As I said in yesterday’s video post, my favourite scene of Transformers: The Movie (1986) is the Autobot’s crash-landing on Junkion, the planet of junk. After detonating two-thirds of their spaceship in a desparate attempt to escape Galvatron and his Decepticons, Ultra Magnus and a small band of Autobots found themselves on a planet-sized collection of debris.
Much to their surprise, however, this was not an uninhabited pile of debris floating through space. This was home to the Junkions. A nearly indestructible race of Transformers composed mostly of pieces of their surroundings, their primary source of communication is snippets from Earthen T.V.
Though mostly easy-going and very ready to fight on the side of good, despite their goofy appearance and demeanor, it’s best not to take the Junkions too lightly. As TFWiki points out, “It’s probably a good idea to just not mess with the Junkions, as everyone who does seems to die.” Leader of this ragtag group of literal motorcycle hooligans is the mustachioed Wreck-gar.
Voiced by Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame, Wreck-gar — and the Junkions in general — have often been accused of being what’s wrong with the 1986 movie; their completely nonsensical existence proving too goofy for the cynics in the audience. I, however, found them to be a joy. Unfortunately my love of the character didn’t travel over to the G1 toy. Boxy even by G1 standard, it just has none of the character embodied in Wreck-gar. The bigger crime? The toy doesn’t even sport his trademark goatee and long, flowing mustache! Unacceptable.
This is why the announcement that the Reveal the Shield line was going to finally do Wreck-gar some justice made me positively giddy. This toy does oh so much better at capturing the spirit of Wreck-gar than the G1 toy could have ever even hoped to. Eyes chock full of mischief, a huge grin, and — best of all — the return of the ‘stache.
After his appearance in Animated had gone the garbage truck route, RtS Wreck-gar took it back to the original’s alt-mode, a motorcycle. A portion of Wreck-gar’s back wheel and his exhaust pipe can be removed and unfolded to become an axe. Then the sides of his front wheel assembly separate to allow the wheel to swivel forward and create the arm mounted shield he sported in G1.
As an added bonus, his toy designers also built holes into his motorcycle seat that correspond with the pieces on the underside of his… well, his crotch. This means he can ride himself, or rather, two toys of this mold can be used as motorcycle and rider together. Of course, this allows you to recreate one of my favourite parts of my favourites scene: when one junkion in robot mode is riding another in alt-mode. When they crash, the rider transforms into a motorcycle and the other transforms into robot mode and they switch.
Scrapheap, a remold of Wreck-gar, was announced as part of an extremely pricey e-Hobby exclusive 3-pack. I thought my poor Wreck-gar might have to be rider-less — no way I was plunking down the cash for the 3-pack, no matter my love for Junkions. Then, an absolutely brilliant custom parts maker that goes by the name Maiden Japan showed up on the TFW2005 boards with a thread titled “Wreck-gar Custom Add-on Parts”. Handpainted, custom pieces, he offered a dizzying array of choices — a new head with six colour possibilities, an add-on chest with six selections, an add-on set of spiked shin and shoulder pieces with a cartoon accurate axe in six colour possibilities and two axe choices, and last, but not least, a cartoon accurate, updated spiked wheel shield!
The combinations seemed virtually endless. I finally narrowed it down: I would order three Wreck-gar toys and enough pieces to modify two of them into other Junkions. Then I needed names. I thought that the best trash-related names had been taken over the years; Scrapheap, Junkyard, and Detritus being examples just from within Transformers. But then I hit on names for my Junkion creations. Introducing: the Junkions brothers, Dregs and Dross!
Now Wreck-gar has himself a little Junkion army to command!
There’s also all that fun rider and motorcycle action too.
The best thing about that shot is that Dregs is actually balanced on his own in that one-footed running pose.