Wreck-Gar

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Wreck-Gar is the name of two characters from the Transformers universes. Both are unpredictable good-aligned characters who provide comic relief in their series.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Wreck-Gar
Wreckgar1.jpg
Autobot
Information
Sub-group Junkions, Deluxe Vehicles
Function Junkion Leader
Motto "Collect and save, collect and save."
Alternate Modes Junk Planet Motorcycle
Series Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers: Reveal the Shield
Transformers: United
English voice actor Eric Idle (Movie), Tony Pope (TV series)

Wreck-Gar is the idiosyncratic leader of the Junkions.[1]

For many years Wreck-Gar was the only Junkion character to have a toy until the e-hobby exclusive character Detritus was released in Japan.

Marvel Comics[edit]

While Wreck-Gar and the rest of the movie cast would not make any major appearances in the Marvel U.S. run of the Transformers comic, the Marvel UK version of the comic would make heavy use of Wreck-Gar and the movie cast in order to fill in the gaps between reprinted US material.

Wreck-Gar's first appearance came in the Fallen Angel arc, when he built the time machine enabling Rodimus Prime, Kup and Blurr to travel back to 1987 in pursuit of the former Decepticon leader Galvatron. Stealing away when the device was activated, Wreck-Gar found the remains of Bumblebee (obliterated by Death's Head, a bounty hunter from the future trying to claim a bounty on Galvatron) and rebuilt him into Goldbug. Subsequently taking part in a diversionary assault on Galvatron (and nearly getting scrapped for it), Wreck-Gar subsequently rebuilt Galvatron's time-jump mechanism to return all the time travellers to the future, bar Galvatron, who had modified the mechanism to stay behind.

Later, Wreck-Gar returned home to Junk only to discover it had been enslaved by Unicron. Attempting to stay behind, he was captured by Death's Head. It is learned Death's Head also been mentally enslaved by Unicron, whose head had survived after the climactic battle of The Transformers: The Movie. The bounty hunter managed to resist Unicron's control long enough to allow Wreck-Gar to escape, allowing him to go underground and plant a store of explosives. Unfortunately a badly timed assault by Rodimus Prime and the Dinobots caused a tremor which nearly buried Wreck-Gar. The Junkion leader was (somewhat unwillingly) freed by Death's Head and his store of explosives were detonated by the bounty hunter, seemingly destroying Unicron.

His next appearance was as a prisoner of the Quintessons, whose homeworld was dying due to the time rift caused by Galvatron, Cyclonus and Scourge staying in the past. He was nearly fed to a pack of Sharkticons, but was rescued at the last minute by Wheelie. The two unlikely allies then transmitted the Quintessons' plan for colonization throughout the galaxy, making the Quintessons' targets aware of their plans. He continued to appear in the alternate future stories of the UK comics.[2]

Animated series[edit]

Wreck-Gar is the leader of the Junkions, a group of Transformers usually allied with the Autobots and introduced in The Transformers: The Movie. Wreck-Gar is distinguishable from his fellows by his long moustache and goatee. In the movie, the voice for his character was provided by Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame. In the TV series, he is voiced by Tony Pope.

Wreck-Gar has a manner of speaking which causes him to talk using lingo and incongruous phrases from television commercials and programs (the way parrots sometimes do). Such phrases included "Don't look behind door number two, Monty. It's time to play 'End of the Line, My Valentine!' Ge-roni-do-ron-roni-MOOOOOOO!" His speech was also accented with television sound effects (beeps, static, clicks etc.). He was initially suspicious of the intentions of Ultra Magnus and company when they are first arrived on the Planet of Junk, where he led an attack on the Autobots. Wreck-Gar says "Stop thief" in reference to the Autobots, which suggests that he viewed their salvaging operation on the planet of Junk as theft. Fortunately Hot Rod pacified him with the universal greeting. Wreck-Gar pledged his support in destroying Unicron, offering the services of not only the Junkions but supplying a space craft to get to Cybertron. Despite the space craft being crushed and destroyed by Unicron, all aboard (which included not only Wreck-Gar but Perceptor and Ultra Magnus) apparently survived. This may be thanks to the Junkions' extraordinary repair capabilities.[3]

After his alliance with the Autobots, he filled in for the deceased Ratchet as the Autobots' main surgeon, his people's unique affinity for repair (as seen by their reassembly and reactivation of Ultra Magnus after he was destroyed by the Decepticons) making him quite advantageous in the Autobots' war against the Decepticons.

While it seems Wreck-Gar indeed maintained his post as Junkion leader, he was a frequent guest star on the show and was often depicted as if he were a full resident of Cybertron.

He first made his television debut in Five Faces of Darkness when he saved Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Kup, Spike, Arcee, Grimlock and the Aerialbots from the planet Goo. In addition, he was able to reconstitute Springer (much like he did Ultra Magnus) after he had been destroyed by a waste disposal unit. It was suggested in the episode that Goo was a colony of Junkion.

Wreck-Gar would also be among the captives in The Killing Jar. The Quintessons were most alarmed by him as a captive since he acted totally opposite of his assumed programming. The Quintessons were convinced that a sterile environment would render him inert. Instead Wreck-Gar proceeded to trash the room, making it into a facsimile of Junkion.

Wreck-Gar would later appear in Forever is a Long Time Coming, where he, Blurr and Blaster aid a young Alpha Trion in the past.

His signature episode, however, would be the first part of a series of episodes dealing with the Quintesson Journal. The episode was titled The Big Broadcast of 2006. The basic plotline involved a Quintesson signal beamed down into Junkion television sets. The signal was subliminal in nature, and made the Junkions distrust all foreign visitors, the Autobots included. Amidst the chaos the Quintessons attempted to retake their journal, which contained a record of their more dubious dealings between planets. Somehow, though, the signal became scrambled and was sent out throughout the Universe, causing an intergalactic war. The episode also featured Wreck-Gar saying "Yo, Joe!" while charging into battle.

Aside from being a major plot point in the third season, the episode was reprinted verbatim in the pages of Marvel Comics. Much like the Movie adaptation, it was out of continuity with the title's ongoing story.

Wreck-Gar made his final appearance in The Return of Optimus Prime part 1. Rodimus Prime brought the deceased body of Optimus Prime to Wreck-Gar, hoping that the Junkions could repair him. Wreck-Gar stated he was unable to do so (in his classic TV talking way, quoting Star Trek: "I'm a doctor, not a forklift. His engines, they cannot take the strain! He's dead, Jim."). He was last seen being infected by Ultra Magnus and in turn infecting Rodimus Prime, saying "Hey, I'm a pepper, would you like to be a pepper, too?". Since he was not shown as being injured or killed, his status and whereabouts at the end of the series remain unknown.

Wreck-Gar would continue to appear in the Japanese cartoon based on the Headmasters. He appeared in the first episode among others, however no reference is made to Wreck-Gar being part of the Junkion tribe. It is unknown, in the Japanese continuity whether Junkion still exists or whether or not Wreck-Gar is still its leader.

Books[edit]

Wreck-Gar appeared in the Marvel Books 1986 story and coloring book The Invasion of the Decepticon Camp by Pat Brigandi.[4]

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

Wreck-Gar also appeared in Dreamwave's take on the G1 comics. When a badly-damaged Megatron was ejected into space by the ever-treacherous Starscream after a battle with Shockwave, Wreck-Gar recovered his body drifting in space. Taking him to Junk and repairing him, Megatron tricked Wreck-Gar into repairing some of the Seeker clones, intending to use them as the beginnings of an army, while telling Wreck-Gar that he was really using them to battle injustice throughout the galaxy. When the Junkion leader discovered the truth, Megatron killed him.

Junkions[edit]

A group of Transformers known as Junkions inhabit the Planet of Junk. The planet is within close proximity to the Earth; close enough to receive television broadcasts with only a few decades of lag. According to the Quintessons' preliminary analysis, "the primitive television transmissions from Earth constitute their entire culture."(The Big Broadcast of 2006) As a result they only speak in phrases from commercials and TV shows. Given this, Junkions can be somewhat hard to understand; they tend to talk in somewhat of a mish-mash of catch phrases and sound bites (referred to in the film as "talk[ing] TV").

Junkions are regarded by many other races as being slightly to extremely insane, depending on the race. They also have a rather extreme xenophobic streak due to their isolation on Junk, and are naturally put off by and wary of strangers, even going so far as to assault the Autobots when they first crash-landed on their planet. Apparently the only way to gain the trust and friendship of the Junkions is to announce the universal greeting (the proper spelling of which has never been officially confirmed).

After the initial battle, the Junkions become allies of the Autobots. Oddly, their eyes are red, which is usually associated with Decepticons in the cartoon. Their only exhibited alternate mode is a motorcycle; when they attack, they attack en masse, organized into pairs with one in motorcycle mode and the other riding in robot mode to provide firepower. Junkions are superb technicians, capable of assembling all manner of functional machinery from junk. They also seem to have an affinity with mechanical garbage, allowing them to manipulate it and move it telekinetically.[when?] These two abilities combine to make Junkions very durable; Junkions are built out of scrap and are naturally very ramshackle, but if their parts are scattered then they can reassemble themselves almost instantly, repairing and reattaching broken off parts and drawing replacement parts from nearby sources (other disabled Junkions, slain Transformers, junkyards, etc.). As Springer says: "It's not hard to knock 'em down, it's getting 'em to stay down that's the trick!". On the Planet of Junk, they are nearly invincible.

The only notable Junkion is their leader, Wreck-Gar. His voice is provided by Eric Idle in the movie and Tony Pope in the television series. The rest of the Junkions' voices were provided by Frank Welker. Online retailer e-Hobby recolored the toy for the Autobot Hound in a primarily light brown/sand colored deco into the Junkion mercenary, Detritus, who, unlike the other natives of his homeworld, is not aligned to either the Autobot or Decepticon factions. However, this character never appeared in the animated series. The background soundtrack to the battle on the Planet of Junk is "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Dare to Be Stupid", which, similar to Junkion speech, contains many pop-culture catchphrases.

Toys[edit]

  • Generation 1 Wreck-Gar (1986)
In the initial toy commercial for Wreck-Gar, he was depicted fighting Autobot Triple Changer Springer, implying he was allied with the Decepticons.
  • Reveal the Shield Deluxe Wreck-Gar (2011)
In 2010, it was revealed in Walmart's database that a new Wreck-Gar figure will be released.[5] An official picture of his robot mode was featured on the cover of issue #35 (Oct/Nov 2010) of the Transformers Collectors' Club magazine. Much like the original G1 toy, this figure transforms into a motorcycle, but features an asymmetrical limb design.[6][7][8][9]
The mold for this figure is also used for Generations Junkheap.
  • United Deluxe Wreck-Gar (2011)
A metallic redeco of the Reveal the Shield figure by Takara Tomy.[10]

Transformers Animated[edit]

Wreck-Gar
Autobot (for a while, Decepticon)
Information
Sub-group Substitute Autobots, Voyagers
Function Rookie
Rank 2 (Takara)
Motto "There anything I can do to help?"
Alternate Modes Garbage truck
Series Transformers Animated
English voice actor "Weird Al" Yankovic
Japanese voice actor Mitsuo Iwata

Wreck-Gar appears in the Transformers Animated series, having the unique characteristic of taking any suggestion or insult literally, causing humorous chaos as a result.[11]

Though modeled after the G1 version, Wreck Gar's design was influenced by his voice actor "Weird Al" Yankovic, whose 1986 Transformers movie soundtrack song "Dare to Be Stupid" was among the many movie references used in Wreck-Gar's debut. This is shown in such instances as throwing his original motorcycle form from the movie at Bumblebee (after being told to "Give them everything you've got!" by the Angry Archer) and saying the universal greeting "Ba-weep-graghna-weep-nini-bong" to Lugnut. In reference to the usage of Yankovic's song in the film, after Ratchet exclaims that even he can't be stupid enough to destroy the city, Wreck-Gar exclaims, "I am Wreck-Gar, I dare to be stupid!"

Animated series[edit]

Wreck-Gar first appeared in "Garbage In, Garbage Out" where he is created from a pile of junk infused with energy from a shard of the Allspark. Initially he did not know what he was, making his way to the police on the assumption that they could help him find out, only to unknowingly save the Angry Archer from them. Wreck-Gar was given his name by the Angry Archer, which is a shortened form of "Worthless WRECK and "walking pile of GARbage", names Detroit citizens yelled at him while he wandered on the city streets. Because he takes anything said to him literally, Wreck-Gar alternated from the Angry Archer's accomplice to Autobot, then to a garbage dispenser after listening to Ratchet's harsh words. Through Lugnut, Wreck-Gar momentarily became a Decepticon. After spilling an Allspark-enhanced swarm of nanobots he collected while aiding the Angry Archer, it only took Ratchet's apology and his telling Wreck-Gar to think for himself to make the confused Transformer choose to be an Autobot hero, sacrificing himself to ultimately save Detroit from the destructive nanobots. In doing so he was thought lost in the Detroit River, as Ratchet could only fish out random junk. Though believed gone, Wreck-Gar was actually online, half-buried at the bottom of the river, cheerfully declaring himself a hero to passing fish (and occasionally requesting a helping hand or fin).

He later makes his return in the "Human Error Part 2," now missing his Autobot insignia, helping Sari fight Soundwave to free the Autobots from his control. During the battle against Soundwave, Wreck-Gar is apparently immune to Ratbat's mind-controlling riff, likely due to his addled mental state, and attempts to counter the noise by playing an accordion (a reference to his voice actor, "Weird Al" Yankovic's, affinity for Polka music and his "Polka Power" music videos). In the fight's aftermath, Wreck-Gar helps in cleaning the mess from the fight before walking off, distributing garbage to "all the good children" in the manner of Santa Claus.

After the end of the series, it was announced at BotCon 2009 that Wreck-Gar now works for Detroit sanitation.

Toys[edit]

  • Animated Voyager Wreck-Gar (2009)
A Voyager sized figure that transforms from garbage truck to robot.[citation needed]
  • Animated TA-32 Voyager Wreck-Gar (Takara Tomy) (2010)
The Japan release version by Takara Tomy sports a metallic silver grille and container.[12] Released on July 2010.[13]

Transformers: Prime[edit]

Wreck-Gar
Autobot
Information
Function Junkion Leader
Alternate Modes Mobile trash compactor
Series Transformers: Prime

Wreck-Gar hails from the planet Junkion. He is an amalgam of his previous namesakes.

Novels[edit]

Wreck-Gar appears in the novel Transformers: Exiles, and later reappears in Transformers: Retribution. He is the leader of the Junkions and turns into a trash compactor, and like most of his race is dedicated to the reclamation of discarded material. After witnessing Optimus Prime's use of the Matrix of Leadership, he forms an uneasy alliance with the Autobots, which ends when the Decepticons arrive. Wreck-Gar and several Junkions are taken captive by the pirate Star Seekers, who force them to build a Space Bridge into their flagship. Wreck-Gar remains their prisoner for some time, and is even used as bait to lure Megatron and the Decepticons into an ambush. However, he manages to escape and return to Junkion, thought not without providing fellow escapee Axer with information on how to track Optimus Prime through the Matrix of Leadership.

Shattered Glass[edit]

Wreck-Gar
Autobot
Information
Sub-group Junkions, Convention Exclusives, Deluxe Vehicles
Function Junkion Leader
Alternate Modes Junk Planet Motorcycle
Series Transformers: Timelines

Wreck-Gar and the Junkions appear in the Shattered Glass universe, where they were part of an experiment of Optimus Prime's that went horribly wrong. Wreck-Gar and his fellow Junkions gained the ability to copy themselves onto other Cybertronians, effectively turning them into Junkions as well. Exiled from Cybertron, they later forged an alliance with Optimus' disgraced brother Ultra Magnus.

Toys[edit]

  • Timelines Deluxe Shattered Glass Wreck-Gar (2012)
A BotCon 2012 exclusive blue redeco of the Deluxe Wreck-Gar figure from the Reveal the Shield toy line. Comes bundled with his Junkion partners Junkheap and Scrapheap, which are of the same mold, but with different head sculpts.[14]


External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Children at play by David Porter, 1989, page 89
  2. ^ Marvel graphic novels and related publications: an annotated guide by Robert G. Weiner, 2008, page 94
  3. ^ Cinefantastique: Volume 17 by Frederick S. Clarke, 1987, page 48
  4. ^ Brigandi, Pat (1986). The Invasion of the Decepticon Camp. Marvel Books. ISBN 0-87135-102-1. 
  5. ^ Seibertron.com - Generations Wreck-Gar is Coming, More Revealed via Walmart Listings
  6. ^ TFormers.com - TCC Issue 35 Brings the Jun(ions): Generations Wreck-Gar Revealed!
  7. ^ "Interview with Bill Rawely Hasbro Designer!". Transformers Collectors Club Magazine 1 (37): 4–5. 
  8. ^ Ben's World of Transformers - Reveal the Shield Deluxe Wreck-Gar
  9. ^ MasterCollector.com - Wreck-Gar
  10. ^ Figure King Magazine #158 p79
  11. ^ Jim Sorenson & Bill Forster (August 15, 2009). Transformers Animated: The Allspark Almanac. Idea & Design Works Llc. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-60010-487-9. 
  12. ^ Takara Tomy - TA-32 Wreck-Gar
  13. ^ TFW2005.com - Wingblade Optimus Prime and Hydrodrive Bumblebee Possibly Set for September Release in Japan
  14. ^ BotCon - 2012 Souvenir Figure Sets