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Junkyard Mega-Wars

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Jim Henson's Creature Shop team - clockwise from top left, Captain John, Duke, Patrick and Phil

Junkyard Mega-Wars, a spin-off of the TV show Junkyard Wars, is an engineering game show produced by RDF Media and broadcast on the Learning Channel (and later The Discovery Channel). In the show, teams have 20 hours in which to build a working machine that can perform a specific task, using materials available in a scrapheap.

The Creature Shop's "At the Movies" appearance

A team from Jim Henson's Creature Shop competed in a Junkyard Mega-Wars: At the Movies special, where they went head-to-head with two other movie effects companies - Industrial Light & Magic and KNB.

The special "At the Movies" episode aired on February 22, 2004 on TLC. The effects teams competed to build "an ultimate fighting robot" that could "breath fire, shoot bullets and save the planet from an alien invasion".

Junkyard Mega-Wars gave the teams two days and access to a junkyard in order to build their robotic creation from. The teams' machines were judged on their aesthetic merit, but more importantly the teams had use their creations to "save the world from various alien attacks". First, the machines had to search for and destroy as many of the invaders they could find in a Wild West ghost town. Then the machines were required to torch aliens using flame-throwers in a city street environment. Finally, the machines were required to cut wires in a control box to disarm a "force field" protecting the leader of the aliens and then open fire to hit the alien directly in the "eye".

Ultimately, the team from Industrial Light & Magic won the competition.

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