Ironhide thumbnail 1
Ironhide thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at Young V&A
Japan: Myths to Manga

Ironhide

Transformer
1984-1985 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Transformers are alien robots hailing from the planet Cybertron. They are divided into two factions: heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons. Autobots and Decepticons have been locked in an apocalyptic civil war for millennia. The line was launched in the United States in 1984 with an accompanying animated television series, it followed in Europe later that same year. Many of the Hasbro-distributed toys were actually rebranded versions of the existing Japanese ‘Microman’ and ‘Diaclone’ toylines made by Takara. The combination of vehicle and robot, and the often complicated series of movements required to change between the two modes, meant Transformers were extremely popular children’s toys during the mid-1980s.

Ironhide is an Autobot who often acts as second-in-command to their heroic leader, Optimus Prime. He transforms into a red Nissan Sunny minivan. The mould for this toy was derived from Takara’s ‘Diaclone’ range, which were originally supposed to represent piloted transforming vehicles, rather than sentient robots. For this reason, the Ironhide toy lacked a proper head, the driver’s seat behind the windscreen being instead decorated with a paper sticker printed with facial details. Ironhide was killed-off in the 1986 animated feature film ‘Transformers the Movie’, along with many other original members of the cast. This was a commercial decision made by Hasbro, who wished to discontinue the original 1984/85 line of toys in favour of introducing new characters.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 6 parts.

  • Transformer
  • Transformer
  • Transformer
  • Transformer
  • Transformer
  • Transformer
Titles
  • Ironhide (manufacturer's title)
  • Autobot (generic title)
Materials and techniques
moulded injection plastic and metal
Brief description
Transformer (Autobot), 'Ironhide'; red robot/minvan; manufactured by Takara, Japan, 1984-1985
Physical description
1. robot/wheel part; removable from main body; red; black and silver with coloured decals.
2. main body; matching colours
3,4. caterpiller tracks; silver plastic
5. rocket; white plastic.
Production typeMass produced
Marks and inscriptions
Takara Co © 1980-1982
Credit line
Given by Jermaine Dacas
Object history
References: Toy Trader; November 1985; April 1986; August 1986

Bought by the donor between 1985 and 1987. Mr Dacas was born 17/10/73 and saved his pocket money to buy the toys.
Historical context
Transformers are alien robots hailing from the planet Cybertron, all of them are capable of assuming an alternate form, usually a vehicle, through a series of folding movements. They are typically divided into two factions: Autobots and Decepticons. The Autobots are heroic, peace-loving and curious about humanity, they are led by Optimus Prime, who typically transforms into an articulated truck. The Decepticons are evil, authoritarian and contemptuous of other life-forms, they are led by the maniacal Megatron, who originally transformed into a realistic-looking handgun.

Initially, the franchise was essentially an American rebrand of two toylines already produced by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Tomy: ‘Diaclone’ and ‘Microman’. Hasbro had purchased the distribution rights to these lines in the early-1980s. Transformers was launched in the United States and Europe in 1984-85. The enormously popular toys inspired many spin-offs, including several animated television series’, a feature-length animated film (1986), multiple comic books series (including by Marvel, who had co-operated with Hasbro to produce GI Joe comics) and, inevitably, subsequent lines of toys. A series of big budget, live-action films have been produced by Warner Brothers since 2007.
Production
Made by: TAKARA CO
Japan
Subjects depicted
Summary
Transformers are alien robots hailing from the planet Cybertron. They are divided into two factions: heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons. Autobots and Decepticons have been locked in an apocalyptic civil war for millennia. The line was launched in the United States in 1984 with an accompanying animated television series, it followed in Europe later that same year. Many of the Hasbro-distributed toys were actually rebranded versions of the existing Japanese ‘Microman’ and ‘Diaclone’ toylines made by Takara. The combination of vehicle and robot, and the often complicated series of movements required to change between the two modes, meant Transformers were extremely popular children’s toys during the mid-1980s.

Ironhide is an Autobot who often acts as second-in-command to their heroic leader, Optimus Prime. He transforms into a red Nissan Sunny minivan. The mould for this toy was derived from Takara’s ‘Diaclone’ range, which were originally supposed to represent piloted transforming vehicles, rather than sentient robots. For this reason, the Ironhide toy lacked a proper head, the driver’s seat behind the windscreen being instead decorated with a paper sticker printed with facial details. Ironhide was killed-off in the 1986 animated feature film ‘Transformers the Movie’, along with many other original members of the cast. This was a commercial decision made by Hasbro, who wished to discontinue the original 1984/85 line of toys in favour of introducing new characters.
Collection
Accession number
B.105:1 to 6-1994

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Record createdApril 17, 2000
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