Ah, Wheeljack. How can’t you love this guy? He’s probably one of the most endearing characters from the first season of the Transformers cartoon, and he was even the first character to ever appear on-screen. He was the Autobots’ first scientist, and a scientist amongst a bunch of soldiers tends to stand out. Besides, if you think about it, he probably caused more damage to the Autobot HQ than Megatron did throughout the whole series!
Wheeljack is a remold of the Reveal the Shield Tracks figure, and in vehicle mode, it works a lot better than I initially thought. The only remolded parts visible in this mode are the bumper and spoiler. It works really well. Heck, I’d say they make him look different enough to make him appear like a different mold from Tracks altogether. Small changes like that make all the difference!
However, I’m starting to think that Wheeljack should’ve been placed in Reveal the Shield and Tracks should’ve been put in Generations. Tracks’ flames/Autobot symbol are kind of a character trademark, and taking them off was a bit silly. I personally had no problem with the “tribal” flames, but looking back, it would’ve made more sense this way. Plus, given how many times he blew a hole in the Ark’s ceiling, he could easily pass for a Decepticon!
Being pretty much the same mold, Wheeljack transforms just like Tracks, but with one difference: his legs face the opposite direction, giving him some nice “bumper feet”. You know, I think Wheeljack and Bumblebee/Cliffjumper are the only Classics-style figures with them.
This robot mode is unmistakably Wheeljack. When they first said that he was going to be a remold of Tracks, I was honestly a bit skeptical. I honestly didn’t realize how many small similarities the two had in their character models. Tracks ended up looking like Tracks, and Wheeljack ended up looking like Wheeljack.
Only three things were really changed to make Wheeljack from Tracks: the head, wings, and legs. If you look at his packaging, he actually has the same wings as Tracks. Fancy that.
Hasbro nailed his head here with what they had to work with. I would’ve liked to see his “ears” molded in blue and for them to be a bit bigger, but that wouldn’t work because his clear parts are gang-molded to his windshield and bigger ears would’ve made it hard for his head to fit in. Still, it looks like Wheeljack.
Now of course… there’s the problem area: the legs; and no, this isn’t just me being dumb and not pulling stuff out all the way. You may notice that he’s a bit shorter than Tracks. Well, that’s because there’s a manufacturing defect that prevents them from being extended all the way. I’m sure there’s a mod out there to fix it, but I’m afraid to try it on my own. I guess the stumpy legs make him look a bit more G1-accurate…
Wheeljack comes armed with the same hand-held rocket launcher that Tracks came with, which he uses as a shoulder-mounted gun. I think I like it more as a shoulder launcher. He also has a pair of wrenches that also double as shoulder cannons! I can’t think of a better accessory for Wheeljack. They even store away behind his legs.
I’d say Wheeljack was the second-most anticipated 1984 character fans have wanted for Classics, right after Jazz. Unfortunately for him and his casemate Thundercracker, he’s gonna be a hard one to find, so keep a close eye on FPNYC’s shelves. Now I just need Warpath to finish my Generations collection. Oh boy…