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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Auntie Slag's review of: Wreckgar

Name: Wreckgar
Allegiance: Junkion
Function: Junkion Leader
Sub-Group: Junkions
"Collect and save, collect and save."

Wreck-Gar leads the Junkions, a race of junk robots. He's made of rusted scraps, chassis bits, manifold parts, and dented odds and ends. A little scatterbrained, he speaks in odd-ryming, pieced-together sentences. His words are a junkyard collection of broadcast fragments from T.V. commercials and radio jingles. In robot mode, he carries an armor axe and a decelerator laser that inhibits an enemy robot's flow of cerebral impulses.

Everyone remembers where they were the day Kennedy was shot. I was in two separate places, half of me was swimming around pleasantly with a trillion of my little sperm buddies; the other half was busy considering my chances of cellular division. The odds of creating my exact combination were a gazillion to one, but I made it, which means I'm either a miracle of creation; or the others were really crap.

I also remember the day I got Wreck-Gar. It was a Saturday; I know it was a Saturday because when my mum, my sister and I arrived home from shopping, Alf was on TV. That particular show only aired on weekends here in the U of K. It was also summertime, because I remember it being bright and sunny, more importantly it smelled like summer. It was 1987, so judging by the dates on my Transformers comics I could pinpoint to within a few weeks when I got this particular plastic toy. But I can't remember my own sister's birthday.

This is not unusual, lots of guys can pinpoint exact moments based on what appears to be obscure information. My Dad for example, cannot remember when he met my Mum if you were to ask him the date. He's a motorcycle freak; therefore, he remembers based on the model of bike he was riding at the time. As that particular model was only produced during a certain time period, and his one was before they changed the exhaust configuration, so that means it had to be 1960-such and such, and it was spring because that was when his brother bought the bike they dubbed 'Torrey Canyon', because it shat oil.

Stunningly, neither he nor I shot Kennedy. But then, we would say that.

Vehicle Mode:
Bringing our two loves together, Wreck-Gar is a Frankenstein's monster of a motorcycle. If he were real, he'd be the most pathetic excuse for a bike since Roseanne Barr. He looks like crap because that's what he's made from. He rules a collection of assorted junk and debris on a floating asteroid supposedly akin to a refuse dump for the Universe. Now Wreck-Gar is pretty big for a Transformer. This was around the time when the toys were getting a little bigger, production values and materials were getting a little cheaper and colour schemes a little blinder. He's a big bike, like Anna Nicole Smith. Also, like Anna Nicole Smith he is wildly out of proportion to his compatriots. Wreck Gar looks rather silly next to Jazz, for example, and is a giant compared to the original G1 cars, whereas Groove tends to follow their scale, if not that of his fellow Protectobots.

Nevertheless, Wreck Gar is fun. He's big and chunky. His colour scheme is taken directly from a Caramac bar, and his stickers are a nice mix of shiny gold leaf and metallic reds. He has nice rubber tyres with an actual tread (though it would have been über cool to have seen them with spikes as per his comic portrayal), with a crimson mag motif. My least favourite aspect of his alt-mode is the 'Cy-Kill' arms that make up the front forks. The effect is so cheap and so noticeable. He loses serious style points consequently.

Wreck Gar's size sets him apart from TF toys before him. He helps to usher in the Movie and post movie figures, for now is the time of strange bikes, flying hovercraft things, pink spaceships, weird monsterbots and.... Scattershot! I don't count any of those as good things. A robot in disguise is what they are tagged as, and that is what they should remain. That aside, is he a good toy? I would say 'Yes'. He's big and bolshy, chunky and tough. He'll scoot along the kitchen floor and the dog will certainly wake up when Wreck Gar rams into its arse. He's dogtastic!

Robot Mode:
A big lanky pale-faced git is what I'd call this toy. He appears very stiff, like a homophobe at a Mardi gras. His legs are close together, the torso suffers from a complete lack of movement, and his face conveys a distinct look of "Mummy, I don't want to be a Transformer any more".

In contrast, his arms flail about like a Dalek. This is because he features ball-joints at the shoulder. Aaah, lovely lovely ball joints, the stuff that made Beast Wars toys such unadulterated articulated fun. Sadly, the dream is only partially realised here, and entirely lost on me at the time, because the arms were cylindrical and humanoid in appearance, which was a sheer blasphemy to my mind... punishable by death. Fortunately, I was able to overlook this crime thanks to his meaty hands, capable of clutching his nice Energy Ace, Illuminum P-36 Explosive Space Modulator, and spare tyre. Coupled with his handy nipple lasers (a feature later espoused by the Fembots in 'Austin Powers'), Wreck Gar looks suitably armed and ready to take on any unsuspecting homosexual, or Decepticon.

In addition, thanks to his lanky form he blends with a shelf of Transformers surprisingly well. He's like the tall kids at school who were made to stand at the back during a class photo. His height works to his advantage, and the smaller guys in front can hide his stiff appearance. You'll only see the head, the die-cast maroon and plastic chrome torso, and his complement of weapons. My Wreck Gar used to stand next to Prime and Grimlock, and he was very happy. Mirage would stand in front of him and a mini-Autobot would be in front of Mirage. The class of Nuke 'em High.

Transformation: 7 - Swinging the rear tyre between his legs is a real chore. Sometimes I thought it was going to break, or at the least warp badly. This is the only trouble spot; everything else is a breeze. So as long as you're aware of it, you're less likely to screw him up.
Durability: 8 - Like the theme song to 'Bigfoot & the Muscle Machines'; he's big, bad, dirty and mean. In an effort to sound less like a nerdlinger, his body is made of tough components. His arms may snap off (as happened to a friends Wreck Gar), but you can pop 'em back on because they're ball joints. Hoorah!
Fun: 8 - He's big and packing heat. Whereas Jazz taking on Skywarp looks like a smurf taking on a Sex Pistol, Wreck Gar can fight larger Decepticons like Soundwave without it looking like a distinctly one-sided battle. His solid frame and good tyres allow him to fly along kitchen floors and table tops with ease, while his arms allow him to actually swing his axe like the artwork adorning his box suggests. Some Transformers can even ride him, which makes for amusing play if you wanna try for something a little 'Street Hawk' in nature.
Price: 5 - You've got me there. I haven't a clue how much he's worth. Obviously, the more original parts he's got, the better. He comes with two weapons and a detachable front wheel. If the previous owner has lost the wheel then that's a whole lot of play and pose value shot to hell. The metallic gold's and red's of his stickers are likely to suffer wear and sun damage too, and typically, the placement of his stickers are usually in areas where a grubby little kid will clasp Wreck Gar in order to transform him. At a guess, I'd say he's worth £18 in good condition (about $12). I could be completely wrong, only recently I've seen people bidding serious amounts on eBay for a tech spec of Warpath!?!?! That's the name of the game I suppose, sometimes people go completely mad and there's no accounting for taste.
Summary: 8 - My friend Paul who used to sit next to me at school was the first to get a Wreck Gar. At the time, he had the choice between this guy and Swoop (a Dinobot denied release in the UK because his pointy wings were considered unsuitable for children). Swoop would have been a major coup because all kids love the Dinobots, and Paul had the opportunity right there. He passed him over for Wreck Gar.

Of course I thought Paul was a complete fool at the time, but I enjoyed playing with Wreck Gar, he's good fun. Usually if a friend gets a Transformer I want, then I don't see the point in getting that same Transformer, better to get a different robot that wasn't my first choice, because then at least we get to see and play with more Transformers, right? I ignored this logic when it came my time to pick a new toy, I chose Wreck Gar as well, for all the reasons stated above. He's a cool toy, and he really beefed up my Autobots because he at stood the same height as the Decepticons, and knocked Prime down a peg or two.

There was a song released a few years back, and the chorus was a looped phrase of "Don't want no short, short man". The same applies here I think. Be afraid boys, size does matter!

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