Cliffbee.com: Scourge Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Scourge
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Special Operations Combatant
Alternate Mode: Transmetal Locust



LOCUST MODE
Height: 13.5cm Length: 19cm Width: 10.5cm

   Exact dimensions will vary according to what you do with the limbs. This is one of those BW insects with limbs all over the place. Having said that, he stands on his legs fairly well.

   A rather garish mixture of purple, chrome orange, transparent green and red, Scourge has "Decepticon" purple legs, transparent green wings and some various green paint here and there. The body is mainly chrome red. The chrome - as with many orange & red chromes from Beast Wars - becomes fragile over time. I originally planned to borrow a Scourge from one of my regular loaners, only to find that as I transformed it for the photos, small pieces of chrome were attaching themselves to my hands. So I gave up, and when I found one with intact chrome fairly cheap, I bought it - specifically for this review. Anyway, aside from the chrome issue, these colours are at best haphazard. All three are bright and compete for dominance. Sadly, Scourge looks best with the light off.

   While Scourge's colours are pretty awful, the detailing is excellent, with asymmetrical detailing and a complex mix of organic and robotic elements. One eye is robotic, the other organic (although both have hexagonal patterns), the legs are mixed and one wing is organic and the other robotic. There is some kibble underneath - some red robot parts - but it's not in the way, just something you'll pick up from that angle.

   The poseability here is decent, although his head is stuck in a downwards facing position. All six legs are on ball joints and stability is generally not an issue. There's a red plunger between the wings, as you push it the wings flip forward. At the very end of this, a red missile in the left wing will fire a few metres. The idea is silly, but it is well executed. There's a second missile stored in the right wing, which provides symmetry more than anything else.

   While the gimmick is reasonable and the sculpt is awesome, the colours here are plain awful and they tend to overwhelm Scourge. The fragile chrome is also an issue, although the extensive chrome here is a nice idea. I can't really endorse this beast mode, despite the effort that's gone into it.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   A mess of insect legs moves around, with the underside and front four legs becoming his left arm, with the beast head on his shoulder. The right arm and head are concealed inside the abdomen, ends up on his back. The chromed abdomen actually splits - this is just asking for worn chrome, since you have to grasp it quite firmly. The rear pair of legs becoming rather unconvincing robot legs.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 9cm

   Like the beast mode, exact dimensions will vary, depending on where you put the insect legs.

   The messy colour scheme is slightly better this time, since the chest, head, right forearm and right shoulderpad are black. The lower torso, thighs, right upper arm and left arm are black while the lower legs and the mess of insect legs hanging off his left arm are purple and the left shoulderpad is the chromed beast head. His eyes are red with green bug eyes above them. The colour scheme is still pretty bad, but it's not as garish, at least. There's no cohesion here, however.

   The bad news doesn't end with the colour scheme. For all the junk hanging off the left arm, there's no _hand_ at the end of it. The four large purple beast legs can't really get out of the way, which has a tremendously negative impact on this mode. The beast head is a little better, but still has purple antennae hanging off it. The legs are dog-legged - like Beast Machines Cheetor, without the same degree of stability issues. The feet are slender affairs, the right one is robotic while the left one is a notably thinner organic piece - this looks really bad considering the amount of plastic above it on the same side. As you'd expect, the sculpt here is quite detailed, but the right arm and head are the only parts where this really makes any difference, since the left arm is so laden in junk and the legs so bizarre.

   The poseability here is fairly limited despite good articulation. The shoulders and elbows are ball jointed, but there's half a locust on the left arm, which naturally gets in the way. The head and waist rotate, the latter limited by the wings hanging off the back - and the legs on his arm. The hips are ball jointed, but there's not much leg poseability since the knees are only hinged and the junk on the left means he'll keel over if you try anything interesting. The wing firing gimmick is not available here, sadly. You can place a missile in his right hand as a club, however,

   It's hard to really pick out any highlights there. There's just so much mess, with lots of kibble, awful legs, badly hampered poseability and still unimpressive colours. The weapon options are underwhelming and the detailed sculpt typical of Transmetal IIs is overshadowed by all the problems.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Scourge is a victim of a concept taken too far. With so much chrome on the beast mode and so much emphasis on asymmetry, the beast mode ends up garish and the robot mode is a pile of kibble. The colours _should_ have been much better, mind you - and that wouldn't have been difficult to achieve. The extensive chrome is a large part of the reason that the robot mode is so awful - there's not much room on the toy for robot mode pieces, and the end result is a robot mode with a lot of kibble, and other problems. While his beast mode is the better mode, with a decent shape and some play value, the colours ruin his display value in that mode. The robot mode is just a write off, I'm afraid - 1.5/10

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