Monday, 5 September 2011
B is for Bulkhead
The Winning Toy
"It's hard not to like Bulkhead. Despite being huge and strong, he's the kindest, most gentle of the Autobots, and he always has other people's best interest at heart. He's also a klutz. That's why it's so terrifying when the Headmaster takes over his body. Bulkhead regularly engages in wholesale property damage by accident. With the Headmaster in charge of his body, will anybody be able to stop the tide of destruction?
*The Strongest of the Autobots on Earth.
*Rarely uses air torpedoes because of accuracy issues.
*Buzzsaw originally built to slice iron meteors."
Toyline: Animated US
Size Class: Leader
Function: Super Tough Strong Bot
Motto: "Oops, My bad."
Bulkhead's robot mode is very well designed, it resembles his animation character model very well, which is to be expected since the toy design and character design stages of this franchses were done together, unlike in other lines such as Beast Wars or G1
However, this figure has some add-ons that the original design didn't, according to the Allspark Almanacs, this was because Headmaster added additional weapons to Bulkhead's body to make him more deadly (this was never seen in the series though)
Bulkhead is a very well built figure which can very clearly be recognized as a strong character complete with obvious, yet understated muscles (as the Animated design team were very good at doing)
Bulkhead is also a very pose-able character, he has articulation points on every possible joint, with full articulation on the shoulders, elbows, upper legs, knees and even feet! The only place without any articulation is the right hand, which has to remain stationary for the buzzsaw mechanism
A few things to note about Bulkhead's robot mode however are a few aesthetic and play features. The most prominent being his light's a sound function. When you push his Autobot insignia you activate his LED lights, which make his front wind-shield, insignia,eyes and 2 roof slits light up with an orange light, and also activates his speech functions, saying one of a few phrases "Sorry, My Bad!", "Time for the big guns!" or "You can do it buddy!" Also, by pushing the button, his head tilts to the left and his jaw moves slightly as well
Bulkhead's left hand/claw is able to open up via a small lever and is strong enough to hold small items, however, his right hand is permanently holding a buzzsaw instead of his trademark wrecking ball, however this buzzsaw is able to rotate fully by just pushing on the right lever
The missiles on his arms cannot be launched by any trigger, however they can be removed and thrown manually if you want
One interesting thing on this figure however is that Bulkhead has tracked feet, despite it not being used at all in his vehicle mode (this is also the case in the TV series) The tracks don't even have a small wheel on the bottom like most other treaded wheels do
Teh Hedmastr iz 1337!
The Headmaster unit that comes packaged with Bulkhead is able to be plugged into the slits around Bulkhead's head, whilst it doesn't laser off the head like in the cartoon, it still looks good.
Once the unit is inserted it activates a special sound-byte in The Headmaster's voice saying "Ownage! Total Ownage!", and pushing the Autobot insignia will make him just repeat that phrase. Also Bulkhead's LED's change to red as well (except for his eyes since you don't see those ones)
Other than this, Headmaster is just a hollow head. Also, he can be connected to any other Animated Leader figure, but sadly this doesn't activate any new features in them (so no evil Ultra Magnus kids!)
Bulkhead's vehicle mode is very fun, he's easy to Transform (except for one little bit with his front wheels/groin area, and it looks good. Although his sculpted doors don't open, the areas where they are, can be lifted open (to give the illusion of it opening)
Bulkhead's vehicle mode is of a SWAT Van, but in G1 Hound's colours (as is very evident by the shade of green and military stars.
The missiles on the sides, like in robot mode, cannot be launched automatically, but can be removed (in fact it's wise to remove them whilst transforming the big green guy since they just get in the way otherwise)
Bulkhead's wheels are very strong, and perfectly able to roll with no resistance (very good for a land vehicle Transformer due to a lack of undercarriage kibble)
In terms of the sound/light features, the sound bites and lights when the Autobot insignia is pushed are the same as in robot mode, however, if you view Bulkhead's vehicle mode from above, then the sirens are given the illusion of lighting up thanks to the roof slits being situated right underneath them
Bulkhead in this incarnation was a main character in the Animated TV series and served as the comic relief in most episodes, and also acted at Bumblebee's best friend since they both attended Autoboot Camp together. His Cybertronian alternate mode was a Bulldozer, and he has also been shown to be a Space Bridge expert (surprising everyone)
Bulkhead has since been put in the current Transformers: Prime series as a main cast member again. His primary role is a power-house warrior and guardian to Miko (one of the Human characters). he has also been revealed to have been in the Wrecker's sub team along with his best friend, Wheeljack
However Bulkhead was actually the name used for a totally different character in the Energon series, he was a geriatric character who turned into an attack helicopter, and led his own crew (Downshift and Cliffjumper)...He was also a creepy old man character who liked to womanise the fembots...let's just move on now though, okay?
Is he Cool?
Bulkhead is VERY cool, he looks fantastic in robot and vehicle mode, has some wonderful play functions, and even some cool fan-modes (like the Whistler's Mother homage below)
I like that this is basically a brand new character and yet he has already made such an impact on the fandom, his bio is very true, you can't help but love this guy