Sunday, August 17, 2014

Transformers Generations Whirl

Presenting the Transformers Generations Whirl - in his "Heloped" mode.

Okay: We're Robotech fans and we really love the Guardian/ Gerwalk mode. The Guardian/ Gerwalk mode is an accidentally discovered mode for a Veritech/ Valkyrie fighter in mid transformation to Battloid/ Battroid mode as you can see here in our review of a VF-1S Strike Valkyrie. And we've loved how this "accident" looked on various Starscreams that we've reviewed.

But.... this isn't Robotech.

These are Transformers.

A triple-changer is a Transformers that shifts from one solid concept to another i.e. car to robot to helicopter (Springer), car to robot to hover-craft (Sandstorm); Train to Space-Shuttle to robot (Astrotrain), etc....

None of them make use of in-between forms like Transformers Generations Whirl.


But we are happy to note that this is not a design stolen from Robotech/Macross. They, after all, had no need for Helicopters once they discovered that their Veritechs/Valkyries could hover thanks to their Guradian/Gerwalk modes. Though the design does borrow elements from the VF-1A - what with that single stoic eye.

Transformers Generations Whirl's blister card reads "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 stick around give him a chance to take his Null-Ray-Cannon out for a spin."

We should point out that the Autobot Whirl was NOT a triple changer till he was introduced as one in the support Transformers released for the DOTM line (DOTM Whirl).

The blister pack also puts Transformers Generations Whirl's statistics as follows:
  • Strength - 6
  • Intelligence - 6
  • Speed - 8 - kinda disappointing
  • Endurance - 8
  • Rank - 6
  • Courage - 10
  • Fireblast - 6 - expected something higher what with all the talk of a "Null-Ray Cannon"
  • Skill - 10
By now of course you've probably all noticed the most distinguishing feature about Transformers Generations Whirl - The back-canted "Chicken" legs. 

Transformers Generations Whirl is one of the Decepticon feared Wreckers, as such he comes loaded to bear. His body is riddled with hardpoints where you can attach his:

- Null Ray Cannon
- Gattling Gun
- Mini-missile launcher pod
- Rocket launcher. 

One of his stickers supposedly says William S. Hardy which is a reference to Will Bill of the GI Joes - but our eyes aren't what they used to be and you probably need a magnifying glass to determine which one it is.

We should probably also note that Whirl is.... well close to bat-shit-crazy. At one times he tried to make nice and become friends with Cyclonus. Another time, while having been critically stabbed by a temporarily psychotic Fortress Maximus, he actually taunted Fortress Maximus to kill him. And he successfully vandalized the interior of Ultra Magnus.


What's to like about the Trans-formers Generations Whirl?

FIRST off is his story. The Autobot Whirl is an Empurata - the victim of a pre-Cybertron civil-war tradition of removing the heads and hands of criminals and replacing these with faceless heads and fingerless hands instead. Shockwave is another famous Empurata - though his surgery was done out of spite over any actual crime and they never did his hands.

Whirl received this treatment not because he was a criminal but because he refused to join the Cybetron Police Force after the Senate recognized his fighting prowess - though he later tells Cyclonus that he never had it fixed because he did bad things and if he got his old head back, he'd still do bad things.

So like most Wreckers, he's a 'bad guy' fighting on the side of the angels. We love how expressionless his face is. And enjoy how it was used as a joke in the comic books:


Another nice feature about the Emurata head of Transformers Generations Whirl is that the communications antennae on the right side of his head is positionable. You can actually also raise his head a little as his head is mounted on a tab that can be elevated/raised.


The SECOND thing we like about the Transformers Generations Whirl is the high articulation particularly of his upper torso:


Now obviously with his back-cantered legs, Whirl cannot kneel, but he can get quite low:


The real fun with Whirl's articulation comes out when you attach his Null-Ray Cannon and we use those back-cantered legs to make him an incredibly stable gun platform:


Then add the rest of Whirl's weapons - note how you can bring out his rotors on his back We think this makes him look more bad-ass


Not that many Autobots can track left to right without bending an arm.

The THIRD thing we love about the Autobot Whirl is his Heloped mode. We know we cited Whirl for not being a real "triple-changer" but this form is not an "accident" so to speak as you have to shunt his legs back to form the Heloped. But we still don't think this qualifies Whirl to be a "Triple-changer."


And that spinning rotor is too tempting a target vulnerability to make this form of any practical use in direct combat - since, as a Heloped, Whirl would be flying slower than Whirl's helicopter mode, making him easier to hit.

But it is really cool to look at:


And Whirl can move:






Is that sexy or what?

Transformers Generations Whirl's 4th mode is supposedly an AH-1 Cobra, but it looks more like the bastard child of an AH-1 Cobra and an AH-64 Apache.

We suppose that it's possible to create this particular configuration by slapping on extra fuel tanks to the front sides of the helicopter (Why would you want to do that?) but Whirl really is quite far from what any modern variant of the AH-1 Cobra.

We should note that Whirl's design isn't that far from his original G1 design.




So the FOURTH thing we love about the Transformers Generations Whirl is the fact that you can open his cockpit and, if you had the right figure (Probably a Zoid pilot), you can actually put someone in there to pilot him:


The Fifth and last thing we like about the Transformers Generations Whirl, is that you can actually mount all his weapons onto his Helicopter mode, and transform him all the way to robot mode without having to remove any of those weapons:


What's NOT to like about the Trans-formers Generations Whirl?

FIRST off is that his back-cantered legs are sooooo hard to move. We do not know if it is particular to the Whirl we posses. It doesn't help that he doesn't have any real foot articulation - he's meant to be stable, period. So posing Whirl can actually be quite a pain.

SECOND is the fact that he has no waist or waist articulation. A lot is made up for by his fascinating arms, but it would still be fun if he could twist his torso.

THIRD is, again, this could be a problem of our particular Whirl, that his arms really cannot take the weight of the weapons pods which severely hampers the poseability of the figure. He's quite spindly so it might be a problem common to all.

FOURTH: Is that huge gaping hole in Whirl's bottom when he is in helicopter mode. There's no not noticing it even from the top where you can see through the cracks between the main body and what are Whirl's folded legs. It's disconcerting.

FIFTH and what is probably the least important complaint is the fact that he's kinda short for a Wrecker - unless you hyperextend his legs to increase his height.

This particular Transformers Generations Whirl was purchased from Big-Boys Toy Store in Glorietta for PhP 1,695 (Roughly US$ 38.52). He is available on Amazon for US$ 20.50 (Roughly PhP 902 plus shipping). Wow we got ripped off. But Transformers Generations Whirl is quite rare here in the Philippines.


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