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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Transformers: Generations Wheeljack Review

It's probably the dream of any modern Transformers collector: to own the complete roster of the first bots who appeared in the 1984 cartoon. The Transformers Classics and Universe lines helped the dream along with awesomely updated G1-inspired designs. We had almost everyone...until the movie came along and the lines came to a halt, and the collection along with it.

Now Hasbro is throwing fans the biggest bone ever with Transformers: Generations and Transformers: Reveal the Shield, two toy lines that will continue where Hasbro left off, giving fans the much-needed upgrades of the remaining original G1 bots like Perceptor (!), Jazz (!!) and of course, the Autobots' resident mad scientist, Wheeljack.


In the G1 cartoon, Wheeljack was the crackpot inventor. Even the sturdiest circuits shake in their housings the moment they hear Wheeljack say, "Say, that gives me an idea...". I mean, we're talking about the guy who thought it was a good idea to build the Dinobots and use their primitive dinosaur brain patterns as basis for their programming...yeah, that didn't end well.

Wheeljack's original toy was a Lancia Stratos Turbo, but today he's a white sports car of unknown make, and a retool of Reveal the Shield Tracks. The car looks absolutely cool, and the painted details are just sharp. They even painted the tail lights red! How considerate of you, Hasbro!




I especially like the type of white plastic they used here, as compared to Autobot Drift's dirty-white opaque plastic. The white is more robust, which makes all the details pop!

Wheeljack's conversion involves pulling a lot of things apart, which is frustrating on your first try. But when you're done, you're left with a bot mode that pays homage to the G1 toy and also updates it for the modern times. Look at that headsculpt and tell me that ain't Wheeljack!


If there's anything I could fault his bot mode, it's that it's wide when he should be tall. Wheeljack's only a smidge taller than Autobot Hound. Special Ops Jazz towers over him. It must be karma.

Anyway, articulation is plentiful on Wheeljack, and he can pull off a majority of poses with ease. His HUGE feet give him amazing balance for someone so top heavy, giving him the ability to drop inept Decepticons with a convincing side kick!



Finally, Wheeljack gets some cool accessories to build his inventor cred. He gets two silver wrenches (retooled from Tracks' missiles) that he can use to either tinker with stuff (!) or dismantle Decepticon faces without the benefit of anesthetics. He also gets his trusty rocket launcher, which you can clip into his shoulder to further drive the G1-inspired design home.



All in all, Wheeljack is a long-awaited and much-welcomed update for the Autobot inventor. Wicked alt mode, a G1-faithful bot mode, and accessories everywhere. The Autobots had to wait a while, but now Wheeljack's here, and he's here to stay.


I got Wheeljack at a toy launch during the weekend, and toy reps say he'll be hitting the shelves next week. With Wheeljack being a fan-favorite that just got an updated G1-inspired toy, you better grab one when you see one. Worth every centavo.


I hope you enjoyed this review. If you got something more to say about the toy, drop me a line via the comments box below and let's talk about it. Thanks for reading!

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