Review by JoshB
Ironhide and Ratchet were THE WORST of the Generation One vehicles. They did not transition well from Diaclone to Transformers. Many a child wept with dispair after asking for a transformer and getting one of these.
In 2007, TakaraTomy reissued original G1 Transformers under their Transformers Encore brand.
The packaging is very nice - mimmicking the original Japanese Transformers release with some modern revisions.
In the original Diaclone toy line, Ironhide was No. 4 Onebox Ambulance Type, aalmost the same as this release, with the addition of red crosses on it.. It had a little driver that sat in the seat, which made the robot mode act more like a powered suit. For the US release, the omitted the Diaclone driver and changed the color to red. Without a driver, Hasbro / Takara created a face label to attach to the seat.
For this Encore release, TakaraTomy included cardboard cutouts of cartoon-like heads that you could insert behind the seat.
And those stickers? At least for this release, they are terrible. They barely stick.
Ironhide is fine as a van, but those seams do not line up no matter what I do. I don't think the original Transformers one did either, so it's accurate there. It's got rubber tires, and it rolls well. There's an obvious gap on the back.
Remove the back of the van from the front, and unfold the sides and chrome treads underneath.
The robot part has diecast metal inthe feet, front, and arm connector bars. In this release, everything is sufficiently tight.
The battle platform is cool, and includes a working missile launcher that actually launches with force. you can see the black seat where a Diaclone Driver would sit. The idea of a vehicle that transforms into an exo-suit and battle platform sounds great, but without the driver, it just seems pointless.
The robot rides on the back of the platform, making it very back heavy. This reissue adds two tabs to keep the legs in place.
The silver laser in the front attaches via a red peg. The laser attaches underneath the botttom of vehicle mode, but there's no place to put the peg.
Overall, if this wasn't part of the original Generation 1 lineup, I never would have bought it. It wasn't a good toy then, and it still is not now.
Ironhide and Ratchet are the most affordable of the Encore reissues due to low demand.
Comments1 comment posted
I can attest to the fact that Ratchet was a lot of fun if you had the Diaclone pilots. On the Christmas of 85' my mother had given me a Diakron Multi-force 14 along with a couple of G1 toys (of Diaclone origin). It didn't take long for me to put those little dudes into the G1 vehicle cockpits. At that point I didn't play with the toys as Transformers, but instead pretended that they were mecha....as nature intended!