Going in to today's post, I have to say that I really enjoy Transformers, probably more than any other toyline. This is the most recent Transformers figure I've bought (I think . . . yeah, I think it is), but I'll be going through my collection over the next few months to highlight some past purchases.
Why did I buy this toy?
I really like the character. In the current Transformers cartoon series, the unimaginatively-titled Transformers: Animated, Bulkhead is one of the five main Autobots who protect future Detroit from evil. He's a big, lovable lug who's quite clumsy and loves to paint. One of my favorite moments in the series is when he's trying to paint a portrait of his friend Bumblebee: using his thumb to get a sense of distance, Bulkhead's arm is so big it obstructs his view and he unintentionally ends up painting it into the portrait.
The big problem is scale. Transformers figure size classes/price ranges currently stand as thus: Scout (small), Deluxe (average), Voyager (large), and Leader (pretty big). The Bulkhead figure I bought was in the Voyager- size class. Unfortunately subject to the mercies of shipping weight and production budgets, this Bulkhead ends up being shorter than the average Deluxe figure, and much shorter than the average Voyager (he's still has the same mass as the average Voyager, though!). To get a Bulkhead that's in-scale with the rest of the Animated figures, you need to get the Leader class figure. And unless you took advantage of one of those $15 specials Amazon.com had going during December, you're going to have to fork out over $40 for that. Not to mention that figure will take up a lot of room. I have quite a few Animated figures at this point, and it's disappointing that Bulkhead looks uncharacteristically puny next to them. To be fair in vehicle mode he's pretty much in scale with the others, but if you're like me you're not buying Transformers just for the car form.
Am I happy with my purchase?
Yes, actually. If you ignore the scale issues (or you simply don't care), this is a fun figure in its own right. The transformation is simple but not simplistic; it's fun to convert it back and forth from troop transport to chubby robot with ease. You've got to love the sculpt; there's so much personality that comes across. Bulkhead's bulky, but he's not imposing and is actually quite cuddly-looking. He's got two action features (a show-accurate launching wrecking ball, and a lame arm-punching action where the arm straightens out, of all things), but even without those it's a fun figure to pose with, even if his rotund features mean he never stops looking like a big ball with arms. This figure may not be for everyone, but I love it for being a fun representation of a likable character.