Saturday, 2 February 2013

#59: Ironworks (1989)

One of the coolest things about Micromasters were the bases. The fact that these little figures could essentially have a whole 'city' to play in if you collected all of the myriad playsets was really quite awesome. Sadly, I haven't been able to collect them all (yet), but believe me, one of these days, that's exactly what I'm going to do, and my Man Cave will be resplendent and replete with Micromasters.

Ironworks only ever had fiction in Japan, and never showed up in the west at all. In the Land of the Rising Sun, he and the construction station (the base aspect of the toy) turned up briefly in the one and only cartoon produced for 'Zone' (the main Micromasters fiction) 'Enter the New Supreme Commander, Dai Atlas!'. and in the manga and story pages that followed on from the cartoon. Ironworks' only function as far as I can tell is that he helped fend off the Decepticons from attacking the Autobots, and really, that's about it. Shame. Still, that's way more than he got in the west, at least. 

To be fair, if he'd had fiction, there isn't much in his Tech Specs to suggest what he might have been like, considering that most of that concerns itself with what he can do, rather than what he's like. This seems to be a leimotif of later Tech Spec bios, almost as if Hasbro had given up by this point even trying to make their toys interesting, and just getting them out there. As we know, that's pretty much how it happened.

The toy itself, is great, mainly because of the playset aspect. Ironworks himself is a repaint of the Off-Road Patrol's team leader Powertrain, and that in itself is a positive boon, because it's an off-the-wall toy which is different to most of the Micromasters around at the time, transforming into a truck cab and all. Rendered in a very nice construction yellow, Ironworks commands a transforming base, which is both a construction yard, and what appears to be a fortified communications tower (at least I think that's what it is). Without other Micromasters, this isn't a great base by itself, but with a couple of patrols, and even hitched up to another base, and it becomes rather nifty and quite awesome. This isn't a bad thing, because that's what it was built for, collectability. It's not meant as a standalone piece, and because of that, it works perfectly. So if you're into your Micromasters, then this a definite. Thumbs up for Ironworks!

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