Scrap Iron (2005)
By Past Nastification
They can’t all be winners.
Before the Iron Grenadiers existed, Destro’s organizational presence was MARS. The only MARS/pre-IG character figure to gain action figure status was the 1984 Scrap Iron, somewhat erroneously presented as a Cobra figure. With an amazing no-frills dark blue uniform and red padding, the figure didn’t look like an employee of Destro. It even sported a molded Cobra on its helmet. But Cobra or MARS affiliation didn’t really matter, as Scrap Iron simply looked like a bad guy’s bad guy.
In 2005 Hasbro gave Scrap Iron a New Sculpt era uniform change. Instead of using this opportunity to deck out Scrap Iron in IG red/gold/black, they went another route. A fluffier route. The uniform’s light grey and medium blue color set just looks bland. The dashes of red only push it into weirdness.
The uniform itself is a mess. What appears to be a corduroy jumpsuit is buried under layers of curved armor, including independently hinged mega shoulder pads. Shoulder pads so tacky that even make Rob Liefeld would cringe. Three Cobra symbols clutter the design, too. The tampo symbol on one of the shoulder pads looks nice, but the other two are sculpted. Like many of the sculpted New Sculpt Cobra symbols, they look like a bear traps. Obviously, zero Cobra symbols would have been a nice Iron Grenadiers indication.
Remember the oversized weapons in The Fifth Element? Apparently someone at Hasbro did too when he/she came up with the ridiculous… thing that Scrap Iron came with. It has too holes in the side, indicating that it may have originally been included with another figure, and perhaps a backpack to which it could attach. Does anyone recognize it? The small machine pistol was a frequent flyer of the new sculpt run and it’s pretty good.
This is a new sculpt figure, so the proportions have to be discussed. The head is slightly small and the torso is somewhat short. Otherwise it’s not too bad.
If someone saw this figure for just a fraction of a second, the first impression might be that it’s a Transformers figure. If the flesh tone of the face and neck were replaced with silver and gold, it would easily look like a robot that both Optimus Prime and Yukon Cornelius would want to befriend.
As one of the few collectors quick to defend the new sculpt era, I’ll give Hasbro credit for stepping out of its comfort zone with a classic character. Hasbro wandered away from Scrap Iron’s utilitarian soldier uniform and went for a fancy overly complicated getup. Sometimes radical new things are just too new and too radical to take root. This Scrap Iron is the Pontiac Aztec of the New Sculpt era.