When I was a bit younger (and a bit broke) I didn’t have many opportunities to consider purchasing Masterpiece figures. When MP-01 Optimus Prime first made his debut alongside some of the Alternator figures, I knew that it’d be out of my price range and I was more interested in just building a fun collection here and there. As the years went by (and I made more money) I never really got around to picking up a Masterpiece. I figured, “Why start now?”
That changed in 2012 when I got my hands on Hasbro’s release of the MP-10 Optimus Prime. I knew that this was something special and the start of an awesome line of figures. I know I’ll probably never have the entire series in my possession, but damn if I won’t try to grab all the most important characters as they slowly make their way to the public. One of those important ‘Bots is none other than the Autobot Engineer: Wheeljack!
Masterpiece Wheeljack’s vehicle mode is an officially-licensed Lancia Stratos. The detail and colors on this mode are superb. All the panels fit very tightly together and there are enough awesome paint apps to the exterior to break up all the white, a problem that would usually plague more of the mainstream figures. If you glance at some of the images in the gallery, you can tell that the Masterpiece version of Wheeljack shines above the rest of my figures sharing his name. A real highlight is just how sleek and sexy the sports car looks, even when rolling up next to Masterpiece Sideswipe’s classic Lamborghini disguise.
You can have a lot of fun just displaying Wheeljack in his car mode, keeping it on your desk and looking fancy under a nice light. You can also take the ridiculousness of Transformers up just a notch by plugging Wheeljack’s cannon into his hood in a very similar fashion to his Masterpiece counterparts.
You can chalk Wheeljack’s amazing Transformation up to 30 years of making cars turn into robots and the classic, blocky nature of his robot mode. In ’84, you could get away with a car that kind of just stood up and moved his arms, but these days we have designers and factories capable of producing accurate representations of the Autobots and Decepticons that are complex, but not difficult. Wheeljack, for example, extends his hood and front spoiler to form his legs while compressing the extra panels into a nicely packed and sturdy stance. His arms pull down from the rear spoiler and shuffle and flip into place in a way that kind of reminds me of a sliding puzzle and it’s amazingly satisfying to execute. The result of all this engineering is the perfect representation of… well, the Autobots’ Engineer.
If you aren’t already sold by a couple photos of this guy, then you should definitely know that the articulation and playability with this figure is the best you’re going to get in a Transformer. He is crazy articulate, with really sturdy stances. He’s able to hold pretty much any pose you want thanks to his large spoiler feet and perfectly-distributed weight. Though his arms are chunky and he doesn’t have that deep of elbow joint, you can still get him in some amazing action poses. However, true to his character, I think Wheeljack looks best when he’s a little more stoic in stance or paired up with his other brainy ‘Bots. Besides, it’s not like he’s going to be on the front lines with that little pistol. I do hear he’s alright at putting a stop to his mad creations though…
If you’re a Generation 1 fan and want to grab the perfect version of Wheeljack, everybody’s favorite crazy inventor, then you owe it to yourself to order Masterpiece Wheeljack and put him on a shelf where the world can see. The complaints you would have, if any, would be too petty to list. He belongs in every Transformers collection, die-hard or casual, movie or classic.