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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Blackjack's review: Bulkhead

Name: Bulkhead
Allegiance: Autobot
Alt mode: SWAT Truck
Function: Demolitions
Version: Animated Voyager

"I kinda broke this. And that. And that pile of things over there. Sorry."--Bulkhead's motto

Ah, the dawn of a new Animated series. With a new Stylized 'sleek cartoon' look, Transformers is not the first animated series to have a reboot like this. +points at Batman+ This new Transformers series focuses on capturing a new audience as well as reliving some old toys and characters for die-hard fans. And they have excellent toys. Everyone wins.

Bulkhead is the only core Autobot, nay, the only Autobot whose name and appearance is not from G1 whatsoever. We get Bumblebee, Prowl, Prime, Ratchet, Magnus, Blurr and all that, and Bulkhead remains the odd one out. Yet he appears in more episodes than Jazz and Ironhide combined. That's fairness for you.

Bulkhead is a gentle giant and a very very clumsy one at that. Of the few Animated episodes I read online (and on those Cinemanga stuff) Bulkhead is close to Bumblebee, and is a contrast to the sneaky ninja Prowl. (Seriously, Prowl as a ninja? I half expected Mirage to fill the position.) Bulkhead is one of the main five Autobots, however, and he's here to stay. Actually, a character that looked like Bulkhead appeared in several episodes in Season 3 and the Movie. No, seriously, I'm just kidding.

The name Bulkhead has been used once as a character based on Springer in Energon. So this Bulkhead is the main torchbearer for his name. In his short career, he has been lobotomized, had his head stolen by a purple guy, fell from a cliff, trashed entire parking lots, trashed entire blocks, was kidnapped by Decepticons, was beaten up by Decepticons, was constantly abused by Bumblebee, tried to be a ninja, fought with a musical toy, (musical toy superior, Bulkhead inferior), and had his arse burnt by Dinobots. Yet, he is still able to keep the smiley face on. How amazing.

ALTERNATE MODE


I never planned on getting Bulkhead. I was more interested in the likes of Prowl, Blackarachnia or Blitzwing. But then, two versions of Bulkhead caught my eye--the kickass Leader class version with lotsa weapons, and this modest Voyager. Since money is the issue here, I bought the Voyager.

The one feature that attracted me originally was the alternate mode. A heavy duty SWAT Troop Transport or some such. Anyway, it is big and bulky, and embodies what Bulkhead really is. C'mon, if you see a giant SWAT truck like this charging like a bull towards you, won't you run away?

That said, Bulkhead's alternate mode of choice hides his peripherals excellently... Except at the top, where you can see his two bulky arms, which is essentially the back. But whatever.

Detailing is rather limited to blend in in the 'stylized' look, but enough to guarantee my like towards it. Sure, it's on alternator or Movie material, but this is Animated people!

Bulkhead rolls well on his six wheels, and the colour of choice is a militaristic dark green, slightly darker than the one used for the show, with black and white for secondary colours, red for the headlights and gold in the front grills. There is a large star on each side of Bulkhead's alternate mode.

You should probably keep Bulkhead in this mode and don't transform him. What's that? He's a transformer? Well, don't say I didn't warn ya...

ROBOT MODE


And we get the bulky rolly-polly guy. Hi squat! In this mode, Bulkhead is no taller than Lug Nut or even Ratchet. He's bulky and very fat, with stubby legs and large arms.

His design ain't original, no. His head is a stylized ripoff from Cybertron Crumplezone, and the green coloring, big arms and stubby legs are probably from him too. The difference? Crumplezone has two bad ass cannons on his shoulders, and his arms and legs are not too... Exaggerated.

Bulkhead the Voyager suffers from what I call the 'Bulk Out syndrome', read my Lug Nut review to know all about it. Sufficient to say, he's sorely out of scale with the other Animated toys. His wide and thick back doesn't help either.

Bulkhead's head is sculpted in such a way that the green jaw thing hides the mouth, and he's cocking his head to the side, with one eye narrowed, like he's saying "Y'wanna mess with me? You DO?" It's quite an improvement to Crumplezone's static face.

Bulkhead has two arms that are ginormous for his size, and they end up in pincers (think Omega Supreme) enclosing a black ball in the middle. Now here's his main gimmick. With the pull of a lever in his left hand, the ball shoots out, attached to a white string, to represent the Wrecker Ball he so loves to use in the series.

Here's the error you see throughout the series: in the animated series, Bulkhead's feet are caterpillar treads, yet there's no such feature in his alternate mode. There is though, in his tank-like Cybertronian mode. So that should be slanted wheels under his foot, like the toy. I am particularly fond of his legs, with an unique transformation.

He has an Automorph feature when transforming his head. It automatically slides into place when you slide the chest into place. The hands and shoulders also move into place with the aid of springs too though.

He looks like a gorilla. An over-sized gorilla. Or Hulk. (Hulkhead) Or King Kong. With the proper head sculpt and paint job this guy could pass as Cybertron mode Optimus Primal.

What else now... Ah yes. Bulkhead is the very reason we get the Dinobots. He and Prowl did it. Watch the episode.

Overall, a solid alternate mode, a solid gimmick, but a weak robot mode. Recommended to those who are too cheap to buy the Leader Class.

Marks out of ten for the following:

DURABILITY 9/10 Bulkhead is very durable. Watch out for the panels with headlights, those are the ones that can actually pop off.
TRANSFORMATION 2/10 Easy, nothing that will kill you.
PRICE 3/10 I feel cheated getting such a short Voyager without a verifiable reason. Lugnut and Blackout had the excuse of having a weapon from half the alternate mode, yet they're still taller than Bulkhead.
FUN 9/10 Fun? With those big arms? All you need is Lugnut as a sparing partner. Hell yeah.
OVERALL 7/10 Recommended, but the Leader Class looks much better in my opinion. After all, these are supposed to be for an intergalactic alien war. And for making a royal mess in the house. And filling the odd shelf.
 
 
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