Wheeljack (Transformers Armada Profiles)

Transformers Armada Wheeljack

Decepticons faction symbol
Name: Wheeljack
Partner name: Windsheer
Allegiance: Decepticons
Function: Warrior
Timeline: Unicron Trilogy

Answers are only found on the battlefield.


Transformers Armada Wheeljack robot mode
Even the toughest Decepticon soldiers keep their distance from Wheeljack, knowing the former Autobot has serious anger issues. Wheeljack's violent disposition, anger and resentment has earned him the nickname "Rampage" among the Decepticon forces, even though in battle Wheeljack is calm and composed, focusing his rage and anger into an inelegantly brutal but nonetheless incredibly effective fighting style. What makes some Decepticons uneasy is Wheeljack's past. He makes no secret of the fact he used to be an Autobot, and still proudly wears his Autobot sigil on his chest, the deep scar running through the middle of it a symbol of his divorce from the Autobot cause, and a warning to any Autobot he encounters that one of their own is coming to exact revenge. Wheeljack was once a faithful and good humoured Autobot, who was well-liked by his friends and colleagues, exuding confidence and a certain roguish charm. He was never one for protocol, often joking about how he'd bend the rules - a lot. In particular, Wheeljack was good friends with Hot Shot - the two had a friendly rivalry, and were as close as brothers. Everything changed during the course of one fateful battle where Wheeljack and Hot Shot found themselves separated from their unit. Wheeljack was severely injured, and Hot Shot went to get help for his friend, but was barred from returning by his commanding officer, who believed Wheeljack's spark had already been extinguished, in spite of Hot Shot's protests. But Wheeljack survived. Rescued by Megatron himself, Wheeljack was consumed by bitterness at his abandonment, quickly and willingly turning to the Decepticon way of thinking. One by one, Wheeljack has hunted down the former members of his unit, exacting revenge on each of them. Now, only Hot Shot remains, who Wheeljack blames most of all for betraying their friendship. He looks forward to their inevitable confrontation, and completing his quest for vengeance.

Sports car mode:

Transformers Armada Wheeljack Sports car mode


Transformers Armada Windsheer robot mode
Like Wheeljack, Windsheer used to be an idealist. Windsheer was Wheeljack's constant compansion even before the outbreak of the Micron Wars, the two being a rare case of a friendship than bridged the divide between the Mini-Cons and the larger Cybertronians. When Megatron began the Micron Wars by attempting to enslave the entire Mini-Con species as living power-batteries, Windsheer was one of a handful of Mini-Cons to actively volunteer to serve in the Autobot army, offering his own power boost to Wheeljack. Windsheer's loyalty to Wheeljack trumps his loyalty to any cause, though: he took Wheeljack's apparent death in battle very hard, and refused to give up on his friend. When he met the newly embittered Decepticon Wheeljack, Windsheer pledged himself to his friend again, believing that Wheeljack had indeed been abandoned by the Autobots who they'd both fought alongside for so long. Seeing Wheeljack in such a dark place has convinced Windsheer that now more than ever Wheeljack needs him - not only as an ally on the battlefield, but a friend to help him through the many issues he is beset by. This is why even though Windsheer has some doubts about the Decepticon cause and some of the things that Wheeljack has done to his former allies, he remains steadfast and resolute in standing by his friend regardless of any consequences.

Jet mode:

Transformers Armada Windsheer jet mode

Author notes:

For Wheeljack's motto, I used his Micron Legend motto which I felt was a better summation of the character than his US quote. I also threw in a reference to the Japanese name of the character - Wheeljack was known as Rampage in Japan, and so in writing my profile for the character I thought it'd be cool to have Rampage be his nickname among the Decepticon forces. I did consider switching the character name to Rampage wholesale, so Energon Downshift could reclaim Wheeljack, but I didn't want to go too far down the rabbit hole of renaming characters, or mixing and matching names.

(Fun fact: Wheeljack got his name because it sounds like "carjack", which the character's original designer, Aaron Archer, thought sounded more like a villainous name)

I dropped in a couple of other fun additions in Wheeljack's profile. When referring to Wheeljack's relationship with Hot Shot, I referenced how the pair were "like brothers", originally, the intention was for Wheeljack to be Hot Shot's brother, so that is my nod to the original plan for the character. There's a nod to Generation 1 Sideswipe's motto too, which is my way of referencing how Armada Wheeljack really looks like Sideswipe.

I also added in a note about what happened to the rest of Wheeljack's unit - they're all dead, Wheeljack killed them in his quest for revenge. I feel that raises the stakes a bit more and makes Wheeljack's fall to the darkside a bit more convincing, as well as giving some more background to why he'd be nicknamed Rampage.

One thing I intentionally left out of the profile was the hopeful message from the character's Japanese profile. It was tempting to hint at how Wheeljack eventually turns good again toward the end of Transformers Armada, but it really didn't fit the tone of the rest of the profile; also, I question how much Wheeljack really could be redeemed by the end of Armada. Sure, he's no longer out for Hot Shot's blood, but he's still a Decepticon. I don't see that changing, equally, I don't see him joining the revived Decepticon forces in Transformers Energon. He's more likely to be one of the "rehabilitated" Decepticons like Demolishor, in my view.

Toys of Transformers Armada Wheeljack

Transformers Armada Wheeljack

Transformers Armada Wheeljack robot mode posed Transformers Armada Wheeljack robot mode attack mode Transformers Armada Wheeljack Sports car mode alternate angle Transformers Armada Wheeljack Sports car mode attack mode
Transformers Armada Windsheer robot mode, alternate angle Transformers Armada Windsheer jet mode, alternate angle Transformers Armada Wheeljack with Windsheer robot modes Transformers Armada Wheeljack with Windsheer vehicle modes
Wheeljack is one of the better Armada toys, in my opinion. He's big, chunky, and robust, with the main gimmick being the gullwing doors that swing open when Wind Sheer is attached to the port on Wheeljack's roof. That's a cool gimmick and it reminds me of the Thunderhawk from MASK. Articulation is decent for an Armada era mold - the arms and legs swing forward and back at the shoulders, and Wheeljack has elbows and one wrist that rotates. He's also got some lateral shoulder movement but it's a little awkward given the articulation is on the arm, below the shoulder section. There's no head movement, but there are articulated knees and even toe movement - albeit these last two are to enable the transformation, so weren't intended to be used for poses. Wind Sheer has limited shoulder movement and can move his legs at the hips, but he can't really strike poses. Overall, the poseability is fair; nothing spectacular but he can at least do a few action poses.

The weapons on this mold always felt a little weird, since they're missiles which are being used as... clubs? Fighting poles? It always seemed a bit random, but at least the articulation allows for a few decent poses using them.

One complaint about the deco is the symbol on the chest. It's an Armada "blob" symbol without the definition to pick out the details of the Autobot symbol - just a solid blob of red. On Wheeljack, though, this does help to keep his chest quite plain and uncomplicated, which focuses your attention less on the Autobot symbol and more on the scar through the middle of it and the excellent tech detail molding underneath.

Overall, this is a toy I like and appreciate for one major reason: he's a big and chunky toy that I can pick up and mess about with, without worrying about pegs breaking off or hinges cracking.

More information on Transformers Armada Wheeljack at TFW2005

See more Transformers Armada toys in my collection.