Thursday, 23 June 2011

Beast planet leader Scourge from Cybertron.

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Scourge here is the leader of the beast planet characters from the Cybertron TV series of Transformers.  The planet, which was called Animatros in the Japanese TV show sounds better than ‘Beast planet’ and that’s what I call it, just for future reference.  Scourge is actually a Convoy, and a Decepticon at that. Well, Hasbro decided so, but it’s open for interpretation in my mind.   Confused? Well hopefully I will clear it up a bit later on.

As for the toy, it’s great.  Simple transformation, but both modes are pretty cool.


Scourge here was called Flame Convoy in the Galaxy Force cartoon, making him the first non-optimus-clone Convoy I guess.  Each planet had a particular Convoy leader (Nitro Convoy, Flame Convoy, Live Convoy and Megalo Convoy) and they had the golden force chip/ Cyber Planet key that was needed to give Primus the juice he needed for getting out of their black hole.  Unlike previous series, there is very little differentiating the Galaxy Force figures from the Cybertron figures.  Personally I got more GF figures, but Scourge here I picked up late and couldn’t be bothered getting the GF one.


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As you can see, he is very broad.  I really like the look of this guy, the flare and pizzazz he exudes really makes him look powerful and  the claws and spikes add a level of savagery.  It’s also obvious that he transforms into an animal mode.



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Scourge’s head has some great sculpted details on it.  In fact, I might as well mention that pretty much his whole body has lots of little detail throughout it.  I think it needs it, as the transformation is pretty simple and as an Ultra sized figure (i.e one up from Voyager, but not a Leader) it would have needed something more.  Luckily it has.


Back to his head, he has some fangs and a cool crest.  His face has always screamed a bit of Beast Wars Dinobot to me, which is kind of appropriated because Flame Convoy was very much a survival of the fittest type of character as well.  Perhaps not so much on the honour and loyalty side of things though.


That survival of the fittest theme is why Scourge doesn’t quite fit as a Decepticon, sure it sounds mean, and at the start of the adventures on Animatros he does side with the Decepticons, but that is mainly because he sees them as being stronger than the Autobots.  Plus as a Convoy of his planet, his job is to protect the planet, so after he finds that Megatron wishes to create a new universe, thereby destroying Animatros, Scourge starts to help the Autobots.  Enough Back story.  On to more pictures!!!


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Here is an example of the sculpting that I was going on about.  That’s his fore arm in the left picture.  The animal head on his chest makes a nice display piece for him.  The purple plastic can be illuminated via the electronics, it is connected to the beast mode eyes.


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Even the sculpting on his calves is quite detailed.  I love the paint applications on the shoulder spikes as well, the way they fade out is pretty cool.


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He is quite bulky all round.  even from the side, as the beast mode parts hang off his back and chest.  Articulation is a bit lacking.  i really would have liked a bit of wrists twisting be thrown in there.  As it is, holding his weapon doesn’t allow for much coolness, which is a shame as his weapon is pretty damn cool!


Although he does threaten pretty effectively. Or shake his fist in anger… not sure which one just yet.
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As I said before, the cool of his weapon is negated by the lack of movement in his wrists.  As well as the fact he can only hold it one way.
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Preeeeetty lame, especially considering how it’s a halberd/pole axe.  Would have been ace if he could hold it in the middle, instead of just on the end.  It is possible to make it look like he has it in both hands, but from different angles, it looks a bit weak.


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From the front it doesn’t look too bad, but over the shoulder, YEEEP!


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There is no way to make him stand idle with it either, unless you stick it onto his fist.  Or hold it…  Very much a missed opportunity, and such a simple toy too, it could have been so much better with some better thought out joints.


The gimmick of Cybertron/Galaxy Force was that using their force chips, they could power up.  Scourge here can do his in both robot and beast modes.  from the side, you can see the orange heads that add to his power.

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Insert the Force Chip…

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And a couple of dragon heads pop up.  Heck if you jammed a force chip up my bum, I bet dragon heads would pop out of my shoulders as well!  No wonder they yelled when they invoked “Force Chip Ignition!”  It looks painful!


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The tops of the dragon heads are spring loaded to open.  They are closed when hidden and open when whipped out.  They have a small Decepticon logo on them.  The Takara toys from the various planets didn’t come with faction symbols on them, as they weren’t Autobot or Decepticon at the start except for the Transformers from Cybertron.  Unless they joined, but Hasbro put symbols on all of them.  luckily Scourge’s are only tiny and can only be seen when his heads are out.


Size wise, Scourge is quite big.  you don’t see many Ultra sized Transformers around much anymore.  I think the last ones were the ‘Universe’ Powerglide, Onslaught and Silverbolt.  Yes, that’s right!  Ultra sized Powerglide!  What were they thinking????


As it is, Scourge is quite a bit larger than my handily kept Lugnut of the Voyager size.
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You can make him taller still, by lengthening a bit needed for his beast mode.


Even this little bit that only comes out for the dragon mode has sculpted details on it.  And you are unlikely to look there, as its covered by the tail and legs.  Hooley Dooley!
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BEAST MODE!  RAAARRGH!



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His beast mode is a very cool, tough looking Dragon. I remember on the day I was taking these photos, a friend popped around and was impressed at the mode of him.  That’s pretty good, especially since she was a girl and a non-TF fan. 


If you look at the back, the halberd becomes the tail of the dragon, arms and legs are still legs and the chest head becomes the real head.  I love the colours for this mode the most!  They all work together well, the fades are subtle enough, the purple, yellow and orange and red, although sounding a bit yucky when talked about don’t clash.  In fact the colours combine well enough to form a pretty damn fine looking hard-core dragon mode.


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The jaw can open and close and his throat is connected to the opaque plastic in his head and eyes, so his throat lights up with the electronics too!


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Quality paint work on the dragon head.
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Again, great sculpting on the neck and head.  Even the horns have lots of detail on them.



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That last shot is of the blade of the halberd when attached as part of his tail.  Nice.  I love that they added some articulation for the handle of the blade, to make his tail look heavy and strong.


Only real downer is the robot mode head isn’t covered by anything for beast mode.
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Again, the force ship activates the other dragon heads, but this time it goes into his lower back.  Phew!

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And some details on the dragon heads, as well as their little Decepticon symbols.
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Looks good from the front as well.

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Finally his Animatros Leader Force Chip.  You know it’s an important one, because it has gold on it, not silver like the others.

the Hasbro versions came with a code on them that you could enter into their website to get special information and extras.  Some of it was pretty cool.  Concept sketches, extra bio information, wallpapers etc etc.  Sadly I think it may have been taken down by now.
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This figure was recoloured into Cryotek at the end of the Cybertron series.  The colour was used in the show when Scourge gets incredibly angry he starts flaming and manages to heat up to a hot-blue in anger.  Later on in the Universe line, it was also used for a Bruticus figure as well, inspired by Bruticus from the Robots In Disguise line.



Overall this is a pretty good figure.  The lack of articulation in robot mode makes it less exciting, but the definite highlight of this guy is his awesome beast mode, which is not hampered by the lack of articulation. Colours and sculpting all add up to make an impressive figure.  If you like beast mode Transformers, you won’t go wrong with this guy.

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