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Scourge has a bit in common with Blurr. Both are among a class of "hey, let's do 2010 Generations over again", and both have confounding deco choices. Scourge is a little bit better as a robot than Blurr. With the wings and the sides of the lower legs, there's at least immediate contrast, even if not a great deal of it. But it's still massively single colored. The sticker detail style tampographs on the shins and chest aren't cutting it either. It's just a stack of unpainted, single color plastic. I find this blue more appealing than the shade Blurr was, so it's not hitting me as instantly offputting. But it sure looks unfinished.
At least if you look at Scourge from the back, you do find paint and greater color diversity there. The toy has colors. Just not in a place where they help the form that the toy is packaged in for sale. You'd think someone along the way would have thought that was important.
Scourge toys rarely if ever get the wings quite right, and this Scourge is no exception. They try, and even kind of get an impression of the bat wing silhouette. But they're missing a segment or two each to start to get that reach out from the body to really sell it. Adding that could have helped the alternate mode too, but we'll get to that.
The wings hinge at two points, more than adequate to get clear of the arms for any kind of posing you might want. There is not though any way to pose them to actually look like wings. Though I guess in its own way it makes it that much more accurate to the G1 toy.
The overall body shape and styling is fairly accurate to media versions of Scourge, which is good and bad, I guess. Good if you're really invested in having things that look like the original cartoon. But given that design was purposely smooth, rounded, and sort of organic in style, there's not a lot going on for complex detailing. Plus I can't help but come back to the deco, because the way this is colored in robot mode matches no Scourge before. At an absolute minimum the thighs need to be grey if you just wanna claim toy-based deco.
Articulation is following the basic model this wave of Deluxes has been enjoying. It has the hinge and ball joint shoulders. This has a little extra though, as the ball joint itself has room to raise outward some. Sadly the collar spikes stop this from going to any real use in conjunction with the hinge joints.
Normal bit of bicep swivel. The elbow hinge is pretty nice for a single hinge, bending just far enough past the right angle to look like a more natural bend. Scourge doesn't have wrist swivels, leaving it the only figure in the assortment that has no means to reorient its hands. It also lacks a usable waist joint - again, more on that in a bit.
Scourge has soft ratcheting for the outward movement of the hips, strangely enough. Thigh swivel, naturally. And despite all the open space back here, the knees can't even bend to 90 degrees. And the ankles... they don't do nothing, just not much of anything.
The neck is a problem, so let's go ahead and pop off Fracas. Here's Scourge's neck connector. See how the clips are raised out in the open? That's been avoided elsewhere. Cerebros even has a collar ring to keep the connection enclosed. What happens as a result, there's no hold from the front and back, so the head can wobble very loosely. The strength of the connection is fine otherwise, but it's given too much room to move around. And it seems like somebody figured this out during the design stage.
There's a ridge behind the neck socket that's exactly the right height to have Fracas's feet rest on it and keep the head from sagging backwards. If that was discovered and accounted for, I'm annoyed some further step didn't happen to truly fix the issue. Oh, and if you were wondering, that turning the Titan Master head backward thing I was doing with Skullsmasher and Blurr? No help.
Fracas also presents the next entry of Annoying Extendables, though the head gun on this copy has tolerances quite a bit better than Hyperfire and stays up for the most part.
Fracas is a little bit bland looking, but still manages to have more color variation in its robot mode than either Scourge or Blurr.
The face with the little red visor looks good at normal size. But magnification is not its friend at all.
Neither is the big Scourge face backpack, honestly. I feel like this is the worst case of this out of the Deluxe wave.
You can adjust Scourge's robot mode if you want to introduce a little more color, and this is where we tie in the non-usable waist reference. Pull down on the legs and get the spinal column out. Give it a twist and slide it back up. This gives Scourge big boots that largely show the super light blue, adding some differentiation to the appearance. It has a couple issues.
First you've got a pretty big gap between the knee joint and the shin, which you can't do anything about. You also end up losing range of motion on the knees, because the knee spikes are pushing in to the joint now. That at least can be dealt with. You can pop the shin panels off at the base hinge. That will leave a big empty space visible though. If you're not afraid of permanent modification, you could also clip off those knee spikes to restore some of the range of movement while keeping the lower legs enclosed.
In any case, reversing the legs like this is an initial transformation step, so let's pick up with that!
The legs fold up where the opened shin panels should be on the same side as the robot torso faces. You need to have the toes folded and pointed down before the legs can be fully collapsed in.
You'll find two slots, and a pair of tabs on the inside of the legs that match them, and you'll need to press them in as you click the legs together. Flip the fists in, and then raise the arms slightly at the shoulders.
The goal is to get the tab under the shoulder to meet the slot just below the bicep swivel.
The outer wing segment tabs on the side of the shoulder, and at the leg.
And then some partsforming, because you have to install the small gun at this point.
If you've always wanted a modernized toy of Scourge's original alt mode design, congratulations on waiting through a decade of Classics, because you finally have it! For me the alt mode does a lot to sell the toy. It gains much greater visual interest with its color layout. This is the mode that looks like a finished toy.
There's a nice balance of detail. The generally smooth surfaces feel more appropriate in this mode, but just in sculpted panel seams there's enough going on to keep it from looking plain or boring. And you get more specific elements, like the small control surfaces. Or the engine pods which have this sculpting that looks like wire coiled around them - an aspect that seems like a really specific idea and I have no idea what it's meant to be suggesting.
Some of the actual panel separations do end up not coming together as tightly as they maybe could have. I think only the side panels end up hurting the look of the vehicle that way though.
Even from the rear, the robot parts aren't intrusively obvious. That's more left for the underside, which just has a torso and arms hanging out. I can excuse that, though. If the wings had an extra folding panel, more of this could have been covered, and made for better robot mode wings. Ultimately I can excuse that, though. The shin panels are harder to look past. They stick out from the sides and blemish the lines of the vehicle mode. They do have sculpting to make them look like they're supposed to be here. Even having a set of guns sculpted on them. But it's the big flaw of the vehicle mode for me. I appreciate having the panels in robot mode, but they look and feel really tacked on now.
I really like the low profile cockpit canopy. It's close in with the body enough to ignore it easily if you're not in to the ride along function. But from the right angles, it has just enough height that its presence contributes to the overall sleekness of the look.
There's no meaningful detailing inside the cockpit, sadly. Oh, and it's worth noting that this compartment has to be empty when transforming to robot mode, as the central body column fills this space.
And even if you don't want a little dude riding inside the vehicle mode, it turns out there's still a way to keep the Titan Master involved. Look at the accessory port on the mast. It has a squared edge at the front, right? That serves no purpose other than to match the shape of a Titan Master's head.
Scourge is designed to have the head up in vehicle mode.
Scourge has easily the worst execution of the turret weapon idea in this assortment. Everyone else has those parts made so they can stay incorporated but not leaving empty seats or otherwise affecting the vehicle mode. This is just a gun you have to plug in.
If you don't want there to be an empty gunner's chair in vehicle mode, you have to set the piece aside. There's no middle ground. And in any case, you have to remove it in order to open the canopy far enough to add or remove a pilot. I know it's a line wide play pattern thing, but as poorly executed as it is, I'd sooner see Scourge without it at all.
It's a slightly better looking gun than the smaller, vehicle-integral one, apart from the empty space.
Along that line, the best option is probably to have both pegged together. Either as a tri-barrel gun, or with the top piece turned around to maybe pretend it's a targeting sensor and cover the open space a little. There's also no way to have this set up by itself as a turret or emplacement. So yeah, weak execution all around.
I ended up liking Scourge more than I thought I would. I'm still getting the TakaraTomy release with its better robot mode paint, but the Hasbro one is more than adequate as Sweeps in such an instance, and isn't the worst Scourge to have either. It lacks the complexity, and honestly some of the finish of its 2010 counterpart, but that's not all a bad thing. Just for starts this tries to reflect the original vehicle mode, and by itself that's a selling point for some people. Plus, this one is very approachable to casually transform back and forth, something the previous Classics Scourge most definitely does not offer. So yeah, I'm happy enough with this that I'll be buying at least one more to supply my upcoming Legends release with Sweeps. Much like Blurr, it's a solid figure that's just a little bit of paint short of being really nice. It's just a thankfully shorter trip to finished for Scourge than Blurr.
|Date||July 13th 2016|
|Score||(8 out of 10)|
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