Transformers Animated Arts Key Chain, or Swinger, or Whatever
Item No.: n/a Manufacturer:Takara-Tomy Includes:Chain Action Feature:Hangs around Retail:$1-$2 Availability: 2010 Other: In Japan he's Ironhide, in the USA he's Bulkhead
Because it's toy law, Japan will always get some cool toys the USA will never see. (We get some nice ones too, but usually they tended to get the lion's share of the best stuff in the grass-is-greener-ometer.) One of the neater items they had was this Ironhide (Bulkhead) figure on a chain, which you can get by mail order or if you have a cool friend, he'll bring you back one from Japan. Other figures in the line include Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Prowl, Ratchet, and Starscream-- so you can probably get the whole set of capsule toys for next to nothing.
The 1 1/2-inch figure has no articulation and does not transform, but it's pretty cool. He has a slightly exaggerated head, claw hands, and a surprisingly great paint job. Designed to hang from backpacks or other things you may have on your person, the figure was not engineered to stand on his own-- he will topple over. This is unfortunate, but it's not like they weren't up-front with the idea that they want you to hang it from something. Mine lived on a shelf for nearly a year before I did this little feature, and this should be a swell item for collectors of non-transforming toys based on these characters. And, you know, it's cheap-- so you might want to get it if you see it, because who doesn't love Bulkhead?
Since it really doesn't do anything it's tough to push you toward it for any fun reasons, but it's well-sculpted, nicely painted, and were it carded and sold for $4 in a US store I think I'd feel I got my money's worth. It's a shame Hasbro didn't release animated "Robot Heroes" like this, they look like they might have been pretty cool.
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