An Alternators logo? But Arcee only appeared in Binaltech! LOLOCAUST!!!!


Transformers Wheeljack
Transformers Wheeljack
Transformers Wheeljack
Transformers Wheeljack

Wheeljack eventually joined the Alternators line in 2005, as a retool of Grimlock. The second use of the Mustang was originally intended for Windcharger, but for some reason Hasbro changed their minds about it all. Instead, Overdrive was released as Windcharger basically unchanged, the Windcharger head sculpt was assigned to the made-up Honda retool Decepticharge and the Mustang body was used for Wheeljack. None of these decisions were particularly good ones.

I had Wheeljack before (Alternators seems to have had a really weird release in the UK; some figures seem to have been skipped - such as Hound, Grimlock, Tracks and Skids - while others, such as Swindle, Wheeljack and Sideswipe are so common you can't throw a rock without hitting one), and really didn't like him. Since then I'd got a Grimlock knockoff and generally got more into Alternators, so I thought I'd give him another go.


Wheeljack transforms into a Ford Mustang GT, then, one of the best cars in the range. The toy mode is identical to Grimlock apart from the colour scheme, which is white with some (production accurate) white racing stripes added, as well as blue seats. The latter do look a bit weird. Overall, though, it's much sharper than Grimlock, and lined up adds a bit more variance to your collection as well (the scheme is actually a near-enough inversion of Mirage's colours, which makes a nice display counterpoint). It doesn't look much like Wheeljack, but is smart enough that it doesn't really matter.

However, a lot of problems I assumed were down to my Grimlock being a knockoff version are present on Wheeljack. The bonnet always seems reading to pop out of place, while the two halves of the rear simply refuse to go flush - a problem greatly exacerbated by the presence of the stripes along the top (which don't quite line up) and the small round GT badge on the boot. The roof itself separates from the two notches on the rear half very easily as well.


Wheeljack's transformation is one of the more complex of the line, complete with car doors designed to fall off whenever you move around the needlessly complicated set of bars and notches that connect the arms to the chest. Wheeljack has also been victimised by one of my little foibles - where it's possible, on minor recolours and retools I like to fiddle with the transformation a little and see if I can can a slightly different look for the robot. In this case I left Wheeljack's legs facing the other way, which basically removes the knee articulation and exposes a few more screwholes, but also alters the profile somewhat. And it certainly needs altering. The Mustang's robot mode works somewhat as the lumbering Grimlock, but it's not a great layout.

The knees would have giant car tail protrusions from the knees if transformed properly, while he's still got big swinging monkey arms. The answer to that, I guess, is that the original Wheeljack does too, but that was a figure half the size of this one and some twenty years older. On this thing it just looks clumsy. The new head cast isn't bad - the Binaltech version has a long neck and more prominent eyes and looks a little better, but the Wheeljack head itself isn't the problem, the mould is just a complete mismatch for the character. The stupid thing is that around about the same time they were doing the aforementioned round of musical heads, Takara and Hasbro were trying to get someone else out of the Tracks mould. Is it just me, or would the Tracks body have been ideal for Wheeljack? The layout and proportions would certainly have been closer than this monstrosity. Instead, they jammed a cat-head on the thing and claimed it was Ravage. Bloody morons.


The Mustang mould isn't much fun to transform in either direction, and Wheeljack just doesn't fit with it despite the striking vehicle mode colour scheme. Grimlock's better, though if you're just after a taste of the Mustang, Wheeljack's the cheaper option. However, neither are essential - it's the worst bipedal mould of the range, and Wheeljack's a really bad variation of it. I was right the first time.