Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Bulkhead Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Beast Hunters, Deluxe, Prime, Wreckers

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters

General Information:
Release Date: February 2013
Price Point: $15.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Dragon Grinder saw weapon

Images:

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics from the Amazon.com:
This big Autobot bruiser has enough strength to bust up entire Predacon armies!

Predacons beware, because this Bulkhead figure is just the Autobot to take any of them on! He’s a super-powered robot warrior, and his spinning Dragon Grinder weapon attaches to him whether he’s in robot or vehicle mode! When he needs to blast through obstacles to get to the battle, convert him to armored truck mode. Keep converting him back and forth so his Predacon enemies can’t take him!

Figure comes with accessory. Deluxe Class Series 2 007 Bulkhead. Ages 5 and up. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Text from instructions:
Dragon Grinder

  • Diamondium spins fast enough to superheat the air near its surface.
  • Superhot vortex near blade can be used to block incoming laser fire, as well as damage enemies.
  • Specially designed to cut through dragon armor.

"Tales of the Beast Hunters" Chapter 9
Bulkhead can't deny that the new weapons brought back to base by BUMBLEBEE are pretty cool, but no one can figure out how to activate them. AUTOBOT RATCHET is workin gon it in his lab, but BULKHEAD would rather smash stuff than study, so he's been out in the middle of the desert for hours, trying to get the thing to work. He's just about to give up with RIPCLAW plunges out of the sky and smashes into him. Before BULKHEAD can react, the unknown dragon's tail claw grips his chest and rips away a chunk of armor. Even as the big AUTOBOT pounds on his beastly opponent, giving as good as he gets, he feels the poisonous heat of the dragon's mech venom searing his circuitry.

Continued in Chapter 10 Deluxe Ripclaw (sold separately)

BulkheadAt the end of second season of "Transformers Prime", the Autobots were scattered, in hiding form the Decepticons. Among these Autobots was Bulkhead, a character originally inspired by the character introduced in "Animated". True to his name, this large Autobot has been a critical part of "Team Prime" for the last two years, making him a natural choice for a "Beast Hunters" style upgrade. Earlier, Bulkhead had been given a retool and redeco in the Cyberverse line, however this figure is a brand new sculpt on the Deluxe scale (a surprise for many who had been used to Bulkhead being a Voyager Class figure). It is not simply an upscaled version of the Cyberverse figure, but sports a new design as well.

Robot Mode:
Much of the inspiration for the modified Autobot forms in "Beast Hunters" seems to be the post-apocalyptic vehicle designs seen in films like "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" and "Death Race". This is evident even when the character is in robot mode. Bulkhead sports some details that give him a more industrial appearance such as the collar in front of his head, which has raised circles as "bolts" around it and a visor like piece with slots along the edge. Bulkhead's previous incarnations with a big jaw piece, but he now has visor eyes and horns sticking out in front on the top of his helmet section (different than the "viking" horns of the Cyberverse figure). If you take Bulkhed's various design cues as a whole, he's based off a Cobra snake. Many sections of his armor look like layered scales including his thigh armor and forearms. The "vent" piece that hangs behind his head looks like the hood of a Cobra and if you take that as the "hood", the two big spikes on his torso resemble fangs. This image is cemented by his weapon sculpt, which clearly has a snake head sculpted on top including fangs and layers of scales sweeping back. It's a really interesting theme for the character and I like it quite a bit.

Where this figure does carry some similarities to the Cyberverse version is the color scheme. Bulkhead's plastic colors include green, gold, orange and black. These colors were largely inspired by the G1 character known as Roadbuster, The Cyberverse version of Bulkhead adopted these colors, and now this version is using them as well. Paint details are done in silver, red, yellow, orange, black and blue. I have to say that I am very happy with the paint scheme, not just becaus eof how it looks, but also because there are so many paint applications. In recent time it has seemed that cost cutting measures have forced the designers to scale back quite a bit on paint, leaving some areas of figures looking "blank". No such problem here. The torso is a perfect example, with silver on the top, middle and bottom, blue lines running across the chest, silver, yellow and red on the "headlights" section and a big Autobot symbol painted in black. Even the head is painted nicely with gold on the otp and silve ron the jaw/mouth piece. Overall, I'm very happy with the paint scheme on this figure.

Bulkhead features fifteen points of articulation in this form, including four in each arm and three in each leg. His weapon is a self contained unit. Press the lever on the side and the saw blade spins. It only spins part way, it doesn't make a full circle but it still looks cool when it happens. Each hand can hold a 5mm peg weapon, and each forearm has a hole on the side that can do the same. On the back of the figure are three more connection points, one in the middle of the back and the other two on the sides of the door panels. In total this gives him seven points to connect additional weaponry.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. Swing down the piece at the center of the waist.
  3. Push in each of the side panels in the vent section over the head.
  4. Swing the vent piece up.
  5. Swing the front section of the vehicle down.
  6. Swing the windshield/vehicle front section down.
  7. Swing the legs back.
  8. Connect the two lower legs together.
  9. Swing each of the arms under the cabin section cover, folding the forearm against the upper arm.
  10. Push up the lower portion of the vehicle's front end against the section with the headlights.
  11. Swing up the waist cover.
  12. Swing down the hood/cabin cover piece and lock it in place.
  13. Swing each foot up.
  14. Swing the two lower legs up.
  15. Swing the doors down to lock everything in place.
  16. Attach the weapon to the top of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Like the robot mode, Bulkhead's updated vehicle form uses his previous form as its base but adds a lot of embelishments in the detail. The overall shape is still like a Hummer style vehicle, with tall wheels and some blocky chunks (especially at the back). The theme of layered armor continues with sections such as the ones above the wheels and some of the raised sections on the doors. The front end of the vehicle has been curved a bit with the central hood piece curving to a vent in the center. Even the front end curves more than it angles, giving it a semi-organic look. If you want to stretch the "snake" analogy, the front end looks like it has "eyes" via the headlights and "fangs" via the spikes in the front. Smaller details such as the gas tank cover and vents on the side are also worked into the figure making the vehicle mode look cool overall.

The same plastic colors used in the robot mode carry over here in almost equal amounts. The green plastic makes up most of the form with orange plastic concentrated in the front. Gold and black plastic are in the front and his weapon adds to the gold coloring in this form. The wheels are all black. This mode also features the translucent blue color on the windshield and the saw blade. It's a good color mixture and definitely reminscent of the G1 Roadbuster character it is based on. The same paint colors carry over as well with the light blue getting a lot of emphasis this time out on the windows. A bit of gold paint is at the back and sides with orange over the rear wheel wells. Silver, yellow and red are in the front. Once again there are more color details on this figure than I would have originally expected given how many recent releases have been getting increasingly less and less paint decos. Aside from the wheels being left unpainted, he looks great.

Bulkhead has three connection points in this form for 5mm peg weapons. There is one on top and one on each door. He really doesn't need anymore than that and they're worked into the form organically.

Final Thoughts:
I'm going to confess that I didn't like Bulkhead when I first took him out, but as I reviewed this figure I think this has more to do with me wanting Bulkhead at a larger scale and how odd the choice of the snake theme is for the character. I like the figure. It has some great detailing and I appreciate that all the Autobots are getting some type of "beast" theme, I just have this feeling that it should be "Beast Hunters" Roadbuster instead of say, Bulkhead. The figure itself is solid and fun, so my reservations are mostly conceptual due to how big the character is on the television show.