Cliffbee.com: BotCon 2009 Scourge Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Scourge
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Space Cruiser

Thanks to fatbot for loaning me Scourge for this review



SPACE CRUISER MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 13cm Width: 17.5cm

   A royal blue wedge-shaped plane with forward swept wings, Scourge has extensive silver paint applications along with quite a few red highlights here and there. There's transparent red windows on the cockpit and in the centre of the fuselage. He's a repaint of Cybertron Sideways meant to look like G1 Scourge. The colours aren't especially Scourge like - there's no light blue, but it's attractive enough at least.

   Scourge has both smooth and textured surfaces, with mech detailing prevalent on his wings and on top of the single thruster, which is at the back of the fuselage. The cockpit reminds me of Beast Machines, since with windows on either side it's almost a face. There are some transparent red flashes on the fuselage.

   This is a good space ship alt mode, as Transformers go - Scourge wouldn't look out of place in Star Wars or a similar sci-fi show, although the colours are very much Transformers. The shape of this vessel just _looks_ right, whereas many Transformer space ships look like they were designed as a robot first and then the space ship was defined second. There's a lot of white plastic underneath, so from underneath things don't work so well, although there are three small wheels under there which are hidden yet functional.

   There are two gimmicks in this mode, but one is neutered on this repaint. The central stripe of the fuselage, with the thruster and transparent red flashes, can lift up to form a sort of top-mounted cannon, and once this is a deployed the transparent red P{lanet Key can plug in now, causing those red flashes to deploy to the sides as four energon blades. This looks a little odd in jet mode - and in truth it's really for his robot mode - but works well enough that it's a nice bonus. There's a sliding panel which can be activated with the stripe stowed or deployed, but it doesn't achieve anything here, where the allegiance symbols of Sideways aren't present.

  

   With a good sculpt and great space ship shape, Scourge has a very focused alt mode. The colours work even if they're not really Scourge. The play value is decent, although one of Sideways' gimmicks becomes useless here. It's a good ship mode, despite the mismatch for the character.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift out the cannon, unclip the wings as legs, fold the groin halves (underneath) together. Swing the groin forward releasing the shoulder joints and then swing the arms out to the sides (with the cannon on one arm). Swing back the groin, clip it into place (there's a double joint here, you'll need to use both and different points). Rotate the knees and hips to get the legs into place, fold down the feet and swing out his heelspurs. The wings swing over the shins to sit on the outsides of the boots as armour of sorts while the back of the airframe folds down as a backplate. Twist the arms into place, swing the shoulders up and rotate the cannon the fold it down so it sits flush against the left arm. Lastly open the roof of the cockpit (now on his chest), lift out the head, rotate and swing back into place, then close the cockpit again.

   Wow. This is a clever and fairly involved transformation, and is impressive for a deluxe. While it's a little tricky and some parts are annoying (the wingtips like popping off, especially when you transform him back), it's certainly satisfying.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 9cm

   Again blue, this time with more white and about the same amount of with silver paint. His forearms, hip joints and groin are white while silver dominates his chest and feet. There's a purple stamped Decepticon logo on his chest, along with the transparent red of his canopy. His head is blue with a silver face, complete with Scourge's distinct facial hair and red painted eyes. As on the Sweeps, this head is new, and totally different from that of Sideways.

   The cockpit sticks out on his chest, jutting out a little without being awkward. This is a feature that evokes G1, although it's not something found on the G1 version of this character. Still, it's very well placed.

   Scourge has three weaponry options - the first is the cannon on his left arm, which I guess is his default weapon. It doesn't detach but can lift out and rotate through 360 (the rotation is only available in robot mode). Plugging the key in will unleash the four energon blades, giving Scourge an impressive melee weapon which can't be detached and lost. The third weaponry option is a set of machetes, which are the detachable wingtips. They can plug into either hand or one on top of and the other underneath the right fist - the better option since they won't get in the way of the energon blades. Personally I prefer to leave the wings as leg armour since he has four energon blades already, but I like the fact that we've been given options.

   The poseability here is good - the head turns, the shoulders rotate and lift out to the sides while the elbows rotate and hinge while the wrists rotate. The hips are ball joints with rotators below then to supplement the hinged knees, the feet can swing back and there are good heelspurs for stability. Scourge doesn't have a rotating waist, since the groin splits in jet mode, but there's lots of movement in the arms and considering how involved the transformation is, I'm happy with his articulation.

   A pretty good adaption of a mould that was never designed to represent Scourge - one of the more distinct G1 characters, stylewise. The resculpted head makes it work - there's not really a lot of Scourge in this body. The robot mode is otherwise good, mind you - he features good poseability and nice weapon options in the arm cannon/melee weapon. I do wish the wings attached a little firmer and the shoulders have a habit of sagging, but these flaws aren't enough to bring this robot down.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of Cybertron Sideways, as mentioned. He shares the mould with fellow BotCon toys Sweeps Two, Six & Seven (who are identical). Universe Ratbat also shares the mould.

OVERALL

   A good mould with two good modes, a clever transformation and a useful key gimmick, providing good play value. The wingtips pop off far too easily, and the ship mode is nothing like Scourge - neither would the robot be mode if not for the head resculpt. It's not up to the standard of many Classics toys, but alongside the Sweeps he works quite well - 7/10

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