Cliffbee.com: Beast Wars Scorponok Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Scorponok
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Desert Attack Commander
Alternate Mode: Scorpion



SCORPION MODE
Height: 15cm Length: 30cm Width: 12cm

   A black scorpion with red legs, a red stinger and purple pinchers. The purple plastic is metallic and slightly transparent, and is also present on the base of his stinger and his lower jaw. The eyes are red along with jointing on his tail. This is a nice colour scheme that's simple enough to allow the striking colours to compliment each other.

   Scorponok is one of the better Transformer scorpions out there. There are few flat surfaces - he's covered in curves and soft lines. There are some robot mode hints, but no obvious kibble or awkward angular bits. The eight legs are no more than two single red pieces on either side, but he lies flat on his stomach so things work out okay.

   The claws are large affairs and have subtle wart-like bumps moulded onto them - a realistic enough texture for a desert arthropod. Both have serrated teeth inside the clamps, and each sports a different gimmick (which I'll come to in a moment). They swing at the base and at the 'shoulders', and each has two hinges between these two swivels (and _another_ swivel tucked away in there), giving the claws great poseability.

   There are five joints in the long tail, which can stretch back or stand up. Three joints have springs and there's a lever on the back, allowing you to push the tail forward - doing do will cause the stinger to strike forward (thanks to the springs). Adding to this weapon are two firing mechanisms in the claws. The left missile shoots a bee while the right claw shoots two red missiles when you open it. The missiles will easily fire across the room while the bee might go a foot or so, slowed down by the fact it springs open.

   The bee is a small drone-like thing with yellow stripes on the abdomen, black painted eyes and the top of claw as wings. It's quite impressive considering it's nothing more than a single gimmick of a larger toy, and one that has to hide as part of a claw.

   Scorponok's scorpion mode is pretty good, with enough realism to keep me happy and colours that work really well. The three gimmicks are all quite cool, and while I don't expect much poseability of a scorpion mode, the gimmicks easily make up for that. The bee is great, the missile launcher is fun and the stinger is a nice touch.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Hard to describe since stuff moves around relative to other body parts, but the beast head splits to become the robot feet (with the legs stowed underneath), the claws become the robot arms, swapping sides as they go. The head is stowed underneath the tail, which sticks up behind the robot head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 23.5cm (11cm of which is the tail overhead!) Width: 12cm

   A black robot with the giant purple claws as forearms, Scorponok has purple boots and feet while his head is also purple with a white face and a champagne gold eyestrip. The mutant head is simply the covers for the robot head (which have to opened to reveal the robot face), and this head is black with red detailing and yellow eyes. Again the colour scheme is striking and attractive. I prefer the mutant head's colours - the white seems awfully out of place on such a vivid colour scheme.

   Scorponok's body is no bigger than that of most deluxes, but the giant claws and tail that sticks up behind the head make him more massive that your average deluxe. The three gimmicks are still available in this mode, which really impresses me, considering how much of the beast mode is geared to make them work. This is a tribute to a clever transformation that keeps the gimmick pieces in useful locations as it goes.

   There's another advantage to the mutant head - greater poseability. Since revealing the robot head requires opening out panels, you end up pushing two panels out into the cavity around his head and blocking the ball joint in his neck. While the head movement is still a little limited, his head is almost immovable with the robot head visible.

   The limbs are very poseable - the shoulders swing, the forearms rotate and there are two hinges and a swivel per upper arm - the forearms themselves are giant launchers that don't have poseability as such but the upper arms have five joints each. The hips are ball joints while the knees are hinged as are the feet and heelspurs (which can only find down). The hips have a wider range of motion that most ball jointed hips, giving Scorponok great poseability for a toy with hinged knees. The downside is that the legs pop off quite easily - but then they reattach easily.

   With all three gimmicks available here and the poseable arms ensuring Scorponok can aim the missiles (and the bee!), the play value here is great. The colours work and the mutant head looks great. I'm not sure why, but for the cartoon the standard head is used, but that's probably the main problem here. Scorponok has a great robot mode, which is rare for Beast Wars megas.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although the BotCon toy Sandstorm is a repaint of Scorponok.

OVERALL

   While this toy isn't really a tribute to G1 Scorponok, he's a great toy and the name fits, making this a good reuse, from an era where name reuse wasn't that common. Scorponok has three good gimmicks which all work in both modes, great colours, good robot poseability and two attractive modes. The robot head isn't so good but the mutant head is cool. His main shortcoming relates to what's probably his strongest asset - the bee is great but if you lose it the claw it comes from is ruined. Still, if complete, Scorponok is a great toy - 9/10

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