I’m rounding out the week with one more Transformers review. One of the more interesting and destructive Autobots on the original cartoon, I’m really surprised we didn’t get a figure of Wheeljack sooner in the Generations line. But he turned out pretty good, so I guess the wait was worth it.
Wheeljack’s always been an interesting character to me. Built stout like a fighter with the brain of a scientist, he’s a bit of a contradiction. With how many times his lab blows up, you almost have to wonder if science is more of a hobby than a profession for him. His Wiki page even mentions that Wheeljack may have inflicted more damage on Autobot city than the Decepticons were ever able to. This leads me back to the idea that Optimus is the only truly sane Autobot.
Something I’ve never been clear on is the blurry line between scientist, medic, and mechanic in the Transformers universe. We’ve seen both Ratchet and Wheeljack perform serious procedures on injured Autobots, but I’m not really sure what separates them career-wise. Is it that Ratchet is a professional with a degree from Cybertron U. while Wheeljack is more of an enthusiast? Even if they are basically the same, why would anyone volunteer to let Wheeljack operate on them? Just by saying yes their chances of exploding go up substantially.
I’ve always loved Wheeljacks design. Sure it’s similar to the many other car-formers, but he has some really unique flares that make him stand out from the pack. First off are his wings. A lot of Autobots have doors that sit on their back like wings when their in robot mode, but Wheeljack’s actually look like wings. Combine that with his ability to “fly” using his booster jets and you get the feeling that he may be a car by design, but he’s an Aerialbot at heart.
Wheeljack’s most unique feature is his head design. I don’t know why his ears light up when he talks, but I’ve always loved that about him. Pair that with the fact that most of his face is covered by a segmented mouth guard and you have this somewhat mysterious yet bizarre look. The figure captures this look dead-on. They even gave him light-piping so his ears and eyes can light up at the same time, which is a nice effect.
Wheeljack shares the same basic body as Generations Tracks. But with a few different pieces, like the wings and feet, these two characters are able to maintain their unique feel. The designers even took it a step further and gave Wheeljack new thighs so he would be smaller than Tracks. That’s just great fan service on Hasbro’s part. Continue to page 2…