Energon Toy Reviews: Energon Ironhide

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Combiner / Gestalt, Energon, Superlink

Energon

General Information:
Release Year: October 2004
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $19.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Purchase Location: Toys R Us (Union, NJ)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3
Accessories: Missile

Images:

For a time, he clogged the shelves of stores everywhere - but like most shelf warmers, he would eventually disappear and give way to a redeco. We speak of course, of Ironhide. Now "powered up" and in new colors as Energon Ironhide (referred to as E-Ironhide for simplicity in this review). I realize my Ironhide review was not 100% finished, so this one will tie up any loose ends from the previous review.

Vehicle Mode:
The inspiration for E-Ironhide's vehicle mode deco comes from a G1 source: G1 Hound. This is mostly reflected in the metallic flake green color that makes up most of E-Ironhide in this form and the white star on the hood. The star is a detail that G1 Hound also had on his hood. That's pretty much the limit of the homage as the rest is unique to E-Ironhide.

The edges on the sides of the vehicle are silver, along with the back bumper area and the hubcaps. The light/cannon turret is now blue with white on the lights. The missiles and front grille remain beige. While the star on the hood definitely haves the deco a military flavor, overall E-Ironhide's sculpt makes him look more like a regular SUV with some military influence.

I actually like this color scheme more than the original. It's a bit more subdued than the in your face nature of the red and blue.

Robot Mode:
While green dominates the vehicle mode, the robot mode has a much more even distribution of various colors. The central torso is made up of blue and black plastic. Silver, red and white are used for deco including the Autobot symbol, which is painted red with a white background. His upper arms and legs are beige and the lower arms and legs are green. What I did like seeing was the use of silver detailing on the parts of the leg that you wouldn't normally see in vehicle mode. The silver on the side of his lower arms actually go all the way to the back of his hands, which looks really nice.

All of the sound effects from Ironhide carry over to E-Ironhide. The part of his robot head that folds down in vehicle mode moves a lot easier than the previous version of this toy. His joints are also still rather tight, indicating no significant mold degradation.

Transformation to Upper Body Mode (Starting in Robot Mode):

  1. Straighten out the robot arms.
  2. Swing the upper body back, revealing the Powerlink point.
  3. Rotate the upper body part around.
  4. Fold in the vehicle grill and headlight pieces.
  5. Swing the halves of the lower body out to the sides.
  6. Rotate the arms around so the fists face up.
  7. Swing E-Ironhide's robot arms back.
  8. Swing the upper body half down.
  9. E-Ironhide's robot arms will need to be adjusted depending on who you combine him with, you can swing them up to get them out of the way.

Upper Body Mode:
As with any Powerlinking Transformer, how cool E-Ironhide is largely depends on who you are combining him with. E-Ironhide (and Ironhide) have the advantage of being upper body units that end at the chest portion and no lower. This allows other Transformers who are rather large as lower bodies such as Jetfire to make up the rest of the body, giving it relatively good proportions. If you just want to go with plain old symmetry, combine E-Ironhide with Ironhide. I like the way the triangular parts on the chest and mid-body connect visually. Color wise you're probably better off going with Cliffjumper or Beachcomber.

The upper body's posability mostly comes from the arms, resulting in seven points of articulation - which is great for an upper body mode.

Transformation to Lower Body Mode:

  1. Swing the robot arms back.
  2. Swing back the upper body to reveal the Powerlinx point.
  3. Swing each lower leg out to the side and down to form a longer leg.
  4. Fold in the grill and headlight pieces over the knees.
  5. Rotate the lower legs around.
  6. Flip out the black foot pieces.
  7. Flip down the beige fist pieces (this was not done in the above photo)
  8. You will need to rotate and/or adjust the back piece depending on who you combine the figure with.

Lower Body Mode:
E-Ironhide forms one of my favorite lower body modes out of all the Powerlinking Transformers of this size class. I'm glad the legs extend a significant amount and that the lower legs are wide at the bottom, allowing for really good stability when Powerlinked. I'm also appreciative of the extra set of feet, rather than having to just use existing ones, these were made just for this mode. His central body is not big and chunky, it's a medium size that goes well with most upper body forms. The only thing that gets a bit weird is having to adjust the piece ont he back depending on who you combine him with. Sometimes it's better to have it rotated with the fists up, other times down etc.

This form has eight points of articulation, all centered in the legs, allowing for a good amount of stances if you can balance whoever is forming the upper body properly.

Final Thoughts:
E-Ironhide has an awesome color scheme and homage going on. He forms four solid modes with good play value. Out of the two, the original and this version, I prefer this one. Recommended.