Generations Voyager Whirl Gallery and Review
Waiting on Generations figures can be agonizing, especially when the figure you are waiting for is a) a perfect reproduction of a figure you wanted as a young Transformers fan and b) one of the characters from the amazing More Than Meets the Eye comic. Generations Voyager Whirl falls solidly into both of these categories. Of course, after buying him online at my favorite online toy store, he would show up en masse at the Toys R Us that is 2 minutes from my house. Such is life.
Before I get into the review of this figure, I do want to make note of a running change in appearance in the photos and the reason for it. I DETEST stickers. I hate them more than you hate your mother in law, or that kid that would always remind the teacher she forgot to check the homework you did not do the night before. In this day and age, I feel like technology, especially when it comes to paint ops and tampographed details, is so advanced that my toys should come to me in the perfect beauty that complete color schemes with such already added details should supply. Finally, for those of us obsessed with perfection in our figures, a misplaced sticker means peeling it off and know it still isn’t perfect and may not last as long as the others…with possibly no repro stickers in sight. So there. I normally do not apply stickers in my galleries. Whirl, however, just looked too…naked. So after I was done with the original set, I stickered him up and made quite a few shots for those of you that don’t have my hang ups. Don’t say I never did anything for you.
Anyhow, Whirl being who he is, this figure really had to meet a high level of scrutiny. Hasbro/Takaratomy were obviously homaging the G1 figure more so than the MTMTE version of Whirl, though the legs do seem to take more of a cue from the latter. Even though you can pose him with “straight” legs (see the gallery), he is very much intended to have the backwards knee design as an official look. As I write this review and I look at the figure sitting on my desk, I look at the arms and I wonder if there is not room for an update of this mold that takes it even closer towards the MTMTE Whirl we know and love. Perhaps the VTOL blades on his forearms could be added with some more engineering. Perhaps.
Getting a look at Whirl in vehicle mode, he is a nice representation of the original helicopter. It captures the essence of the G1 vehicle. The color is a nice match, even if it appears a tad darker in this version. My only complaint on this mode is that it has gap up under the cockpit, where the legs run back along the side of the copter. It is not super distracting, but it is visible in most pictures you will see of Generations Whirl.
To change to “gerwalk” mode, disconnect the legs from the sides of the copter, and untab them from the arms so that they can rotated down. Rotate them outward at the thighs to get the feet in the forward direction. Pop the blue rail out of the legs and pull the black “toes” down. Rotate the blue heel down, so that the front of that rail piece locks into the bottom of the leg, between the two black toes. Push the lower legs back and up, to get the “chicken leg” look. Slide the hip section back to the middle of the vehicle. Voilà…you have a copter with legs. Admittedly, it is a little neat, if impractical.
To finish transformation, slide the hips back to the front of the vehicle, and rotate the torso upward, raising it to the humanoid position. Separate the two halves surrounding the engine and main rotors, pushing them towards the tail. Rotate the whole tail section down towards the feet, then use the center joints to push the back tail piece up and out, then back in towards the back of the robot. The engine covers will now connect to the back end “winglets”, and the rotor piece can connect to the lower back slot so that it connects both engine cover halves. Pop the forearms off of the upper arms, rotate them around to the center of the body and rotate out the claws. At this point you should bask in the Whirl robot mode awesomeness. Have you basked yet? Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute.
Now that the basking is done, back to the review. In robot mode Whirl has 21 points of articulation. He is fairly poseable, despite the weight distribution, and can be placed in some very dynamic stances. You can even do a “straight leg” version of the robot mode, as shown in our gallery. Regarding his overall looks, this figure is a nice enough amalgamation of two different Whirls that I can imagine this as MTMTE Whirl on Earth. This makes us happy. Unfortunately, I do not own G1 Whirl (yet), but as noted earlier, this plastic on this version appears to be a shade darker than the original. It is not enough to detract from the overall presentation, but it is noticeable. The weapons are very much G1 in appearance, but due to the new body shape, design necessitated they connect to the body in slight altered ways. Some of them can attach to each other, others attach to the underside of the arms via 5mm ports, and others clip on to the rails on the legs. Needless to say, this is one heavily armed psychotic victim of empurata. Also noted earlier…I love the way he looks with the stickers on. Beautiful. I just wish they weren’t stickers (dead horse=beaten). I think beyond the stickers, my only other major criticism of this figure is the hexagon shaped knees. Time will likely not be kind to them. They also anger be because they are too tight. Rage, thy name is hexagon knee. Seriously. Look it up.
I highly recommend this figure, in spite of the reservations I have listed in the review. This is the Whirl you wanted as a kid…or the Whirl you remember you wanted as a kid. If you see him sitting on a store shelf, and the voice inside your mind says “hey, you don’t really need that”, there is only one response. Smother that voice. Smother it and never look back.