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Series: Animated Japan
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2010

The Autobot army has never seen anyone tougher than Ironhide. Back in boot camp, the trainees considered it good fun to take their best shot at denting his armor. No one ever could. Now, on battlefields across the galaxy, Ironhide uses his ultra-hard armor and fighting skills to battle Decepticons wherever they appear.
* Able to transmute his armor into an indestructible alloy
* Enjoys playing practical jokes on other young Autobots
* Has plenty of weapons, but prefers a good fistfight

Prelude: First off, the Japanese version of Animated Ironhide, which I have here, is called Armorhide instead. Why? Because in Japan Bulkhead is called Ironhide, so the name’s already taken. I hope you will forgive me, though, for referring to this figure as Ironhide throughout this review. If not, well, I can live with that, too.

Robot Mode: Ironhide is a repaint, complete with new head, of Cybertron Mode Ratchet. The figure has received a mostly red paint job in salutation to the original G1 Ironhide, while the head mold also carries the original Ironhide’s trademark Mohawk, though in a more exaggerated, Animated-style form. A very good likeness to Ironhide’s cartoon appearance.

Naturally the figure carries over quite a few things from Ratchet, including the empty socket on the arm where the EMP generator (available with the Lockdown figure) can go. His sole weapons are the silver ‘paddles’, originally meant as a kind of defibrillator for Ratchet, but which can easily be re-imagined as brass knuckles, nicely fitting Ironhide’s image as a fist fighter. When he doesn’t need them, he can store them on his butt.

The figure is very nicely articulated, including double elbow joints and twisting wrists, making all sorts of poses possible. If there is anything negative to be said here, it’s that I would have loved to see some other weapons included, but apart from that: very nice. I love the Animated style and this is the perfect Animated Ironhide robot.

Vehicle Mode: Ironhide transforms into a Cybertronian vehicle somewhat reminiscent of an Earth van, but with angled tank threads instead of wheels. The vehicle is pretty much all-red, too, except for the windscreen and black threads and roof. While there are some visible gaps in the vehicle chassis, on the side of the cockpit for example, no robot bits are visible and with this being an alien vehicle anyway, it doesn’t really hurt the mode in any way. Little more I can write here. A good, solid vehicle mode. Not spectacular, but fully sufficient for this figure.

Remarks: Ironhide made several appearances in the Animated cartoon, first as a member of Bumblebee and Bulkhead’s training class in the episode “Autoboot Camp” and later on as a member of Team Athenia under the command of Rodimus Prime in the episode “Transwarped”. He was portrayed as a rather naïve, country-type bot and had the ability to turn his outer armor into an impenetrable alloy. He was scheduled for a bigger role in the fourth season of Animated, where he would have joined Optimus Prime’s team on Earth to replace Bulkhead, who’d have stayed behind on Cybertron. There was even an Earth-Mode toy planned, but all that fell through when Animated was cancelled. Just another reason to hate Transformers: Prime, I guess. By the way, TF: Prime was originally intended to feature Ironhide as part of the main cast, but due to the popularity of the Animated character he was replaced by Bulkhead. That’s how it goes.

Seeing as G1 Ironhide and Ratchet shared a mold, it’s hardly surprising to see Animated Ratchet repainted into Ironhide, even if it is “just” the Cybertron Mode. I would have loved to see an Earth Mode Ironhide, too, but I’m very much content with this figure here as well. And I do preserve some hope that we might yet see more Animated figures at one anniversary or other. Until then: get this figure if you are in any way an Animated fan.

Rating: B+


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