Since Hasbro realized tha it could get more bang out of its tooling buck by actively planning for repaints in advance, we're getting obscure and new characters like Sky Shadow and Junkheap. Junkheap is, technically, a brand-new character combining the names of Scrapheap and Junkyard into a single character based mostly on the latter in terms of design and coloring. At first glance it doesn't seem like he has a new head, but with the goggles and a different moustache, it's quickly apparent that Hasbro gave this one a new design. Interestingly, this body-- which debuted with Wreck-Gar-- has been made with 3 different heads including Scrapheap, presently a Japanese exclusive. It's also widely expected that the Transformers Collector's Club will do a set of Junkions based on these molds for an upcoming convention or fan club item... but we'll see how that turns out.
I had more than a few reservations about Wreck-Gar, and so far it seems this figure manages to show significantly fewer flaws. Wreck-Gar's shoulders were clearly stressed before opening the package, with discoloration on the pegs making the likes of me feel nervous. Junkheap has a silvery color that, so far, has not shown visible signs of strain. Also, the automatic transformation of the front of the bike into his right foot feels like it goes more smoothly, but the handlebars still need a little effort to get in place.
Transformation from bike to robot is basically the same as the 2010 Wreck-Gar. although I have to say I found the experience to be slightly less unpleasant. There's a lot of flipping and twisting, but there's an added incentive to go through the process now that Hasbro has done the unthinkable and has created a toy which can be his own vehicle!
If you own two figures based on this mold, they can ride one another! That's huge-- the best we've seen before is with Mini-Cons or some of the various Masters being able to drive their large partner. Now, we can actually buy one figure, and have it ride another one. I wish they could expand on this concept, although with cars it's quite impractical. Wreck-Gar and Junkheap have unique saddles with a couple of slots in them which, uh, line up perfectly with a pair of pegs around their crotch. It snaps in place, and holds surprisingly well. I buy a lot of toy vehicles, and I've got Star Wars ships with specific pilot figures that don't fit as well as these guys. I'm impressed.
The motorbike mode is pretty good, with spinning wheels and a kickstand. The Battle Axe weapon has a nifty geared mechanism to go from a round cutting device stored in the wheel to a deadly Garden Weasel. This time, the blades are yellow instead of silvery grey. I actually find myself wishing for another weapon, as something on a chain might look cooler. Still, it has the same Miyake Joint seen on a variety of figures from 2009 to the present. It's quite tight, and when I pried it off, it tends to remain behind.
The toy bio on the packaging for this guy makes mention of the repairs on Ultra Magnus from Transformers: The Movie while also saying that Junkheap is such a great medic, he's taking over for Ratchet. Which I assume means this is in some new continuity, because Ratchet's dead before the Junkions are introduced in the original 1987 film.
Since I decided to pick up every deluxe Generations figure, it was predetermined that I would buy this one even though I could take or leave Wreck-Gar. It's a nice one-- I don't like it as much as some of the simpler toys, but I'm positively giddy that I can have Junkheap ride Wreck-Gar or vice-versa. I'd love to see more of this kind of thing, even if it means Voyager or larger class toys with seating for Deluxe toys some day. I know we see it with some of the mini vehicles, but seeing it incorporated in normal-size transforming toys makes it apparent that there's a whole segment of untapped vehicle play in this line. It's nice that a toy turns into a car... but if another toy can ride in it somehow, doesn't it make the whole thing fifty times better? I think it does. So I would say get Junkheap, maybe even over Wreck-Gar because it seems Junkheap is a Sun Devils fan and feels a little more durable.
And with that, Hasbro closes the book on "classic" Transformers for a while-- no new Generations assortments are said to ship between now and the transition to Transformers Prime, while it seems Dark of the Moon has some legs left. What this means for unreleased molds and remolds remains to be seen, so fans of the "classic" toys-- take this chance to enjoy what you have, pick up what you missed, and thank Primus you get some time off from tracking down new toys in this line. I realized we skipped a few Generations toys, but we'll be reviewing those shortly.
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