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Transformers Legacy Evolution
by yo go re

I... what?

Scraphook is among the most rugged bots on Junkion. His fearlessness in the face of danger and imposing physique make him a powerful ally.

This is something I didn't think we'd ever see again: a fully original Transformer. Yes, he's part of the existing Junkion faction, but he's not an existing character, he's not reusing someone else's name, he's not an oblique reference to some comic character no one's ever heard of... he's a new creation with a new personality and a new design. So of course I grabbed him the instant he showed up on the shelf!

Junkions have generally been stocky, burly robots, and Scraphook follows suit. He's got a broad, square chest over thick hips, armored shoulders that rise up higher than his head, and heavy shins that are supported by large feet with long heals sticking out behind the figure for stability. According to designer Mark Maher, the toy's colors were specifically chosen to match Studio Series Wreck-Gar, so he can blend right in with your existing Junkion collection: it's all red and brown amd tan and orange and grey, looking just as rusty and worn-out as the Junkions in the 1986 movie.

Since Scraphook's head doesn't have to turn into the front end of a motorcycle, it's free to be something other than a big box. He looks like a pretty tough customer, with a brown "helmet" section, a grey mohawk matching his face, and only one red eye - the other eye is covered by a metal eyepatch that's bolted into place. Surely there have been Transformers with eyepatches before, but all I know is the pirate didn't even have one, so Scraphook feels unique.

All Scraphook's accessories are modular. There are a pair of "dual phaser blasters" (said to launch impulses of electromagnetic energy that disable nearby technology) that can be held in his hands or stored in his shins, a typical Junkion-style wheel/shield on his left arm, a crane hook on his right, and exhaust pipes on his shoulders. They all connect via 5mm posts, so you can reposition them as you like. Put the pipes on his back? make the hook his handheld weapon? Do whatever you like! He moves at the ankles, knees, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, and neck, and his large feet will keep him standing in some wild poses.

Converting Scraphook is a nice blend of memorable and inventive, making it fun to change him back and forth. Flatten the heels up against the back of the legs, and turn the waist around. point the arms back, hinge them out slightly so you can flip the head away, fold the forearms in toward each other, flip the torso down, and press everything together. Click the doors into place, and the only thing left to do is attach all the accessories.

Although Junkions have traditionally (almost) all turned into motorcycles, Scraphook's altmode is a small pickup truck. It's a Mad Max style thing, with armor bolted to the outside, spikes on the fenders, a sharpened crash bar on the front, and metal slats protecting all the windows. The angled exhaust pipes stick up over the rear wheels, and there's a tow truck hook mounted in the bed. The tan-and-orange rust theme carries over to this mode, and the spare tire on the back is spiked, just like G1 Junkion wheels. A few of those spikes are molded as thoughh they're broken off, too, suggesting the damage that's been done to the vehicle over time. This is a fierce-looking machine! We do wish the crane arm was just a little longer (the hook almost bumps up against the tire spikes if you don't have everything lined up perfectly), but that's the only complaint.

The War for Cybertron: Siege series introduced "Weaponizers," Transformers that could be disassembled into weapons and armor for other figures to use. Recognizing that this was similar to the way the G1 Junkions could be blasted apart and just reassemble themselves, Mark Maher decided to bring it back for these new Junkions. The front and back of the truck can separate from the center (aka, the robot's limbs can separate from the trunk) to not be attached to other robots, but also to build crazy, distinct vehicles among themselves. Can't wait to build a half-truck, half-bike! And showing a huge improvement over the partsforming Weaponizers, Takara's Takio Ejima designed a way for them to convert without needing to be taken apart! Excellent!

Scraphook is, easily, the best Transformer I've played with in years. The concept, the design, the engineering, the play pattern, the colors... it's all top-of-the-line work, and it's all been applied to something new instead of to the 29th Optimus Prime to be released this year. He's going to be hard to beat!

-- 05/02/23

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