The Masterpiece I wasn’t expecting — and frankly wasn’t even aware I dearly wanted — was that rough n’ ready, ornery Cowboy with a water cannon, Ironhide.
As I lamented in my previous Ironhide post, my little kid self was sorely disappointed when Ironhide’s G1 toy turned out to be nothing at all like his on-screen persona.
So far, neither Generations nor Timelines has managed to properly fill that Ironhide-shaped hole in my Generations display. Both of the two previous attempts were passable, but only barely. The 2005 Timelines release is nice but looks much more like a very young incarnation of Ironhide, while the 2008 Universe release is mostly just a jumbled mess. However, while age and an accompanying understanding of Diaclone has mellowed me entirely to his G1 toy; this newly minted Masterpiece toy has perfectly filled any previously perceived gaps in the realm of updates.
Unfortunately, his design has caused quite a split in the fandom. By staying slavishly true to his animation model, at certain angles the toy looks somewhat elongated in the crotchplate and torso.
After having it in my hands, to me it’s not necessarily the torso or the crotchplate that causes the odd perspective, it’s that the arms aren’t quite long enough. That being said, I am not one of the folks throwing disdain his way. I think he’s great.
In fact, I only have one real disappointment in the entire set and all things considered, it’s a rather superficial disappointment. The promotional material initially got me excited that, like his G1 toy, he would include his battle platform.
Indeed he does come with… well, a rough approximation of his battle platform.
Ultimately though, with no treads and it being an entirely separate piece that doesn’t integrate with his alt mode at all, it seems more superfluous and unecessary than anything else. Granted, I now know that its actual purpose — outside of the obvious homage — is to hold Ironhide’s multitude of accessories.
And he’s got a multitude.
First, he has a sonar/radar setup for his wrist. This duplicates the “sonodar” from the G1 episode S.O.S. Dinobots.
By using this, he was able to uncover the dinosaur bones that would then be used by Wheeljack to create the Dinobots. The toy also comes with an insert for his chest to reflect the results of his scan complete with fossils.
Next he has a multitude of ways to vent liquids. He has extra hands.
This way he can display his often shown ability to spray different substances from the tips of his fingers.
For those times when fingertip dispersal just isn’t cutting it, such as in Desertion of the Dinobots, Part 1, he also has vents to replace his hands.
Strangely enough, he also has a second pair of vents. Unlike the dark grey vents, these red nozzles don’t match anything from his cartoon appearances. They do look a lot like the post his G1 toy includes to mount his Static Laser gun.
My favourite of his myriad of add-ons is his jetpack with blasty, flaming action.
There’s also space on the platform for his hand guns.
His hand guns can also be stored on the under side of his alt mode near his rear wheels. Of course, there’s also the guns that appear on his G1 toy’s platform, the front Static Laser gun and the missile launcher. The launcher can be mounted on his back, like in More than Meets the Eye, Part 3.
As far as the Static Laser gun, other than its place on his platform, he can hold it by the handle, or it — or either of his other two pistols — can be inserted in the covered hole on the top of his alt mode.
As far as his alt mode, just like the rest of the Masterpiece line, it is a near impeccable recreation of the original, an actual licensed vehicle.
The last thing I expected to be this excited about was a Masterpiece rendition of a Nissan Cherry Vanette.
Although the best part is the homage to his G1 toy’s “chairface” seen through the Masterpiece alt mode’s windshield.
Oh! I almost entirely forgot! Along with his plethora of accessories he also comes with two different facial expressions. He goes from “perpetually annoyed” to “yelling angry”.
His platform even has a peg on the underside to store whichever face he’s not currently using.
So, while he may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I think Optimus Prime’s old friend has never looked better.
Of course, all of this has made me just as excited for the upcoming remold into Ratchet.