Robotmasters Toy Review: Wrecker Hook

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Machine Wars, Robotmasters

Robotmasters Transformers

General Information:
Release Year: July 2004
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $15 (Depending on Import Retailer)
Accessories: Morning Star Weapon (Boost Hammer), Gun (Aiming Shot)

Images:

Way back in 1997, Machine Wars was released. This Kay Bee exclusive line of toys introduced four new molds into the Transformers universe, most of which have been reused quite a bit since that time. One of these molds was a tow truck who was used as Hoist and Hubcap in that line. Years later, the mold would be resurrected as Wrecker Hook and Super Wrecker Hook by Takara for their Car Robots line. Then, the mold was used yet again when Car Robots was brought to the US as 4Robots in Disguise, this time the mold was a new character named Tow-Line.

With the mold having been used five times in the past seven years, it shouldn't be too surprising that it was chosen as one of the molds to be reused in Robotmasters. This time however there's a twist. For the first time ever, this mold is being used for a Destron/Decepticon character while bearing the same
name (and perhaps identity!): Wrecker Hook.

Tech Specs (Translated by Doug Dlin):
Name: WRECKER HOOK
Function: Technology Officer

Profile: A soldier of many mysteries, he has lost his memory of the past, and there is no recorded data on him. A serious 'bot, he goes ahead and takes care of those repairs his teammates would rather not do. Once he gets a weapon in his hand, he's like a different person. No one can physically approach him.

Weapon(s): Boost Hammer, Aiming Shot

Rank: 6 Power: 8 Defense: 8 Stamina: 9 Speed: 5

Robot Mode:
Wrecker Hook is one tough looking robot. The front of the vehicle mode becomes most of his upper body, which gives him significant bulk. His shoulder armor is rather wide, giving the impression of a guy who can take (and give) a beating. The sculpt has a good bit of detail. Aside from the obvious detail from his truck cab component, he has nice line and vent details on his arms and legs. Even the sculpt of the face has a very grim look to it. With its visor eyes going straight across and the mouthplate, he looks stoic and grim.

Wrecker Hook has eleven points of articulation in this mode, which is quite a bit for a toy from this era. This includes three points of articulation on each arm and two one ach leg.

This mold always came with one weapon, a gun behind the front grill of the vehicle mode. You pop it off and flip the gun out and voila, quick transform weapon. I also like detaching the gun from the front grill piece and then reattaching the grill, which will hold in place nicely and give you a cool looking pistol. This time however, Wrecker Hook comes with an additional weapon! Called the Boost Hammer, the weapon is a Morning Star cast in translucent green. The design is nice, with the chain curved as if frozen in time in mid-movement. This weapon is actually made to combine with the weapons of all the other Destrons to form the "Arsenal Force".

Having seen this mold in a plethora of color schemes, I have to say that Takara finally nailed the best one thus far. Wrecker Hook is mostly black, yellow and red. On his upper body are flame patterns and silver is used for more fine details such as his feet and knees. The whole color scheme just screams "I'm a rebel! Fear me!" It's awesome.

For you mold variant watchers out there, this is technically a reuse of the Wrecker Hook mold from Car Robots. On the left side panel (under the arm) you'll find "© 2000 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved" and on the right the panel says "© TX/NAS © Takara 2000 Made in China" indicating the mold was altered from its original release since Machine Wars was released in 1997.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons from Wrecker Hook's hands.
  2. Straighten out the arms to the sides.
  3. Straighten out the legs and connect them via the peg and hole on the lower, inner legs.
  4. Pull the hook on his back down and then snap it into place.
  5. Fold the gun portion of the grill piece back and push it into place in the front of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
In vehicle mode, Wrecker Hook is a tow truck. He's nicely sculpted, with leanings towards being a more "real world" truck than a fantasy vehicle. The front has good sculpted detail including the headlights, front grille, vents on the hood and a step for an imaginary driver to climb in/out of the vehicle on. The rear section has details etched into the plastic, but since the plastic is black, they're a bit hard to see.

The front section is partially molded in translucent green plastic as evidenced by his sirens and windows, all translucent green. The vehicle is mostly black and red, but silver is used to great effect on the trim of the rear section, smokestacks, horns and more. The flame pattern partially seen in robot mode gets to be seen full out here. The hood and sides of the vehicle all have flames. With a Decepticon symbol on top of the hood's flames, you've got one nice looking vehicle mode. On the side panels the word "Robot Masters" is printed in silver.

Final Thoughts:
Wrecker Hook is one cool looking redeco of the Hoist/Hubcap/Wrecker Hook mold. Since he is a bad guy, having the black and "flame colors" works very well, making him look like the Transformers version of a thug. If you have any of the other versions of this guy, you may want to hold off unless you're a completist or really dig the new color scheme.