Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Commander Class Bulkhead Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Beast Hunters, Commander, Prime, Cyberverse

Beast Hunters

General Information:
Release Date: January 2013
Price Point: $9.99
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Axe/missile launcher, Missile


*Images with asterisks* and text below in italics from The Official Transformers web site:
With his heavy-hitting hammer, this armored AUTOBOT brawler is ready for battle!

DECEPTICONS beware, because this BULKHEAD figure is just the brawler to take them on! His awesome Nova hammer will pound his enemies to scrap. But when he can’t get the job done in robot mode, he’ll convert to powerful armored truck mode and plow through whatever’s in his path, or wipe it out with his launching missile! Keep converting him back and forth so his enemies can’t keep up!

Includes figure and accessories. Commander Class Series 3 003 BULKHEAD Heavy Munitions. Ages 5 and up.

BulkheadWith the Predacons hot on the heels of the Autobots, they have armored up and taken on new weaponry. Bulkhead is no exception. With this new iteration of the character comes a homage and lots of new parts. This figure is a redeco and retool of Commander Class Bulkhead from last year. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release (and they're quite substantial). You'll still want to check out Bulkhead's review from last year to see the figure this toy was based on.

Robot Mode:
Similar to the Deluxe figures such as Deluxe Bumblebee, the designers took a sculpt from last year's toy line and retooled it heavily for this release. Here's the list of what's been retooled for this figure:

  • The head is a new sculpt. It's still distinctly "Bulkhead" complete with a big chin piece, central crest and small eyes. However, he now sports a larger crest, more greeble like details on the jaw and curved horns on the sides giving him the appearance of an Autobot wearing a "viking helmet".
  • The chest panel has been replaced complete with new details such as armored panels with the letter "X" on them and tubes along with a (non-working) winch and spikes.
  • The shoulder armor has been redone. It still has the same general shape, but more line details and spikes along the outer edge.
  • The lower legs have been partly redone with the piece connecting the thighs to the lower legs replaced with a part that has more line details insatead of being smooth in texture.

Combined, all these redone parts give Bulkhead a significantly changed appearance from the first version of the figure. This one winds up looking much rougher as if he was built to take extreme conditions. The armor pieces look like they were made to ward off anyone attacking him up close and the "viking helmet" head makes him look like some ancient warrior. It's a very effective retool and looks great.

The other significant change in this figure are the colors. Bulkhead is no longer his signature green color. Instead, he is a combination of orange, brown, green and black plastic. These colors are distributed nicely, with a lot of alternating colors such as the legs which go from green to orange to black. Generation One fans will find this color combination familiar: it is directly inspired by the G1 Autobot known as "Roadbuster", who like Bulkhead transformed into a rough and tough vehicle in vehicle form. Indeed, I think if the head sculpt was different they could have easily called this guy "Roadbuster" and it would've worked perfectly as a new character in the "Prime" universe.

Paint details on this figure are done in silver, copper, black and red. The silver is used for details sauch as the sapikes on his shoulder armor and the horns onhis head. The copper is a really nice color that you'll find on his head, forearms and torso. Black is mostly uesd for paint details of the vehicle mode, but they peek through here on his shoulders. The red is used for the Autobot symbol painted onto his chest. Overall it's a really nice color scheme. I like the copper color the most.

Despite plenty of retooling, this sculpt is still nice and tight. Instead of using his old "wrecking ball" accessory, Bulkhead is now armed with a weapon known as the "Nova Hammer". Oddly, this weapon is shaped more like a giant axe than a hammer with a curved blade on one side, sculpted as part of a base piece that could be used as a blunt instrument. This section is then connected to a handle. The base/blade piece is really a launcher however that can be held in Bulkhead's hand. The handle doubles as a missile and launches via a "pressure marble". Push it with enough force and the missile goes flying out. This is a neat weapon combination. I did find however that as a missile launcher, the weapon fits better attached to the side of his forearm instead of being held in his hand where the peg isn't quite long enough to fit securely.

Unfortunately there is one unfortunate design flaw (I'm using this word rather strongly, I admit). if the weapon is supposed to be used as a blade weapon, it's not very good since the blade section winds up spinning around the handle depending on what position you have it in. Perhaps in that sense it is more of a "hammer" weapon since any side of it can be used as blunt instrument.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached and set it aside for now.
  2. Rotate each foot so it points down.
  3. Swing the wheels on his back up.
  4. Swing the upper body back, separating it from the vehicle mode's front panel.
  5. Swing the shoulders up and connect them together.
  6. Swing the panels on the shoulders down to cover the robot head.
  7. Swing the robot legs up, bending them at the knees and tucking them under the panel that forms the front of the vehicle mode.
  8. Swing the forearms down and tuck them into the underside of the vehicle.
  9. The weapon can be attached to the hole on the top of the vehicle or on the sides.

Vehicle Mode:
I already went into the parts replaced in the robot mode review, but they come together to give the vehicle mode a very distinct appearance from the first Bulkhead Commander Class figure:

  • The front end of the vehicle looks like it was built to ram enemies with big spikes sticking out in front and shielded headlights.
  • Each of the wheel wells have extra bits on them, looking like they have had extra armor welded onto them.
  • The rear section has spikes wrapping around from the side behind the rear wheel wells all the way to the area underneath the rear lights.
  • The rear lights themselves are a new design, with each light sticking out in a cylindrical shape.
  • The sides of the vehicle have been reworked a bit. Right behind the front wheel wells are sections sticking out with holes to accomodate 3mm pegged weapons.

In this form, Bulkhead's colors wind up in much more distinct sections. The front and back of the vehicle are mostly orange, with brown and green focused in the middle. The wheels are black. Copper features prominently in the front where the spikes and winch are. His headlights, rear lights and rear spikes are painted silver. The windows are black and a bit of orange paint is used on the back section. He looks great and pays fantastic homage to Generation One Roadbuster.

Bulkhead has five points of connection for 3mm peg weapons. One is on top, two are above the rear wheels and the others are on the sides in the center. This gives him two more points to connect weapons than the last version of the figure, bolstering the idea that Bulkhead has "armored up" for all out war.

Final Thoughts:
Beast Hunters Commander Class Bulkhead is a cool figure and retool of the first version of the figure. He fits the bill for sure with extra armor and new weaponry. He definitely has a more "ancient warrior" vibe to him than the previous version. The only major weakness of the figure is the weapon, which flops around a bit too much for my tastes. Your mileage on this guy will vary depending on how much you like the Roadbuster homage and his "viking" look. I like him, but don't really find him a superior figure to the first release.