Cliffbee.com: ROTF Wheelie Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Wheelie
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon/Autobot (he's nominally a Decepticon the film, toy is sold as an Autobot)
Alternate Mode: 4X4 Radio Control Car



RADIO CONTROL CAR MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 9.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A blue monster truck with charcoal tyres, silver wheels and a whole bunch of supporting grey plastic including the bullbar, floodlights on the roof, the contents of the tray at the back and the undercarriage machinery. There are silver painted fueltanks on either side while his headlights and the floodlights are painted mid blue. The windows are a dark transparent plastic, rounding out a fairly realistic colour scheme. There are no allegiance symbols here. It's a good colour scheme.

   Wheelie is a toy of a toy - he represents a 4X4 Monster Truck radio control car, rather than a full sized vehicle. As such his proportions are a little cute, but he's still moderately realistic. He's a two door truck with an open tray at the back, and inside the tray we can see some robot kibble - the mouth is easy to pick and you can see the eyes from some angles. Wheelie doesn't come with a remote control. There are some seams which don't quite line up, around the doors. The moulded detail is pretty good, including taillights, a grille, doorseams and handles and a row of sports lights on the bullbar. The only play value here is in his rolling wheels, and Wheelie rolls quite well considering his rear tyres are splayed slightly.

   A pretty good Monster Truck mode, and to be honest he doesn't feel like he's a "toy" compared to most Transformers. The choice of a monster truck is common among radio control cars, but rare for Transformers, so it's a good choice. The colours work well but the mouth in his tray and the uneven seams on the side hold Wheelie back. It's still a decent vehicle mode, however.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

  

I'm not going to go right through everything, since it's hard to describe. Basically, the truck unfolds. The tailgate becomes his head and it's possible to transform only the head, for a Short Circuit look. The roof becomes his chest, the undercarriage becomes his limbs, the rear tyres anchor his shoulders while the front pair end up on his feet. The hood and doors become his thighs.
ROBOT MODE
Height: 20cm Width: 10.5cm

   A blue and grey robot, Wheelie's head, torso and thighs are blue while the neck, arms and lower legs are grey. His eyes are yellow and there's an allegiance logo in the centre of his torso (which I'll come back to). The colour scheme is very simple, but that's a good thing because he has a very distinctive robot form.

   Wheelie's limbs are splndly mechanical things with three claws on either hand and one per foot. The head looks like Johhny (Number 5) from Short Circuit, making this one of the most unusual Transformer robot modes. There's not a lot of the truck here, aside from the big tyres. This toy really captures the needle-like feel of some of the robots on the big screen.

   Poseability is good, although his feet are fragile so you won't be able to put Wheelie in more dynamic poses unless he's supported by something. His eyes swing up and down while there are hinges in his neck allowing him to look up and down. The shoulders are ball jointed, the elbows are hinges with rotators while all three claws on each hand are hinged independently. His hips are ball joints while there are hinges in his knees and ankles. The feet are essentially just blades, similar to the claws on his hands.

   Wheelie doesn't come with any sort of weapon, but the claws on his hands are like blades, so I can see him slashing pint-sized opponents with these claws. There is an action feature (called "MECH ALIVE" on the packaging, but it's a stretch here). You can rotate a grey shaft below his chest, causing his the red Autobot logo in his chest to turn and reveal a Decepticon logo. Annoyingly, there's a clear bar at the bottom of the shaft, designed to make this easier to do, but ends up looking like Wheelie enjoys being a Decepticon a lot more than being an Autobot. It's attached with a pin rather than a screw - otherwise I'd remove it. This is still a nice feature but the clear bar was a bad idea.

   A weird robot mode that's unlike any other Transformer, but Wheelie is not without merit. He captures the on-screen aesthetic well, the switching faction is a cool feature and the joints in his hands are above expectations for even an ultra sized toy, let alone a deluxe. Having said all that, this unfolded truck isn't going to please everyone and his feet make posing Wheelie tricky.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good execution of a very difficult concept, Wheelie has a very unusual robot mode which is executed quite well, a good vehicle mode and a sensible colour scheme. The robot mode's articulation is great even if his feet don't allow too many poses. The clear tab on his gimmick is my main complaint here - I'll probably try to remove it eventually, and the misaligned seams in vehicle mode are my only other complaint. The nature of this design will be hated by some, but if you like the idea, I'd recommend Wheelie - 7.5/10

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