Review by EVA_Unit_4A
[Like Autobot Arcee, Decepticon Wreckage was intended to be a character in the 2007 film "Transformers". However, story and production issues (which I am not familiar with) led to him being removed from the movie at an early stage, though a toy of the character was still produced. As Arcee was replaced with Autobot Ironhide in the movie, I do not know if Wreckage was replaced in favor of another character. I do know that he made an appearance in the limited-release prequel comic book to the movie.]
... Wreckage’s vehicle mode (back) is that of a real LAV-C2 armored personnel carrier, designed by General Dynamics Land Systems, manufactured for, and operated by, the United States Marine Corps. The “-C2” designation means “Command and Control”- a mobile command and relay station which can communicate with and direct battlefield units via many radio and satellite antennas. Though it shares the chassis design and characteristics of others in the Light Armored Vehicle series of armored personnel carriers, it only mounts a single M240 E1/G medium machine gun for defense, as it is designed to operate from a guarded position behind the front lines. Other LAV variants have various-sized machine guns, mortars, and rockets (some mounted onto or within a single turret), or even electronic warfare systems to provide close support to troops and other combat vehicles. As an added advantage, due to the design of their shape and mass, most of the LAV models (including the -C2) are amphibious and can slowly propel themselves across the surface of shallow bodies of water. Standard crew compliment is three- vehicle commander, pilot, and gunner- with room for six fully-equipped soldiers in the back half at the retractable loading ramp. The -C2 variant refits the carrier section in back with the advanced electronics & communications systems, allowing for only the standard crew and two specially-trained technicians inside the cramped vehicle instead. The vehicle mode is molded primarily in white ABS, with gray blotches painted on, meaning that this camouflage is used for arctic/winter conditions; appropriate considering the LAV series are 8x8 all-terrain vehicles. A small light gray Decepticon symbol is easily lost among the dark gray camo, painted on the right side of the nose. (Where did Wreckage hard-land to find a vehicle in such camo, I wonder…?) For the small size of the Deluxe-class figure, it is actually a little difficult to make out all of the discernible features of the LAV-C2, but some are still noticeable, such as the eight large dark gray ABS balloon wheels with silver-painted hubs equally spaced on either side of the chassis. The suspension system usually seen behind the wheels is not available because of the need for the robot parts to be stored on the undercarriage. (Looking very closely, a single piston molded into the red plastic can be seen between the forward two wheels on either side.) The angular nose with headlights on either side on top is one of the giveaways of the class of vehicle to its real counterpart, as is the mostly flat top and back section to allow everything in the transformation to work and fit right, but the pilot’s hatch and tiny cockpit windows are still there. Since there is no weapons turret on the -C2, a small light gray ABS gun sits on top in a fixed-forward position. None of the antennae, dishes, sensor arrays, or cameras are present on top, again due to how things need to fit when he’s transformed. While the back armor of the real vehicle is angled back towards the vehicle the closer to the ground it gets, it runs straight down instead on the toy to make room for the robot parts inside; though molded details like the exit hatch, spare fuel canisters, and bumpers are still there.
‘Automorph Technology’ is a new special feature that is fairly unique to the 2007 movie figures. What Automorph does is when one specific section moves, there is an internal system of gears and levers which moves another part in the same region. (Although, I’m sure a similar function has presented itself in the other lines from the various anime-inspired series. I do know for certain that the huge “Transformers: Galaxy Force” Primus figure had such function(s) in his back armor, leg weapon units, and chest/head.) In the Deluxe-class Wreckage, there is one Automorph function:
- After the arms are unfastened from the sides of the vehicle mode, the machine gun mount is flipped forward and pressed against the transparent red panel just in front of it. As pressure is applied to the gun, the nose section divides into three sections- two rotating back, one forward. At the same time, internal gears rotate the head back, and raise a panel covering the extending transparent red cannon mount in his chest.
The first few times this is done, it’s a little tricky to figure out where to place your fingers so that you don’t interfere with the Automorph feature, but I find that pressing just on the gun and sides of the nose are best.
Wreckage’s robot mode (back) definitely has an air of attitude and dominance. Despite the sharp yet bulky white-and-gray armor on his chest, thighs, and back, he has a very solemn head and narrow eyes which always look down. The back half of his head is red, and when light shines through it, his red eyes light up. (No, it doesn’t work-! Especially when they put a big ol’ immovable panel right in front of it!) His shoulders are wide, his arms have clawed hands, and his legs are thin yet ‘muscled’. In fact I would almost call Wreckage a raptor- like a hawk or vulture with the way his face is pointed, he has claws for hands, and his feet also have strong talon-like projections. He also stands proudly with his chest out. Even the way the armor is shaped on his back looks kinda like wings. I think this guy is very fast on his feet and very confident in himself. Very cool customer, this Decepticon is. I wouldn’t want to face him in a poker match, though. (Well, that is, if I knew how to play poker…) Wreckage has a single mounted weapon which cannot be removed- a large cannon coming right out of his stomach which hangs under the chest armor. The machine gun from the vehicle mode points through his back into the larger cannon in the middle of the torso. When transforming him, it actually pushes out from his torso instead of folding out or just getting covered up. Oddly, though, the cannon is transparent [red]- usually that is reserved nowadays on Transformers™ for sets that have a battery-powered light effect; or for a gimmick, like in the “Transformers: Energon” (2004) line.
Poseability is pretty darn good. His ankle joints are ball-and-sockets, and have a very accommodating range of motion. The wrists can twist, as can the waist. His elbows can bend up to 180-degrees mostly due to how he transforms, but the knees only go to 90. If you wanna get tricky, you can reposition his knees to give him a slightly more bird-like look, mimicking how they appear on fellow movie Decepticon Barricade. Being more of a hands-on fighter (according to his online profile in the official Transformers website), Wreckage is equipped with two transparent red spring-out blades which are attached beneath his forearms. The blades themselves look like thin fractured crystals (Energon, perhaps?). They can’t be held by the hands, oddly, but they can be stored under his arms with the blades retracted. The hands themselves, however, have now-standardized holes in them, and can hold any weapon from at least “...Energon” on forward. I have a few complaints with him:
- Even though his head is on a ball-and-socket joint, it is always forced to look downwards by the plastic behind it.
- The free-twist waist joint provided doesn’t turn very far to either side because the white plastic projection behind his waist presses up against his hip joints.
- His Automorph function doesn’t really lock into position in robot mode; the slightest unintentional bump or nudge on any of the moving parts shifts them. A locking mechanism or some tabs would’ve been nice.
- The two ‘holsters’ that the blade weapons attach to when in vehicle mode hang off the back of his thighs in robot mode. However, they can’t really be put into a position to get them out of the way- either the arms or the ‘butt’ armor bump into them- so they just swing free. Would’ve been nice to have those a little better defined, or even rearranged as real holsters for the blades.
For me, where he excels most is in robot mode. The aura of the character is clear and well defined. The poseability is also great for a Deluxe-class figure, and the details are sharp. (Should I mention that his face kinda reminds me of G1 Megatron’s?) In vehicle mode, however, his best angle seems to be from directly above. From all other angles, you can obviously see his robot parts just barely squeezing under the hood of that white armor; even the tips of his blade weapons poke out on top! However, what is visible of the original LAV-C2 vehicle is best seen in the mold details. The camouflage is also effective. I think it would have been better to make this toy as a larger Voyager-class, as this would have kept him in-scale with the other character toys from the movie (approximately 1/35), and it would have allowed for a more sound design aside from aesthetics. I recommend that you get him, though not very strongly- say… a 3.9 out of 5; since a little over half of Wreckage is good.
|Posted 16 November, 2007 - 04:12 by EVA_Unit_4A|