Transformers Prime Voyager Class Bulkhead Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Animated, Autobot, Prime, Robots in Disguise, Voyager

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: April 2012
Price Point: $22.99 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Ram, Wrecking ball weapon

Images:

*Images with asterisks* and text in italics below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
In spite of his massive strength, and the skill with which he uses it, BULKHEAD is not a born fighter. He prefers the simple things in life to the fury and confusion of battle. But he also knows that until the DECEPTICONS are defeated once and for all, simple peace will remain out of reach.

No DECEPTICON enemy in their right mind will want to mess with this incredible BULKHEAD figure! This robot-to-vehicle warrior figure has the strength and weapons to prevail in all of your adventures. His spinning wrecking ball will not only give him the edge in any battle, it glows like it has Energon running through it! What he can’t do with his wrecking ball, he’ll do with his cannon! His wrecking ball converts to a cannon in vehicle mode, so he always has the firepower he needs. Snap on his battle ram when he’s in armored truck mode and watch the mayhem begin! Keep converting him from robot mode to armored truck mode and back, so he can handle whatever his DECEPTICON opponents dish out!

Figure comes with accessory. Includes 2 button-cell batteries. Voyager Class Series 1 004 BULKHEAD.

BulkheadFollowing the controversial "First Edition" releases, fans were finally able to get a Voyager Class Bulkhead figure from "Transformers Prime". This Bulkhead is not quite as large as the "First Edition" Voyager class Bulkhead figure, but it was widely available and as part of the "Powerizer" sub-division of Transformers, he includes a light up feature not found on the previous version.

Robot Mode:
Bulkhead is one of main cast members from the "Transformers Prime" series. Originally introduced in Transformers Animated, this new incarnation of the character borrows a lot from his counterpart. He's a big, round and tough looking Autobot who was part of the "Wreckers" team (who only recruit the best). What Bulkhead doesn't have in height he makes up for in width, and his overall appearance is striking. Like the weapon he wields, he looks like a walking wrecking ball (and acts accordingly in the show most of the time).


Like many of the designs in "Transformers Prime", Bulkhead's is a challenging one. He basically goes from a round shaped robot with panels curving to form his armor to a very angular (and smaller) vehicle. In practice, this requires most of his robot mode parts be hidden away in vehicle form, but here in robot mode you get to see where a lot of the curved sections come into play. This includes everything from the curved forearms to the legs. The design aesthetic of overlapping panels on his torso is satisfied by the placement of his vehicle mode doors over the middle of his body, and with the windshield and hood pieces behind it. In this respect the designers did a great job creating a design that is highly reminiscent even if not 100% accurate to the TV show's CG model. His head sculpt is also well done, with Bulkhead's trademark "chin" piece and a high crest on the top of his head. The only detail that sticks out that really isn't seen on the TV show model are panels that wind up on his back in this mode and stuck up, looking almost like small wings. Given the limitations of the size and design of this figure, I'm willing to give these a pass, and I also give the designers credit for at least working in some nice mechanical detail to make these parts look good.

Bulkhead is cast in green, silver, clear and black plastic. Green is his primary color, as it has been since his introduction in "Transformers Animated". Silver and black alternate for other parts such as his upper arms and elbows as well as his shoulder armor and fists. The black is also used on the wheels, which are pretty obvious in this mode. His paint colors are basic, but match up well with his animated counterpart. This includes silver (used on parts including his torso, face and knee armor), dark green (found in this mode mostly on his torso and arms) and red (used for a large Autobot symbol on his right shoulder). There is also a tiny bit of light blue used to paint his eyes even though the back of his head reveals clear plastic for light piping (for the record, I prefer the show accurate blue eyes). It's not a super complex paint scheme, but Bulkhead isn't super complex to begin with, so it works out just fine.

There are eighteen points of articulation on this figure in robot mode. This includes five in each arm and three in each leg. I'm also counting one particularly amusing bit of articulation on his head. His "chin piece" can actually move up and down, making him look like he is talking. It's pretty hilarious and a really nice little detail. Bulkhead includes two weapons. One is his battering ram, a black plastic piece with a square end that has a series of small spikes on it. The cook in me can't help but look at this and think of a meat tenderizer. His other weapon is the "Powerizer" weapon. The base is a clear smokey plastic piece connected to green plastic pieces (one of which resembles a chunk of his vehicle's rear section). All this is attached to a wrecking ball cast in clear plastic. Push the green section back and the ball swings forward and spins while a red light activates, representing Energon fueling the weapon. The wrecking ball is based on the one that Bulkhead can transform his hand into in the TV show. In the front of the wrecking ball is a hole that allows you to attach a 5mm peg weapon.

However, just like many of the Mech Tech weapons found in the "Dark of the Moon" toy line this weapon cannot stay locked in its "Wrecking Ball" form, essentially make it useless unless you just hold it down the whole time. Both weapons can be connected together to form a combined melee weapon or you can attach them separately to his forearms or fists. Bulkhead also has a hole on the back, allowing for weapon storage.

Just as I thought the Mech Tech weapons (and more recently Voyager Optimus Prime) needed to be able to lock, I feel that strongly for this weapon already. The weapon is already really big and chunky looking (that is to say, not elegant and rather out of place) but not being able to lock the weapon in place essentially takes away Bulkhead's signature weapon which feels too much like a cheat to me. One extra tab mechanism would be all that's needed. To be fair, there is an attempt to sculpt a barrel at the base of the weapon, making it look like Bulkhead's "blaster arm" but it's really subtle and doesn't quite save the weapon from feeling excessively large and frustrating in its inability to stay locked in "Wrecking Ball" mode.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach all weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Turn each of the fists in.
  3. Push each of the feet up into the lower legs.
  4. Rotate each of the legs around.
  5. Swing the robot head back and into the chest cavity.
  6. Swing the back panel up.
  7. Move the shoulder panels up.
  8. Swing the arms back and connect the forearms together.
  9. swing the robot arms back and bend the arms using the elbow joints and fold them up.
  10. Swing the door panels on the chest out.
  11. Swing the shoulder armor back, exposing the windows out to the sides.
  12. Swing the panels with the rear wheels down.
  13. On the side of each foot, rotate the panels with the wheels around.
  14. Swing the central hinge that connects to the legs back.
  15. Move each leg up and lock the tabs on the wheel wells to the hood piece.
  16. Swing the center armor piece on the front fender down.

Vehicle Mode:
Bulkhead transforms into an offroad vehicle with a military feel to it. While his robot mode is curved, his vehicle mode is more angular in shape. This sculpt has many of the key details from the TV show. This includes the shape of his headlights and grille as well as having a rack on the top of the cabin section. He also has the angular covers over the wheel wells and the angled side view mirrors on the sides of the vehicle. There's a bit of extra detail tossed in too. This includes some interesting line details on the windshield which echo the design of the Autobot symbol.

His vehicle mode is mostly green, just like the robot mode. The black is mostly concentrated in the wheels and the bumper. Paint applications are done in the same colors as the robot mode with the addition of black and yellow. Yellow is used for the headlights while black is on the bumper in the back. Silver is used on the rail details on top, the step details on the sides and behind the headlights. Red is used to paint the rear lights. The green paint is found on the side windows. The only "missing" paint detail would be the rims on the wheels, which should be painted silver. As I've noted in other reviews however, this is a detail that has been left out of Transformers more and more recently so I'm not surprised.

Bulkhead's weapons connect together and then attach to the hole on top of the vehicle. To say it looks awkward would be an understatement. Frankly it looks really ugly and I prefer the vehicle without it. Still, it's functionality works here, allowing you to deploy the wrecking ball forward. You can also attach a weapon to the side on the clear section for even more firepower.

Final Thoughts: