Posted July 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm
As this is still opening weekend, this is intended to be a spoiler-free toy review.  If you wanna go talk the plot points of the movie, go find the movie review blog post.

(Also, we're upgrading TFWiki's software today, so that solitary link below will be up and down throughout the day.)

I woulda had this review a little sooner, but I've been waiting on my newer, larger photo studio tent to arrive via the mail so I could get a shot of both Leader Class Prime and Ironhide together.  Woulda been pretty impossible inside my old one, but my new 2 foot squared space is luxurious enough to fit both.  Sweetness!  Once we get moved this month, it'll be even better, 'cuz I hopefully won't have my studio lights trying to shine through the legs of the table the studio currently hasta fit underneath.

I've been hoping for a larger Ironhide since the first film.  The Voyager was... okayish, but though he was the same size class as my Ratchet, he was shorter than Ratchet, which just does not do.  Ironhide is bigger than Ratchet!  He's also smaller than Prime, so the best possible solution would be an Ironhide at Ultra Class scale.  However, that's kind of a dead size class, so it's not likely to happen.  So here Ironhide is at Leader Class scale, same as Prime and Megatron and Starscream.  It's technically a little too big, but I prefer it to him being too small.

Make no mistake, Ironhide's Topkick 4x4 mode in real life is HUGE.  It is basically the size of a semi truck.  It's one of THOSE kind of vehicles, the kind no one in their right mind should need to own.  And so it's no big deal that he's almost as big as Optimus while in their truck modes.  In fact, it makes me feel a little happy inside.  Yay!  Approximate scale!  In robot mode, Ironhide's about a head shorter than Optimus.  Which is too tall, but you can fake Ironhide a little shorter by squatting him.

Though this gets into one of Ironhide's most glaring faults, depending on how you feel about toys.  Ironhide definitely skews to the more toy-y side of the spectrum, rather than the movie-accurate-model side of the spectrum.  He's full of gimmicks all over.  Unfortunately, these gimmicks hinder his poseability pretty substantially.  His knees, for example... one leg bends pretty well, but the other has no practical knee at all, despite having the jointing there, because of one of the pop-out weapons in his shin.  His head also doesn't turn, since that would make his flip-down-mouthplate gimmick impossible.

On the other hand, if you like toys that do an insane number of things, you're in luck.  Like I said, his legs are full of things.  One opens to reveal a knife that he can remove and carry around in his hand.  The other opens up into a missile launcher, which automatically turns and faces forward as you open the leg hatch.  This missile launcher can also be removed.  On each of  his arms is a pop-out weapon.  Just pull back the truck mode's smokestacks and these guns reveal themselves out of his arms.  Again, the gimmickry of it all was given precedence over visual accuracy, and Ironhide has some very undersized forearm cannons as a result.  In the film they're a third of his mass.

But wait, there's more!  When you push down a lever on the back of Ironhide's shoulders, panels move out of the way of his stomach and a chaingun pops out of his tummy, spinning, flashing, and making machine gun noises.  Oh hell yeah!  And finally, the neck-inhibiting gimmick of popping down his faceplate.  When this happens, he says "IRONHIDE IS HERE" and his eyes flash.

My, Ironhide certainly is full of things.

The transformation is complicated, but not Sentinel Prime complicated.  The only real snag is forcing panels together.  And that's not a lining-up issue, but an excessive force snap-together issue.  Oh, and his truck hood kibble halves pop off their balljoints like crazy.  They fasten securely in both modes, but it's during the journey between those modes that they're bound to detach.

In summary, Ironhide is a huge awesome truck that has pop-out guns.  He transforms into a huge awesome robot that has pop-out guns, missile launchers, knives, chainguns, and has flashing lights and sounds.  He's not as poseable as most modern toys, and his screen accuracy is inhibited by much of his awesomeness.  Weigh your priorities before purchasing.