Cliffbee.com: Animated Wreck-Gar Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Wreck-Gar
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Garbage Collection Truck



GARBAGE TRUCK MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 16.5cm Width: 8cm

   An orange and silver truck with dark red, beige and black in places, Wreck-Gar takes his colour scheme from the G1 bike of the same name. The shortnose cab is orange with black windows and a silver front bumper assembly which features a black grille and yellow headlights. The silver block at the black features dark grey stripes on the sides, red taillights and also serves as the anchor point for the arms which protrude from the front. The arms are beige and black with red forks at the front. The truck has six black plastic tyres underneath - two at the front and four at the back. This is a good colour scheme which centres on Earth tones and while the vehicle mode chosen here doesn't allude to the Eric Idle voiced G1 character, the colours are a very good match - making this a nice subtle tribute. There is a silver Autobot logo on the left door - which is the only allegiance symbol on this toy.

   The most distinct aspect of this vehicle is the fact that it's the first garbage collection truck Transformer we've seen. Granted it's a box-truck with arms - but even without arms, those are relatively rare within the toyline. Anyway, it's a somewhat stylised truck, as is typical of Animated, but I'm happy that Wreck-Gar is more simplified than distorted. The arms are the dominant feature - as they should be for a vehicle such as this - so it's a fine effort for the first Transformer to tread this path.

   There is some play value here. All six wheels spin freely although on the middle pair the hubcap stays put for some reason. The arms can swing up to 90 while there are sliders at the base of each which lift up the forks when you slide them back - a really nice touch. This mechanism not only straightens out two joints, but springs back into place once you release. There's also a slider on top of the otherwise smooth rear block - pushing it back reveals two transparent blue blades which... sit there being transparent blue blades. Sure, it's play value but I'm not sure what a garbage truck can do with blades protruding from the back.

   While the blades are pretty pointless, the arms are fun and this is a pretty good garbage truck. Wreck-Gar may not have been a garbage truck in G1, but it's hard to argue against the choice of alt mode for anyone who's seen the G1 Movie. I'm always a fan of alternate modes that bring something new - and this mode fits into that category, so not only does Wreck-Gar get points for a clever tribute and good play value, but also for bringing something new.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the front section between the grille and window, the entire truck fold open revealing the cavity inside the rear block where Wreck-Gar's limbs hide. Fold away the front wheels and then fold the top of the cab inside the block. Swing up the legs and groin, swing out the robot head, swing out the arms, collapse the block onto the robot back and clip into place (there are two clips). Fold out his feet and heelspurs, stand him up. Fold back the garbage arms, swing the robot arms down into position and you're dome.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18.5cm Width: 12cm

   An orange robot with a silver chest, silver forearms and thighs and a giant silver block on his back, Wreck-Gar has black feet, red shoulders and a white face with black moustache and goatee, along with blue eyes. The rear pairs of tyres sit on the outsides of his firearms. The upside-down bumper assembly is his chestplate while the head is a boxy affair orange affair designed to resemble that of the G1 cartoon Wreck-Gar (although not so much the toy). There are no visible Autobot symbols now. There's a weak lightpipe in his eyes.

   Again the colours evoke the G1 character, and the face really fits into the Wreck-Gar we saw in the 1986 film. The colour mapping and many of the details here don't actually match, but the tribute is still quite obvious. There's a handle and an antenna on top of his head, which are a throwback to the various Junkions seen in the film. Despite it not fitting the tribute, the bumper assembly on his chest has a G1 feel about it and is a really nice touch, as are the tyres on his forearms. The backpack is quite noticeable, but at least it hugs the torso.

   There's not a lot of actual play value here - those transparent blue blades can plug into the outsides of his forearms, into the fixed part of the wheels (which is I suspect why they're fixed). The garbage arms can be activated here but there's not really any point since they're on his skidplate. The poseability gives Wreck-Gar most of his play value, and while it's decent, the backpack does create some stability issues - and I'd expect more of a voyager. The head turns, his shoulders swing and lift out to the sides, the elbows are hinged with rotators and his fingers open and close as one while his wrists and thumbs are fixed. Wreck-Gar could loosely hold a handheld weapon, if he had one. The waist turns a little and there are red hipplates which lift up when you swing his legs out to the sides. the hips swing as well as swinging out, the knees are hinged and complimented by rotators towards the top of his thighs. The feet and heelspurs can fold down. The poseability allows more for relaxed poses than dynamic poses - since most of the dynamic poses available are hampered by the weight of Wreck-Gar's backpack.

   A good robot mode but one that's limited by the backpack. He's visually impressive with a well executed tribute, some nice truck elements visible and doesn't suffer from the weird proportions some Animated toys carry. The articulation is nice but isn't all that useful. The play value is less than what I'd hope for at this size class - the blade weapons just don't bring much. Still, the display value is enough to make this robot mode work.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   With a novel vehicle mode that makes for a very clever tribute, good colours which help the tribute and two visually appealing modes, Wreck-Gar is a good toy. The play value is disappointing for a voyager, but the display value is excellent and for older fans the tribute is a good one. If the concept of this toy appeals, I'd recommend Wreck-Gar - 7/10

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