Now that the Animated toys are fully hitting the shelves fans have been eager to see the new direction Transformers is taking. After the movie line which gave us a lot of very realistic vehicle modes, Animated is going for an entirely different look. But is that working? I have gotten a few animated figures. Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime, Prowl and Lockdown I like but I am not too fond of Cybertron Mode Megatron and Starscream. I also got in Leader Bulkhead and I am going to review him briefly.
Do note that I have not seen much of the show aside from a few episdes via Youtube. That is not a preferible solution as one should really watch then on a big screen tv. Which I plan to do as soon as I get the DVD's. In any case, this explains my limited knowledge of the show. In any case onto the review.
As I have Bulkhead in vehicle mode now I am going to start with that. The vehicle mode is not all that accurate to the cartoon version. The thing people will notice immediately is the turret on the front of the vehicle and the projectiles on the side of the vehcile. The first does not bother me as the turret covers the robot head. The latter do as Bulkhead is not a trigger-happy maniac. I also noticed that these projectiles look more like torpedoes than rockets which leads me to wonder what a landbased bot would do with torpedoes. Unfortunately even though the torpedoes can be removed the racks cannot.
These additions aside, Bulkhead looks like his cartoon counterpart. As the Animated cartoon features simple designs, the designers added in another feature to prevent Bulkhead from looking too bland. There are rivets on several parts of the vehicle, especially the front. This adds a neat detail and I like it save for one small detail. Rivits are generally not used on tanks or other armored vehicles as explosions and such can heat them causing them to shoot out and injure people inside the tank. Of course the designers probably did not know that and since this figure is aimed as kids -whom will not know this as well- I can let it slide.
Bulkhead has a few seams and hinges but nothing too bothersome. He has 6 wheels all of which roll well. The front turret has 2 weapons both of which can move up or down. The only other play value in this mode lies in the light and sounds. Pressing the Autobot logo will play a siren noise and the LED's below the stroberack light up. They are bright enough to give the impression that the stroberacks are actually lit up. Once the Autobot logo is depressed the siren stops but the lights go on for a few more seconds.
In all a neat feature but for an Leader Class toy it is a bit lacking in play value. The movie toys had intiguing transformations and really detailed vehicle modes to make up for the lack of featues in vehicle mode. Bulkhead does not have this excuse.
The transformation reveals another sound because once the turret is pulled loose and split in two, the classic Transformation sound is played and 4 lights blink. Two on Bulkhead's shoulders, one behind the front window and one inside the head. Transformation to robot mode is rather simple. The legs fold out from underneat the vehicle. The wheels fold in and the wheelbase folds down. The side doors fold up to allow the arms to be rotated in place (do remember to raise the chest a bit to allow the arms to be plugged in). The vehicle roof and aft section is rotated to match the look on the show. Bulkhead is now in robot mode.
The first thing one notices that Bulkhead has rather stubby legs. But it does match the animated Bulkhead perfectly so I am not complaining. The head is also very show accurate. One arm features a saw which is not something that Bulkhead has used on the show and it would be nice if he did. The only thing that does not resemble the cartoon version are the projectiles.
Posability is good, the shoulders and elbows can rotate and turn and the legs can rotate at the hips and rotate and turn at the knees. The left hand opens. I doubt one can get many poses out of Bulkhead but then again, I do not see him doing anything like that on the show either so I do not mind the lack of cool poses much
Naturally is posability not enough for a Leader Class toy so Bulkhead has a few features. Pressing the button on the right arm will cause the sawblade to rotate. It works well and does not incluence the figure negatively. I would have preferred a wreckingball gimmick or perhaps a gimmick to uitilize the large projectiles Bulhead is carrying.
Bulkhead of course comes with lights and sounds and he needs them as he does not have too much other features sadly. Pressing the Autobot logo on his chest will cause yellow lights in his chest, shoulders and eyes to light up, turn Bulkhead's head and open up Bulkhead;s mouth and cause him to say: "Sorry, my bad!" (my favorite), "Time for the big guns!" or "You can do it buddy!" A really neat feature and it works well.
Of course Bulkhead comes with the Headmaster head that also works with other Leader Class toys such as Ultra Magnus. Plugging it in will change the lights to red and cause Bulkhead (or rather Headmaster) to say "Ownage, total ownage!" Again a really cool feature but sadly it is the only phrase available to Headmaster (even though the instructions does says "phrases").
Again a missed chance as I had expected at least 2 or three phrases. And I feel it is a shame that the red LED's are used for Headmaster as it makes the Autobot logo look really cool. I would have preferred to see red LED's for Bulkhead and purple for the Headmaster. Or just to have seen blue LED's rather than yellow.
And in case anyone is wondering- no the kibble does not seem to be able to change into a chair as it did on the show.
Bulhead is an interesting figure with a few really cool features. Sadly he also suffers from a few downsides and not all the features have been implemented all that well. I do not own the Voyager so I do not know how he compares to that but on his own Leader Bulkhead is a nice addition to your Animated collection as long as one keeps in mind the downsides.
|Date||June 28th 2008|
|Score||(8 out of 10)|