Toyota MR2 Fans Attack 'MythBusters Jr.' on Facebook For Crushing Original Model with Giant Domino
Never anger the enthusiasts.
Chances are whoever runs the Facebook account for MythBusters Jr., a teen-driven spinoff of the original Discovery Channel hit, thought they had themselves a nice piece of content when they posted a video of a car getting crushed by a giant domino in extreme slow motion recently. Unfortunately, the car in question is an old Toyota MR2—and now fans of the mid-engined classic are swarming the page to denounce its destruction.
Premiering earlier this month on Science Channel, MythBusters Jr. pairs host Adam Savage with a crew of teens as they seek to tackle slightly-less-lethal versions of the old show's wild experiments. Last week, the team built a gigantic domino set that started with a normal-sized piece and ended with a 7,000-pound slab designed to crush a car. Not exactly a myth, but hey, the kids are having fun.
Literally any car would have done in this scenario, but someone, somewhere made a deliberate decision to give the funky, wedge-shaped, first-generation Toyota MR2 a starring role. We reached out to the production company that makes MythBusters Jr. for details on how exactly they procured it; generally, as with any show like this, prop cars come from either private sales or junkyards. Hopefully it's the latter, because otherwise the following is not a pretty sight:
Cool as it is to see anything get destroyed in super slow motion, the footage was an immediate gut punch to fans of the AW11, as the mid-engined model is commonly known. First launched in 1984, the lightweight, rear-wheel-drive Toyota MR2 developed a cult following over the years as an Eighties icon and a temple of thrifty performance. And in 1988, a supercharged version of its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine made its way to America.
The comments on the video—of which there are over 700, more than ten times the usual activity on a typical post on the MythBusters page—are all from Toyota MR2 fans crying foul. "Destroying an MR2 is criminal." "I'm so disgusted and angry at the same time." "So you guys are onto pissing off car enthusiasts as well as previous fans of the series?" "Does Mythbusters just hate great cars or something?" "Of all the videos that Facebook should hide for offensive content, this is it." "OH MY GOD PLEASE CHOOSE A CAMRY NEXT TIME." And so on.
The entire comment section is worth reading through in full. For what it's worth, the original MythBusters team certainly drew its fair share of criticism for burning through countless cars over its 14-year quest for truth. Hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman ruined everything from vintage Chevrolet Impalas to a Porsche 928. In previous interviews, they defended their handiwork by pointing out that if a car needs to actually move on the show, it's a far better use of resources to buy a running and driving example than hauling one out of a junkyard, fixing it up, and wasting time as it breaks down repeatedly on set.
With that in mind, we'd hope that this particular Toyota MR2 was at least a non-runner. But even if it was, these cars are finite resources. This one had plenty of parts that any owner would love to squirrel away, not to mention the obsessives out there who would tackle just about any restoration project.
There's also an argument to be made that we're in a different world now than we were when MythBusters first premiered back in 2003. Classic car values, including those from the same neon-lit era as this MR2, have exploded since then; this kind of wanton destruction feels that much more senseless. We're not against crushing cars—far from it. We're just advocating for smarter choices.