"Reveal the Shield" Wreck-Gar Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: January 2011
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Axe

*Text below and images from Transformers.com
WRECK-GAR is obsessed with Earth television, and may be just a little bit flaky. He communicates almost exclusively in quotes from commercials and late-night movies, and the grin on his face never fades, even in the heat of battle. Most AUTOBOTS have no idea what he’s talking about most of the time, but they appreciate having his axe on their side.

Turn the tables on enemy forces when you throw this warrior into the fight! Press the button to reveal this figure’s robot allegiance and then prepare him for a battle. Your WRECK-GAR figure is dedicated to destroying any opponent and his four-bladed battle axe will help you two get the job done. If robot combat turns into a car chase, convert your warrior into motorcycle vehicle mode and send him racing off to rule the “road”!

Figure comes with 4-bladed battle axe. Ages 5 and up.

In the 1986 animated Transformers feature film, a new group of Transformers were introduced: the Junkions. These unique Transformers lived on a planet composed of junk, and their culture was based around television transmissions. The leader of this group was Wreck-Gar, who wold later be reincarnated in a new form for "Transformers: Animated". Many of the figures in the "Reveal the Shield" series have their origins in the 1985-86 era of Transformers, and one of the characters chosen to receive an update is Wrek-Gar!

Vehicle Mode:
When Wreck-Gar "returned" for "Transformers: Animated" he took on the form of a garbage truck, which was appropriate given that Junkion was the "Planet of Junk". For this new version however, Wreck-Gar is going back to his roots: a motorcycle! Generation One Wreck-Gar was a motorcycle as well, but the style was more of a futuristic "hog" style motorcycle complete with saddlebags. This time around, Wreck-Gar is a much sleeker Dirt Bike style vehicle. Many of the features of a real life Dirt Bike are reflected in the design including:

  • The overall shape is extremely thin, without any of the armor sections you would normally see sticking out the side of larger bikes.
  • The handlebars have sideview mirrors that are attached and rised high above them.
  • The front arms that connect the front wheel to the main body are tube shapded (complete with spring details).
  • The engine section is towards the middle on the underside of the vehicle.
  • The shape of the seat section angles upwards from the middle area.
  • On the back is a rear license plate that hangs off the rear section.

There's a lot of fantastic detail in this form. The tires each have raised grooves on them indicating they are meant for tougher terrain. The engine details extend from the side panels to the middle area. The rear wheels have a panel on the left side that have sculpted lines including springs and the seats have raised sections indicating the different areas of the seat cushions. Even tinier details are there including gauges in between the handlebars and circular details indicating where the gas tank is. Another neat detail is the exhaust pipe on the right side that also happens to be the robot mode weapon nicely integrated into the vehicle. I'm impressed in part by how thin the vehicle mode is. Unlike the original Wreck-Gar, which was quite bulky in vehicle mode, this guy truly has a lot of the proportions of a real life Dirt Bike.

Wreck-Gar's colors are inspired by his Generation One incarnation. His plastic colors are red-brown, silver, black, orange and clear plastic. The silver and the brown plastic make up a majority of the figure. Black is found on the handlebars and tires with the clear plastic on the front windshield. The brown used in this figure is a middle ground between the light brown color on the G1 figure and the red color used on the animated model. I like the blend of the colors into a good middle ground. The colors are instantly recognizable as Wreck-Gar, but with an obvious nod to the more modern design sensibilities of the "Classics/Universe 2.0" style toy line.

Paint details are done in a light orange, black, silver, red and copper color. The orange is used to outline a lot of other sections such as the area around the seats and the area around the front headlight. The black is found on sections such as the seat and the sides of the gas tank. These details are done in flame patterns, another detail inspired by G1 Wreck-Gar. The middle section of the wheels are painted copper while the headlight is red. Silver is found on the engine style details on the sides. Overall this is a nice color scheme that definitely leans towards the darker shades of colors favored by the Hasbro designers for figures in this line. Personally I am curious to see the eventual Japanese redeco in person as I'm sure that will have a more "Animated" appearance to it. Fitting in with the "Reveal the Shield" theme, there is a heat sensitive rub symbol attached to the windshield piece in the front of the vehicle.

The vehicle rolls on both wheels and there is a kickstand on the left side to help the vehicle stand up. Located on the seat, you'll find two holes. These holes match up directly with two tabs on Wreck-Gar's pelvis in robot mode: meaning if you have two of these figures they can "ride" on each other. This feature is inspired by the Junkions doing just that in "Transformers: The Movie", alternating between acting as vehicles for each other when they were on the attack. I really dig this feature and think it's a fantastic idea to pay homage to the Generation One version.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the axe weapon the right side, rear wheel and swing the end up. Pull the blades out to extend them all.
  2. Pull the front silver supports from the headlight section.
  3. Swing the front wheel out to the side and the other half out as well.
  4. Straighten out each robot arm.
  5. Rotate the wrists around.
  6. Pull the rear section back a bit.
  7. Swing up the rear wheel to the side.
  8. Swing out both halves of the vehicle's top half to begin forming the robot legs.
  9. Swing each of the legs down and connect them together at the waist.
  10. Rotate the upper body around so it faces front.
  11. Swing up the robot head.
  12. Rotate each of the lower legs so they point forward.
  13. Swing each of the handlebars up.
  14. Swing the headlight section up.
  15. Swing out the halves of both feet.
  16. Slide the axe weapon carefully into either hand. Be sure to use the thinner section under the raised, curved section towards the middle of the axe.

Robot Mode:
Wreck-Gar's robot mode takes heavy influence from his animated form in Generation One. While the original G1 figure (and animation model) were fairly bulky, this one is a bit more thin and sleek looking. Like many of the "Classic/Universe" updates of characters, Wreck-Gar is instantly recognizable thanks to several features:

  • The head sculpt is based on his G1 head, which is a stylized version of the front of the vehicle including the headlight on the top of his head, "horns" in the back standing in for the handlebars and a long mustache and beard hanging off the face. The sides of the head even have stylized "V" shapes just like the G1 animation model.
  • The section right under the chest has a raised circle with a line in the center, similar to a detail from G1 Wreck-Gar's animation model.
  • The chest design has two barrels pointing out of it. Unlike G1 Wreck-Gar which had them in the center of the chest, these are closer to his shoulders.
  • Both of the wheels from the vehicle mode wind up on the left side of the body, though in this case the front wheel does not become a shield but instead winds up hanging behind the left arm. The rear wheel does however hang off his left leg as it did in Generation One.
  • The shape of Wreck-Gar's feet are inspired by a design element from the G1 toy where there were dividing lines sculpted into the middle of the foot. Here they've separated them out to look more like toes.
  • The four bladed axe weapon is based on the one from the original G1 toy, but it is much longer than the one included with the original.

It is interesting to note that Wreck-Gar has a very asymmetrical design beyond the wheels being on one side. Each of his shoulder sections are shaped differently, with the right one being an anglular piece and the rear one being circular. His hands are sculpted in two different positions, a rarity among Transformers. Both are open with curved fingers. However the right hand has the pointer and middle fingers set out more than the other two, while the other hand is the inverse. Since each of his legs are made up from different halves of the vehicle's top half, they too do not match up. The cool part about this is that they fit perfectly in line with a robot that is essentially made of "junk". The tech spec for the original Generation One toy indicated that Wreck-Gar was made up of scrap and parts from the junk around him, and this mismatched form reflects that.

The colors from the vehicle mode all carry over here, but now you can see a lot more silver on his shoulders, waist, upper legs and weapon. To reflect the clear windshield from the vehicle mode, the top of his head is clear colored (along with the horns/handlebars). Several bits of orange plastic appear on his arms, chest barrels and the inside of the waist sections. The red-brown color can be found on the head sculpt, chest, forearms and hands. The upper arms are cast in orange. Paint applications are done up in orange (a bit lighter than the orange plastic), black, silver, yellow and red. The red is used on the headlight detail on his head, matching up with the vehicle mode. The yellow color is found on his chest and face. It's a very light yellow and contrasts nicely against the red-brown plastic. Red and black also play a role on the face. The red is used for the eyes and the black on his mustache and beard. The red eyes are directly inspired by G1 Wreck-Gar who had red eyes despite being affiliated with the Autobots. Finally, you'll find a bit of silver used on the sction under his chest, matching up with the engine details in vehicle mode. The colors work really well and I like the cary over of the flame designs from the vehicle mode into this one. The rub symbol winds up on his right leg here, near the foot but is still quite prominent. There's only one color element I'm really surprised to find missing: the V shaped designs on the head. These details were often painted a different color than the rest of the head on the G1 TV show. I'm surprised these details were left unpainted.

Wreck-Gar has twenty points of articulation in this mode. This includes four point of articulation in each arm and waist articulation. The axe weapon he wields is really neat, with all four blades moving in tandem as you transform the weapon. I can see it used as an axe with the blades deployed outwards or as a "saw" type weapon with the blades turned in. The length of the axe handle also allows for another cool feature: the ability for Wreck-Gar to hold the weapon with both hands (something recently seen in Darkmount as well. Between his rather unique weapon and his posability Wreck-Gar definitely has some nice play factor in addition to being a cool looking sculpt.

Final Thoughts:
Wreck-Gar is a fantastic update on a classic character. I'll be honest to say I never thought we'd see another Wreck-Gar figure after "Animated", especially one inspired by his G1 incarnation. This is definitely a great addition to the line and it fits with the current wave of "Reveal the Shield" figures perfectly. The figure is a fantastic sculpt with great detailing and a cool weapon to boot. Highly recommended!

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