Numbat's Review: Que (Wheeljack)
Elderly Gadget Genius
Dark of the Moon Mechtech Deluxe Class
Early on during production of Dark of the Moon (DOTM) photos of a cardboard head stand-in for a crazy looking quirky Transformer were leaked from the set. There were also rumours early on that Wheeljack would be making an appearance in this film. As it transpired, the crazy looking robot that had been dubbed ‘Einstein’ by fans turned out to be the design for Wheeljack. I expect this was not particularly popular amongst Transformers fans, as Wheeljack had always been a solid character and this new quirky interpretation bore no resemblance to the Autobot we all know and love. I couldn’t really care either way – the movies are a separate entity and a lot of Transformer names just get banded about anyway – but as it happens, Bay changed the name fairly last minute to ‘Que’ as a homage to the gadget specialist in James Bond films. The toy release, however, still bears the name ‘Wheeljack’ (I imagine getting the rights to ‘Que’ would be near impossible for Hasbro anyway!).
So, Que is one of the new Autobots introduced in DOTM, and he does get a decent amount of screen-time and a heart-wrenching death scene. I certainly expected a toy to be released for the character, but as we all know now, Hasbro completely messed up the DOTM toy line, releasing instead many non-film characters and a multitude of Bumblebees in the early waves which still clogged shelves over a year later. Although an all-new mould was designed for Que, and Hasbro got as far as packaging the figures, Que never saw a Western release. Even his Asian release was fairly limited, and this has left the figure firmly in the province of scalpers.
As much as I wanted a Que for my collection for comic value more than anything else, I could not justify the horrendous prices. However, I lucked out when Cliffjumper offered to sell me Que at a very reasonable price. So, this figure has also been reviewed by Cliffjumper on his site
– go ahead and compare our opinions!
Certainly, the DOTM Deluxe Que figure has not received high praise – the opposite in fact is true. But is the figure truly so bad?
Que transforms into a blue Mercedes Benz E550, which is a far cry from the awesome Lancia Stratos Turbo of G1 Wheeljack, but suits the doddering old fellow’s DOTM character well. It doesn’t feel like anything special, and is the least descript or exciting car mode of any live action film Transformer character.
Measuring 5 ¼” (13.25cm) long puts Que’s Mercedes mode at 1/37 scale, which feels small but almost matches the Movieverse Bumblebee figures’ 1/36 scale. It’s certainly well detailed, although there an awful lot of transformation joins and the blue paint used on some parts does not match the blue of the plastic perfectly.
The windows and headlights are cast in smoky grey transparent plastic, which works fine but makes the whole car feel very dark. Silver picks out details on the wheels, door handles, reverse lights, exhausts, front grille and Mercedes emblems (although this was already scraped when I received it). Black paint picks out further grille details on the front end of the car, while the brake lights are highlighted in red and ‘E550’ is printed on the rear in silver.
Two Mechtech ports are present on the roof, but thankfully have springloaded blue plastic plugs to hide them when not in use (although this plastic does not match the blue paint on the parts surrounding the plugs!). It’s sadly not possible to store all of Que’s accessories when in car mode.
All in, this is a very detailed mode that has benefited from an unusual amount of detailed paint applications – it just feels like a bit of a letdown because it’s such a dull car!
One can’t help but think that the designers went out of their way to try and make Que’s transformation a little different from the norm – they certainly achieved that, although whether or not it was worth it is questionable. The leg transformation is particularly different from any other Transformer I can think of, but I don’t think it pays off…
Anyway, Que stands 5 ¾” (14.5cm) tall, which is a really healthy height for a Deluxe Class figure. And he sure looks like Que – a jumbled mess of a robot, with little car mode on show other than the sides of the front end. Well, the top half looks like Que anyway…
The only things in the wrong
place are the front wheels, which just hang off the sides of his upper arms instead of being on the fronts, behind the front end car parts. This is a really simple thing to have fixed had the designers been bothered.
The legs are a total disaster. They are totally generic – there has been no attempt to make them look like Que’s CGI model at all. They have huge gaping holes in the calves where the feet fold out from and those random AllSpark blue flanges are always popping off. I do really like how the whole of the upper car folds away into the lower legs and actually comes away leg-shaped, but the designers needed to finish off the fronts of the legs too! Plus, due to the transformation design Que’s knees only bend forwards, which is not useful for posing.
The figure is full of colour at least – there is relatively little of the car’s deep blue, although there are touches. Instead Que is a hodge-podge of dark grey, light grey, and AllSpark blue plastics with silver and black paint adding even more colour! A small Autobot insignia is printed in red on the right side of his abdomen.
Other than Que’s very plain legs, there is an abundance of moulded detail, and his head sculpt is one of the best of any Transformer figure ever
. It is the spitting image of the CGI model, right down to the monocle. It’s well painted as well – the face is silver, skull dark grey, eyes blue and teeth and a random bolt metallic blue. To top it all off, the fibre optic hair has been moulded in transparent blue plastic which looks amazing when it catches the light.
Que has excellent articulation in his upper body, with five joints in each arm (I love
the elbows – they’re like little cogs!), a neck ball joint and waist swivel. However, any chance of dynamic poses is thwarted by the lack of leg articulation – hips only I’m afraid! I know that Que is supposed to be a stiff old Transformer, but come on, the lack of leg articulation in a Deluxe figure like this is totally unforgiveable!
Que also comes with useful on-screen accessories – a couple of hand tools and a lance all of which he can either hold in his very cool hands, or can be clipped on to his ‘belt’ (tools) or back (lance) using the C-clips which were in vogue during the preceding Generations toy line. Sadly these accessories are cast in a horrible and random green plastic…
Finally, Que comes with a Mechtech weapon, as is requisite for this line. It’s a bit of a random mess that looks somewhere between a toolbox and a gun, and flips out a spinning circular saw when activated. As with all Deluxe Class Mechtech weapons it cannot be locked in its activated mode, unlike their Voyager Class counterparts.
So, what is
the verdict? To be honest, I have found myself talking myself out of my previously held opinion that Que’s not so bad. Frankly, there are a lot of great things going on in the toy that are all dashed by unforgiveable sloppy work on the legs and arm wheels. It’s as if a great designer started the job, and then they got some total muppet in to finish it off – it does not gel together at all.
Still, I do like to display him, actually – I just avoid looking at his legs. The upper body is largely gorgeous, and the head sculpt is phenomenal. So long as you just want him to stand bolt-upright with his arms like a coat-hanger, then Que’s not going to disappoint. If you actually want to pose him, though, forget about it. So, he’s by no means the worst Movieverse figure, but equally he’s certainly nowhere near the best.
Marks out of ten for the following:
3 – Que’s transformation is interesting, and there are some good ideas in there, but the execution is terrible.
5 – The silver paint rubs off easily, and there are stress marks on the plastic. He could have been made a bit more solidly.
2 – Que has a dull car mode (despite excellent detailing) and a robot mode lacking leg articulation. This is the 21st Century guys, and such sloppy work does not fly. His head’s funny though.
6 – Que’s upper body looks great, while his legs are horrendous – they really don’t look like they belong together on the same toy. The only reason he doesn’t get a middle-of-the-road ‘5’ through the law of averages is the fact that head sculpt is the most amazing on any Transformer I own. What a waste.
2 – His upper body is actually very well articulated, but his legs only have hip joints. I don’t think averages apply to this – you need at least knees to be able to display a Transformer with any form of mildly dynamic pose. Totally unforgiveable.
1 – Que fetches between £25 and £40 quid still – this despite everyone knowing he’s pretty poor. I don’t see prices dropping, and frankly he’s not worth it unless you’re a die-hard completist. Seriously, you’d be unlikely to pick Que up at retail price.
3 – Meh, he’s alright but has some unforgiveable flaws. I can’t in my right mind recommend him to anyone, but I do
love that head!