Saturday, 22 March 2008

REVIEW: Transformers Animated, Bulkhead (Voyager version)

From: Hasbro

Retail: $19.99 - £20

Accessories: Wrecking Ball

It has been a real privilege to receive early the upcoming Bulkhead figure from Transformers Animated. The ever clumsy, lumbering, large and lovable Bulkhead is my favourite character from the show, but do I think this toy does the character any justice? Read on and see.

In packaging, Bulkhead is first presented in his rounded armoured truck vehicle mode and although he does seem a bit small he is what one would expect from a good representation of a liked cartoon character, and I will describe why.

The vehicle mode itself is simple but effective. A lot of Transformers toys have had vehicle modes that don’t cover up their robotic parts entirely, especially underneath. With Bulkhead the robotic features are easily concealed, a quality that the Animated Starscream toy also has in jet mode. Bulkhead could easily pass off in disguise as a toy car to anyone who didn’t know Transformers or what this toy is about. As a vehicle Bulkhead has 6 big sturdy wheels and can go along smoothly across any flat surface, it is certainly the kind of toy that wouldn’t wear out the living room carpet easily.

Transforming the Bulkhead toy is as simple as it looks, and I can say this is one of the friendlier Transformer toys for younger fans to experience. The burly robot form stands like in the cartoon series with his large body and arms all supported by a pair of short and stubby legs. This is all pretty comical to look at and Bulkhead’s easily recognisable ‘Trap Jaw’ expression has faithfully made it to the figure.

As far as accessories go - The infamous wrecking ball weapon is present and is activated from the left arm via a switch located underneath. The arms in general feature Bulkhead’s unique style of hands in which they are like 3 gripping panels representing fingers somewhat. The forearms are especially large which works out well for concealing the wrecking ball inside (much like in the show).

Of course there is the immediate criticism that the scale of this figure could be a lot bigger especially compared to the other Animated toys. If you have seen early shots or group photos on various TF sites you can see that Bulkhead seems to have shrunk in the wash when stood next to some of the deluxe range of figures (especially Bumblebee). This isn’t entirely all down to the Bulkhead figure as figures like Bumblebee toy for example have been made to be a bit taller than they should be, but that is a separate topic for another time. Of course, Hasbro are also doing a much larger Leader class size version of Bulkhead for those collectors concerned about scale.

Personally for me the scale is not a problem and this is a figure that looks like Bulkhead in great detail. Detail itself is not that hard with the Animated line due to the simplicity and solid colours the Transformers are designed in. As I have said before, “These are not Bayformers” (Praise Jesus!). What matters is that this a figure that is so close and almost accurate to its on-screen counterpart which succeeds in different areas of being a great Transformers toy, such as the effective vehicle mode, wrecking ball weapon and tough looking cartoon robot form that just plain stands out.

Overall, Bulkhead represents the new Animated style for Transformers rather well due to his whacky outstanding character design. This is a figure that is easily pleasing to the eye with a simple but solid vehicle mode, a good transformation and a certain coolness factor about him. This is a must for Animated and Bulkhead fans alike.

Easily 5/5!


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