Transformers Beast Hunters is an interesting concept although the premise of the show seems to be the Autobots being the hunted, not doing the hunting. We have all sorts of new designs (or new parts on old characters) which aren't actually going to be featured in the show but ended up as toys. Bulkhead gets his first deluxe class treatment here in the newest Beast Hunters assortment along with Starscream, Ripclaw, and Smokescreen. Before we continue I'll ask you to go in with an open mind about this figure...but most importantly don't think of him as Bulkhead. An odd request I know but you'll figure out why soon enough.
Sculpt is, well, rather unique. Bulkhead gets an armored knight look here with a chest protector, layered armoring on his limbs, and a bumper spikes. Only the jawline hints that Bulkhead is under all this armor as his visor and blue horn-lights conceal any other identifying features. The front waist guard looks great and overall his sculpt is really nicely detailed with all sorts of tech/armor/panel work. But overall you really can't tell this is Bulkhead from first glance, especially with his Roadbuster-esq colors...which I think may be the point.
Paint work is clean and smooth where applied. The knight-like chest piece is done sharply with black grate lines in the silver. His windows, tech detail, and waist-grille is also nicely colored with more than the usual single paint application. The base plastic however is a little lacking. Again they went with a swirl of pigment for a 'marble effect' but there just wasn't enough swirl and it ends up looking like trash got melted in with the plastic. Only his doors, forearms, and thighs have this swirl, well more like molded-in-debris effect. Yeah it's kinda funky but let's keep reviewing.
Articulation is AMAZING. The range of motion for his arms, legs, and feet are perfect and his ball jointed toes give him great stability in all sorts of poses. The head guard can be lowered and the shoulder guards raised up and locked in place. The back wings can fold in somewhat like a protective shell as well. Bulkhead can kneel, run, uppercut, aim, you name it and I was totally thrown off guard as to how much his articulation plays a part in turning the figure to my favor. My only nitpick is that his wrists don't turn but that's it. Everything else is spot on.
Bulkhead's accessory is a spinning dragonsaw which works quite well and looks pretty neat. Depress the trigger and the blade spins quickly. He can hold it in his hand, on his forearm, pegged on the roof, or on the doors. Holding it he looks like some sort of buzzsaw wielding Space Marine. Transformation is simple and very satisfying. Flip, fold, tuck, and you're done! I can't really find any fault in transformation and that's another plus for the figure. Alt mode is an armored car, somewhat reminiscent of Bulkhead's vehicle mode but not really as the colors and knight like scale armor lead you towards a different feel. It looks great, pegs together securely, and is larger/stands taller than most deluxe vehicles.
So what's the verdict? I'm going to deck him out with weapons and will now have my Transformers Prime Roadbuster. I really expected to hate this figure and passed him over many times. The whole spikey-armor-Bulkhead theme is silly until I looked at him as being something else. A customizer could swap heads and make all sorts of different characters from this mold. The articulation and cool design (not being Bulkhead) was enough to instantly win me over and he makes for a solid deluxe figure (that isn't Bulkhead!). Our sponsors Big Bad Toy Store and Past Generation Toys have him as well as the rest of the series. So what is this guy? An armored Autotrooper? Roadbuster? Space Knight? It's up to you, or perhaps he's just Bulkhead with a whole bunch of armor on him. But either way he's definitely worth picking up!