Less than two months after repeating his role as Tim « The Tool Man » Taylor on « Last Man Standing, » Tim Allen is revisiting his home improvement roots with the History Channel’s required gathering .
Allen and former Tool Time buddy Richard Karn (aka Al Borland) are hosting the reality competition. In each episode, three of the best and brightest creators from across the country compete against each other as they complete a series of mind-blowing builds. Each build is judged on three criteria: quality, design and functionality.
Due to the pandemic, each manufacturer is competing in their own stores. Allen and Karn drop by virtually to provide comments from the studio and oversee the work of the makers in two challenging builds. DIY YouTuber April Wilkerson is also present as the series’ resident expert.
The following creators took part in the premiere on Wednesday: Alex, a former Marine who builds scale models for architects; Jesse, an all-rounder who is « damn good » at a little bit of everything; and Sean, a metal sculptor whose unkempt hair drove everyone crazy.
First up was the Make or Break Challenge, a 90-minute mystery box. For this particular challenge, Alex, Jesse, and Sean would have to build a Class A fire extinguisher, as well as a backpack to carry, using only the items in the box and the resources in their stores. When their time was up, the creators had only one chance to extinguish the flame with a jet of water. The two makers with the most effective builds would advance in Round 2.
In terms of functionality, Sean’s build was high on Allen’s list. In terms of design, Alex let the others beat. Jesse, whose fire extinguisher had no water pressure, was eliminated.
Home Improvement Reunion Photos
Next up was the Run With It Challenge. Sean and Alex had five days to build a year-round leaf blower and ice melter. In order to put them into operation, the manufacturers were supplied with an intact leaf blower for dismantling and upgrading. They could also reuse parts that were used for their first round 1 construction. Little did they know April had tinkered with the spark plug in every blower. As the challenge progressed, Allen and Karn watched with bated breath as Alex and Sean discovered April’s « secret solution » and repaired the damage.
Once construction was complete, they were sent to Allen and Karn for testing at the studio for the required assembly is sent back. In terms of design, both constructions were impressive: Alex modeled his year-round blower after a North American P-51 Mustang; Sean wrapped his entire machine in hand-hammered steel. In terms of functionality, both Alex and Sean’s builds managed to move a whole stack of sheets of paper across a parking lot. But when it came to melting four-inch icicles, Alex’s World War II-inspired fan was no match for the mother of all dragons. In the end, Sean won the cash prize of $ 5,000.
The final Allen and Karn reunion is almost 30 years after the premiere of ABC’s Home Improvement (which debuted on September 17, 1991). The pair were previously reunited on Last Man Standing, which is slated to conclude its nine-year run this spring. Allen spoke to TVLine last year about a possible home improvement start-up and said, “I keep thinking about it because I still talk to everyone involved. I like the idea of making it unique, like an hour long movie [versus a full-fledged revival series]. I like the idea of finding out where the guys are now and where … Tool Time would be in the world today. « Right now, required assembly is the closest.
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