I wasn't initially a fan of the Grimlock figure, but when I saw the repaint Wheeljack, I decided to take the plunge and buy it. I never got the G1 Wheeljack, but always wanted it.
The outside of the Wheeljack box is Binaltech standard, with windows at both ends. The back of the box has the usual information and photos.
The inside of the Binaltech box is, as always, a work of art. If you remove the bubble packaging and the carboard tray, you can display the car on the tray. Included in the box is an instruction booklet and collector's card.
I much prefer this paint variant of the Ford Mustang GT to the Grimlock silver. The white with blue Shelby striping is a much more striking color scheme. The black racing spoiler is a bit tacked-on looking but it's fairly subtle. Under the hood is the big Ford V-8 in chrome. Vroom!
The interior is the same black as Grimlock but the seats are in the same blue as the striping on the exterior. It creates a striking effect when the door is open.
The underside of the Mustang shows off a lot of mechanical detail, owing mainly to the large rectangular piece in the center. Wheeljack's sword snaps into the center for storage.
Wheeljack has an impressive stance in robot mode. The doors folded onto the shoulders look great, but the transformation sequence to get them in this position is very difficult. The doors tend to pop out of their hinges fairly easy, and will fall off during transformation without much force. The forearms are a little better but also can come off during the transformation. The shoulder hinges are fairly stiff, which is part of the problem in transformation. Since you have to grab something to fold the arms around, it's usually the forearm, which usually comes off in your hand. Fortunately you can just snap them back onto the ball joints.
I don't care much for the wheels left on the forearms, but that's a minor complaint. The legs look a bit clunky because of the bumper of the car forming Wheeljack's "knees." The car seats form his feet, which I don't like much. The rounded seat shape doesn't look very robotic, in my opinion.
The engine/gun doesn't make a very convincing weapon. I would like it a lot better if it folded like Smokecreen's gun. The big V8 engine has two small plastic pointy bits that fold out to form "barrels." It's a weak effect overall, and doesn't look like it could dish out much punishment. The sword looks decent, but really we all know it's just a holdover from Grimlock.
Wheeljack's head sculpt looks really nice, with an aggressive "frown." The hood has a folding panel in the center that permits the neck to be positioned in the middle of the hood. This helps Wheeljack look a little more proportioned, and not so much like he's staring out over his own hood. Still, I would prefer if the hood angled down a bit like Skids/Broadblast.
The big downside of this figure is the back side. I don't mind the windshield and roof, but the huge chunk o' kibble hanging off Wheeljack's butt really looks bad. It would make a huge difference if this had a joint in the middle that would permit it to be folded up and behind the windshield, tucking it away. The backs of the feet/seats are visible also, and they look awkward as well.
The rectangle o' kibble also is difficult to swivel around during the transformation sequence. It must be rotated from Wheeljack's front to his back. The joint at his waist is very stiff, and the rectangle o' kibble or one of his legs may come off in your hand while attempting this stage of transformation.
Altogether, I think this is a fairly decent Binaltech. The car mode looks great, but the robot mode is its downfall. With the kludgy detailing, weak gun, and difficulty in transformation, I have to deduct a few points. I'm not sure if I would have bought this Binaltech if it hadn't been Wheeljack, but my nostalgia for the character overcomes some of the negatives.
|Reviewer||Mark Sandlin |
|Date||February 2nd 2006 |
|Score|| (7 out of 10) |