Transformers Prime: Bulkhead by Hasbro

Primus knows, I haven’t been the biggest champion of any of the modern Transformers TV series, but I’ll happily admit right now that I dig Bulkhead. While most of the characters we see in Transformers are all reworks from the G1 days, Bulkhead is one of the few new characters that has survived to be re-imagined across two otherwise unrelated series. I find him to be a really endearing character, good comic relief, and one that deserves to be added to the catalog of Transformers that will continue to get recycled through future reboots. As a result, I was pretty excited to pick up the TF: Prime Bulkhead, especially since none of the TF: Animated versions have found their way into my collection.

Transformers Prime… Voyager packaging… Yeah! It’s essentially the same thing we’ve seen with all the TF: Prime Voyagers. It’s very cool, Bulkhead is packaged in robot mode, and there’s a hole in the window that lets you try the shitty light up Mech Tech style weapon. Let’s get back with tradition and look at Bulkhead’s vehicle mode first…

But, before we get to the figure, here’s a quick Public Service Announcement from FigureFan. Kids, when your new toy comes in a window box, take a look at it before you buy it. I didn’t, and my Bulkhead has scratches all over his hood. Granted, the figure was in robot mode in the package, but I still could have seen the scratches if I looked hard enough. I could take it back, but it was the only Bulkhead they had, so I guess I’ll consider it the ultra-rare “Battle Damaged” Bulkhead and live with it.

In alt mode, Bulkhead is a big military vehicle. I’d say he was supposed to be some kind of jeep, but he’s obviously a lot bigger than the other cars, so I’m going to go with some kind of variation on a Hummer. His vehicle mode is solid enough and while I’m not a big fan of painted windows, at least the front windshield is transparent. There are some seams on the sides, but for the most part they synch up with the doors so they aren’t terribly unsightly. A socket on the roof allows you to plug in his battle ram, or if you want your toy to look terrible, you can plug in the light up Mech Tech thingy. All in all he’s a solid toy and rolls along great.

There are some shell-former shenanigans going on with Bulkhead’s transformation, but it’s mostly with the arms. It took me a couple of tries to get them locked down just right. Apart from that, he’s got a pretty cool and innovative design that gets him into and out of his robot mode.

I am a big fan of Bulkhead’s robot mode. In fact, the only thing that bothers me about it is that he seems a little short when standing alongside the Deluxe figures. That having been said everything else is pure love. Bulkhead’s TV design has some wonky proportions, but this figure makes them work really well. I love the way the doors form extra armor plates on his chest and the Autobot symbol on his shoulder armor is a nice touch too, especially since it isn’t upside down like Starscream’s Decepticon shoulder emblem. Bulkhead’s headsculpt is right on the mark and his jaw is even a little articulated. I’ve heard tales of him being really hollow and awkward in the torso, but I don’t see it at all, and even when viewed from the back he’s got a nice squared off backpack with wings.

Oh yeah, there’s one other design element that I wanted to nitpick. Hey, Hasbro, what is up with the faked out wheels on the robots lately? I noticed these when I featured Cliffjumper and here they are again. Right on the outside of Bulkhead’s legs you can see clearly sculpted tires that have been left unpainted. Bulkhead is a four-wheeled vehicle and all of his actual wheels are accounted for, so I have no idea why Hasbro is doing this, but little things like this have a habit of eating away at me when I’m trying to sleep.

Besides the light up weapon that I already tossed in a bin, Bulkhead comes with his battle ram, which can be attached to either arm. I really wish he had some kind of serviceable spiked ball attachment for his hand. Alas, Hasbro incorporated that into the Mech Tech weapon, making Bulkhead the only figure which is really affected by the fact that I throw those out.

Yes sir, Bulkhead is a great figure. I like him so much, that I might be persuaded to pick up one that isn’t scratched to shit if I happen to find him again. He’s loads of fun to play around with in both robot and vehicle modes and he really captures everything I love about the character. But best of all, he brings me one bot closer to completing my core Autobot team. I’ve yet to find Arcee on the pegs, but I’m thinking I’ll have to bite the bullet and snag her online.

And that leaves me with just one more TF: Prime figure to look at, but I’m going to have to come back to him. Schedules must be kept and the trains must run on time. Tomorrow I’ll start looking at some more of the odds and ends that I picked up from the Toy Show a few weeks back.  

A rather large box from Matty Collector landed on my stoop yesterday afternoon, so there’s going to be a little change of plan.

I’m bumping my original plans for this week back so I can check out the new goodies. I’ll kick things off tomorrow with DC Club Infinite Earth’s monthly figure, Poison Ivy. Then we’ll get into the Voltron goodness with Keith on Tuesday and the Black Lion on Wednesday. Thursday I’ll bring it back to DC with the quarterly oversized figure, Elasti-Girl, and the we’ll cap off the week with a look at the big boy himself, Voltron in all his ginormous glory.

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