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Transformer Review: Transformers Prime First Edition Voyager Class Bulkhead

September 13, 2013

Only 2 Voyager Class figures were released in the cancelled First Edition toyline for “Transformers Prime”. Today we will be looking at one of them, that has a lot of aspects from an “Transformers Animated” series character of the same name. Let’s meet Bulkhead!

 

First things first: I apologize for the dullness of the photo colours you’ll see due to the limitations of my smartphone camera and available lighting. The green colours you see should be more vibrant and a near military green colour.

 

4×4 Mode

FE Bulkhead - 4x4 Vehicle Mode

FE Bulkhead – 4×4 Vehicle Mode

Transformers Prime Bulkhead’s alt mode is a 4×4 offroad vehicle. The look of the vehicle mode is quite nice and looks very compact. There are large chunks of robot parts below the vehicle and offer very little clearance to roll on a solid ground, but he still rolls fine. The rear parts of the vehicle tend to split due to the spring mechanism of the mentioned pieces (which become his arms). The paint apps are good and are very similar to the Animated Bulkhead colours.

 

You can store Bulkhead’s wrecking ball robot weapon on the back of the vehicle mode, although it will look ridiculous.

Overall, the vehicle mode is great and depicts his overpowering strength too.

 

Transformation

FE Bulkhead & AM Breakdown - Alt Mode Comparisons

FE Bulkhead & AM Breakdown – Alt Mode Comparisons

Transformation is on the moderate side: not too difficult and not too easy. The tricky bit I feel is getting the door panels to the front of the vehicle to form his robot chest, as a lot of car pieces like to get in the way. But practice makes perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

Robot Mode

FE Bulkhead - Robot Mode Posed

FE Bulkhead – Robot Mode Posed

Exquisite! F.E. Bulkhead looks awesome in robot mode. It is not as accurate as his very round body figure in the Transformers Prime show, but man you will definitely know it is Bulkhead by the looks of him. The way the door panels folded to form the chest and make it almost round is outstanding! What more, even with his stubby feet, he looks big and worthy of a Voyager class figure (unlike Animated Voyager Class Bulkhead!)

Articulation is quite good on this figure. But thanks to his show design for his stubby legs, it can be quite difficult to get him to do dynamic poses. On my copy of the figure, his shoulder joints can be a bit loose especially when raising his hands up high. I’m not sure if this is a common QC issue or not though. However the problems addressed still won’t bring down the greatness of this figure at all.

FE Bulkhead - Chest Close Up

FE Bulkhead – Chest Close Up

Paint job wise, he is great. No major or notable issues were found on this figure. The flat green colour used on the vehicle mode is good enough and there is no need for shiny paint. But if you like shiny paint, then you might opt for the Takara version which uses shiny darker green paint for the car body.

His only accessory is the wrecking ball which you can plug into either hand. Just fold back his hand to reveal the vehicle exhaust port and plug in the wrecking ball. He looks great with the wrecking ball. I would’ve preferred a much more dark metallic look to the ball to make it look dangerously lethal. And having 2 of them would’ve been nice. But as it is, it’s perfectly fine as Hasbro has already given us a very good F.E. Bulkhead figure alone. In addition, you could imagine Bulkhead having gun arms by exposing the exhaust ports on his arms and hiding the hands. Some reviewers have noted this too.

3rd Party “TFDreamFactory” – F.E. Bulkhead Upgrade Kit
Source: http://www.fullmetalhero.com

 

There is now a 3rd Party Upgrade set for F.E. Bulkhead, designed by TFDreamFactory. It provides an external bumper that keeps the rear section of Bulkhead’s alt mode intact, a staff, 2 gun arm add-ons, and a feature where you can combine the staff and gun arms to form a big hammer (slightly reminiscent of Animated Ultra Magnus’ hammer). This is a cool set and costs USD 30 on Robotkingdom.com. Note: This set is optional and not a must-have unless you are a big TF Prime Bulkhead fan and/or you like to beef up your F.E. Bulkhead figure.

 

FE Bulkhead - Wrecking Ball Smash

FE Bulkhead – Wrecking Ball Smash

Currently a different retooled version of Voyager Class Bulkhead is out in the market, i.e. Transformers Prime Robots In Disguise (R.I.D.) Bulkhead. That figure is alright and a little smaller than the F.E. Voyager Class figures. But the chest design loses by a mile to the F.E. one. Also their spring loaded weapons in that toyline mostly fail and don’t look pleasing asthetically. I suggest you only go for the R.I.D. version if you absolutely cannot find F.E. Bulkhead at a reasonable price (as close to retail price as possible). Nevertheless, the R.I.D. version is less screen accurate and personally I do not think it’s a worthy enough substitute for the F.E. Bulkhead.

In the pictures you will view, I have Bulkhead posed next to Bulkhead’s arch nemesis in Transformers Prime: the Japanese Arms Micron Voyager Class Breakdown, which never made it to the American R.I.D. toyline. Anyhow, his smaller size is quite close to that of the R.I.D. Bulkhead figure.

My final thoughts on the robot mode is he is absolutely great and a must-have for its well-engineered design. It is highly recommended to all, even if you do not like Transformers Prime. Currently even now it is a little easier to find F.E. Bulkhead in Asia where it was only released in. You just got to know whre to look. Oh, and avoid paying the ridiculous prices of the figure on eBay.

 

Conclusion

AM Breakdown & FE Bulkhead - Rumble!

AM Breakdown & FE Bulkhead – Rumble!

Exquisite figure in both 4×4 vehicle and robot modes. 3rd Party upgrade set is excellent but optional. Highly recommended to all. Get this figure if you can still buy it at a reasonable price, if not you may choose to go for the newer R.I.D. version albeit not being a great substitute.

 

 

 

 

 

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