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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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zeoman4.5's review: Acitvators Bulkhead

Name Bulkhead
Function Demolitions/Space Bridge technician.
Group Activators

"Time for the big guns!"

BULKHEAD is the biggest and strongest of the AUTOBOTS. Unfortunately for the other AUTOBOTS, nearby buildings, vehicles and machinery, hes also the clumsiest. He means well, and most of the time his wrecking balls smash the right thing. Hes just as strong-willed as he is powerful, too, and he never gives up when presented with a challenge.

Bulkhead is one of the members of Optimus Prime's crew in Transformers Animated. He is the largest and most powerful of his rank. He is specially designed for demolition, but because he spent years studying space bridge tech he was placed on a Prime's repair crew after he and Bumblebee failed Elite Guard training. He is extremely kind, gentle, and characteristically clumsy, that, combined with his tremendous strength and girth, makes him the comic relief of the group. But when it comes to fighting he's the Autobots best bet at winning against the over-powering Decepticons.

Plus, he's the only Autobot with a built-in chair to sit on.

Now, Activators are a specially designed set of figures roughly Scout class size which feature a spring loaded transformation from vehicle to robot mode. In the case of Starscream this was awesome, but unfortunately not
all TFs can be winners, and although I was really hoping for the best. I'll get into the whys and wherefores in the review.

Robot Mode

Much like the Legends class figures Activators are packaged in Robot mode so that's where I shall start. Bulkhead's robot mode is well... short. Really short. He is the shortest of the current Activators, which is really ironic because his bio states that he's the "Biggest and Strongest", but he comes off as little and cute. Height is roughly equal to that of a taller Legends class figure, although he is much wider than most Legends bots. His design is quite similar to his cartoon character, at least from the front. However, from the sides and the back you can see that he is off. Unfortunately, in order to facilitate his autotransformation there is a bunch of inaccurate kibble on his back. It's just all over the place, sticking out on the sides and over his head. Not like the cool panels on his back from the show which make a chair, these are just the sides of the vehicle mode which look, well craptastic. There are some detailed bits on him, like military stars on his shoulders and his three pronged claw hands.

As far as color scheme is concerned, he is accurate to his show likeness and to the other versions of him. Basically, a military green with some black stripes, some yellow head-lights, and kind of a light brass. He's even got blue eyes. He looks nice color wise and as long as you're just looking from the front .

He has decent articulation. Ball and socket joints for his shoulders, elbows, and hips. His head turns and heels are positionable. Unfortunately, due to his back heavy nature he falls over very easily and has almost no posability at all. I mean it's hard to even get him to stand at all. He has no weapons either, not even a wrecking ball. Unfortunately, this robot mode is only good for show, actually it isn't. Its not good for anything. It does look cute, but play-wise it is mediocre, and display is not an option.

Vehicle Mode

Bulkhead's vehicle mode is a type of military transport, it is heavily armored and rugged. It is supposed to be an emergency vehicle due to the sirens on the top. He has six wheels although only four roll, two are for show. This version is, well, poorly done to put it nicely. It is very squat and overly wide. The side panels are jointed on with pieces that looks like mini guns, which is strange but kind of cool. The back panel of the vehicle is non-existent. Instead there is a big gap with the ends of his hands and feet sticking out. The wheels don't even roll well, for crying out loud. The only thing done well is his paint looks good. Basically, the same colors as robot mode the only difference being that there is a gold star on either side panel. This really could have been better, it is once again mediocre play-wise, and poor for display.

Transformation Gimmick

Unlike the Activator Starscream, Bulkhead is prone to getting stuck mid-transformation. His arms have to be attached to pegs on his side panels, however they come off of them easily, causing them to get locked under the chest plate/driver compartment. This problem is only worsened by the fact that his spring-loaded panels are on gears which can be pushed out of place if "excessive force is applied". Excessive I could see, but mine did this straight out of the box, and never went back into place. This super fun gimmick is completely ruined by minor design flaws and thus his only redeeming feature is ruined as well.

Points out of ten for the following:

Durability 6/10 He has no joints or robot/vehicle parts that brake but his springs and gears do come out of place and are nearly impossible to fix.

Price 6/10 The price is lower than that of the other Bulkhead figures, but for the content and size $7.99 USD is a bit much.

Transformation 2/10 its not hard at all, but very awkward, the pieces do not stick together well at all in vehicle mode.

Fun 4/10 He could be amusing if his transformation worked, but since things getting jammed and not changing right he is little more than a back heavy miniature.

Overall 4/10 he is far from the good natured bot he represents, which is so sad. I really wanted a Bulkhead, but all the stores in my area are sold out and this was my only option. He could have been acceptable if he worked right, but he didn't. He got me so angry I had to return the defective figure. If you are after a Bulkhead get the larger ones, it may only be the case for me that he is so problematic but it may not be worth risking to get one and have him brake.
 
 
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