Release Date: February 2022
Price Point: $22.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Official images and product description in italics below are from Amazon:
- STUDIO SERIES DELUXE CLASS: Deluxe Class figures are 4.5-inch collectible action figures inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the Transformers movie universe, now including The Transformers: The Movie!
- 4.5-INCH SCALE WHEELJACK: Figure features vivid, movie-inspired deco, is highly articulated for posability and comes with a 2-handed blaster accessory inspired by the film
- BIG SCREEN INSPIRED: Figure scale reflects the character’s size in the world of Transformers: Bumblebee. Figure and packaging are inspired by the iconic Cybertron Falls scene
- 2 ICONIC MODES: Figure features classic conversion between robot and Cybertronian racecar modes in 31 steps. Perfect for fans looking for a more advanced converting figure. For kids and adults ages 8 and up
- REMOVABLE BACKDROP: Removable backdrop displays Wheeljack figure in the Cybertron Falls scene. Fans can use the backdrop and pose their figures in the scene with their own style
This Studio Series 81 Deluxe Class Transformers: Bumblebee-inspired Wheeljack figure converts from robot to Cybertronian racecar mode in 31 steps. Remove backdrop to showcase Wheeljack in the Cybertron Falls scene. In the Cybertron Falls scene from Transformers: Bumblebee, Wheeljack and the Autobots are overwhelmed by the Decepticon attack and must escape Cybertron if they hope to survive. Pose the figure out with the included blaster accessory and imagine re-creating this classic movie moment!
The opening of the Bumblebee Movie featured a fast paced battle scene on Cybertron. This scene featured the Cybertronian versions of many characters based on fan favorite G1 characters. One of these was the Autobot Wheeljack. You can check out a portion of this awesome scene in the embedded video below.
As part of the 2022 Studio Series line, Hasbro and Takara Tomy would release several characters based on this Cybertronian battle scene including, Wheeljack. Now, technically this is not the first time Wheeljack has appeard in a live action movie toy line. A Wheeljack figure was planned for a December 2011 release as part of the Dark of the Moon toy line, but it only saw release in Japan under the name "Autobot Que" (which leaves a gap if your head canon says this is a different character). A separate live action movie Wheeljack was released by Takara in 2012 and was actually named Wheeljack. That figure was a redeco and retool of the Autobot Que figure.
Wheeljack comes in a standard Studio Series box. His artwork is very prominent on the front and looks like it sbased right off the CG model. Part of the reason the artwork is so large is that the window has been made smaller so you see a bit less of the figure than previous releases. At first I thought this was due to the initiative to reduce plastic usage in Transformers packaging, but there is still a plastic sheet over the window like packaging from previous years. That said, I think this packaging represents an intermediary step between having the large plastic windows of the past and the non-plastic covered windows that will be very present in 2022 and beyond. Part of the reason I think this is the figure itself is attached to a cardboard tray inside the box instead of sitting in a plastic try. This cardboard piece has a portion of the background scene on it to give the figure a nice backdrop.
The back of the box features Wheeljack in both modes calling out an 31 step transformation. Instead of a function, the box calls out the scene he is in as "Cybertron Falls". Like past Studio Series figures, Wheeljack comes with a backdrop to act as a display piece. The background features part of the scene from Cybertron during the opening battle scene and it looks great.
Wheeljack includes a blaster based on the design of the one he uses in the movie. The entire blaster does not really show on screen in a way that you can get a good look at it, but this accessory seems to fit the design hinted at in the scene. It features a bulky base section with a long barrel. Under the barrel is an additional piece that one could imagine being anything from a grip to an energy pack (or why not both?). This piece has two 5mm pegs, one to hold it and the other allows you to attach additional weaponry. The weapon is gunmetal grey plastic with no paint applications.
Part of the idea behind Studio Series was to give Hasbro access to the CG models used in the films to act as a starting point when creating the action figures. This figure benefits heavily from that because it really does look like the CG model from the film jumped right into plastic form. You can see the CG model and concept art from ILM in the gallery below to get a good idea of just how well they match up. Among the key details they captured in this figure are:
- A very G1-centric head design, complete with a high central crest, "ear flaps" sticking out to the sides and a mouthplate. This head design is very much a stylized version of the original G1 Wheeljack head.
- Wheeljack features "wings" sticking up from behind his shoulders. This is a callback to a similar feature on G1 Wheeljack's back.
- The forearms on this figure are bigger and chunkier than the shoulders, calling back to both the CG model in the Bumblebee movie and the G1 Wheeljack design.
- The torso is a rounded shape that appears to be the top of a vehicle mode. This also calls back to G1 Wheeljack who had the top of his vehicle mode cabin section in the same location.
- Each leg features a thin armor extension running from the knee down to the feet. The feet have a shape that angles and narrows to the front.
I absolutely love the sculpt on this figure. There are a lot of tiny details sculpted into various parts such as the panel the head rests on, the arms and thighs. I would also argue any G1 fan familiar with the original Wheeljack would instantly recognize this figure even if they had not seen the Bumblebee movie.
Wheeljack is made up of white, silver and gunmetal grey plastic. The plastic used for his head and forearms is beautiful. Put it under the right light and you'll see some beautiful metallic reflections. His eyes and "ears" are painted metallic blue, a wonderful representation of his "ears" lighting up when he talks. His torso features translucent grey plastic with white, green and red paint on it which follows the CG model's colors but also calls back to G1 Wheeljack. His lower legs have green paint in the front. A white Autobot symbol rounds out the deco on the chest. I do wish the white parts had some type of wash on them to simulate the gritty look of the battle worn Autobots in the film, but that would be very rare nowadays so I don't expect it.
There are twenty two points of articulation on this figure including five in each arm and ankle rockers. He can hold his weapon in either hand or store it away using a 5mm port on his back.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the blaster and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the "wings" on his shoulders down.
- Swing the torso panel up and extend the white torso panel out.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- Swing the windshield piece out from under the translucent grey chest piece.
- Pull the shoulder sections out gently a bit.
- Swing the plate that the robot head is on up.
- Turn the head to the side, then swing the panels with the head attached back.
- Swing the arms up.
- Swing the shoulder panels (with the wheels on them) in so the wheels face out to the sides.
- Push the forearms together.
- Take each leg and separate the wheel panel from the side panels (with the "L" shaped design on them).
- Rotate each side panel up and connect it to the shoulder panels with the wheels on them.
- Lift, then rotate the lower leg front armor pieces around.
- Swing down the front wheel panels.
- Swing the feet down to form the front halves of the vehicle mode.
- Connect the feet together using the tab/slot in the middle.
- Swing the cabin cover/windshield piece down and push it into place.
- Swing the arms up. The forearms have tiny tabs on them that slot into the back of the panel from the chest.
- Swing the panel with the robot head on it down and into the bottom of the vehicle.
- The blaster can attach to the top of the vehicle using the slots in between the halves of the spoiler.
Most of the Autobots seen in the Bumblebee movie opening scene never actually transform on screen, so it was up to Hasbro to not only figure out an alt-mode for Wheeljack but also how the robot mode (which they had CG reference for) would transform into a vehicle that had not existed until now. To that end, I think the designers did an amazing job. Wheeljack transforms into what I would describe as a futuristic, scifi looking race car. It has gorgeous, sleek and curved lines running from front to back. The front ends come to points reminiscent of Cybertron Override. I love the curved design of the spoiler in the back and there are some really nice sculpted details on this vehicle mode including raised lines on the sides of the vehicle and the design of the wheels.
Color-wise, the designers did a great job echoing G1 Wheeljack. In addition to the green, white and red details seen in the robot mode, the front end of the vehicle has additional red and green lines on it. The sides of the wheels are actually painted white on the sides, a rarity nowadays. Green is used on the "L" shaped designs on the sides of the vehicle. I really like the deco, but I wish the budget would have allowed for some dark wash on the white parts to match the look of the movie CG model but I get the limitations involved.
I love this figure. It's fantastic. The sculpt looks great in both modes and I applaud the designers for coming up with a vehicle mode that pays homage to G1 Wheeljack when one was never designed by the movie studio. Highly recommended!
- Excellent sculpt in both modes.
- Good deco.
- Good articulation.
- Intuitive yet unique transformation.
- I would have liked a bit more deco on the white parts to show wear and tear.