Series: Generations Wheeljack is a brilliant risk taker, both in his lab and on the road. His inventions are both the cause of an solution to many problems as he pushes the boundaries of science and engineering in his quest for the next big thing. Due to the daring nature of his experiments, his lab needs to remain isolated - mostly because it blows up on a regular basis.
Wheeljack is a rather extensive remold of Reveal the Shield Turbo Tracks
, so this review will focus mainly on the differences between the two figures. You should read the Tracks review, too, to get the full info on this figure.
: Putting Wheeljack’s robot mode next to Turbo Tracks, one notices quite a few differences between the two variations of the same mold. There’s the new head, of course. I’ve heard quite a few people complain about it, though I’m not sure why. It’s a pretty good adaption of the head of the cartoon character and just about my only complaint is that the light pipe gimmick isn’t so hot. But anyway, you can easily swap it for the head of Energon Downshift
(see picture above), that one works, too. But back to topic, Wheeljack’s got a new head. He’s also got different wing tips for his shoulder wings and the white missiles Tracks came with have been replaced with wrenches (which can double as missiles, too, if you want).
Those are just the most obvious changes, though. Wheeljack’s legs have been reengineered quite a bit, not just turned around. Not only do they include storage space for Wheeljack’s wrenches, they’re also a bit shorter than Track’s legs and put the wheels much further down, further differentiating the two figures. Due to the shorter legs and a slightly wider chest (the head sits lower and the shoulders move a bit further out), Wheeljack appears a lot stockier than Tracks, which nicely fits with how their original G1 toys differentiated. Very nicely done.
Differences to Tracks aside, this figure is clearly Wheeljack, no doubt about it. The look, the build, the wrenches, everything fits together very well. The best Wheeljack robot so far in Transformer history.
The differences between Wheeljack and Tracks in vehicle mode are few. Wheeljack adds a front and rear spoiler and, of course, the customary G1 Wheeljack paintjob, meaning white with red and green stripes. The detailing on the car is decent, though a tad more here and there would have looked good. There is a Reprolabels set for this guy, if you want to make him more G1 accurate, but it’s not a must-have.
Just like Tracks this guy, too, has a flight mode in vehicular form. G1 Wheeljack was able to unfold his shoulder wings from underneath the car, so it kinda makes sense that he can do that here, too. Doesn’t look any better than it does for Tracks, but it’s a nice touch of nostalgia nevertheless. So bottom line, a solid car mode with no room for complaint.
To me Wheeljack was one of the most memorable characters from the G1 cartoon. The Autobots’ resident mad scientist created, among other things, the Dinobots, the Immobilizer ray, the counter to Dr. Arkeville’s hypno chip, better brains for the Dinobots, and, in the Marvel UK comics, an impenetrable defense system for the Autobot base (which the Autobots then had to defeat because Wheeljack turned it on when everybody was outside). He is also the very first Autobot to ever appear on TV, as he’s in the opening scene of the G1 pilot episode “More than Meets the Eye”. Sadly he was among the casualties of the 1986 Transformers movie, his body lying lifeless next to that of Windcharger. In the Japanese cartoon continuity (which doesn’t include the Movie) he lived on, though, to make cameo appearances in the Headmasters and Victory series.
Now there are two very good reasons for buying this Wheeljack figure. One, it’s a primary example of how to properly use a single mold to make to very different-looking figures. And two: It’s Wheeljack. To me the latter was my main reason for getting him, but the former is a pretty solid reason, too. Anyway, what I’m saying is: buy Wheeljack! Even if you’ve already got Tracks.