Friday, December 27, 2013

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Commander Class Bulkhead 2012

While Transformers fans worship at the alter of Generation 1 in general (the original toys released in the early to mid 80s), one of the great things about TF fans is that they are open to new ideas. It's why they've managed to stay on shelves and televisions for thirty years while other properties have stagnated. The figure I'm looking at today, Bulkhead, didn't exist in the 80s. It wasn't until Transformers:Energon that he was introduced, and then he was perfected with Transformers Animated. Proving very popular, he was brought almost entirely unchanged into Transformers Prime, the latest cartoon and the inspiration for this toy line.

Bulkhead is the Rock-em-Sock-em type with a heart of gold and an undying friendship with his human, Miko. He'd do anything his Prime asks him, especially if it lets him get into some explosions and gun fights. All just perks of the job, if you ask him.
His alternate mode is an armored Humvee type vehicle. It's a really solid constructions and is obviously a vehicle you wouldn't want to mess with. The coloration is interesting, if a bit.. eclectic. Orange, brown and green all play a role, giving a nice break between the colors, even if they don't always make sense.
There is a peg hole on the top of the Humvee where his included weapon can be plugged in, as well as one on each side. I didn't mention it as much as I should have in my review of  Hardshell, but I honestly love the versatility of these pack-in weapons. Instead of wasting a huge amount of plastic on multiple weapons, there is one weapon that can be reconfigured to work depending on how your bot is displayed. It's a simple and elegant solution that would allow prices to remain lower. That you can swap out weapons between equally sized Transformers is just icing on the cake.
In vehicle mode, you really don't get many hints that this is a transformers. The seams are fairly well hidden, and there is absolutely no kibble (left over parts from transformation) to speak of. It is also absolutely solid. There are no hollow areas left once transformed, giving it a satisfying heft and weight.
The transformation took me a couple of times to really work out. There are two areas to really pay attention to. First, the cow shield on the front moves. You're not going to get far in the transformation without it! Secondly, there are two flaps along the back of the vehicle that hinge open and closed. If you don't close them, the head is going to show through. It's not a hard transformation, it's just a bit more complicated than moving five parts and calling it happy.
What you get for those efforts is so, so very worth it. I mean, it is absolutely amazing. The distance we have come since the 1980s just never stops to surprise me. Bulkhead is known for being gigantic. His arms are long, his legs are stubby, and his chest is broad. This figure nails all of that straight to the wall.
Along with that representation, you also get a fair amount of articulation. Ball joint shoulders and elbows, working knees, and a rotating head. It's more than enough to get plenty of movement and personality out of your Bulkhead, and spice things up on the shelf a bit.
The robot mode isn't perfect. If you look at it from behind, you're going to see the hollow spots and weak points that are filled while in vehicle mode. As long as you don't display him from behind, this won't be a problem, but it is something to be aware of.
As a Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Commander Class (whew, that's a long name), Bulkhead is not very large. He's going to be dwarfed by the larger Transformers, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for it in quality. There are no quality control issues to be aware of, no bad paint to watch out for, and no small parts to worry about. His only having one weapon means you can always have it on him and therefore become far less likely to lose it.
This is another figure I was able to get for $5.00 during Cyber Monday, and it is once again one of the best five dollars I've ever spent. I can honestly say that this figure and Hardshell have reignited an appreciation for Transformers that has languished for far too long. I'm really very happy to have it back, and I'm really happy to write about them and share that joy with whomever is reading! End of the day, this is another figure that I'm not only thrilled to recommend, but actually hope that you actively go searching for this figure to buy it. It's that good.


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