Transformers Ironhide
Transformers Ironhide
Transformers Ironhide
Transformers Ironhide

Ironhide was possibly the best of the many pleasant surprises in the live action film. The original G1 character was your typical bland Autobot, just with a lower IQ and a stupider accent. He didn't really do a lot in the comic either and the only reinvention was as a whiny little bitch in the Energon line. But the Movie Ironhide was a heavily armed specialist with a borderline personality disorder, after any sort of excuse to blow something up with the two Ideon Gun-style cannons mounted on his arms, and also scene-stealing by charging Devastator/Brawl head on at one point. There was less for him to do in the sequel, though Ironhide still rocked whenever onscreen.

Toys came in Voyager and Legends (eventually) sizes. The Voyager was later tweaked in the Premium series, then retooled and (inexplicably) recoloured grey for the Revenge of the Fallen line. More recently the mould has been retooled again and had white paint indiscriminately pissed all over it as Recon Ironhide. Weirdly, there hasn't been a G1 homage version yet - not that this is a bad thing, it's just that they've done everything else with the poor, abused mould. Including doing a homage of the G2 Go-Bot Motormouth, which is a bit bizarre.


I'm not generally a fan of pickup trucks but the GMC Topkick is actually rather nice - not stupidly over the top, but at the same time not dull and functional. It looks excellent in all-black as well - the shiny finish means it's not as dull as it might sound. Also, details like the lights, grille and windows really stand out against the minimalism.

Of course, the stowed guns underneath are a bit of a knock to the accuracy, but they actually look alright - like giant fuel drums or something. And if you don't buy that they can be easily detached ad stored in 'subspace' (i.e. in a little pile somewhere else on the floor, classically just behind you). The join lines are a little obvious and it's a shame that the pickup bed is free of detail (well, apart from join lines). However, the vehicle mode is very chunky and durable. While the line's vehicle modes in general have been largely free of weak points like Ratchet (and unlike many of the saloons and sportscars) Ironhide is firm and solid all over - putting slight pressure on the roof doesn't cause the whole thing to deform. The upshot is Ironhide is sturdy enough to trundle along the floor in a satisfactory fashion.


Ironhide is blessed with possibly the best transformation of the line - it's complex without being needlessly complicated, with all of the parts easy to manipulate and manoeuvre. The Automorph in the legs is also nicely done, both looking neat and being durable. The result is - allowing for how detailed the CGI models are - very close to Ironhide's look in the film. Considering how many of the toys cop out on the complicated chest layouts of the models (Ratchet and Barricade being prime offenders, though Bumblebee is another), it's great to see a solid attempt at Ironhide's distinctive upper torso and shoulders. Aside from a few more panels worth of Topkick on the back and the legs the figure looks very close to Ironhide's onscreen appearance.

The toy also has decent articulation. The shoulders are actually mounted on springs rather than locking in place, meaning the arms have more movement that you'd think from the look of him. Ironhide is well balanced too, and can hold some decent poses, though his field of vision is restricted by those big shoulders. The robot mode could do with a few more paint applications - mainly to the head, which lacks definition, but largely pulls off the predominant black in the same manner as the vehicle mode. The arm cannons look great too - they're of a different design to those seen on screen but do the job well enough. They can be fitted together to form a single firing missile launcher, but this looks rather silly on him. One fault, though - Ironhide has, unusually for the line, an easily breakable part - the slot for the tab under the windscreen, which is made of painted transparent plastic. This is prone to breaking (mine has) but easy enough to fix with glue.


Ironhide is maybe the best of all the live action figures and certainly the highlight of the first film range. Both modes look good and accurate, there are some nice features, the transformation is engaging without being frustrating, the Automorph is well implemented, the Voyager class actually fits the figure and Ironhide is a great character. The black versions from the first film are relatively expensive on the second hand market, but he really is worth that bit extra.