Review: Mech iDeas DC-03 Gauntlet

A long time ago in 1993, a toy called Ironfist was released as part of the European Transformers toyline. Ironfist sank into obscurity over for the next 17 years with no fiction to build upon his character, until two fellows by the name of Nick Roche and James Roberts wrote a little miniseries for IDW titled Last Stand of the Wreckers featuring Ironfist as a lovable dork with a tragic character arc. Last Stand quickly became one of the most popular and beloved Transformers stories, largely thanks to its featuring of characters from the European G1 line with little-to-no previous character and gave them unique and memorable personalities. Unfortunately, the obscurity of said characters meant that there was no way Hasbro would be releasing them anytime soon. In cases like these, fans turn to the third party companies, specifically a new group called Mach 5 who unveiled their Gauntlet figure. Unfortunatly, Mach 5 was plagued with development problems and the project was scrapped… until Mech iDeas, fresh from their success with the Demolition Crue Apex and Geminus, stepped in and completed the figure’s production, finally giving Wreckers fans a proper toy of Nick Roche’s Ironfist in the form of Gauntlet.

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Vehicle Mode

Gauntlet’s vehicle mode is a little grey block with little round wheels and a big gun turret stuck on the roof. It’s mostly accurate to the Roche design, just a bit more truncated and with a slightly larger gun turret. It’s small and cute and it rolls quite well. The turret can rotate or even just come off thanks to the simple peg system. The blue paint apps on the “window” and headlights help to break up the solid mass of grey.

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Transformation

While many would expect a complex, fiddly transformation from a third-party figure, Gauntlet’s conversion is simple and logical for his size and design. The only part I had issues with was figuring out how to properly arrange his arms for vehicle mode. Once in robot mode, you can fold his little “door” flaps in for a cleaner look, or leave them out for a more comic-accurate look.

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Robot Mode

Despite looking a bit pudgier than his comic book inspiration, Gauntlet is still very much Ironfist as drawn by Nick Roche. Aside from the proportions, the only real inaccuracies are the white plates on his arms, which are necessary for the transformation and are hardly something to be bothered by. What does rather bug me is that the eye and faceplate colors seem to have been swapped. He should have blue eyes and a silver faceplate, but the toy instead has silver eyes and a blue faceplate. It seems to be an intentional decision, but why? Other than that, the headsculpt is almost spot-on to the comic design. The barrel of his turret can be removed and held in his hand for use as a rifle, or you could remove the entire turret and use it as a really big gun a la the G1 Ironfist toy, which is a neat touch.

Gauntlet’s articulation is rather limited due to his small and bulky design, but he still manages to get a nicely-ranged balljointed head, ball-and-hing shoulders, balljointed elbows, hips, and wrists, thigh swivel, and a swivel joint at the knee with a fairly good range. His elbows are rather limited and can only bend to a rather unimpressive degree, but for a figure his size I’ve found that it isn’t much of an issue.

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Overall

Last Stand of the Wreckers was a huge hit, and made Ironfist, Rotorstorm, Pyro, and Guzzle (and Topspin, Twin Twist, Overlord…) instant fan-favorite characters. Ironfist was coincidentally also featured in the Transformers Collector’s Club magazine comics in the same year with a very different personality, and ended up getting a toy in the Transformers Subscription Service line as a retool of the less-than-stellar FOC Swindle toy in more G1-accurate colors. Seeing as that version will run you an upwards of $50 and Mech iDeas’ Gauntlet figure is priced at an affordable $30, the choice seems rather obvious to me. If you loved LSOTW and you’re dying to get an Ironfist toy that looks like it jumped right off the page, don’t hesitate to pick up Gauntlet.

Where to Buy

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