If you'd told me twelve years ago (after we got those ill-conceived Star Brigade Power Fighters) that Mechs would soon be a standard addition to the Joe motor pool, I would have said you were nuts, and if the Joes were planning on using Mechs they'd better get their designers better trained since those Power Fighters were pretty darn bad. Judging from the Power Fighters I'm not even sure I'd want Mechs to become standard gear, and I'm a fan of the concept.

The Defense Mech was better than the Power Fighters, for sure, but still felt a little bit lacking to me. The weapons were a bit under-utilized, and it seemed more like a power suit and less like an over-powering mechanized battle suit. Then we got the Iron Hammer. Now THIS... this is a Mech.


Hasbro spends some serious time here on the packaging design like they do with all of the 2.5" stuff, and the artwork is terrific. Presentation is key.

The Toy

Now what makes this Mech so cool? Is it the size? The weapons? The overall design schematic? How about all of the above?

First of all, compared to the basic 2.5" format, the Iron Hammer is pretty darn big. It looms high above the figures and is immediately imposing, even to other vehicles. The canopy is nicely sloped, and the two "cat ear" type extensions just present a very neat design asthetic. There is a real "Battletech" feel to this particular mech, making it feel much more imposing than the regular power suits we've gotten before. With an angular, powerful looking cockpit the control center of the Iron Hammer looks like a real mechanized canopy instead of just a slab of armor strapped over your body. Hi-Tech fits in this cockpit remarkably well and I just love how cool it looks in general.

Two massive legs support this control booth, and these legs are very, very nicely designed. The hips are joined by unique ball-joints which gives him some decent movement, and his ankles are also ball-jointed. This gives you some decent flexibility in regards to the way you can position or use this battle armor. There is one limitation...the Iron Hammer's knees are not poseable at all, which is pretty disappointing to me, but I guess it's understandable. It is capable of getting into some pretty neat poses without that, but it would have been quite cool to get that extra bit of movement in there. The way Hasbro has designed the claw feet is just fantastic, too, and I really love the way they look.

But a mech is only as good as it's offensive weaponry, and the Iron Hammer has absolutely no shortage of that at all.

Using the standard DTC junction points, there are four separate arm attachments that each provide a particular use or function. These attachments range from a simple claw mechanism, to a vicious looking double barreled laser cannon, rotating missile launcher, and a nice spring-loaded battering ram. It would seem that there are two arms meant to be the standard attachments, simply because they have a unique additional joint giving them much more motion, and end up looking a lot more impressive once attached as well. The claw and missile launcher both have this functional extra piece, and as a result, I like using those two as the standard arms, leaving the ram and the cannon as "upgrades" or optional equipment as the mission dictates.

No matter which arms you choose to use, though, every one of them is exceptionally well designed, nicely sculpted and beautifully executed. Armored plating, intricate seams, and an overall tough looking appearence really makes these arm attachments great.

The claw arm has a great spring-loaded open/close function, while the battering ram is a more straight-forward spring-loaded "pop out" weapon. That terrific looking multi-missile launcher obviously launches them in rapid succession, and in fact, the laser appears to be the only attachment that doesn't have any real playable function,

This large mech also comes with an attachment that lets the Dragonhawk drag it around and deploy where it sees fit. I was a little irritated to find, though, that the Iron Hammer doesn't fit under the Dragonhawk real smoothly with both of the "extended" arm attachments. It's just a bit too wide. Once you swap the right arm out with a more "close to the body" weapon, though, it seems okay. The Drop attachment also doubles as an extra mount point for a weapon, which is kind of neat, too.

From the colors chosen, the actual paint apps themselves, the sculpting of this impressive mech, and even the stickers themselves, the Iron Hammer is a nice, solid, imtense looking offensive weapon. I can really see this thing causing some damage to the COBRA ranks, and the execution ended up great as well. A nice selection of weapon combinations, a great design scheme and loads of playability give the Iron Hammer all sorts of options.

From those excellent looking claw-shaped feet, to the nicely concealed ball joints, to the hard plastic "wiring", the canopy shape, and everything in between, the Iron Hammer is tons of fun and is a great vehicle all around.

The figure that comes with the Iron Hammer at first was kind of up for grabs. While it definitely resembled Hi-Tech, the uniform was different enough so you couldn't really be sure. But seeing it up close, the figure is definitely Hi-Tech, and although he has some extra padding on his uniform, the figure is essentially a 2.5" version of the regular figure you find on store shelves.

The sculpting of Hi-Tech is pretty nicely done, with the somewhat spikey hair and goggles, and his arms look a lot like the 8" counterpart. I find myself really liking the extra padding under the arms and on the inside of the legs, it adds a pretty neat element to the figure and makes him look more specially equipped to pilot the mech. Articulation here is decent, but pretty standard, with your basic swivel shoulders and swivel hips. However the figure at least looks vanilla enough to work outside of being wedged into the Mech seat. If you do put Hi-Tech in the seat, though, you will be pleasently surprised with how nicely he fits in there. These figures definitely seem better integrated with the vehicles than the Wave 1 counterparts did.

Also included with the Iron Hammer is...errr... Ninja Armor Snake Eyes. Don't ask me why, but he's there. He's not only there, but he's in a funky crouching position that is not compatible with anything about the Mech itself. The sculpting is decent, the armor detail is nice, but the articulation is pretty much non-existent.

Not bad from a sculpting standpoint, but kind of a non-sensical choice to be included with this vehicle.

3 3/4" Compatibility

Yet another thing about the Iron Hammer mech that was a very pleasent surprise is that it actually comes across as being a decent sized mech even for the 3 3/4" figures. From the surface, it is a very nice size for the larger scaled Joes, so immediately dreams of customization come to mind. Unfortunately, unless you break out a screwdriver and some power tools, it won't work right off, but I don't think it ends up being that hard to make it work.

As you can see, the cockpit would ALMOST work without some of that extra kibble in there, and from what I can tell, there are a few screws in the main body of the Mech that might make it pretty easy to take apart and possibly remove the internal seat. In fact, Nighthawk, one of the Sigma 6 Central forum members took it upon himself to do some nice customizing to the Iron Hammer. See the details in this thread. I'm fired up that Nighthawk did this, it provides a lot of helpful insight, and shows that the Iron Hammer really works well in this regard. He didn't even remove the seat, he just cut out some junk in there. Very nice work here, and I think the Mech meshes excellently with the 3 3/4" guys.


Wave One was somewhat hitt or miss on the 2.5" stuff. The vehicles were pretty neat, but Wave Two simply blows it out of the water. From the Street Razor to the Winged Fury, and the HISS and the Iron Hammer, the second wave of 2.5" vehicles has hit on every single cylinder. Of course, it would be even better if they were larger scaled, but that's a conversation for another time. ;)

The Iron Hammer itself looked pretty impressive from early pictures, and it has continued to shine the more I've fooled with it doing this review. The customizing options, the play value and the intricate details throughout this thing just make it a really fun toy, and a great larger scale alternative to the more modest mechs we've gotten in the past. It makes a great foil for the Mantis as well. Considering these are getting price reductions down to $9.99, picking one up is pretty much a no-brainer, especially since conversion to a 3 3/4" is relatively straight forward.

Excellent toy, highly recommended.














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