In 1985, the second series of Generation 1 held a major watershed moment for the toyline: the introduction of combiners. This first team of combining robots was the Constructicons, of whom Scrapper was a member. He transforms into a rather generic front-end loader, vaguely resembling contemporary Komatsu designs. He can also combine with his fellow Constructicons to form Devastator.
Scrapper 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. Scrapper’s mold was originally named Construction Robo No. 3 Tractor Shovel. This version was sold in 1983 in yellow with a blue chest, and again in 1984 with his canopy molded in silver, and the chestplate shifted to red. Since Tractor Shovel included the chestplate for the combined Construction Robo, the early version’s accessory was blue, and the latter was red, in keeping with the figure’s actual molding colors. Scrapper was invented by Kouzin Ohno and the US Patent, titled Reconfigurable toy construction vehicle (aka Transformers G1 Scrapper) was filed on March 28, 1984 (U.S. Patent No. USD288948 S).
Scrapper transforms into a blocky chartreuse-colored wheel loader with a open canopy roof. There is some attention to detail, such as the detailed and movable bucket and chrome wheel bolts, but the design is far less realistic than some of the earlier (and more expensive) designs, such as the Autobot Cars. Scrapper’s transformation is very simple, and results in a somewhat blocky robot. His arms are hollow, and his fists are simply holes in the front face of the rectangular arms. A relatively large sticker palette decorates his robot mode with color and details to compensate for his simple sculpt. Raising his head allows the bucket to be folded back from his shoulders, where it juts out behind him, causing poor balance. Scrapper sports an additional “Attack Payloader” mode where the “Super Wing” Devastator chestplate attaches to his engine section by pegging on to its two vertical exhaust pipes. Unlike some of the other Constructicons, he cannot use his handgun accessory in this mode. Scrapper transforms into Devastator’s right leg, using his extended arms as the heel, the bucket as the toe, and connecting to Long Haul’s waist connector.
Scrapper is one of the less breakable Constructicons, but he can suffer from some maladies of age and wear. His roof canopy is removable, though not actually a play accessory, and is often absent from vintage samples. He also has difficulty forming a stable foot for Devastator: the bucket is held in its toe position by extendable pegs in front of his cab, which in turn are extended only when the head is retracted. If the sliding head becomes loose, gravity will cause it to drop down in leg mode, in turn allowing the pegs and bucket to retract. His arms may also become loose with wear, but the bucket is usually affected first.
There is one major variant of Scrapper, from French licensee Joustra. This version replaces the green plastic with yellow. The shade of yellow is similar to that of the Diaclone release, and darker than that of the G2-era versions (see Redecos & Retools, below), but he retains the purple chest and Super Wing, opposed to the Diaclone’s blue. Minor variants of Scrapper may exist, as many of the other Constructicons have variants (especially gift set versus single-packed).
Scrapper 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
Scrapper’s mold was first used to make Diaclone Construction Robo No. 3 Tractor Shovel in two versions, with blue parts, and with red parts. 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 canopy, and did not include the Super Wing accessory. The bright yellow carried into G2 Scrapper, who again had a color-matched roof, and included the Super Wing, albeit using a much lighter shade of purple. 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.