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Series: Dark of the Moon Mechtech
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2011
Review by Limewire:

Prelude: I need to mention here that this is a pre-retail figure I’ve got here. I’ve done minimal modifications to it, which increased the figure’s play value by leaps and bounds. I’d estimate the chance that the mass-retail version of this figure will have these modifications included at about 50 percent. Most of the pre-retail figures in circulation are mostly figures which failed the quality tests, meaning they have flaws. So let’s hope for the best and that those of you buying this figure in the store will be spared those five minutes of work.

Alternate Mode: Ironhide still transforms into a GMC Topkick, the production of which has ceased as per Spring 2010, together with the entire GMC and Hummer line. All a result of the bankruptcy of General Motors. One of the first things I saw was that the car is strewn with Mechtech ports. They don’t really drag it down (you barely notice them), but personally I could have done with less of them. On the roof especially I’d have preferred a spring-mechanism like with DOTM Megatron. Isn’t the case, though, so no use in crying.

Compared to the Movie 1 and ROTF versions the car has shrunk by about a quarter. That’s no small reduction, but not so serious that one needs to complain about it. The level of detailing is all the more impressive. The Autobot sigil on the rear is sculpted in, the robot parts are better hidden, and the side mirrors are finally fixed in place. The often-lamented loading area in the back might not be that pretty, but it’s been optimized, which you notice during the transformation.

Transformation: Surprisingly easy and very movie accurate. The hood, sides, and rear fold to the side, the robot belly then pushes through from the back to the front. The loading area flips around by nearly 180 degrees and disappears into the feet. The arms fold out to the side, the bumper splits apart and becomes the arm armor. A fake bumper appears underneath the chest.

Without the modification you’d just connect the chest to the belly pin, which was frustratingly loose. After the modification there are some things you need to be aware of. Under the hood there are two very tight joints. These are pressed inward, so that the solid rubber panels have more room. Doesn’t quite suffice to keep everything connected, though. A fitting cut-out is needed to make the whole thing fasten firmly to the belly, then the fun can begin.

The doors, the rear window, and the exhaust pipes are on joints each, so you can position them any way you want. Very nicely done, leaves lots of room for creativity.

Robot Mode: Thanks to the small modification the robot mode is now a lot more movie accurate. Ironhide looks brawny, experienced, self-assured, and aggressive. Also, proud and big. Crankcase is a dwarf in comparison, which might be one of the reasons he doesn’t dare go up against Ironhide alone in the movie (as we’ve already seen in the trailer). Posing ability is awesome when you don’t have to deal with a loose belly. The Mechtechweapon does seem a tad too large, I’d have preferred a smaller weapon with room left for a second one. The head is on a ball joint, allowing for realistic-looking poses. Only the big chest panels that every Ironhide figure had so far hinder his posability a bit. So all in all, a great robot mode.

Gimmick: Originally I thought that Ironhide’s Mechtech weapon could not be fixed in position. Then I realized, though, that my weapon was simply defective. The fixing mechanism ended up too small, we’re in pre-retail after all. So I removed the spring, just like I did with the Deluxes. The weapon still works pretty much the same, but looks even more overbearing in extended mode – though Ironhide, our weapons junkie, will probably likeit.

Conclusion: A great figure! I’d love it if the retail version of Ironhide wouldn’t need those modifications in order to be great. Because in that case this figure will be fully recommended. My hat's off to Hasbro.
Rating: B+
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