January 27, 2011 02:32 pm
This past year, it seems Hasbro's been doing its darnedest to do mainline retail versions of guys from the BotCon 2009 set. I talked about Kup a few days ago, there's a Banzaitron in stores (which I didn't buy because I preferred the BotCon version), and now here's Generations Scourge. There's also Dirge, Thrust, and (soon) Thundercracker in stores, which replaces a chunk of the BotCon 2007 set, but that stings a lot less, 'cuz, hey, I've had those for nearly five years by now. It hurts more when BotCon toys get replaced in what feels like a few months.
But hey, that's why BotCon should probably stay away from popular guys who are undoubtedly going to get new toys at some point, like Kup and Scourge, and why BotCon 2010's set is more valuable to me personally. Hasbro's probably not chomping at the bit to make Rapido or G2 Breakdown so much.
That said, I'm pretty okay with getting a new Scourge. I never thought BotCon 2009's Scourge, which was Cybertron Sideways with a new head, worked well as him. He was a space jet, but beyond that the similarities weren't really there. It did help that BotCon also offered a set of Sweeps that year, which helped the illusion that this toy was Scourge, via sheer number, and I figger I'll keep using those Sweep toys even with my new Scourge that doesn't match. Hey, they're the only real, actual Sweeps toys! I mean, you COULD buy multiple Scourges, but...
Despite being an entirely new toy designed to be Scourge from the start, Generations Scourge transforms into a very similar altmode to BotCon Scourge, albeit a more real-world approach than alien. Either altmode is pretty different from the original Scourge's altmode, which was a flying bathtub. I'll allow it. The most important thing, I maintain, about this new altmode, is its undocumented feature. In the original cartoon, Scourge could stick his head up out of the back of his flying bathtub form, an artifact of his preliminary design. Well, dude, look who can really do that now? And no, it's not just an accident. His head pulls up an extra notch not needed for the transformation to robot mode, undoubtedly just to recreate this oddity. Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout.
There are a few annoyances with the transformation to robot mode. Firstly, his wings like to pop off when you try to get them into the proper positioning. There's a lot of friction back there with the parts surrounding his wings. They're also kind of a bitch to put back on, since there's not much room given for the hinge to slip back into the socket. The other annoyance is due to an opposite problem -- it's hard to get his feet pulled out of his legs. There's no groove to get leverage, so you kind of have to try to wiggle them back and forth for a few minutes, hoping something gives.
Another undocumented feature from the instructions is that you can open his wings to create a more-accurate "caped" appearance. Opening the wings also gives you a place to store his two guns in vehicle mode, which combine into a bigger gun via a C joint. The combined gun looks a lot like Scourge's 1986 Targetmaster parter, Fracas, but it does not transform into him. (Though since Universe Cyclonus's Targetmaster partner is basically Fracas already, and I have an extra, I can remedy Scourge's Nebulan-impairment pretty easily.) The gun on Scourge's head is also C joint compatible so you can clip one of his handheld weapons onto it.
Overall, this Scourge is a much better companion for Universe Cyclonus than the BotCon version, which served as a helpful stopgap in the meantime. I prefer the facial hair on my Transformers to be painted, after all, so you can see it better.
If you're fixing for a Scourge of your own, TFSource has both the American and Japanese versions available for preorder.