Dark of the Moon Robo Power Fighter Ironhide Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Revenge of the Fallen, Robo Fighter, Robo Power

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: May 2011
Price Point: $9.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text in italics from the Official Transformers Web Site:
IRONHIDE is a stealth fighter, an AUTOBOT always looking for a challenge. Your IRONHIDE figure is ready for robo battle! Just slide his protective chest shield down and deploy weapons for battle mode! With his icy gaze and steely determination, this AUTOBOT means business. Team up with him in his plan to eliminate the DECEPTICONS. Product does not convert. Ages 4 and up.

Recent Transformers lines have been released with sub-lines of figures targeted at much younger audiences. The idea is to create figures that kids who may not be 100% ready for transformation play, but still want representations of their favorite cartoon or movie characters that have some action feature. The last couple of Transformers lines have created non-transforming figures on large scales that had a variety of features including lights and sounds. The "Robot Power Fighters" is a scaled down version of this play pattern. Instead of lights and sounds, pulling on a part of the figure reveals weaponry, resulting in a partial transformation. Keep in mind as you read this review that it's very much being reviewed on its own merits and not being compared to figures such as Topspin or even Commander Class Megatron.

If there's any Autobot you think of when the word "fighter" comes to mind, Ironhide would definitely be one. The Autobot has almost always been associated with a tough and seasoned battle veteran. The movie universe is no different where Ironhide returns in "Dark of the Moon" to kick some Decepticon tail. This makes him an ideal choice for the "Robo Power Fighters" line.

I always imagine that it must be a challenge for designers to create a transforming Ironhide, partly because he has so much detail in his robot mode that somehow has to collapse into a relatively streamlined looking vehicle. With this type of figure however, a full body transformation is not really a factor so the designers can cram as much detail in as possible, and where they desire, embelish those details.

One of Ironhide's most distinctive design elements is the liberal use of overlapping panels on his torso and legs. This figure takes those details and really runs with them. His legs have several angular panels blended in with curved panels. Some look lik ethey are resting on top of one another. He even has a vehicle mode wheel sculpted into the back of each thigh! On top of all that, his feet have perhaps the widest spread of robotic "toes" that I recall seeing on any recent Transformers design. In the front of his feet are four rectangular "toe" panels. Then there's one on the side and two in the back as heel pieces. It's very distinctive and striking looking.

Ironhide's torso is no less complex. On the back there are several arrow shaped panels and diamond shaped areas that overlap on top of his front tires. They are all sculpted in such a way that suggests several layers of overlapping machinery which is exactly how the Transformers are portrayed in the movies. His upper body also has his two front vehicle mode panels that come out at angles on his chest. Normally these form most of the chest, but here the designers modified the design a bit by having the panels set more as shoulder armor pointing upward. His chest has the familiar three sided panel that integrates right into the mid-section of the robot. His arms have also undergone a bit of a redesign. Instead of his cannons resting on his forearms, his right forearm shows a cannon that has been integrated into the forearm, wrapping around his wrist. This actually looks really cool and makes him a bit more sleek looking. Oddly, his left arm has no weaponry on it, but that's sort of made up for by his action feature.

The head sculpt for Ironhide is very well done. He has all the key features of his CGI model including the crest over his head, the bull-like face and the "horn" like protrusions on the side. He even has the disc on either side of his head set in the middle. There's definitely no mistaking who this guy is supposed to be!

Ironhide is cast in dark grey and black plastic. A majority of the body is dark grey with the panels over his shoulders cast in black. The grey parts are all a soft plastic while the black plastic is harder. Paint applications are done in silver, blue, orange, black and red. The silver color is used mostly on the head and torso. I really like the paint job done on the head in particular. The outlines of the helmet section and his mouthplate are painted very well. The blue is found on his eyes while the orange color is used for the lights from the vehicle mode parts. The black color is used on alternating panels all over the body including the legs and arms. Interestingly the wheels that show in this mode are not painted black, which I consider a bit of a missed opportunity. The red color is used for a large Autobot symbol on his chest. Overall I think the deco is good, but with a few more details it could have been great.

The "transforming" aspect of this figure involves its action feature. Push down the panel on the center of his chest and the two black parts on his shoulders swing up. This reveals two cannons on either shoulder and additional weapons set at angles on his chest. What I appreciate is that the panels outside the weapons are also nicely detailed with several shapes including circles and trapezoids sculpted into the chest. The weapons all have red paint on them, looking like they are glowing "hot" and ready to fire! This is a fun feature and I enjoy the idea of Ironhide being super loaded with firepower.

Ironhide has five points of articulation, which is about right for a Robo Power figure. His arms and legs can move and his head can turn from side to side. This is a huge improvement in articulation over the disappointment I had with the Robo Power Fighters Optimus Prime figure. With figures like this, every point of articulation counts.

Final Thoughts:
Aside from guys like Action Masters, I'm generally not big into Transformers figures that don't transform, but in this case I'll make an exception. For kids who just want a simple to play with representation of one of the key characters in the Transformers films, this figure fits the bill very nicely. I only take away points for some of the deco work and the odd omission of a weapon from his left arm. Recommended for a very specific group of kids or fans that like PVC figures of their favorite Transformers characters.