I'm obviously on a Transformer kick this week. Writing about the last couple toys has gotten me thinking more and more about the various Transformers I have or have had over the past three decades.
While everyone loves Generation 1, there have been many undeniably cool Transformers throughout many different series over the years. Some series have been more successful than others, both from a collector and a market perspective. But thankfully all of them have done well enough to keep Transformers alive.
The ones I personally love the most pay homage to the characters of G1. Sometimes they are the same character, sometimes they hint at someone from G1, but I really love the nods to the core characters of old.
That's why in 2005 I just had to have Downshift. Part of the Energon series (another cartoon that I did not watch. If the following intro does not explain why, you don't know me very well.)
Downshift is obviously really Wheeljack.
I would have loved to have had a Wheeljack as a kid, but I didn't. Downshift here is a reasonable replacement however, and in many ways is probably *gasp* superior. He has good articulation, a really cool robot mode, and although his vehicle mode isn't spot on to the Lancia Stratos that G1 Wheeljack converted into, it's pretty close and at least cool enough to be acceptable as some sort of European supercar, and probably way more acceptable on the open highway (I never understood who Jazz, Wheeljack, and Mirage thought they were fooling. You ever seen an open cockpit F1 on the freeway? "Robots in Disguise" my ass.)
The color scheme is right on target to G1/cartoon Wheeljack as well.
I don't know why they didn't flat out name him Wheeljack, maybe it had something to do with copyright laws. Whatever, he'll always be Wheeljack to me.
BTW I needed to find his instructions online to transform him for the pics and found Hasbro's instructions site - if you need to remember how to transform a recent toy and can't locate your instructions, or if you just want to see how some of the toys you don't have transform, it's a great resource!