Posts tagged with "wheelie" - 1
Posted January 20, 2021 at 10:35 pm

Transformers is about Robot Mode Scale now, and honestly that's the highly-addictive drug I've gotten hooked on.  And while I am definitely into robots who can stand next to each other and look the correct height -- so much so that I've re-bought so many live-action movie robots in Studio Series thus far -- sometimes it means getting a slightly ... worse...? Grimlock than I have already?   Masterpiece Grimlock is pretty dang similar to Studio Series '86 Grimlock, and I even have the fancy Marvel Comics-colored one, with the silver finish and the blue-for-black and the crown.  But it's a head or two too tall, and word is Studio Series '86 is gonna give us the other four Dinobots in turn, and I can't have one of them looking out of place.  

Because, honestly, having a full set of appropriately huge Dinobots is a long-dormant dream of mine.  I mean, it's been fine to have the Dinobot combiner Volcanicus fill in for them, since robot scale means a little less when they're all combined into a super robot.  There's some wiggle room there.  (or rather there isn't, since a combiner has to fit vertically on a shelf, so that limits things)  

Volcanicus shouldn't worry.  I've already found alternate display space for him.  He's a combiner and I love combiners, so he was never really in danger of disappearing into a bin.  

Anyway, Studio Series '86 Grimlock is pretty close in feel to Masterpiece Grimlock!  They're about the same size, and they're roughly the same visual design, and they transform very similarly.  SS86 Grimlock's a little chonkier, and the tail-to-legs transformation is a little less fussy, and he's missing the Turn-Head-Wag-Tail gimmick, nor is he electronic, and he doesn't come with a sword.  Cartoon Grimlock?  Didn't actually have a sword!  He had his double-barreled rifle in his model sheet and no sword.  And so SS86 Grimlock only comes with the rifle.  

He does come with Wheelie, though!  A small, nontransforming Wheelie that exists entirely to be fit onto the top of Grimlock's dinosaur neck or robot shoulder.  He's sculpted into a permanent squat because, again, he's a little prop.  His arms are posed just enough you can get him to aim his slingshot in plenty directions.  (The slingshot does remove from the fist and I think it's a 3mm port)

I have a perfectly fine Wheelie who's not sculpted permanently into a teabagging stance and can also transform, so I think I'll keep that one around for display.  But for those of you who missed out on Titans Return Wheelie from several years ago, this is your chance at him again.  

What's better about SS86 Grimlock that isn't his precise scale?  Well, he's cheaper than MP Grimlock, for one.  Most of his joints are ratcheted, while my Masterpiece's joints are all friction-based and getting kinda floppy after twelve years.  I like the range of motion his robot mode dino-rib wings have.  His articulation is a little more solid.  There's a 5mm port for effects parts inside his dinosaur mouth.  He can steal the Masterpiece's sword (since it also used a 5mm port) and crown (it barely balances on his head, but that was true of the masterpiece too honestly).  

Both still transform into that ugly-ass dinosaur mode, though.  I mean, we all know dinosaurs were birds, but it's weird when you see a T. rex waddle around like an upright duck.  However, he's releasing at the same time as Beast Megatron and Fossilizer Paleotrex, so it's not like there aren't other style options for Transformers tyrannosaurs!  See, they also come in both flesh and naked.  (And both with more realistic posture.)

there's just been so many grimlocks that transform this exact same way from the exact same terrible dinosaur to the exact same robot mode, you guys

Posted October 10, 2016 at 5:30 am

american wheelie left, japanese wheelie (with goshooter) rightI gambled and it worked out.  Remember my blogpost about Titans Return Wheelie?  About how he's a great little robot and the transformation is interesting but he's kind of absolutely ruined by his car mode not holding together?  At all?  

Well, I got a second one (the one on the right in the photographs), the Japanese TakaraTomy one, and that one holds together fine.

Some American ones reportedly hold together in vehicle mode all right.  Maybe some Japanese ones don't.  But this one is good.  It's probably just plastic tolerances.  The design is maybe just not engineered in a way that it will hold together under all manufacturing conditions, I dunno.  But this one is fine.  

Ironically, I like the robot mode colors better on the new one, but the old one's car colors look better to me.  The one with the car mode I can't get to stay together is the one with the better colors.  Great.  But the robot mode on the new one is still alot better, as I said, so it's not all bad.  I like the gunmetal legs and the replacing of silver plastic with orange.  Plus it's nice that all of Wheelie's head is painted appopriately, not just his face.  

The one thing I don't like about the new one's robot mode is the much clearer translucent plastic canopy.  The smokey translucent plastic of the old one looked better on the robot chest, I feel.  Thankfully, you can just easily swap that, easy as one pleases.  Snaps off, snaps on.  The only downside is that it gives him THREE Autobot symbols in vehicle mode instead of the still-ridiculous two.  Ah well.  

I've got a photo of what that looks like on the left, with the slingshot accessory I stole from a previous Wheelie.

Wheelie comes with Go Shooter, who is the little boy who transforms into the head of who we call Siren over here.  It's nice that this Wheelie stays together when you try to fit Go Shooter inside.  I got so mad trying to get the old one transformed into car mode for the second photo above that I just gave up in a fit of rage.  Well, stole your canopy, sorry, and into the bin with you!

Posted July 17, 2016 at 1:01 am

In this year's Transformers line, Titans Return, the dealio is about the little tiny robots that turn into heads.  The Leader Class guys transform into a third (*intentional pause*) base mode that can be populated by little head dudes, the Voyager Class guys can be piloted by little head dudes, as can the Deluxe Class guys.  The Legends Class, which last year's Combiner Wars line spent most of its time turning into little add-on armor or weaponry for the big-ol combiner robots, is now dedicated to providing tiny vehicles for the Leader Class base modes which can also be piloted by the little head dudes.  That means some of these three-inch tall guys are triple changers.

Wheelie is not.

Wheelie transforms from a robot to a futuristic car which a tiny head dude can fit inside of and drive.  That itself is a feat, since, again, Legends Class toys aren't terribly large (they were the smallest price point until this very toyline), so that Wheelie has room for a drivers compartment inside him is kind of amazing.  And it's not like one of those "kind of floats inside like a Flintstones car" situations, where there's no floorboards and no proper roof.   Naw, you can stick a little head dude robot in him (sold separately) and close him up inside completely, canopy and all.

IN THEORY.  Here's Wheelie's problem, you see.  While his robot mode is fantastic for its size and the transformation itself is a dream, the vehicle mode does not actually like to stay together.  There are some very tiny, shallow tabs that are supposed to lock the arms into the top of the canopy, but they don't lock in well much at all.  And so you can easily destroy the vehicle mode just by trying to fit the little head dude inside, which seems to kind of ruin the entire point of the toy.  I would recommend fitting the head dude into the seat placement first and then transforming the toy around him.  Which is probably not the desired playpattern, but it involves less cursing overall.  This way, you can spend time trying to get the tabs to rest in the slots best you can (but never perfectly) without immediately destroying it by using the pilot functionality and having to start all over.  

Or just keep him in robot mode on your shelf forever, I dunno.

This is a Wheelie toy with 5mm fist pegholes, which means he can hold any of the other Titans Returns weapons (and most other Transformers weapons)..... or you can give him Deluxe Wheelie's slingshot, which is what I have done.  You can even use its side-peg to attach it to him in vehicle mode, though, yeah, this is gonna break Wheelie apart again.  Hmph.

Maybe some other Wheelie toy has better plastic tolerances than mine, but this one definitely has problems.

Posted October 19, 2012 at 3:49 am
Wheelie opens up a lot of questions about the life-cycle of the Transformers species.  He's a child.  A young boy.  In some stories, he has parents.  (Dead, like Batman's.)  So we gotta ask ourselves.... is this typical?  Do Transformers have childhoods?  Generally we see them be built as adults, but Wheelie is an actual diminutive preteen orphan with a slingshot because he's a rhyming Dennis the Menace.  He hangs out with ten-year-old Daniel Witwicky because, hey, they're both kids.

Were Hot Rod and Springer tiny Transformers children at one point?  Did they have parents like Wheelie did?  Is Wheelie gonna stay that size, or is he gonna grow up to be tall like they are?  (And since Bumblebee's the same size, does that mean Bumblebee was a kid, too?)

(Seriously, if I may go off on a tangent here, what we see of Transformers life cycles is insanely depicted.  In Beast Wars, Rattrap whispered to Silverbolt about Transformer strip clubs in front of Cheetor, even though Silverbolt was one year old and Cheetor was about seventy.  But Cheetor is characterized as a teenager and Silverbolt was born characterized as an adult, so.... yyyyeah.)

However, if Wheelie does get to grow up, he might look like my new toy!   At least, I sure hope this toy doesn't represent Kid Wheelie.  RTS Jazz is a pretty tall Deluxe Class figure, and Kid Wheelie should probably not be taller than Generations Springer and Classics Hot Rod.  Hell, he's taller than Classics Grimlock, and Wheelie's generally remembered for being able to ride on top of Grimlock's head like a tiny hat.

Like Springer, I was pretty content to skip this Wheelie back when he was a shortpacked Chinese exclusive.  He's pretty damn skippable for sixty bucks.  But at domestic prices, he was much more tempting.  I didn't need a larger Wheelie.  It wasn't a desire I had.  The recent-ish Legends Class toy was sufficient for me, since Wheelie is a small child.  But, well, you know me and my orange redeco fetish.  Plus, hey, COMPLETE JAZZ POWER, Dinobot Syndrome, etc.  And he has a new head and a new slingshot.  And it's a really good toy, regardless of color.  He's exclusive to Toys"R"Us, so if you find him there, you could buy worse toys.

(Man, do I not currently own an original Wheelie?)
Posted June 15, 2010 at 2:01 am
Two Dions, no Kup

It arrived!  It arrived!  The best Transformers Club Freebie EVARRRRR!!

See, it's Hot Shot.  In orange.  Orange and blue.  And white.  These colors look gorgeous together.  Orange and blue has always been a favorite color combination of mine, which is why Joyce has been in those colors since the beginning of time.  Those colors look pretty good on Transformers, too, especially coupled with sheer white.  It's a supremely attractive toy.

This is Dion's second toy.  His first was a Japanese e-Hobby exclusive redeco of Wheelie, which I also own.  Though that version was in yellow and a more saturated blue with cream instead of white, that was also a pretty attractive color scheme.  I think the brighter orange/blue/white is better, between the two, but both color schemes work a similar color wheel magic, so they both occupy a similar happy spot in my brain.

The comeback kid

Dion was one of Optimus Prime's work buddies before the war, when Prime's name was Orion Pax and they worked together in a shipping dock.  When Megatron and his Decepticon goons encountered the dock early in the war, at first Orion and Dion were in awe of him.  But, well, your mind tends to change when those guys reveal they're there kill you and steal your dock's stuff.  Orion Pax survived to be rebuilt as Optimus Prime by Alpha Trion, but Dion had no such luck.  The original story dropped all mention of Dion once he was shot, and he was presumed dead.  The writer of the episode confirmed that Dion was just there to die and fuel Optimus Prime's desire to defeat evil, but, well...

You know fans and patterns.  They love them!  It's all very Aspergery.  Well, Dion just had to be rebuilt into one of Optimus Prime's current buddies like Ironhide or Ultra Magnus.  He just had to be!  Just like how Cyclonus had to have been made from Skywarp!  Patterns!    And so Dion's biggest deal for the past 15 years of the online fandom was not who he was, but who he ended up being.  This argument was a fool's errand because, you know, he wasn't ever supposed to be anybody and any attempt at an argument is grasping at stuff that just isn't there.  So that went round and round and round...

Hey, you missed a spot!

But hey, turns out that Dion is... Dion.  The Transformers Collectors' Club decided that Dion survived his ordeal and was rebuilt into a member of the Elite Guard.  And this orange Hot Shot clone is what he looks like now.  It's okay that he doesn't look anything like Dion did before the accident... it's not like Orion Pax looked terribly much like Optimus Prime!  But the color scheme is maintained, and so it's easy to buy this orange and blue Hot Shot as Optimus Prime's old, previously-thought-dead pal.

It helps that Dion is covered in all sorts of paint.  This is pretty radical for a Club exclusive, since their first freebie toy offering had a dab of paint here and there and the day was called.  Dion is smothered in paint, mostly in service of making him look more like Dion's original color arrangement.  I enjoy how much work seemingly went into the deco.   Though it seems to hit a snag in vehicle mode.  There's a bit of unpaintable plastic right at the front of Dion's car doors.

"So, you like to eat babies?" "Whoa, yeah, how'd you know?"

This is where a blue Autobot logo was placed.  And since it's unpaintable there, that means there's a big orange chunk in the upper corner of the logo.  It doesn't bother me as much as it does some people; my mind sort of automatically fills in that negative space.  If they moved the symbol further back along the door away from the unpaintable patch, that would look worse to me.  The symbol has to have room to have blue streamers behind it for the graphic to work, and moving it back would kinda create a worse eyesore.

The toy is as fun as Universe/Henkei! Hot Shot toy was, which isn't very fun, but since I'm not comparing its fun level to the original Hot Shot as much here, it feels more forgivable.  Instead, I'm comparing it to Wheelie's toy, which is always very flattering!  The joints on Dion are nicely tight except for one of his legs, which likes to pop off at the knee whenever it feels like it.

Dion comes with Cop-Tur.  You heard me.

So now I have two Dion toys.  It's all right.  One represents him before he got murdered, and the other after.  Boy, he sure got big.  I wonder if his shoulders hurt.
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