Retro-Review: G1 Whirl

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Philister, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

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    For more pictures, click on the image above

    Robot Mode: Whirl is not exactly your typical early-G1 robot. He is very tall, spindly, and has an inhuman-looking head somewhat reminiscent of Shockwave. He also lacks humanoid hands, having instead two robotic pincers. He also has feet that look more like skies than anything else.

    Whirl’s posability is average for a figure from this time. He can swivel his arms at the shoulders (and move them back and forward somewhat) and his legs at the hip. No knee or elbow joints, sadly. He does have ankle movement, though, so walking poses are no problem for him. The pincers can open, but don’t stay opened. In terms of weapons Whirl has a so-called Null-Ray module (Starscream sends his regards) that can slip over either of his hands, as well as a big energy cannon thing called “Paralyzo-Box”, which can be fastened to the side of either leg.

    Not a whole lot more I can write here. Whirl lives off his inhuman, militaristic look, which seems more at home in some Japanese Anime rather than a Transformers cartoon series. Still, an impressive, powerful looking robot mode that definitely defies the norm.

    Vehicle Mode: Whirl transforms into a light blue attack helicopter, the design taken from the AH-1 Cobra. Just like the robot mode the vehicle is very sleek with a somewhat boxy look, but does look rather realistic to my untrained, non-military eye. Whirl features a cockpit where the hatch opens to unveil a sculpted interior. He also has two more clip-on weapons that can be put on the wings, a Gatling-like Shell Cannon and a four-tube Photon Beam Rifle. The overall detailing and look of the helicopter is quite good for its time, so there’s really nothing wrong with this vehicle mode. Nicely done.

    Remarks: Whirl was not part of the original G1 cartoon or the comic books released by Marvel in the US. The reason for that is quite simple: Unlike most early Transformers toys, he was not pulled from a pre-existing Takara toyline, but rather licensed from one of Takara’s competitors, Takatoku Toys (much like Roadbuster). He started life as the Oberon Gazette from the Armored Trooper Dorvack toyline. As Takara didn’t want their competitor’s products being solicited in the cartoon they co-sponsored, Whirl’s role was restricted to appearances in the Marvel UK comics, where he was part of the Autobots’ elite combat unit "The Wreckers" (much like Roadbuster). Since then Whirl has appeared in just about every incarnation of the Wreckers team, but never did receive much in the way of characterization, always being the big guy in the background (much like Roadbuster).

    Whirl is an unusual figure when compared to other early G1 toys and I certainly won’t call him a must-have in any way, shape or form, but for me he fills out my assembly of the original Wreckers team (at least of those who ever got toys made, we’re still waiting for Impactor and Rack’n’Ruin). And even without the Wreckers angle, he’s a good toy that sticks out of the crowd.

    Rating: B-
     
  2. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    Whirl was one of my first "prefer it in vehicle mode" TFs.
     
  3. shogun221

    shogun221 timewaster extraordinaire

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    I just picked up Whirl at a local vintage toy store this morning.

    He's great! I really enjoy the strangeness of his robot-mode, but ymmv. He's a well-built bot; his claws are a touch fragile, but otherwise, I don't feel like he's at risk of breaking while being posed or transformed. The die-cast in the upper legs is a nice touch; it looks good, gives him some extra heft and makes the sliding mechanism used during transformation a bit more durable. Digging the nice ratchety joints on the upper legs. The transformation is one of my favorites from the G1 era; the perfect amount of stuff to do; not too simple, not too complicated.The big downside (at least on mine)? The arms are mounted on some pretty floppy ball joints, making them hard to pose.

    Overall, I'm happy I got him. If you like his look and understand the strengths/limitations of G1-era figures, there's a good chance you'll like Whirl.
     
  4. Snake_eyes1975

    Snake_eyes1975 Peace through Tyranny!!

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    I had a small deluxe sized whirl as a kid. I don't think it came with the weapons, and it was a dark blue..I LOVED that toy...It was Blue Thunder for me.

    I would love to find a G1 whirl. The chopper mode is solid, and something about the bot mode I love.

    Thanks man! I love your retro reviews
     

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