Superlink Toy Reviews: Ironhide

in 2003, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Superlink

Transformers Superlink

General Information:
Release Year: 2003
Retailer: Japanese exclusive (as of May 2004)
Price: $25 (Depending on Import Retailer)
Accessories: Missiles x 2, "Search" Micron figure

Images:

Tech Specs:*
"As the commander orders!" [i.e., "As you command."]
With his loyalty as a Destron, he fights bravely to carry out his assigned mission, no matter how outnumbered he is. Will that loyalty of his ever be rewarded!?

Strength: 8 Intelligence: 5 Speed: 6 Endurance: 6
Rank: 7 Courage: 8 Firepower: 8 Skill: 7


*Tech Specs translated by Doug Dlin.

When fans were introduced to the world of Energon via the television program, one of the most interesting changes between Armada and Energon was Demolishor becoming (of all things) a security guard for Ocean City - an Autobot installation! This was an interesting turn of events, showing us what would happen to at least one Decepticon if the 'cons lost the war. Of similar interest was Demolishor's swank new color scheme, which was reminscent of the old Constructicon color scheme. While outside of Japan fans have yet to see this "new" Demolishor in toy form, Takara released him in Japan at the beginning of their Superlink series.

This review will focus on the changes made to this toy for this release. I recommend checking out both Demolishor and Powerlinx Demolishor's reviews which cover this toy in more detail. For the sake of accuracy, Demolishor will be called Ironhide (his Micron Legend/Superlink name) and Blackout will be called Search (his Micron Legend name).

Search

While Ironhide does appear in the animated program, his Mini-Con buddy Search is nowhere to be found. But of course with a toy release, they couldn't leave out the little guy. Search's new color scheme is made to match up with Ironhide's. In vehicle mode, his primary color is gray (same as Ironhide's). Purple is used for detailing such as his windows, cannons and wheels. His radar dish is black, and most striking of all, the parts which are part of his cannons (the robot arms) are neon green, the same shade as Ironhide's. In robot mode, his main body and lower legs are gray, with purple painted over most of the upper body. The visor eyes are painted silver. His joints are nice and stiff, showing no mold degradation and the copyright information remains "2001" for both Hasbro and Takara.

I'm actually quite fond of all of Search's/Blackout's color schemes, so this one is a welcome addition to the two existing ones. Since the color scheme is set to match Ironhide's, which in itself is a Constructicon homage, he looks like a cute little Constructicon Mini-Con. Very cool.

Ironhide

Vehicle Mode:
Ironhide's vehicle mode has always been one of my favorites. A powerful, rolling machine of destruction. So it's sort of ironic that his color scheme is a homage to a team of construction, the Constructicons. The biggest color give away here is the neon light green, which makes up most of the tread cover section and part of the missile launcher arms. The color is both molded into the plastic and painted. Of course, the Constructicons didn't i>just have neon light green. They also had two other signature colors: black and purple - both of which appear prominantly in this mode as well. Some parts are a light gray (almost a blue gray). Most prominant of these is the center turret piece. Just to drive home the Construction connection a bit more, the turret has a black and yellow "danger" stripe pattern on the left side. The front of the turret is painted dark silver, with the Decepticon symbol done in dark purple, standing out nicely. The back portion of the turret is purple,
as is the "chair" for Search to sit in.

What I was very happy to see was the return of the gray "wash" on the tread covers. This was used in the original Demolishor toy, but not used in the Powerlinx version. This really helps bring out the ton of tech detail in that section. If the section had not been given the wash, most of the detail would have probably been lost in the neon light green color of the plastic. Another really nice touch can be found on the treads. Though the plastic used for the treads is purple, on the undersides of the treads you'll find silver wash making it look "worn" and "dirty", a really cool effect.

The missiles on Ironhide are all black, and his smaller gun port are black as well. Not only does this look nice against the other colors, it's appropriate seeing as how many of the Constructicon weapons were also black.

The launcher feature in this mode which allows you to attach Search to the front and launch it by pushing a button in the back works great here. In fact, I'd dare say it works slightly better than my Powerlinx Demolishor's equivalent feature. Nice to see these things intact.

Robot Mode:
Ironhide shows off few "new" parts in this form. The robot head and the center of the chest are neon light green, with his face being gray. One eye is purple while the "eyepatch" eye is silver. His teeth are painted white. We get to see more leg detail here, showing off black portions for the vents and tubes. All the colors come together well in this form, with none overpowering the other. A very nice redeco job indeed.

Final Thoughts:
The main problems people are going to have with purchasing this (at least at the time I'm writing this review) are a) Will this come out in the US? Hasbro has said it might bring them out here, but it is unknown as to when this might happen and b) Do you really need a third version of this mold? Basically this is one for the completists, not for the casual fan. In that context, I think it's cool to have the version of Ironhide/Demolishor who guarded Ocean City and eventually takes on a new form. Recommended.