"Studio Series 86" Core Class Ironhide Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: May 2023
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)

Ironhide was one of the original Autobots introduced in 1984.  He was notable partly for his rough and tough personality along with his compassion.  Fans also found him notable because his G1 action figure barely resembled the character’s cartoon appearance.  The toy featured a small robot with a face behind the vehicle mode’s windshield.  Meanwhile, the cartoon version was more of a traditional Trqnsformers figure featuring a humanoid body with a head on top, a chest made up of the front end of the vehicle mode , along with blocky arms and legs.  The character met his end in the 1986 film The Transformers: The Movie but he got a few good lines in before his death scene.

This Core Class figure is a redeco and retool of the previously released Core Class Ratchet.  However, I did not review that figure yet so this will be my first crack at this sculpt.

In 2022, Hasbro began to take larger strides towards packaging that would be (mostly) recyclable. That means eliminating as much plastic as possible. One of the earliest examples of this was last year's Origin Bumblebee release. The Studio Series Core Class figures continue this design philosophy. Instead of being on a bubble card like Soundwave, this figure is inside a cardboard box with an open window showing the upper half of the figure and a bit of the legs. The figure is tied down inside the box and you would have to work pretty hard to tear it out of there (and the weapon is also pretty buried in there). The box itself retains a lot of the Studio Series design including the black background, the title of the movie he appeared in and the blue Studio Series logo. The box has a flap at the top with Ironhide’s package art (which is similar, but not the same as the Voyager Class artwork) and a hook to hang the box on pegs.

The back of the packaging uses the red background seen on other Studio Series figures along with the name "Iornhide". The box back also calls out the 15 step transformation and features the figure in both modes. Under that is a wall of text in various languages. Overall the packaging is a good compromise between the old "bubble/card" design and something more eco-friendly.

Inside the package, Ironhide comes with a small cardboard backdrop designed to look like the interior of the Autobot Shuttle as seen in the movie.

Ironhide includes two blaster accessories that share a similar design, but each features a tab on the sides to attach to the vehicle mode on opposite sides.  These blasters are based on the ones he is seen using in the film when he tries to fend off the Decepticons on the Autobot Shuttle.  Each blaster has two large angled sections and a short barrel.  Each weapon features a peg to hold at the base and a tab on the side.  Each barrel can fit a Blast Effect.

The weapons are made of red plastic but most of the surface is painted silver except for the pegs and tabs used to attach them to Ironhide.

Robot Mode:
Ironhide was very prominent in the first two seasons of the G1 cartoon so fans are very familiar with how he looks.  I’ve always loved Ironhide as a character, but I will admit he does not have the most exciting and dynamic robot design.  He is mostly boxes on boxes on rectangles with a cool head design.  This figure reflects that, and how much you like the design will largely depend on how much y ou like the animation design.  What I will say is that I think the sculpting is good.  The head is spot on, featuring a crest in the middle with circles on the sides of the “helmet” section.  The front of his van mode forms the chest and his arms and legs are mostly formed from square and rectangular shapes.  He also has a diamond shaped design on his waist area which comes right from the cartoon.  While a bit hard to see at first, the lower legs each have a design sculpted into them that appears to call back to the stickers found on the legs of the G1 Ironhide action figure.

Some fans may not like this sculpt because it is a bit chunky.  Not that Ironhide was ever a thin, sleek robot but even by the standards of the G1 animation model the lower legs on this figure are kind of large, but given that a lot of the van mode is formed from those legs I’m willing to let this go.

Ironhide is made up of red and two shades of grey plastic.  Most of the figure is red, which is Ironhide’s iconic color.  Smaller parts like his biceps/elbows and thighs are light grey plastic.  I think the wheels that show on his robot feet are a darker grey plastic, though they’re glossy enough that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were painted this color.  Speaking of which, the shoulders and fists are painted a darker grey.  Meanwhile, a thin silver Autobot symbol is outlined on the chest.  The face is painted silver and his eyes are blue.  Finally, the windows on his chest are all painted light blue.  The colors on this figure all look great and call back to the animated version of Ironhide nicely.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure, which does not sound like a ton but this includes ball joints on the shoulders, hips and knees so there is a fair range of motion here.  He can hold his weapons in his hands but there is no weapon storage available.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the chest panel down, then push the robot head down.
  4. Swing the back panel and chest panels up.
  5. Rotate the top half of the figure around.
  6. Swing the robot arms up, then rotate them at the shoulders so the dark grey painted parts face downward.
  7. Swing the arms in so they wind up under the back panel.
  8. Rotate the forearms and connect them together.
  9. Rotate each lower leg so the feet face out to the sides.
  10. Swing the panels with the windows sculpted on them up.
  11. Swing the lower body up at the mid-body area and wrap the window panels around the arms and press them together.
  12. Swing the panels on the legs with the feet on them forward to form the front wheels.
  13. The weapons can be tabbed into the sides of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Ironhide’s vehicle mode is mostly based on a combination of the G1 toy and animation model.  Like those versions he is a boxy looking van with a curved windshield and a very detailed front grille and headlight area.  Windows are sculpted into the sides but not painted.  Indeed, the sides aren’t painted at all except for the front wheels and that is a real shame.  In the TV show, the windows would be light blue and there was a yellow stripe running along the sides.  In comparison, this just looks plain and unfinished even though the actual sculpt is good.

Interestingly, Ironhide has a bit of a spoiler type piece that extends over the back of the van on top.  This is not present on either the original Ironhide toy or animation model.  However, it is found on the Timelines Ironhide who was a redeco/retool of Energon Tow-Line!  I cannot help but wonder if that figure somehow influenced this particular design flair.  It is also important to note that this piece is necessary to give Ironhide heels to stand on in robot mode so this design association with Tow-Line may be more coincidence than anything else, but it’s still neat!

All four wheels can roll in this mode and the weapons attach to the sides of the van.  That’s about it for play features (but that’s good enough in my book for a Core Class figure).

Final Thoughts:
Ironhide is a fun little Core Class figure.  The sculpt and robot mode deco are nice, but the vehicle mode really needs more color.  Recommended if you’re looking to build up a Core Class army of Autobots.


  • Good sculpt that calls back to the G1 cartoon.
  • Good robot mode deco.
  • I’m glad he has two blasters as shown in the movie.
  • Intuitive and fun transformation.


  • Needs a lot more deco in vehicle mode.
  • I wish there was an option to store the weapons in robot mode.

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