Wheelie was part of the final wave of Mini-Vehicles released in 1986, and the only entirely new design for the third series of them. He transforms into a bubbly, swooshy orange futuristic Cybertronian car, likely based on the Movie character designs by artist Floro Dery.
Wheelie was one of the first few Transformers designed explicitly for the brand, not borrowing from any previous toylines like Takara's Microchange or Diaclone lines. His character features prominently in the 1986 Transformers: The Movie, implying that he was designed especially for this purose, sharing the aesthetic laid out by Floro Dery for other new characters in the animated feature.
Wheelie's two-tone orange sports-car-like alternate mode has rolling gray plastic wheels, and a bluish-gray painted cockpit bubble with a central section that lifts up to reveal his robot face. His transformation is simple, but differs somewhat from his earlier Mini-Vehicle bretheren. His feet extend down from the front of the car on a Z-fold to reveal long, thin legs, and the rear section of the car swings down 90 degrees to form his shoulders directly behind the opening cockpit section housing his face. He has molded outlines of fists behind the front wheels of the car, with the side pods forming his long arms.
Date stamp location: underside of car hood, visible with legs swung toward back of the car
Rubsign location: center of car hood
Wheelie's design is quite sturdy, but the movable part of the cockpit canopy is held in place with a pimple/dimple hinge, which can get loose over time, or be pulled off completely.
There is only one known verison of Wheelie during his original G1 release.
Type 1: "©HASBRO 1985 ©TAKARA CO. LTD. 1985 Japan" stamp
Wheelie was available globally in 1986. He was reissued for Japan in 2005 as part of the Future Cybertrons set with Targetmaster Kup, in honor of the year the animated film takes place in the Japanese dub.
Case Assortments (Item#/Asst#): 1986: Mini Vehicles with Patch (5906/5711.05), 3 per 24; : Mini Vehicles Assortment 3 (5906/5711)
MSRP: $2.99 (1986)
Packaging: Blister card with instructions and Tech Spec on back
Robot Points: 1/2 Autobot
Paperwork included: A random one of ten iron-on patches with “Prizes in Disguise” entry form (early 1986), “Look Inside for a Special Offer!” (late 1986)
Redecos & Retools
Wheelie's Future Cybertrons tooling was redecoed as Dion for the contemporaneous Collector's Edition Orion Pax with Dion and Barrelroller set.
“Only the fierce shall live.”
WHEELIE is the sole survivor from a party of intergalactic colonists who crash landed on Quintessa. He's a barbaric little savage who managed to stay alive by cunning, stealth, and fearlessness. Speaks in odd rhyming sentences and despises the Decepticons. Fights only when he's under attack and has to defend himself. Staunch friend to the Dinobots and a reliable ally for Hot Rod and Kup.