Transformers Timelines Ironhide Toy Review

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Botcon, Generation One, Timelines

Transformers Timelines

General Information:
Release Year: September 2005
Retailer: Botcon 2005 Exclusive
Price: $315 included in Primus Package registration, $265 for fan club members
Accessories: Energon Gun

Images:

The Botcon 2005 set of toys consists of seven figures: Buzzclaw, Chromia, Deathsaurus, Dirge, Fallback, Ironhide and Ricochet. The concept was to create a story-centered set of toys. The Botcon program with the "Descent into Evil" comic book is included with this set. Attendees who received this boxed set were able to purchase an additional loose, polybagged set as well. Ironhide was the classic G1 Autobot homage included in the set.

Background Information:
It is hardly a revelation that the Energon figure Tow-Line was created as a partial design homage to the G1 characters of Ratchet and Ironhide. I detail this in his review. In fact, when I first began thinking of this set, Ironhide and Ratchet were the first two Autobots I thought of.

This Ironhide is the same character as the G1 bodyguard to Optimus Prime. Many will no doubt think "Well, he died in Transformers: The Movie, what gives?" but the beauty of the "Timelines" title is that it allows for the possibility that events in the past did not quite happen as we saw them in one animated program or another. Taking a cue from the Marvel Generation 2 comics which showed Ironhide alive and well, I decided that eventually the character would change forms to reflect this Generation 2 toy. Then, after an intense battle where that form was severely damaged, Optimus Prime would grant him a new form using the "Reconfiguration Matrix", a device mentioned in Optimus Prime's G2 "Gobot" tech spec. Thus, Ironhide is reborn with a new form that has shades of his original one in design.

In one of the early iterations of the set, we had hoped to include a pile of extra Energon weapons colored in gunmetal grey, most of which would have wound up in Ironhide's hands in the story mounted on his trailer drone. Costs kept that from happening, but I still wanted Ironhide more heavily armed, thus his finding Fallback's weapon before he faces Deathsaurus.

Vehicle Mode:
As with his G1 form, Ironhide is a van in vehicle mode. His base plastic color is red, the same as the original G1 character and toy. Color detail is provided by grey and silver. Grey is used for the stripe running down the sides of the vehicle and the rear area on the top. Silver can be found on the hubcaps and on the headlights. Since the Autobot symbol is traditionally red, we inverted the colors so the Autobot symbol on the front of the vehicle is white, against a red backdrop.

The windows and Energon Weapon are both cast in translucent blue plastic. At first I was going to suggest a new Energon Weapon for Ironhide, but after looking over Tow-Line's weapon, I figured it was a good combination between a sensor equipment array and a heavy duty looking gun worthy of a rough and tough warrior such as Ironhide.

In retrospect, some fans brought up an alternative deco pattern that could have been used. Namely, the stripe running across the sides could have been done in yellow to simulate the one used on the G1 Ironhide. While I agree this could have been a good alternative color to use, the grey looks fine to me as well.

I do believe however that additional deco could have been used on the windows sculpted into the sides and rear of the vehicle. These could have been colored light blue to go with the door and front windshield colors. Overall the vehicle mode looks great, and there is no mistaking just who this is!

Robot Mode:
I did not just want to use the mold with a straight redeco, especially since the head design is more of a homage to G1 Skids. So a new head design was necessary. In order to keep costs down, it was opted to create one head sculpt for Ironhide and Ratchet that could be given two distinct decos to allow it to be used for both characters. In Ironhide's case, it the key was to give less deco to the head. This de-emphasizes the crest sculpted into the toy, and with a silver face and blue eyes, the focus is drawn to the face.

Ironhide's primary color remains red, but a lot more grey shows in this form. The upper arms and fists are colored grey. The waist piece is grey (where the upper legs connect to the main body) while grey paint decos are found on the upper and lower legs. Some fans remarked that the upper legs should have been solid grey, keeping more with the G1 animation model deco pattern. However, I believe this looks nicer than that would have because grey deco is being distributed along the detail pattern of the upper leg, and there is grey on the lower legs, which otherwise would be solid red. The grey patterns offer more "breaks" in the red than would otherwise be present.

Like Ratchet, I would have liked the vent details on the sides of Ironhide's legs to get a deco to bring out the sculpted detail, but that is hardly a fatal flaw.

Ironhide is able to combine with other "Power linking" capable Autobots as well as the trailer drone just fine. With its black, silver and red colors, the drone actually looks very close to the original G1 version. The silver used on the triple guns on either side look great against the red plastic.

Final Thoughts:
While some minor changes may have improved the deco a bit, I think he stands on his own very well as an updated version of a classic character.