Series: Generations Thrilling 30 The daredevil flying style of Autobot Whirl might make it look like he could crash at any moment, but he's in total control. The mere sight of him over the battlefield is enough to send enemies running for cover, trying to reach a safe distance before he crashes. Any Decepticons unlucky enough to stcik around give him a chance to take his Null-Ray Cannon out for a spin.
Let’s begin with the “controversy” regarding this figure. The major reason we’re getting a Whirl figure for the 30th anniversary of the Transformers is, of course, his current appearance in the IDW comics (more on that below). Interestingly enough this Whirl figure here - unlike quite a few other figures coming out under the Thrilling 30 label - is not based on Whirl’s appearance in the IDW comics, but is rather a near perfect replica of the original G1 Whirl figure
, just in a deeper shade of blue. The only concessions to the IDW version of Whirl are the chicken legs and the more stylized head design. Now personally I don’t have an issue with that, but apparently quite a few people were a bit upset about it, so I thought I’d mention it. Moving on.
Where G1 Whirl was a pretty boxy guy, Generations Whirl is far more streamlined despite retaining nearly the same look. He is far better articulated as well, naturally, as you’d expect from a current day figure. One thing not mentioned in the instruction sheet (and not shown in the pictures as I only figured it out later) is that you can push in his arms at the shoulders to move them a bit closer to his body, which looks a bit better in my opinion. I’ll put up a pic of how that looks when I get around to it.
Much like the original figure Whirl comes with a virtual arsenal of weapons. Most famous is his Null Box, of course, which he can slip over his hands or – like the other three weapons – attach to the underside of his forearms or clip onto several bars situated on his body. The weapons are cool, the only downside here is that the black bars on his legs are so thin that I fear too much clipping on and off will eventually break them. No stress marks so far, but don’t put too much pressure on them.
What else? Another thing I only noticed when the pictures were already done was that the rotor on his back can be swiveled sideways so that it hangs down the middle of his back instead of slightly to the left. Doesn’t change the look much, just thought I’d mention it as well. So bottom line? A very nice update of the original G1 Whirl figure with a touch of the IDW character as well. Nicely done and no complaints.
Whirl transforms into an attack helicopter loosely resembling a Bell AH-1 Cobra. And if you want you can stop halfway through the transformation and leave Whirl in what the instructions call the Heloped mode, which Robotech fans know better as the Gerwalk Mode (Harmony Gold is preparing to sue as we speak). It’s basically just the helicopter with the legs left extended (and the arms, too, if you want), but there is a dedicated part here where you slide back the robot hip so the legs are mode in the middle of the helicopter chassis than right up front. So not really a necessary mode, but nicely done regardless.
The actual helicopter once again strongly resembles the original G1 figure, but again: much more streamlined and less boxy-looking. The cockpit opens up, the main rotor spins, as does the rear one, and you can attach Whirl’s many weapons here as well. There are multiple different ways to position the weapons, naturally, as they can interchange and combine nearly at will. And... yeah, not much more I can think of here. It’s a great-looking helicopter. Oh, and according to the name written on the side of the cockpit (via a sticker) Whirl’s pilot is William S. Hardy, whom GI Joe fans will know better as Wild Bill. So no complaints about the alternate mode(s), either. Nicely done.
For the longest time Whirl was pretty much a blank character-wise. Sure, he was a member of pretty much every incarnation of the Wreckers, the Autobots‘ elite special ops unit, but he only ever loomed in the background. All that changed when James Roberts took over the IDW comics. Now Whirl is not only a pretty tragic character, who underwent the barbaric Empurata ritual that replaced his head and hands and pretty much drove him into being a borderline psychotic, he’s also directly to blame for the Autobot-Decepticon civil war. It was he who arrested and beat up peaceful protester Megatron, an event that convinced the latter that violence was the only way to change Cybertronian society. Whirl is a regular in the cast of the More Than Meets the Eye comic and has quickly become a fan favorite.
Given his big role in the comics, it was not much of a surprise that we’d get a Whirl figure. Personally I like it very much and the lack of resemblance to how he looks in the IDW comics isn’t a big thing for me. Whirl is by no means the greatest Transformer ever and I’d only call him a must-have if you’re a big fan of the original figure or the IDW comics, but he’s a good, nice figure of a character I hope to see still more of in the future. So thumbs up.