In 1985, the second series of Generation 1 held a major watershed moment for the toyline: the introduction of combiners. Scavenger was a member of the Constructicons, the first combiner team introduced. He transforms into an excavator whose proportions resemble the contemporary John Deere 690D LC, but was probably inspired by a Japanese model. He can also combine with his fellow Constructicons to form Devastator.
Scavenger was originally designed for Diaclone, around the time that Takara stopped focusing on interactivity with the Diaclone drivers. Dropping the driver concept allowed Takara to design at a different scale, making robots that represent larger vehicles without a larger price point. Scavenger’s mold was originally named Construction Robo No. 2 Power Shovel. This version was sold in 1983 in all-yellow, and again in 1984 in yellow, but with a silver boom. Since Power Shovel included the right fist and lower arm for the combined Construction Robo, the early version’s accessories were blue, and the latter’s were red, in keeping with the figure’s actual molding colors. Scavenger was designed by Koujin Ohno. His US Patent, titled Reconfigurable toy power shovel (aka Transformers G1 Scavenger) was filed on March 28, 1984 (U.S. Patent No. USD288341 S).
Scavenger transforms into a chartreuse-colored excavator of vague make and model. He features a pivoting “house” (the upper platform of an excavator), and two points of articulation on his boom. His solid plastic tracks are molded in purple, and he is one of a few tracked Transformers (even in G1) that do not have small hidden wheels to allow them to roll. The house portion is relatively plain and featureless (which is fairly accurate), and the boom and stick feature numerous molded-in hydraulic details. The molded bucket features teeth, and a capacity of about 1 cc. His transformation is fairly simple, with his tracks swinging down to become the legs, arms extending out to the sides, and head tilted up from the rear of the vehicle. His robot mode is exceedingly blocky, like many of the smaller G1 offerings, but features a chrome chest, plenty of stickers, and a small black pistol. Scavenger can also transform into an “Attack Shovel” by pegging the right Devastator forearm onto his engine deck and inserting a chrome drill bit accessory. Scavenger transforms into Devastator’s right arm by attaching the forearm to a large tab near the base of the boom, and inserting the included fist. A die-cast post swings down from Scavenger’s chest to connect to Hook. The original design of the toy had a hooked end of the post, but it was straightened and thickened by the 1984 release.
Scavenger is prone to a couple common issues. His bucket attaches to the stick by a very thin piece of plastic, and is frequently snapped off of older samples. His hip joints are also highly prone to becoming loose, causing him to slump forward, or the tracks to drop down onto Hook while in Devastator combined mode. Luckily, the boom can be used to balance his robot mode like a tripod.
There is one major variant of Scavenger, from French licensee Joustra. This version replaces the green plastic with yellow. The shade of yellow is similar to that of the Diaclone version and darker than that of the G2-era versions (see Redecos & Retools, below), but he retains the dark purple Devastator parts, opposed to the Diaclone’s blue. A minor variant exists in the forearm and fist parts, with slightly smaller or larger attachment holes, and narrow or wide thumbs.
Scavenger was available in G1 in 1985, either individually or in the Devastator gift set. Due to the Constructicons’ popularity, the individual carded figures were again available in 1986. Oddly, the Constructicons were not available in the UK, and the Devastator gift set was only available in Italy. He was reissued in Japan in 2011 as part of the Encore line. This version featured minor variations, as it was apparently cast from a new mold.
Redecos & Retools
Scavenger’s mold was first used to make Diaclone Construction Robo No. 2 Power Shovel in two versions, with a yellow boom and blue accessories, or with a silver boom and red accessories. It was sold again in Europe’s extension of G1 in 1992, simply called “Constructicon”. This version used bright yellow instead of green, had a gray boom, and did not include the Devastator accessories. The bright yellow carried into G2 Scavenger, who again had a color-matched boom, and included the Devastator arm, albeit using a much lighter shade of purple and featuring remolding. KB Toys sold an exclusive G2 version the same year, replacing the bright yellow with blaze orange. The Encore reissue was redecorated slightly in the 2013 Devastator Anime Color, using a brighter colors, different paint applications, and a slightly different sticker set.