Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) -
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 82, October 11th 1986 / Issue 100, February 14th 1987
First/Last Cartoon Appearance -
First Toy Appearance - 1985
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Generations
Whirl, along with his Pal Roadbuster was pretty much ignored in the majority of the Transformers fiction, only getting any page time thanks to Simon Furman and his Wreckers team. These were ostensibly the figures which Hasbro did not care about, thus giving Simon free reign (within reason) to do what he liked with the characters. Whirl was one of two 'Deluxe Autobots' so called because they were a good deal larger than the standard figures and had a plethora of accessories. They hailed from yet another toyline which was amalgamated into the first few years of the Hasbro franchise. They were available in Japan under a competitor to Takara and for that reason could not be featured in the cartoons (much like Jetfire had his appearance radically altered). I assumed that Hasbro would never homage a decent Whirl for this same reason. For this reason, I took matters into my own hands. My first crack at Whirl was to customise a DOTM Skyhammer, and while I was pleased with the result, I eventually disliked the movie-verse aesthetic which was too prevalent on this figure. After much thought I instead turned to Headrobots, who bought out a very interesting enhancement. And I was reasonably happy until Hasbro positively floored me by announcing a new Voyager-class mould for Whirl. 3rd time lucky?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 9/10
Wow, this guy looks terrible, but is all the more brilliant for it. This is a figure I thought I would never see, homaging the G1 figure more closely than I would have thought possible legally. Anyhoo, it is a wonder to behold. It is like it has been grabbed directly from the '80's and endowed with modern articulation. It looks both awkward and bizarre - a chicken-legged automaton with no face or discernible hands. It is gangly, angular and magnificent. Whirl was always the real oddity of the G1 line - sticking out like a sore thumb even when in the company of his compadre Roadbuster - who was far more prosaic in comparison. The paint apps on this figure are equally impressive, and he even comes with the 4 weapons the original did. They look rather awful attached but, again, that's the charm. This is a completely unique mould that I'm pretty sure will never be used again. The fact that Hasbro chose to give us this with full knowledge of that fact is just ace. Whirl also comes with a sticker sheet, with loads of decals to apply. I personally find that sort of thing a lot of fun, and it takes me back to my childhood. The headsculpt is also suitably inscrutable. This is probably a figure you will either love or hate, but I for one applaud Hasbro for having the cajones to do this.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 8/10
Now this is how Whirl should look in alternate mode. Sorry to my earlier efforts but they have been blown out of the water by this one. The yellow rotors are all present and correct and the decals really add a nice level of detail. You have to be careful with the red ones that wrap around the blades as you basically get one chance to align them perfectly. The robot kibble in this mode is practically non-existent and everything is stowed away successfully. When this is kitted out with all of the weapons (which can be attached via C-joints or 5mm posts) it is a very awesome sight to behold. The cockpit also opens and closes, which is another nice detail.
This is rather clever stuff, the tail hangs down the back in robot mode and this is lifted into place towards the head, and then the main rotor section is clicked into place. The feet (such as they are) are on rails and these are pushed back in towards the knees. The legs are then swung up and around and slot into either side of the cockpit. For the arms, the hands slide into the forearm and then the shoulders are moved around to allow the upper arms to sit flush above the legs, the elbows are then bent so that the forearms form neat little fins. This is a robust transformation which still allows room for some innovative touches.
This is pretty decent all around. The head is ball-jointed, however there is no waist articulation. The hips and shoulders are ball-jointed, and Bicep/thigh swivel are present and correct. The elbows are double-jointed, and the 'hands' can open and close. no rotation though. The lower legs are rather more interesting with 2 joints on each knee, allowing for some odd poses more akin to the hind-legs of a dog than anything else I can think of. You can combine the 2 joints to reproduce an approximation of a 'knees bent forward' pose if you wish.
This figure has great plastics, and paint that is really well applied, unlike some of Hasbro's other efforts. My one concern is around the shoulder configuration which is rather slim and makes me worry that it might snap at some point. But overall this is a fine effort.
Overall - 41/50
This feels like a love letter to the G1 figure by someone at Hasbro who has a bona-fide connection with G1. It makes little sense really, with the other recent Generations figures homaging IDW more than anything else. This figure seems to have little to do with IDW and everything to do with homaging the original toy. I still can't quite believe that this figure exists, and that it wasn't provided by a third party. I'm surprised as I am pleased with this one, and I recommend you add it to your collection forthwith!