I am torn.
Wheeljack, the original G1 version, is my favourite Autobot, so when it was announced that Transformers Prime would have an appearance by my favourite mad scientist, I was very happy. Then I saw “Con Job”. He looked a lot like my favourite Autobot except for one small detail.
Oh, look, a faceplate for “battle mode”, I applaud– wait. Swords? Yes. Swords. See, Transformers Prime Wheeljack is a former member of the Wreckers, a lone wolf travelling the stars and stabbing Decepticons when he gets the chance. Though it was stated at last year’s Botcon that this incarnation of Wheeljack is a mechanic, just like the original, they forgot to actually communicate it to the folks doing the show, or for that matter the bio for his toy. So, I should be miffed, right? “They screwed up my favourite Autobot! Grrrrr! Arrrrgh!” and other such lamenting?
I can’t. Even if they fail to ever realize him as a mad scientist, or even as just a mechanic, Transformers Prime Wheeljack is just plain cool and his toy is even moreso. Also, nothing he has done in the show or that was said about him in his bio outright disclaims his status as inventor or weaponsmith, so the potential remains even with the stabby, stabby swords.
Until that point, he’ll continue to remind me of the Transformers Prime answer to Drift.
The box art for his toy is a close-up of his face with the blaster arm front and center. However, other than the swords, there isn’t a weapon on him. That’s easily remedied, but still, seems like false advertising to me.
In the show it is stated that “Jackie”, as his buddy Bulkhead refers to him, has no alt mode. Despite this, you can clearly see from the picture above that Wheeljack’s animation model sports very definitive tires. It is assumed that in Season 2 Wheeljack will return to the show and get an Earthen alt mode. Odds are it will look a lot like this,
Though his swords stow underneath his car mode, one of the stranger points about his toy is that you can mount them in two different places on his alt mode. Both of these look as bizarre as you might imagine.
Wheeljack is the only other Transformers Prime toy I have opened other than Transformers Prime SDCC Exclusive Optimus Prime, but if these two are any indication of the quality, I think I am going to enjoy this toyline quite a lot.