Hasbro Transformers Studio Series Wreck-Gar Hasbro, 2021
Day #2,353: November 9, 2021
Wreck-Gar Transformers - Studio Series 86 #09
Transformers Studio Series Voyager Class Toy
Item No.: Asst. E0702 No. F0792 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:2 wheels, axe, backdrop Action Feature:Transforms from motorcycle to robot Retail:$31.49 Availability: September 2021 Other: A tiny sub-Masterpiece Edition
As fans get older, and you buy a new toy of a toy you had (or didn't have) as a kid, you wonder if this is the last one. Or at least I do - I didn't have the original Wreck-Gar but I do have the Power of the Primes toy and the Reveal the Shield toy. This one is better than those, although the combiner limb is absolutely worth owning because it's a combiner limb. The Reveal the Shield mold felt a little fragile then and after so many repaints and retools, well, I skipped a lot of those. And I don't regret it. Especially now, because I want repaints and retools of this guy. (Oh wait, I almost forgot the tiny Combiner Wars Wreck-Gar - which everyone, including you, forgot.)
Packaged in robot mode, Wreck-Gar's robot mode is big and bulky, standing about 7-inches high. (Same as Kingdom Wreck-Gar.) He's big and imposing, with about 26 points of articulation - 28 if you count the ball-jointed nipple guns. It's impressive. There's not a lot of paint to be seen as most elements are molded in color, but this is the kind of thing you expect would be a $100 third-party toy. The wheels are removable, and can plug in to the four red spikes - each has a small ring around them sized for the optional accessories.
The sculpting is almost perfect. There's a bit of a hole above the beard, but other than that it seems to handle every detail with gusto. You get your headlight on the forehead, you get the gold chevrons on the sides of the head. The chest and torso design look exactly like the movie, with colors that are a bit more saturated. What looks brown on-screen looks more orange here.
He has no problems holding his pinwheel axe, which matches the red spikes on his arms and legs - which are surprisingly stiff. I was expecting something more rounded, shorter, or more flexible - the quality here is surprisingly good given what we've seen for American toy safety requirements in recent years. I've been a fan of Transformers since they started and collecting them on and off since I was a kid, and it's surprising to me that I can pick up a toy and see elements like the spikes and the gun nipples that can make me stop and go "hunh, I didn't know they could pull that off." And for $31.49, at that. (That's the new Voyager MSRP - some stores will round up, some may round down.)
Articulation is better than expected. The legs swing forward without obstruction - the saddle bags don't get in the way. The ankles tilt to the sides and forward, if you like. The knees are great, the elbows are great... this guy has better articulation than a lot of Marvel Legends and Star Wars: The Black Series figures. And is taller, and turns into a bike with big accessories. If it didn't transform and was just a $32 action figure, it'd still be a worthwhile purchase.
Transformation benefits from instructions - it's a weird bike, and you can see where the parts go, but it's helpful to confirm it. A lot of parts unfold in strange ways (familiar to fans of Energon Autobots from 2003-2005) with lots of folding and flipping panels. The wheels are kibble - removable, so you can leave them off if you want to change the toy's silhouette which is undoubtedly good for potential repaints. Everything fits together pretty well, it's a pleasant experience.
The bike is a chunky vehicle with a place so Wreck-Gar can ride Wreck-Gar if you buy two, or if a repaint comes some day. It holds together fairly well, and you'll see slots to store a weapon or seat the second robot. It looks nice. It also looks goofy, but goofy is how the old toy looks and is the price you pay for getting a relatively fantastic robot mode.
Rather than let the bike fall over or require a kickstand, there are two "landing skids" of sorts on each of his legs to prop the bike up for display. I love this. It certainly acknowledges the older audience for these toys - rarely do they put dollars in development of display elements built-in to the toy - but it's greatly appreciated. The knobby, spiked wheels are impossible to balance without assistance.
Figures like this occupy a space that will no doubt please the 40-something man-child fans like myself alongside the retro-futurists who remember what it was like to watch a movie in the 1980s that tell you "it is the year 2005," which was once a time so far off on the horizon that you could accept wild ideas like weird concept cars, every human wearing a jumpsuit, and contact with other planets being de rigueur. The Eric Idle-voiced robot (and indeed, Transformers: The Movie as a whole) presented the viewer with a mishmash of pop culture, looking forward and backward as it remixed a swath of popular culture. Looking at it today, it's something you may be able to look back on as a big slice of 1980s cheese - it's a Star Wars-remix toy commercial music video that presented the viewer with a goofy future with hoverboards and even more awesome cars that we just never got. But this makes sense - the world of The Transformers also had room-sized mainframe computers on-screen right as the first Macintosh computers were entering our parents' (or grandparents') offices.
Hasbro makes a lot of neat toys every year, but this one is especially special. It's such a good realization of what we saw on the screen, a relic from the past that would have blown your mind if you got a toy this good when the movie first came out in 1986. (Or even five or ten years ago!) But it's a toy review, and I would be remiss to ignore that this really, really big man's nipples of the future aren't compatible with the blast effects from the War for Cybertron trilogy. But other than that, it's one of the very best figures for collectors of the never-ending gang fight between giant robots.
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