheme, however he does have other good points such as double joints on his arms and wrists that can turn.

Final Thoughts:
Ironhide is a really cool toy. Both modes are true to what is to be seen in the movie and his weapons are pure love. Highly recommended!