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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Oversized TF Prime Wheeljack Bootleg

I've mentioned this beauty a few times, so it's high time he got his own feature. As soon as I learned of the Chinese oversized bootleg of Transformers prime Wheeljack - possibly my favourite deluxe class figure ever - I raided Taobao to find one. The toy is roughly leader class size in height and has the exact same transformation and proportions as the deluxe, but of course is constructed from lower quality materials. It also comes in a hilariously inaccurate box. "Taikongshenrs", anyone? Truly, this is one of the best KO Transformers I've ever seen.

This oversized knockoff is absolutely everything that a bootleg should be in the world of Transformers. It is not trying to fool people into buying it in place of an original, and it is not a cheap reproduction, obviously different through visibly lower quality construction and presentation. It has taken the concept of the original fantastic TFPrime Wheeljack and blown it up to ridiculous proportions, making it equal parts awesome and hilarious.

Paint application across the oversized Wheeljack are nice enough and I never felt like I was going to immediately shatter or bend anything during the transformation. The fit is not perfect in vehicle mode, the side doors being especially difficult to lock into place below the front wheel arches, and the wings in robot mode feel like the most fragile bits of the whole assembly. On a different paint variant of this bootleg, one of the hood/shin halves would not extend fully meaning that the front could not be clipped in for vehicle mode. After pulling the metal rod out (frighteningly easy) and cutting the offending piece of plastic off that was creating the obstacle, everything worked fine. 

For any Transformers collector who likes the TF Prime Wheeljack mould, be it 'Jack himself or Wildrider, Dead End or Chromedome, this will be a terrific purchase that won't cost a lot from Taobao (search for "TFP 千斤顶") until it comes to agent fees and shipping, because it's bloody huge. You can see above the display potential though, as well as comedy value. Unfortunately, the large swords that come with the oversized bootleg can only really be held in his hands. There are no pegs to connect them underneath the vehicle to store, or on the roof or under the hood as attack mode. The holes on the side at the rear are too small to house the sword pegs.

Here are the other available flavours, the same mould in Dead End and Hyperspeed Wheeljack (Marlboor Wheeljack basically) colours, both with Wheeljack head and equally comical packaging:

A small complaint is all I can muster, because there's something indescribably satisfying about handling and transforming very large chunky Transformers like the city bots, but this has the added bonus of having the exquisite deluxe Wheeljack transformation and superb modes, so it's a good taster of what it would have been like had Masterpiece Autobot cars been bigger than Alternity-size figures. One of the most interesting, enjoyable and genuinely "wow that's cool" TF purchases I've made in years. Go on, buy one.

All the best

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