Monday, 8 February 2016

MP-27 Masterpiece Ironhide


Ever since July 2015, when Masterpiece Ironhide was sighted at Transformers Expo Taipei, Transformers fans have been waiting patiently to see just how good a job Takara Tomy had made of one of the fandoms favourite G1 characters. With it's recent release, we all finally get to make our own minds up as to whether or not Ironhide made the transition from cartoon to Masterpiece figure in one piece.


Pretty much every Transformers line since the original has featured an Ironhide of some description. This included, but is not limited to, G1, G2, Beast Wars, Universe/Henkei Henkei, Animated and Combiner Wars. Hell, even the recent movies got an Ironhide. From that you can tell that the character was a popular part of the core Transformers line up and it was only a matter of time before there was a Masterpiece version.

The original toy was modelled on the Nissan Sunny Vanette Coach SGL and was another toy to be taken from the Diaclone line. Because of that, the actual figure was a little odd and quite different from the cartoon and comic incarnations of the character. As a child, I could never quite work out why there was a difference between the cartoon/comic and the toy but it never really bothered me that much as the toy still had a robot of sorts which kind of looked like the cartoon version without a head.
That seat can have a sticker of a robot face

Childhood memories of thinking wtf?

For me personally, it's not Ironhide if it isn't at the very least red. I don't mind the vehicle mode being a little different to the G1 vanette but it has to be red for it to be Ironhide for me. So the Universe/Henkei Henkei version was a welcome return to the character after a few incarnations which didn't work for me as Ironhide. The vehicle mode was reminiscent of the original vanette and the robot mode was a nice take on the cartoon version of the character. Sure it had its problems, with a permanent downward facing head and way too many panel lines in vehicle mode, but it was good enough. Most importantly it was red.

The next version of Ironhide to grab my attention was from the Animated line. The robot mode was a brilliant realisation of the character in the Animated style. All big chin and proud chest, this Ironhide was a modern take on Ironhide which made sense. Sadly the vehicle mode was a bit average although given that it was a cybertron vehicle mode and that the robot mode was so very cool I was willing to overlook it.
Look at that chin

Some kind of tank?

Lastly we have the Combiner Wars version of Ironhide which ticks all the boxes for me, with it being red and the vehicle mode being a truck, and yet does nothing for me. I understand that these figures have limitations imposed on them due to the nature of them being combiners and being able to act as an arm or a leg but this Ironhide is not an Ironhide I recognise.
Yeaaaah right

Which brings us right up to date with the reason we are here - Masterpiece Ironhide.

This version should be the definitive representation of the character in toy form and for the most part, it succeeds. But there are a couple of sore points which really should have been iron out before release.

But before we get into that, let's take a look at what you get for your money.

The Box

The box is a little larger than the usual box for the carbots. This is due to it not only containing the figure but also the sled and a bunch of accessories. On one hand I was hoping for the same sized box so that it would fit in with the other carbots but on the other hand the extras really help make up for the increased box size.
It looks like any other Masterpiece carbot box
But it is a bit bigger than the others

Along with the figure you also get the usual instructions, a collector card and a 'モニターカード' or monitor card for use in Ironhide's chest.

Some of the goodies inside the box

Masterforce are also including the Asia only coin with the figure which is rather nice.
Like most coins, it fits the character it comes with
Once opened the coin looks lovely

The Contents

Inside the box you get the Ironhide figure itself, a sled which is a nice take on the original G1 figure's sled, a number of accessories for the figure and also the usual instructions and character card.

The extras include:
  • Laser Pistol x 2
  • Static Laser Gun
  • Alternate Face Plate 
  • Jet Thruster
  • Jet Thruster Effect Parts
  • Sensor
  • Missle
  • Missle Launcher
  • Shooter Hands
  • Shooter Nozzles
  • Red Shooter Nozzles 
Ironhide and his spare parts

The extra hands are really quite nice and make for an interesting look when attached to Ironhide.
Just like that

The two different sets of nozzles are nice to have but not a necessity.
Pew pew
More pew pew

Ironhide's laser pistols can fit in his hands but care must be taken as the fit is snug and there have been reports of people breaking the thumbs when attaching and detaching them. Just take your time and your patience will be rewarded. It seems that the pistols are possibly designated left and right so if it doesn't fit then try the other hand.
Shooting from the hip

Attaching the jetpack to Ironhide makes for a great addition to the figure and would allow for some awesome poses with a display stand. I prefer the over-the-shoulder look myself.
Does my jetpack look big etc

The Ironhide figure comes packaged in vehicle mode and what a vehicle mode it is. It's a perfect update of the G1 original and looks identical to the toy I remember as a child.
Masterpiece Ironhide is what G1 Ironhide wanted to be
Next to Ironhide is the sled which can be used to store all of the accessories.
Totally unnecessary but really nice
The accessories come packaged underneath the ironhide figure and sled. No space is wasted in this package.

Vehicle Mode

The vehicle mode is the stuff of dreams. It's looks just like the original G1 toy in every way and really takes you back to playing with Ironhide back in the day.
Looking as G1 as possible

From underneath you can make out some of the robot mode but not that much. It's a lovely neat package that keeps the fun stuff hidden away.
Really nicely hidden robot parts

If you look closely at the front of the vehicle behind the windscreen, you may see G1 Ironhide make an appearence.
A nice nod to the original figure

Robot Mode

The robot mode is where things start to get a little weird. Firstly let's talk about what they got right.

Ironhides face sculpt is awesome and exactly what I would have wanted. The default face is pretty good and as near as damn it to the Ironhide from the G1 cartoon.

The extra face is more of a shouty open mouthed affair and isn't quite as good in my opinion. My copy is also quite badly painted or suffers from acne.

The legs are about as close to the cartoon representation as you could want. All nice and chunky and solid. The colours are bang on and in the right place, with his lower legs being red and upper legs/thighs being gray.

Where it goes a little wrong is in the large gap just above his waist and toward the back of the figure. It feels like there should be something there to hide the huge hold that just looks wrong. I would suggest that the out of place red hip skirts should have found a way to move into that position but it feels from handling the figure that that would have been rather tricky.

The other thing I find odd is the fact that the sides of the figure taper inward whilst the front of the figure tapers outward. If they could have found a way to correct that strange look then the figure would have been pretty much perfect. As it is, in hand, you don't notice those issues as much as you may do when looking at pictures.


Ironhide is wonderfully articulated and can achieve some rather splendid poses with little effort. Front top to bottom we have:
  • Head on a ball joint with full 360 swivel and some up and down tilt
  • Ratcheted shoulders
  • Rotation at the biceps
  • Hinged elbows
  • Swiveling hands
  • Fingers on a hinge
  • Rotation about the waist
  • Universal joint on attaching the leg to the crotch
  • Rotation about the knee
  • Knee bend to nearly 90 degrees
  • Foot tilt
  • Ankle tilt
  • Crotch skirts to allow for legs to be raised
All in all that is some excellent articulation and what I would expect from a Masterpiece figure. The waist skirts do limit the outward movement of the legs however, which is something I would not have expected.

Given this range of articulation, you can crack some sweet poses.
Running man

Rear Guard

This figure makes good use of the front wheels when transformed into robot mode, a use which I would have loved as a kid and can still find humour in today.
Oh bum
I am so childish that I just had to take a shot which emphasised this aspect of Ironhide.

Can you smell something?
It's even funnier with fire!
I told you not to light a match


So everything taken into account my verdict has to be a massive success for Takara Tomy. The problems that I have mentioned are minor and easy to overlook when the rest of the figure is so damn good.

Masterpiece Ironhide fits right in with every other Masterpiece figure since MP-10 and properly fills the Ironhide shaped void in the Masterpiece line up.

I don't know if I have managed to get across my joy at handling this figure. It's a beautiful Masterpiece to handle and a joy to transform. The red paintwork is so smooth and lush that you almost can't believe Takara Tomy made it as they don't have the best reputation for painting their figures well.

It is sturdy and chunky and never gives you the impression that it may fall over if knocked too hard. Because of this it will be a firm favourite for posing on a shelf with other Masterpieces. It is also one of the few Masterpieces that I would consider letting a young person play with as I think it could stand the daily rigor of play without a problem.

Anyway, that's enough from me. As usual here are some photos that didn't quite make it into the review. See you next time and thanks for reading. 
Scale is bang on for me

With monitor card inserted
Amazing update
Road Rage for comparison to smaller carbots

Ironhide is available to buy from 
You can read more of Robotochan's reviews on his own blog