Toy Review: Wheeljack (Transformers Generations)


I always wanted a G1 Wheeljack as a kid, but for some reason I never got one. Maybe I was concentrating so hard on collecting the blindingly awesome Dinobots, Insecticons, and Triple-Changers that I just didn't have enough room in my Transformer life for much else. I did end up checking out a G1 Wheeljack first hand some years later, but I remember being disappointed with its weird gorilla arms. So when I heard about this Generations Wheeljack, I hoped I'd finally be able to fill that Wheeljack void in my life with a sweet modern update. Let's find out!


Stats

Company: Hasbro
Size: 5" tall (robot)
Price: $10 at Walmart
Packaging: Carded


Appearance: Robot
Car


Generations Wheeljack might not be sporting the same gorilla arms as the G1 version, but its proportions still aren't quite what they should be. Wheeljack seems too truncated with a square torso and no discernable waist, which makes the robot much less dynamic than other modern Transformers like Kup. The head sculpt has a cool G1-inspired look, and its eyes and head panels glow when you allow light to shine through the back of the head. But the eyes virtually disappear when they're not glowing.


Wheeljack transforms into a modernized version of the G1 car with a similar color scheme and shape. Unlike most Transformers, I actually like the look of the car more than that of the robot. But the white plastic seems flat. Maybe a plastic that was more pearlescent would have worked better.


Articulation 


Wheeljack has a good range of movement:
  • Ball-socket neck
  • Ball-socket shoulders
  • Swivel biceps
  • Double-hinge elbows
  • Swivel wrists
  • Swivel waist
  • Ball-socket hips
  • Swivel-hinge knee
  • Ball-socket foot
The movement of the waist and hips is limited by the weird placement of the roof/windshield on the chest, but Wheeljack can still rock some pretty cool poses.


Accessories 


Wheeljack comes with a blaster and two shoulder cannons that act as exhaust tubes in the car mode. The blaster can also attach to the shoulders for a more G1-esque configuration, and the packaging suggests that the shoulder cannons can double as robo-wrenches. The accessories are small and not particularly impressive themselves, but their flexibility is their strength.


Value 

At $10, Transformers are a good deal compared with the exorbitant prices you find in other lines like Star Wars and DCUC. I've seen TFs in other scales for borderline unreasonable prices, but I'm pleased with the current pricing of the Generations line.


Coolness 


Wheeljack scores some brownie points here for a design that was heavily influenced by the G1 toy and cartoon, but I still feel like this figure isn't nearly as cool as the character deserves. The non-existent waist and blocky torso do nothing for the figure's silhouette, and of the three Generations figures I own (Kup and Cliffjumper being the other two), Wheeljack's robot form is clearly the weakest. Sure, the car form is all kinds of cool, but if a Transformer's alt mode is cooler than its robot mode, there's some kind of fail going on.


Wheeljack also has a "flight mode" (above) which extends the robot's wings in the car mode. Although it's an "official" mode in that it's included in the instructions, it really just seems like an afterthought rather than a mode that was intentionally designed.

I find the transformation process to be a little more intuitive than other modern Transformers, although it's still complicated enough to make me question whether it's reasonable to transform the figure back and forth during actual playtime.


Overall 

Autobots... meet Dinobots!

Although I've been living a sad, Wheeljack-less existence for 27 years, this figure doesn't quite adequately fill that void. The head sculpt and color schemes contribute to an interesting G1 look, but the waistless scrunched torso and cuboidal chest don't do much to make the figure heroic. The car mode is great, the articulation is effective, and the multi-purpose accessories are fun, but after the near perfection of Kup, Wheeljack is a bit of a disappointment. However, there's enough G1 nostalgia here to make me interested in getting more from the Generations line and I'll be interested to see how this line evolves in the future.

DISCLAIMER: All items reviewed on Dork Dimension were purchased by the reviewer unless otherwise noted. The opinions expressed on Dork Dimension are solely those of the author and are presented for entertainment purposes only.