Cliffbee.com: Activator Bulkhead Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Bulkhead
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Armoured Personnel Carrier



APC MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 12cm Width: 10.5cm

   An army green truck with a narrow black slit for a front window, copper painted grille with yellow headlights, six black plastic tyres and a silver Autobot logo on the front. Bulkhead has a stroberack on the top, however only the centre is painted red - it's the button that activates his transformation. There are silver stars on the sides, rounding off a pretty simple colour scheme. The colour scheme works here, since most military transports have very functional colour schemes.

   Bulkhead's vehicle mode can be described as "chibi" - at best. He's superdeformed, to an extent which we haven't seen since the G1 Minibots (who were based on Penny Racers). I'm not really sold on the idea, but this smaller version is at least similar to the larger versions of the character. His detailing is pretty good, although the transformation hinges on the sides are very visible. To be fair, the designer has tried to make them look like weapons, with guntips at the front. The back is a mess, with his hands and feet very visible.

   The whole point of the Activators is an auto-transform, so much of the toy's engineering goes into that. We get a little bit of play value here - the front and rear wheels spin while the middle pair are fixed. It's underwhelming, but I don't really expect much at this level.

   Bulkhead has simple colours - by necessity - with a fairly good paint job and a decent sculpt. The back is a mess and the play value is low, but he does what he has to do in APC mode. It's nothing special but does what it has to do.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Press the red button, he'll transform and end up laying face down on the table. Stand him up, unclip the arms and fold up his feet. The auto transform is very well done - but make sure you reclip the arms into his sides when transforming back or you'll block the auto transform.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9cm Width: 9cm

   A fat army green robot with a silver Autobot logo on his chest, some black here and there, silver on his thighs and eyestrip and the gold and yellow on his waist. The colour scheme is again very simple, lining up with the vehicle mode. I find it too drab, but this mode was never going to be too colourful, what with all the green of the truck mode.

   Bulkhead is perhaps the least robotic of the Animated characters, with a bodyshape which is just plain bizarre. The torso is fat, the arms stocky and the legs very short. I hate his bodyshape, it really doesn't make Bulkhead look at all like a robot, although the shape here is consistent with the character concept. What isn't so consistent is the kibble. The side panels of the truck sit behind his arms, looking like messy wings, while the roof sits on his back, looking like, well, junk. Okay, I don't see what else the designer could have done with this stuff, but it is visually distracting.

   There are no gimmicks here, but Bulkhead has some poseability. His shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed while the knees and ankles are hinged. He has heelspurs but also a fair bit of weight at the back, so leg poseability is limited. The arms are quite poseable, but there's no wrecking ball at this size, sadly. His head can actually turn, but it looks very strange when you do so.

   A very simple and limited robot mode, although again it does what it has to do. The kibble hurts, especially when his proportions are so strange to begin with. His robot mode is better than most Legends sized toys, if still flawed.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   As much as I dislike the concept of Animated, I'm glad that it has given us the Activator concept. Bulkhead's auto-transform is really well done. I hate the concept of this character, and personally think this is an ugly toy as a result. Despite this, I still enjoy because the engineering of his transformation is good. The truck mode is the better mode, primarily because there's a lot of kibble in the robot mode (and the truck mode hides it's junk better). As simple as he is, this is a fun toy, despite his limitations - 7/10

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