Saturday, 29 August 2015

Combiner Wars Ironhide


Ironhide

In early 2015 a rumour emerged that both Prowl & Ironhide would feature in Combiner Wars. When Off Road was released his comic featured a version with Ironhide's head. Meanwhile First Aid's comic showed a version of his toy with a Prowl like head which ties in with his appearance in a recent issue of the comic formerly known as RID.

In early May 2015 this version of the Optimus Maximus image escaped resolving the dilemma by revealing that Ironhide would be a red version of Off Road. While the original Ironhide was a van but he's been a pickup truck quite frequently since his G2 Gobot version and most younger fans would probably think of Ironhide as a truck due his Movie toys which, although usually black, have occasionally been red. The problem here is that Ironhide's classics toy, Universe Ironhide, is generally held to be one of the worst in the entire classics range and sorely in need of a second go to get it right. Many will see this as a wasted opportunity to achieve this but I'm not sure using the First Aid version of the toy would have quite hit the spot either, lacking the smoother lines inherited from his Diaclone Onebox Cherry Vanette ancestor. Diaclone itself does have it's own red pickup, a version of the Hilux wrecker that became Hoist. I'd also be failing in my duty if I didn't point out that it was a red Hilux pickup that Top Gear tried to destroy but failed and has been adorning their studio ever since!

If you've got Off Road, and of all the Combiner Wars toys I'm most familiar with him since he's stood on my desk since his divorce from the Stunticons, this is that toy in red with a new head. The new head concerns me: I've accidentally popped it off it's ball joint twice now transforming it something I don't remember doing with Offroad or First Aid. Apart from that there's no remoulding but the panels on the sides of the chest have been sympathetically repainted to evoke the chest covering window the original had. He comes with the same axe and hand weapon which turns into combined mode foot/gun as his predecessors: he could really have done with a gun but you'll probably have a redundant Alpha Bravo in your collection by now so steal one from him.

If you can get over this not being a van and not having a windscreen across the chest this is a pretty good Ironhide, a better toy than the Universe version by a long long way.


Trailbreaker

The same story that revealed Swindle also listed a Trailbreaker which could be have been made from this mould. Which version depended on if you want a pickup or something approximating his camper element. Botcon 2015 solved this one by revealing Trailbreaker is the Offroad mould with a new head and a retooled right arm that looses the fist for and end of arm connector like the original Trailbreaker had to attach his fists and missiles.

Now Trailbreaker is a personal favourite and having waited for ages we've now had two decent deluxe versions in 3 and a bit years!


Future repaints

I had thought that the most obvious repaint for Off Road would be Swindle and that would explain where that peg hole on the original Off Road's flatbed came into play. A Combiner Wars Swindle was found in compute listings in April 2015 but we were somewhat surprised at Botcon 2015 when Swindle was revealed to be an extensive remould of Rook. I'd also thought that if you're trying to do the original 18 Diaclone Autobots in Combiner Wars then recolouring the Swindle version of the toy as Hound is a possibility. Well I got it right that Swindle became Hound!

If you do Trailbreaker from this mould then Hoist is an obvious choice but would need something put onto Off Road's flatbed to approximate his towing gear. However I've seen it suggested that the combined mode foot can be used as towing gear.

Longer term I could see Offroad serving as Kup or possibly Hoist & Hubcap in a Machine Wars themed set. Another tow truck possibility is Towline in a Robots in Disguise set with the First Aid version of the toy repainted as X-Brawn.

First Aid MIGHT lend itself to being used as Ratchet if Combiner Wars goes for broke and tries to do all 16 Diaclone car Autobots. However the same comments I made in relation to Ironhide with the design not fitting with smoother lines of the Diaclone design apply here too. And, bar a new head, I'm not sure how to repaint First Aid to make it different enough but still Ratchet.

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