Release Date: January 2022 (France), March 2022 (United States)
Price Point: $31.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth etc.)
Accessories: Blaster, Mace, Shield/Tarp
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon:
- TRANSFORMERS PRIME-INSPIRED DESIGN: This Transformers: Legacy 7-inch Prime Universe Bulkhead robot toy is inspired by the animated series, Transformers: Prime, updated with a Generations-style design
- UNIVERSES COLLIDE: Universes continue to collide with Transformers: Legacy! This epic line of Transformers toys brings together fan-favorite characters from across the Transformers multiverse
- 2 EPIC MODES: Action figure converts from robot to army van mode in 30 steps. Comes with a mace hand attachment and shield accessory
- HARNESS THE POWER OF ENERGON: Gear up with Cybertron’s most powerful substance, Energon! This Transformers Prime Universe Bulkhead figure comes with an Energon gatling blaster that attaches in both modes
- QR CODE: Scan the QR code on each package to reveal character tech specs from across the multiverse! Collect other Legacy figures to reveal their character tech specs (each sold separately, subject to availability)
Harness the power of Energon with the Transformers: Legacy Voyager Prime Universe Bulkhead robot toy! Bulkhead may be a gentle giant most of the time, but this Wrecker is always ready to kick some tailpipe.
The Transformers Legacy packaging represents a radical update to Transformers packaging for (what is presumably) a new "trilogy" of Generations toys. The shape calls back to the War for Cybertron trilogy design featuring a rectangular box with one side set at an angle. This packaging was designed with a new ethos in mind: minimizing the amount of plastic used to be more eco-friendly. That means the "window" that reveals the toy has no plastic over it. Instead there is just an empty space. Recent releases such as Origin Bumblebee preceded this release with similar open windows. This reduction of plastic use also applies to the tray inside the box. Bulkhead does not sit in a plastic tray. Instead he is tied to a cardboard panel. I am all for eco-friendly packaging and reducing plastic use, but some fans have expressed concern that this could lead to figures being easily stolen or damaged in box. Frankly, I cannot say this is unfounded. During a recent shopping trip I did see Core Class Ravage gone from his packaging. He had simply been torn out. Now, it's probably easier to do that with a Core Class figure than a Deluxe or Voyager, but the concern is a valid one and I will be interested to see where this design choice goes in the future.
The box art itself is pretty spectacular. The more Earth-tone colors of Kingdom have been traded up for a very retro-scifi (circa the 90's) look. The background tones are mostly purple and black and the Legacy logo just screams "Pay Attention to Me!!!" with its sharp angles and beveled letters that look like something right out of 90's toy packaging (and yes, this is what the BWTF logo circa 2022 is a homage to). On the right is the now traditional vertical Transformers logo with the Generations logo above that. Both have a "worn metal" coloring on them that really looks great. Since Bulkhead is packaged in robot mode, his alt-mode is shown almost lunging out of the box towards the buyer. To the left of that is the name "Bulkhead" with the universe he is from listed above the name as the "Prime Universe". The left (angled) side of the box features Bulkhead's robot mode art while the other side features Optimus Prime, Hot Rod, Arcee, Blaster and Bulkhead. The back of the box features Culkhead in both modes, calling out a 30 step transformation. The Legacy boxes also feature a QR code, next to a snippet of a classic looking Tech Specs images. Scan the QR Code and it takes you to Hasbro's web site and the character's tech specs. I have screen captured the spec and placed it in the gallery below. This is a great idea, but I do wish the profile was more robust. Still, this is a great way to get around the limitation of having to print tech specs in multiple languages on the box.
I do have one major reservation about the packaging (beyond the open window portion), and that is how thin the cardboard is. Once upon a time Transformers boxes came in thick cardboard boxes with many layers. This box is super thin and it feels rather flimsy. I worry about how these boxes will stand up to damage on shelves or as they are shipped. Of course, if you ditch your boxes anyway this is not an issue.
While the name has been used in various ways throughout Transformers history, this figure is a callback to the Transformers Prime Bulkhead, himself an alt-universe version of the character of the same name in 2008's Transformers Animated cartoon and toy line. However, it has been many years since this version of the character has been made into toy form. I believe the most recent was a "Tiny Titan" mini-figure released in 2015.
Bulkhead includes three accessories. One of the features of Legacy will be the ability of weapons to be connected together to form "super weapons" via 5mm pegs and ports. This is pretty much the exactly same gimmick that was used in Energon except this time not all the accessories are translucent plastic. Here's a rundown:
- Tarp Cover/Shield: This is a large piece that covers most of the vehicle mode's top half. In vehicle mode it is meant to be a fabric tarp over metal panels, complete with cloth-like details sculpted in. This piece can be detached to be used as a shield. There are hinged pieces on either side so you can play around a bit with its configuration. There is a green 5mm peg on one side and a black one on the other. There is also a 5mm port so you can place a weapon on top of it in vehicle mode. This piece is cast in green plastic, very similar to the green used on past Bulkhead figures.
- Mace: One of Bulkhead's most iconic weapons is his mace, which would appear at his wrist. This accessory is grey plastic with silver painted on the outside. Flip the top of it open and you'll find the 5mm peg inside that can side into any character's hand for combat! In keeping with the play pattern of the line, the mace has three 5mm ports to attach other weapons or Blast Effects.
- Blaster: Bulkhead's blaster looks like a Cybertronian gatling gun, with multiple weapon barrels on a larger cylinder in front and more angled, bulky sections towards the middle and back. This piece is made up of translucent blue plastic with gunmetal grey deco. The middle section has a 5mm port on either side to attach other weapons. The back has a smaller peg on either side used to attach to the figure in robot mode.
When preview images of this figure were released, it was clear that this was not going to be the same rotund looking Autobot fans have known from the past. Instead, the preview images showed a very angular and blocky figure that evoked Generation One designs more than the sometimes curved and almost organic looking designs from the Prime era. I won't lie to you, dear reader, that's pretty much what this figure is. While he is from the "Prime" universe in the fiction, his look is very much a G1 interpretation of the character and you know what? It's fine. I'm not going to be a raging advocate for the "G1-ification" of every character from other eras, nor do I see this as the end of Transformers as we know it. It is a very specific design choice and I would rather appreciate the figure for what it is rather than what it is not.
True to his name, Bulkhead is indeed a chonky 'bot. While he may not have a round shape, he does have a torso that makes his head and arms look small in comparison. Unlike previous version sof the character, he has legs and feet that are (somewhat) proportional to the rest of the body. The result is a rather sturdy and cool looking robot form. The two biggest callbacks to previous Bulkhead designs are the head sculpt and the "back pack". The head sculpt comes right out of Transformers Prime, featuring a round helmet section and a giant jaw piece that overlaps the lower half of his face. The "tarp" accessory winds up on his back and kind of forms a cape-like section. This kind of calls back to panels on some previous versions of Bulkhead which sometimes curved over the shoulders. There are more subtle Prime design callbacks on the legs. The thighs have similar details to previous Bulkhead figures and the knee armor is based on the shape and design of previous Bulkhead knees. It is cool to see such elements incorporated into a heavy reinterpretation of the character.
Bulkhead is made up of green, black, silver and translucent blue plastic. Most of the character is green and silver with black parts breaking up the green. The entire torso section is translucent blue plastic, but there is a copious amount of green paint on it along with black and blue paint. Other parts have a bit less paint including the thighs, knees, shoulders and head. Other paint colors include silver, blue and a red Autobot symbol on the chest. From a color perspective, this guy is easy to recognize as Bulkhead.
There are twenty two points of articulation on this figure. This includes five on each arm and leg and even waist articulation. For those wondering if the designers have maintained the ankle rocker articulation from War for Cybertron, good news! It's totally still intact and as far as I know Hasbro intends to continue using it in the future.
Bulkhead has twenty one 5mm ports in this form. Now, I'm being a bit generous here. There are a four on the back of his legs that really are not particularly useful here. Also, each of the wheels on his arms and legs have a 5mm port but since the wheels move anything you attach just kind of dangles there. So really, in my book there are only nine meaningful ports. One is on the shield accessory on his back, each forearm has one, there are of course the fists and each leg has one on the sides and under the feet (another holdover from the War for Cybertron era). The shield on his back can detach and connect to either arm to act as a giant shield (though there is a big rectangular hole in it so let's assume there's some type of energy shield there). His blaster can be attached to the ports on either side behind the head or attached to any of the 5mm ports on the figure. Once more Legacy figures are released, you should wind up with quite the pile of weapons to attach to Bulkhead (or you can just reuse existing weapons as I did for my photos).
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach all the accessories and set them aside for now. Technically you can leave the shield attached to the back during transform but I prefer having it out of the way.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Separate each arm (via the shoulder area) from the torso section, then swing each one down.
- Swing the torso section up.
- Swing the top half of the body back on the central hinge.
- Swing the black piece in the waist area up.
- Swing the enter upper half of the body on the hinge in front of the middle section. This will "snap" a bit when you move it so don't freak out (I totally did).
- Push the head into the torso cavity.
- Push the panel inside the torso cavity up to fill in the hole where the head was.
- Swing both arms down and in, connecting the shoulder sections together in the middle using the tabs and corresponding slots.
- Swing the forearms into the bottom of the torso piece.
- On the torso piece there are two "fake" wheels that were behind the head. Swing these down and out to the sides.
- Swing the back panel on each lower leg out to the side. Then swing out the fuel tank pieces out and rotate them around, then swing the green panels back in place.
- Swing each lower leg back at the knees, then clip the tabs on the insides of the fuel tanks into the corresponding slots on the sides of the thighs.
- Swing the panels behind the lower robot legs back down.
- Push the lower legs together.
- Swing the heel pieces into the underside of the feet.
- Swing the robot feet up.
- Swing the black waist piece up.
- Swing the lower body forward, compressing it against the front section. The two connect using the tabs in the front of the fuel tanks attaching to slots on the front cab section.
- Both the mace and blaster accessories can be stored using the 5mm ports on the back of the robot legs.
- Reattach the shield on top and fold the sides down, then tab it into place.
Bulkhead's vehicle mode appears to be based on a Rába H18 military truck. It has the same boxy shape as their truck and the back has a tarp just like the real life vehicle. The real life vehicle is also a six wheeler with tanks on either side. There are some differences of course (since this is not a licensed vehicle mode). The H18 has an angle in the front section at the bottom that this figure lacks. The "tanks" in the area between the front and rear wheels are larger than the ones on the real life vehicle (proportionally speaking that is). Even with those differences, the similarities are really obvious when you look at this figure side by side with photos of the real life vehicle. Some fans will also draw parallels to The Last Knight Hound's vehicle mode, which is also a very fair comparison.
The detailing in this mode is really nice. The front section has a lot of layered detailing and shapes that work together to give the vehicle a detailed and slightly futuristic appearance. I love the look of the back section. It has some metal-looking detail with sections sculpted to look like fabric, a rarity among Transformers vehicles. All that said, I do wish the back section had some paint wash on it. The front section is fine with its translucent blue windows and green paint. The back however looks neglected. Some simple black wash would have given it some gritty detail and helped accentuate the sculpted bits. I also wish the sides of the wheels were painted green, similar to the real life vehicle.
This mode has several attachment points for weapons. These are all concentrated on the back section. On the top you can swing up a peg or use the 5mm port in the middle to attach weapons. On either side there is both a peg and a port. I found it very cool that the peg actually has a small hole in it which does accommodate Mini-Cons and Energon Weapons from the Unicron Trilogy era! I love the idea of really arming up vehicles so I find this really fun.
I genuinely like this action figure, but I'm kind of torn about whether the "G1-ification" of the Prime designs is something I like. There is definitely a lot of the "spirit" of the character in this design, so I'm leaning towards being okay with it but I confess I would have been a bit happier of the torso section could have been "rounded" a bit using folding panels or something. That said, this is a genuinely fun toy. The transformation is not too fiddly, yet it is involved and I dig the accessories. Recommended!
- Nice sculpt (in general, even if you don't like it as Bulkhead).
- Complex yet straight forward transformation.
- Cool accessories.
- I appreciate Generations for contuing to move beyond G1 continuity for inspiration.
- The "G1-ification" of Bulkhead is going to turn some fans off.
- I wish the vehicle mode had more deco in the back section.