It’s hard to believe it’s been a week already, and yet it’s Friday and I’ve still got a few more transformable choppers that I wanted to get to. Today we’re looking at a few more Autobots, this time from the Energon line. Bulkhead and his repaint Quickstrike. I can’t remember what size class Bulkhead came in, but I’m thinking he was probably an Ultra because he does have electronics and when you combine him with his booster pack, he’s pretty friggin huge. Don’t ask me what the electronics do, though, because it’s been ages since I’ve had working batteries in this thing. It is noteworthy, though, that all of his electronics are in the booster, so Hasbro could, theoretically, pack the figure alone in a future Voyager Class re-release and they’d be doing new fans a favor.
Releaving Bulkhead of his booster platform, we can get a better idea of how awesome his chopper mode is. He’s got two retractable landing gear, and a third on the tail that spins the rotors when you pull it like a trigger. He’s got a nice, embossed Autobot insignia behind his cockpit, and no less than four firing missile launchers mounted on his wings. [Take out the missiles before transforming him, lest you want to spend ten minutes fishing them out from behind the sofa like I had to! -FF] It’s a very solid helicopter, and the colors are no doubt an homage to G1 Springer. I guess my only complaint here is that his arms above his wings don’t actually peg into anything, but the ratchet joints give you a good idea of how they’re supposed to sit, and they certainly don’t flop around or anything.
Before getting to Bulkhead’s robot mode, it’s worth noting that his booster platform can transform into a two-legged weapons drone. I guess this thing could stomp around and blast Decepticon fools on its own, or Bulkhead could operate it like a cannon. Either way it’s a pretty cool bonus, and almost as big as the Bulkhead figure itself.
Transforming Bulkhead isn’t terribly difficult, although there’s a lot of fidgity bits to get right, like flipping his legs around, flipping up his missile launchers, etc. But when you’re done, you are rewarded with one seriously awesome looking Autobot. I really love everything about this guy. His proportions are great, the way his missile launchers hang off his hips is cool and you can even flip his fists so that he has cannons for hands. The tail boom that hangs off his back doesn’t get in the way at all, and you can even remove his rotor blade assembly and he can hold it in his hand like a weapon. Oh yeah, Bulkhead also has a huge handlebar mustache! Remember in the 1986 movie when all of the sudden Transformers started showing up with sculpted facial hair? Well, Bulkhead is obviously hip to that style.
Of course, Bulkhead can also make use of his booster pack by wearing it like a backpack. There are all sorts of permutations to do with it, you can even turn the thrusters into giant claws, but my favorite just has it positioned like a jetpack with the two laser cannons pointing forward. Yeah, he’s very backheavy in this mode, but he can actually stand up and support it if you try hard enough.
Bulkhead has excellent articulation. His head rotates, his arms have universal movement in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and hinges in the elbows. His legs have universal movement in the hips and hinged knees. His ankles have lateral hinges so that his feet can stay flat even in a wide stance.
Hasbro waisted no time in repainted Bulkhead in Energon as Quickstrike. At the time, I wasn’t really a completist anymore, not like I was with Armada, but clearly I liked this mold and the repaint enough to drop some money on Quickstrike too. It’s a really nice and very high quality repaint. I really like the black and silver and the way it compliments the red in his helicopter mode and the white looks nice on the tailboom too, although I’m not a big fan of the Chinese lettering. But in robot mode, this new color scheme is just unbelievably great looking. The red and black looks striking and the silver on his legs, cockpit and face really makes the figure come together. It’s a little tougher to make out Quickstrike’s mustache, though, since it isn’t painted a different coller than his face.
I really recommend owning this mold if you don’t already. It’s a great Transformer and a really fun toy, with lots of different play options and features. If you only have it in you to buy one, I’d actually recommend Quickstrike over Bulkhead, just because the paint deco looks so nice and the quality of the paint job is really far superior to what I’m used to finding on these toys. On the other hand, if you are a big Springer fan, than Bulkhead might scratch your itch better than Quickstrike. Either way, you should definitely try to hunt down one of them for your collection.