Back in July, our first Guest Review Week was a blast! Five great contributors from four great sites all right here at IAT? It was awesome and too fun to only do once! So, “Son of Guest Review” Week kicks off today with the spotlight on one of my favorite toy bloggers, Phil Reed from Battlegrip.com!
Back in 1986 Transformers: The Movie introduced us to Wheelie, an Autobot mini-car that talked in rhymes, wasn’t scared of the Dinobots, and generally annoyed anyone over the age of four. And as annoying as it was to listen to Wheelie talk in the movie (and then later in the animated series), that didn’t come anywhere close to the annoyance of how cheap and weak Wheelie’s toy turned out to be. He may have been the only original Autobot mini-car of the 1986 run, but with a bizarre vehicle mode and fairly lame robot mode we would have been better off if Hasbro hadn’t even tried to create a Wheelie toy.
Transform your clocks over twenty years to 2011 and Wheelie is back, this time from a third party company and not as an official Transformers toy. If you’re unfamiliar with the third party scene here’s the short form: Individuals and small companies are creating toys and accessories inspired by official Transformers comics, toys, and cartoons. Wheelie here, even though he looks like the Hasbro character (more like his appearance in IDW’s Transformers comic than the 1986 movie) is actually a completely unofficial toy. For more on this scene you can check my Transforming Collections project on Kickstarter.
The first thing you notice when you hold Wheelie is that he’s hefty and extremely durable. Made of a mix of tough plastic and diecast metal, Wheelie feels sturdier and of a higher quality than the official Transformers toys being released by Hasbro and Takara today. That heft comes at a price, though, with Wheelie selling for about $50 . . . if you can find him. These third party toys aren’t readily available and you’ll need to try sites like TFSource and Big Bad Toy Store if you want to buy them. And that’s if the toys aren’t already sold out (which happens more often than I expected when I first heard about the third party scene).
At about 4-inches long, Wheelie’s roughly the size of a small Deluxe Class official Transformers toy. Scout class would have worked better if you want to use Wheelie in your CHUG collection (which is my plan), but those of you who are Masterpiece collectors will find that Wheelie fits in almost perfectly with that scale; see this review at CollectionDX for a look at Wheelie with Masterpiece Rodimus Prime.
The vehicle mode is clearly Wheelie and looks as good as it can; I’m just not a fan of that bizarre vehicle design. The wheels — complete with rubber tires! — spin . . . but not very well. Don’t expect Wheelie to race across any surfaces.Continue to Page 2…