Transformers Generation 2 1995 Toy Reviews: Bullet Bike

in 1995, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation 2, Powermaster (G2)

Transformers Generation 2

General Information:
Retailer: European Exclusive
Price: Approximately $8-10 in US funds
Accessories: Guns x 2

Images:

*Tech Specs courtesy of the Hartman brothers at: http://www.tsarchive.net

Towards the very end of the Transformers Generation 2 era, a small subgroup of Transformers appeared in Europe (and according to some reports, saw limited release in the US) called Powermasters. Now, you may be thinking "Wait a sec, Powermasters were in G1!" and you'd be right. Originally Powermasters were Transformers whose engines became smaller figures. In this context however it was a subgroup of Transformers whose gimmick was a variation on the old Throttlebot "pull back and go" feature.

Vehicle Mode:
Bullet Bike is a motorcycle with a side car in vehicle mode. The design of the motorcycle itself is meant to be sleek, but comes out looking rather blocky. It looks like the designers wanted a pseudo-ninja bike type bike, but all the parts are way to flat and angled to really work as one. There are some
small details on here that help the vehicle's appearance like small (and I mean tiny) handlebars on the sides and the gas cap on the main body of the bike. The sidecar is roughly oval shaped complete wit a sculpted seat.

There are three places you can attach Bullet Bike's weapons to in this form. The sidecar can hold one weapon, the left side of the bike can hold a weapon and there's a hole in the back of the bike that can accomodate the gun. Since the sidecar slot is the one that activates the Powermaster feature, it's nice to have alternative places to put both weapons.

The Powermaster gimmick allows for you to pull back the bike, attach the gun into the sidecar and then have the bike move forward on its own. What's interesting about the design of this vehicle mode is that the side car actually forms the wheel of the sidecar and the rear motorcycle wheel, allowing the gimmick to completely be built into the sidecar.

The motorcycle portion of the vehicle mode is metallic silver with black painted details. The designers tried to add on some neon green paint details to the handlebar covers, but for some reason the paint didn't take properly and clumped up in rather ugly patterns. The sidecar is orange with a sticker that says "Bulletbike" and "PM4" on it, indicating the character's name and that he is the fourth out of the four G2 Powermasters. Also on the sidecar is the G2 Decepticon symbol with the word "Decepticon" stamped next to it.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the guns.
  2. Swing the sidecar up so the orange peg attaches to the hole at the rear of the bike.
  3. Swing the motorcycle section up.
  4. Swing the halves of the motorcyle section out to the sides.
  5. Attach the weapons to the robot fists.

Robot Mode:
I often think that my rather generous nature with toy reviews comes from having been a kid and played with Transformers with robot modes like Bullet Bike's. Bullet Bike's robot mode must have looked good on paper, but in execution it just doesn't work well at all.

The primary problem with this form is that you can't do anything with it. The robot arms are not able to move up, so he can hold his guns, but he'll only be able to shoot the floor. This is slightly alleviated by attaching a gun to the sidecar (which becomes his feet here). This also allows you to use his Powermaster gimmick in this form.

The shame is that the design is actually nice if you think about what the concept drawings must have looked like. The head is sculpted to look like a bullet (fitting the name) and the halves of his vehicle mode windshield becoming his shoulders would make for cool looking shoulder armor. His guns are sculpted really nicely too, looking like mini-gatling guns. There's a germ of a really cool looking character here.

Final Thoughts:
Good idea. Bad execution. That's the way to describe Bullet Bike. Five or six years previous, this design would have been acceptable as the Throttlebots were, but the designers had years to improve on an old concept and they didn't.