Saturday, 29 January 2011

Generations Scourge

Generations Scourge

Let's face it the original Scourge is a bit rubbish especially in vehicle mode where he looks like a bar of soap instead of a jet. This is a toy that needs an update. His new version is loosely based on the Boeing X-48. He's triangular shaped with down turning wings, and three engines, two built into the wing structure and one in the body plus a smaller one mounted above the centre of the body. This is recognisable as the Disintegrator ray/Rocket Booster from the original Scourge. The middle of the engine narrows to a 3mm bar suitable for clipping weapons on - the dual gun supplied with Scourge works fine here if you fold the handle up bringing down a clip in it's place. Of course this is mounted on the top of Scourge's head in robot mode and pulling up on it extends the head in vehicle mode as he did several times in the cartoon. Flip the plane over and we have 3 sets of fold down landing gear: 1 moulded wheel at the back plus two sets of three moulded wheels that fold out from the middle of the jet. Also present on the underside of the jet is one of the major innovations in this wave of toys: there's two recessed 3mm bars. Hasbro have worked out you car set the bars into the bodywork of the toys, rather than have them protruding like they have done till now.

There's two weapons supplied with the toy and while the smaller double barrelled gun can be attached in vehicle mode, the larger one can't. However both can be stored in the wings. Bend each wing down and away from the engines set in the body. Fold the top of each wing forward revealing a compartment. With the nose of the jet towards you the large gun folds up and goes in the left wing while the smaller double barrelled gun goes in the right wing with the 5mm peg folded down. You need to fold the wings down to the sides because the top part of the wing is attached to the block that holds the wings in place. I'd have moulded this block to the lower half enabling the wings to open while they're in position.

So top marks for the vehicle mode from me.

Transformation: Turn the plane over and look at the underside. Fold up the landing gear. Push on the nose to separate it from the body and then pull it forwards extending the robot's legs. Fold the middle of the top of the rear of the jet back 90 degree so the rocket engine is behind the jet. Fold the middle of the underside and the attached wings back 180 degrees locking round the folded back central engine and pegging into a pair of holes on the body of the jet. Separate the nose of the jet and rotate each half in 90 degrees so that the leading edge faces the same way as the jet's underside to form the legs. Fold the nose halves down to form the robot's feet. Slide the rear of the underside up to become the robot's chest locking a tab at the top into the neck. Pull the robot's head up. Bend the front of each each engine out to the side to become the forearms and then rotate in 90 degrees and slide each hand out using a tab under each forearm. The instructions and photos recomend folding the top of each arm out onto the side of the shoulders but I think they look better left in place. Rotate the toy 180 degrees at the waist. Fold the base of the wings back and slot the tabs into the backpack. Fold the majority of the wings outwards and fold down. Open the wings and remove the weapons.

Now at this point you'll fold out the barrel of the larger weapon and try to slide it into the fist hole and encounter some frustration because is doesn't want to go in. The gun handle is slightly too big for the hole. He can hold the smaller gun fine and Kup's gun, just not his own larger gun. It will eventually go in if you angle it just right but you may need to push it in through the larger opening bottom of the hand a few times to squeeze the plastic a bit. From there you can taker the smaller double barrelled gun and either fold the peg out and hold it in his other hand or clip it to either the top of his head or the larger gun. Mounted on top of the large gun, the combined unit forms an approximation of the weapons mode of 1987 Scourge's Targetmaster Fracas. I wish they'd gone the whole hog and made an actual Targetmaster to go with him like they did with Universe 2 Cyclonus.

Scourge's robot mode looks like a better proportioned version of the original with much chunkier arms. Basically the body and arms are blue with the legs in white. The head looks like his cartoon appearance and has a clear blue lightpipe to the eyes. Articulation isn't bad: wrists turn, elbows bend, there's a low bicep swivel just above the elbow, shoulders turn and raise up at the body, head & waist turn but some moulded detail on the sides of the waist tends to catch on the hinge connecting the wing panel, ball jointed hips with high thigh swivel just beneath them, double bending knee though in reality only the top joint is worth bothering about in this mode, and a bending ankle. He's a bit back heavy so an odd pose in the legs is necessary to get him to stand with the upper legs being angled diagonally forward somewhat. The hip joints are a little soft on mine, I've easily pulled both legs off already.

The reverse transformation deserves a mention: be very careful with the wings! Folding them back can easily pop them out of the hinge they're mounted on. Unfortunately that hinge is itself hinged and you'll spend a frustrating period of time trying to reattach them. Advice: turn the rest of the toy into plane mode and go from there.

Barring the frustrations with the gun and what happened when the wings came off this is a great toy, superb update thrashing the original out of sight.

Scourge was released in the United States January 2011 in a Movie themed Generations wave alongside Kup. At time of writing there is no known plans to release the toy in the UK.

United Scourge

United Scourge is due to be released in March number UN-21. I expect it'll be colour tweaked somewhere along the line.

A United Targetmaster promotion was run at the turn of the year. Powercore Minicon Chainclaw was recoloured to act as United Targetmaster Micron Fracas, a new version of 1987 Scourge's Targetmaster Fracas.

E-Hobby Scourge

Scourge is also due to be released in a E-Hobby 3-pack containing Henkei Galvatron and Cyclonus. All three are now cast in clear plastic with Scourge being entirely in clear blue.

I want one!


How about a purple version? Or a black stealth jet version, which might actually work well as the name Scourge is also used for several black repaints of Optimus Prime. In fact why not use that as a springboard and repaint this in red & blue with a new head *as* Optimus Prime, who we know has had a flying mode at some point.

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