"Generations" Combiner Wars Wreck-Gar Toy Review
Release Date: March 2016
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Wreck-Gar is a relentless warrior who, using his skills and the leftover parts that litter his home planet, Junk, can repair damage to his systems and armor almost instantly. He and his fellow Junkions learned to speak by watching Earth TV signals that drifted far out into space. They bombard any bots they meet with slogans and catch phrases from shows and commercials long gone by. Join the Combiner Wars battle with this Legends Class Wreck-Gar figure. It changes from robot to motorcycle and back in 6 steps. It comes with a collectible character card featuring art from the Transformers Legends mobile game. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
Wreck-Gar is the leader of the Junkions, a race of Transformers who are mostly built from scrap. They were first introduced in the 1986 "Transformers: The Movie" theatrical film. Years after his appearance in G1, he would pop up again in "Transformers: Animated" and then again in the "Reveal the Shield" line. For his introduction into the "Combiner Wars" line the designers took the Legends Class Groove figure and retooled it with a new deco for this release. This same sculpt has also been used for the "Transformers Adventure" Override figure. The sculpt will also be used for the Rust Dust figure which is only slowly trickling out onto the market as of this writing. Check out those previous reviews for a detailed look at the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
Wreck-Gar is packaged on a blister card in robot mode. The card features Wreck-Gar's package art in the background with a black strip on the left side (right if you are facing the card) with the vertical "Transformers" logo and the "Generations" logo above it. Behind the figure is a collector's card featuring the same art as the backing card itself. The back of the packaging features photography of the figure in robot and vehicle modes, but there is no mention of his chest armor mode. This isn't a huge surprise. It was not called out for Groove and Wreck-Gar is not technically part of any Combiner. There is a brief bio in several languages and tons of safety information on the bottom.
Wreck-Gar features a new head sculpt for this mold, making it the only version of this sculpt to do so thus far. This head is based on G1 Wreck-Gar's animation model. In the G1 toy Wreck-Gar's head was formed from the front of the motorcycle, making it very large and a bit ungainly looking. This head looks like it used the front of a motorcycle as a starting point, but was then streamlined. The two biggest "motorcycle features" on the head are the crest, which resembles a large headlight and parts that angle out from the top of the head. At first these look like antennae, but they could also be interpreted as the handlebars of the vehicle mode.
Like the G1 animation model the head sculpt features angled panels on the sides, a "V" shaped design on the side panels and a face that includes a "mustache" and "beard". The head is cast in orange plastic with the face painted silver. His mustache and beard are painted black and the eyes are red. It may seem odd that his eyes are red, but that is how the character was introduced in G1 despite being an Autobot-aligned character. It is possible this was done to throw audiences off since he fights the Autobots when they first meet.
In an uncharacteristic move, Hasbro took the basic Wreck-Gar colors and brightened them up considerably. Usually Hasbro favors darker, more "realistic" color schemes. While the G1 Wreck-Gar figure featured beige, brown and dark orange parts this version features yellow in place of beige and a bright orange in favor of the more muted orange of the original. This gives him an animated appearance, as if he jumped right out of a cartoon into your collection. Smaller parts like his handlebars and wheels are cast in black plastic.
Taking a cue from the G1 Wreck-Gar's colors, the top section of the chest is painted red. Black issued on the circular details in the front. This corresponds with the red chest panel on G1 Wreck-Gar and the two blaster like pieces on his chest. The windshield on his chest has been painted light blue, also lending to his more "animated" appearance. Black paint is used on the knee armor. The knees also feature a tampograph that has a red trapezoid in the middle flanked by horizontal black lines against a yellow background. This is a direct callback to stickers found on G1 Wreck-Gar's knees. The finishing touch is a tiny red and silver Autobot symbol tampographed onto the right side of his chest.
Overall I think this deco looks great. It's very different than Groove or Override and the colors are very cheerful while calling back to Wreck-Gar nicely. I really appreciate the use of red on the top of the chest and the tampographs that call back to G1 Wreck-Gar. I do wish the "V" shaped parts on the head had been painted to call them out more, but that's a small quibble.
Wreck-Gar's joints are just as tight as those on my copy of Groove. Nothing is loose and he can be posed without a problem.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Push each foot up.
- Push the lower legs together.
- Swing the chest panel up.
- Swing the chest down.
- Swing the robot arms out to the sides.
- Push the arms in, connecting the shoulder pieces together and fitting the forearms into the grooves formed by the legs.
In G1 Wreck-Gar was a very classic looking motorcycle. This time out he looks much more modern featuring a sleek, curved front end and wheel sections that resemble something from a science fiction movie. I'm okay with this "modernizing" of Wreck-Gar since so much of "Combiner Wars" has involved giving old characters updated forms. No parts were changed for this mode.
This form mostly emphasizes the orange plastic with the yellow popping up here and there. Some new paint details get to shine here including silver on the headlight and red on the sides of the front and back wheel sections. The knee armor winds up becoming the seat in this mode, so there is a nice splash of black color in the middle to offer some nice visual contrast to the yellow and orange. The only part of this figure I wish there was some deco on is the back. There you'll find two rear lights (or thrusters if you want to use your imagination) that are just plain orange plastic. I wish there was some deco on them to bring out the details from the surrounding orange plastic, but this is a minor concern.
Transformation to Armor Mode (Starting in Vehicle Mode):
- Swing the robot arms out.
- Split the rear of the vehicle mode and swing the halves out to the sides.
- Rotate the legs at the hip joints so the star details face the same direction as the front of the vehicle.
- Bend the robot legs at the knees.
- Swing each of the robot arms under the robot thighs (they hold on to the center section of Defensor's chest panel).
- Use the hold on the back of the armor piece (in the middle) to connect to the small peg on the center of Defensor's chest.
- The robot arms can be positioned on either side of the panel Wreck-Gar attaches to.
Wreck-Gar can become torso armor just like Groove and Override. That said, he is not associated with any specific team. You could connect him to Defensor or Victorion, but his colors don't quite go with either team.
Wreck-Gar is an interesting choice for a release. He's not really connected to any team even though he has the capability of combining with other teams. He was also somewhat difficult to find in some parts of the United States at mass retail perhaps partly because he's one of the "tail end" figures for "Combiner Wars". Figures at the end of a series traditionally wind up being slightly harder to find. So that (seemingly) rare status helps add to the appeal of this figure. I also appreciate the homages to the G1 version of the character. I like this figure, but for $11 or more it's not for everyone.