"Generations" Junkheap Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: December 2011
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Axe

*Text below and images from Transformers.com
Assembled and raised in the scrap pile, JUNKHEAP is a supremely resourceful bot. It was he who helped orchestrate the repair and reboot of the disabled ULTRA MAGNUS. The mighty AUTOBOT was so impressed with the talent of JUNKHEAP that he encouraged AUTOBOT RATCHET to spend an extended leave on planet Junkion to hone his repair skills.

Your incredible JUNKHEAP figure has all the speed and maneuverability he needs to wreak havoc in battle! In motorcycle mode he can evade his enemies' attacks, and you can switch him back to robot mode where his battle axe will make him a serious danger to his DECEPTICON enemies. Keep converting him from robot to vehicle mode and back so he can handle whatever his enemies throw at him! Includes figure and accessory. Ages 5 and up.

In the 1986 animated Transformers feature film, a new group of Transformers were introduced: the Junkions. These unique Transformers lived on a planet composed of junk, and their culture was based around television transmissions. While the Junkion leader Wreck-Gar has received toy treatments in Generation One, Animated and Reveal the Shield it was not until recent time that other Junkions began to get the toy treatment. The first was Detritus, released in 2004 as a redeco of Generation One Hound. More recently "Scrapheap" was released in a Japanese exclusive three pack that included Kup and Hot Rod.

Junkheap's bio above is interesting as it implies that Ratchet survived the events of "Transformers: The Movie" long enough to take a leave on Junkion (at least in some continuity out there). This figure is a redeco/retool of Wreck-Gar with a new head. Junkheap is the first Junkion figure release to utilize this particular head sculpt (the Japanese three pack used a different one). Check out Wreck Gar's review for a detailed look at the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
When the first appeared, the Junkions were said to have been built out of the refuse and junk around them on their planet. From a color perspective, that meant many of the Junkions took on a color palette heavily favoring red and brown colors as that was the primary color of Junkion itself. Thrown in here and there were greys and yellow colors as well. Junkheap uses these colors as his base, and the idea seems to have been to make him look very different from Wreck-Gar while still paying homage to the Junkions as they appeared in "Transformers: The Movie".

Junkheap is cast in four primary colors: red, yellow, black and silver. These plastic colors are distributed well throughout the vehicle. Many of his engine parts and the sections that connect to the wheels are silver. It should be noted that the silver plastic takes two forms. Most of it is normal, hard plastic, but the handlebars and sideview mirrors have been made out of soft silver plastic. Be warned, this plastic warps very easy if bent in one direction too long, so be careful how you store your Junkion! The front end of the vehicle as well as part of the lower engine section are cast in a deep red color. The yellow is seen in small parts on the motorcycle including the kickstand and of course, the black plastic is used for his wheels. These core colors really help get the "Junkion" theme across, but it's the paint decos that solidify the image. Though it's on a small part, you'll find a bit of clear plastic on the front in the form of the headlight. I always like the use of translucent plastic for this type of detail as it adds an air of "reality" to the figure.

The paint colors used on this figure are metallic yellow, orange, silver, black and two shades of red. The yellow color is the most prominent. You'll find it around the headlight, at the area behind the seat and on the sides of the wheels. The orange color is found on the sides of the motorcycle's top half, forming line patterns that look like something you'd see on the streets every day. The silver is used to paint sections of the engine that aren't cast in silver, helping to complete the illusion started by the panels that cover the robot arms. I mentioned two shades of red paint. One is a darker shade, used on the section where the driver's seat is located. The seat itself is painted black. The other red is a lighter shade which you'll find in the middle of the vehicle (on either side) as well as on the windshield in the form of an Autobot symbol. Altogether this color scheme is really well done. It is similar in tone to Wreck-Gar and what we've seen of Junkions in the past while being distinctive.

All of the parts on this figure hold together nicely and you can still sit another Junkion on top of Junkheap using the two slots on the driver's seat to match up with the corresponding waist pieces on either Wreck-Gar or Scrapheap (or another Junkheap if you have one). Since Junkheap was one of the character models used over and over to represent different Junkions, having more than one wouldn't be odd at all.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the axe weapon the right side, rear wheel and swing the end up. Pull the blades out to extend them all.
  2. Pull the front silver supports from the headlight section.
  3. Swing the front wheel out to the side and the other half out as well.
  4. Straighten out each robot arm.
  5. Pull the rear section back a bit.
  6. Swing up the rear wheel to the side.
  7. Swing out both halves of the vehicle's top half to begin forming the robot legs.
  8. Swing each of the legs down and connect them together at the waist.
  9. Rotate the upper body around so it faces front.
  10. Swing up the robot head.
  11. Rotate each of the lower legs so they point forward.
  12. Swing each of the handlebars up.
  13. Swing the headlight section up.
  14. Swing out the halves of both feet.
  15. Slide the axe weapon carefully into either hand. Be sure to use the thinner section under the raised, curved section towards the middle of the axe.

Robot Mode:
In the animated movie and series, Junkheap's character model was very different than Wreck-Gar's. More bulky and boxy, he had some of the "Junkion aesthetic" including spikes, wheels sticking out in robot mode and obvious engine-like components. For the sake of this release however, Junkheap wound up getting Wreck-Gar's body design, but his head is all new. The sculpt is based on the design from the animated series and movie, minus the bull-like horns sticking out on the sides. These probably weren't practical since they would have had to have been made of soft plastic that could easily break off. If you look carefully, there are some tiny nubs on the sides of the head, which feels like the designers were trying to say "See? We remembered he had horns there!". Instead, the final new head suclpt is a compromise in design. The helmet section is the same, with what looks like a headlight on the top, rectangles on either side of the face and visor eyes. Unlike the "Junkyard" animation model, the face here has a very prominent chin piece that extends forward with a mustache design sculpted around the mouth. The top of the head has what appears to be a windshield. Basically the idea is that the robot head is the front of the motorcycle, though here that is more by design than the G1 Wreck-Gar figure, where the front of the motorcycle was the head of the robot. It's a neat head sculpt that takes inspiration from the "Junkyard" Junkion design but then adds in some features all its own. It's also very distinct from Wreck-Gar himself, which is very important when selling a redeco with a new head.

All of the same plastic colors from the vehicle mode carry over here, but now you get to see a bit more of the yellow plastic. The color distribution is pretty even. Almost every section of the body has a bit of each color. For instance, his shoulders are silver, which lead to yellow upper arms and then red forearms and finally silver hands. His head features some clear plastic on the top and sides. His legs have some yellow plastic at the hip joints and the "C Clip" and blades on his axe weapon have been cas tin yellow. The yellow is a slightly lighter shade than the paint color used on the figure, so there's a nice contrast there.

The same paint colors from the vehicle mode appear here as well, but this time out we get to see some more of the brighter red color on his forearms, head and at the top of his legs. We also get to see some light yellow used on his face. A spot of yellow paint is used to paint a design that sticks out right in the center of his chest, making him look even more distinct from Wreck-Gar than he already does. One of my favorite details is the use of black to paint his mustache, which combined with his red visor eyes makes him look like a stereotypical biker with sunglasses on.

Junkheap's joints are all quite stiff despite this being the third use of the body tooling. The new head works very well on the figure and doesn't get in the way at all during transformation. I noticed on my Wreck-Gar that if you're not super careful, his hands can show a bit of plastic stressing when you put the axe weapon in his hands. Junkheap does not seem to have that problem.

There are a couple features I neglected to mention in my Wreck-Gar review. While this sculpt doesn't have a detachable shield, you can rotate around the wheel on his left arm to create a shield of sorts. Also, the C Clip on his axe weapon can be used to connect to a bar on his back for weapon storage in robot mode. My bad for leaving these out the first time around.

Final Thoughts:
Despite some potential issues such as soft, rubbery plastic I still love this sculpt. I also think it was a fantastic idea to create the sculpt with the possibility of releasing more Junkions in mind. I can honestly say this is a figure I wouldn't mind seeing as a pure redeco with a different Junkion name to expand my Junkion army. Highly recommended!

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