Sunday, 1 June 2014

Generations Scoop


Oh how I love me some TargetMasters.  Or any masters.  As a result I really wanted this figure, less so for the character or the G1-nes since I never had the original toy, but more so for his TargetMasters and that he actually came with them.  How nice!


But how nice is the toy?


In some ways very and in others not so much.



Scoop is a bull dozer, or lifter.  Whatever… He has a scoop on the front of the vehicle, hence the name of Scoop.  Robot mode looks pretty damn good I have to say but that orange!  Yowsers!  A lick of paint here and there wouldn’t have gone astray at all, despite him having a reasonable bit.  I think it’s compounded by the large scoop behind his back.


His hands, thighs and hips are an oddly butter yellow, which although not looking awful doesn’t exactly compliment the orange all that well.  He’s just so orange!  I wonder if him and Sandstorm are rivals or pals?


Sculpted details are rather nice with a fair bit of character related designs on him.  Vent looking things and ladders are dotted around his robot mode, even on his calves which is a nice touch and some on the inside of his chest which is either hidden by an outer panel or the scoop.  He has a nice face with a stern look to it and fairly decent lightpiping in his eyes.



I was really impressed at how they managed to stow away the scoop so well.  It slightly hinders the shoulders, or that could be the wheels, anyway the effect is rather minimal.  However he wouldn’t look quite as cool without the scoop, or if it had been shrunk a little bit.  It definitely adds to his bulk in robot mode!


Articulation is pretty good.  Actually it’s excellent. 


The shoulders are on ball joints and have an extra hinge piece thanks to transformation, the head is ball jointed, he has swivels at the waist, mid thigh and elbows, hinged toes (once again Transformation), hinged knees with another hinge just below effectively creating a double jointed knee.  Thankyou transformation.  All this adds up to a dude who can bust out some nice poses.  Which is great as he is a duel weapon wielding religious zealot soldier.


Balance is good, but a little tricky as his feet are ever so slightly angled for a wide legged stance.



I’ll have more pics with his guns soon.


Transformations is simple and fun and the vehicle mode is effective and looks the part.  However my main qualm with this figure is the way it’s held together for the vehicle.  The front wheels and forearms of the robot mode ‘lock’ (and I use this term very loosely) into the chest piece via the tiniest of tabs.  The end result is a flimsily held together front half of a construction vehicle.



They don’t hold together at all well, which is annoying  as they will always be popping out.  The other problem is that big gap in the picture above.  That isn’t filled with anything, it;s just covered up by the scoop’s hydraulic pipes, so a cursory glance is ok, but look any deeper and you will see that gap.



It looks good (with the scoop down) and has some nice detail on the truck as well as the scoop.  Even the underside of the vehicle managed to keep the robot mode fairly well hidden.  The scoop however is just there for show, it sits in the standard position and any attempt to lower it (as if scooping) will show that unsightly gap and made the scoop look odd.


One thing I am not too sure if I like or don’t like right now is that you can see his robot eyes and head in the cockpit of the vehicle.


The vehicle has a bunch of the 5mm ports for plugging in his TargetMaster pals.  So let’s have a look at them!


Holepunch and Caliburst are their names. Caliburst used to be called Tracer back in the 80s/90s.  They are new moulds and different to Nightstick who came with Cyclonus (and every other Generation TargetMaster until now) and surprisingly have a bit of articulation on them, with ball jointed shoulders.


Holepunch is the blue one and therefore Caliburst must be the yellow one.  Argh! more yellow and orange!!!  They are both small but I was impressed to see that the sculpting on them is great and they look a lot like an updated version of their G1 selves.  Yay.




However I was a little annoyed to find that I didn’t find them as cool as I was expecting.  I wasn’t expecting too much, but better than this.  They have an unsightly thing between their legs (oo-er!) which is the gun handle and the barrels of the gun flipped over their back.


Perhaps I was spoilt with Cosmos and Swerve’s gun partners, but the end result with Caliburst and Holepunch is that while being nice looking Nebulan partners in robot mode, the gun modes just don’t look that good.  In fact I think the partners of Swerve and Cosmos look better and they are triple changers!



They are just standing with long pointy hoods on their heads…  Sure this is what the G1 figures do too, but in this day and age and considering how they are solely TargetMasters I expected better than this…




They are able to connect to Scoop in a couple of different ways.  In his hands, off the side of his forearms and one on his shin.  I can see the shin option not being so popular, but it is there if you so wish.




Like the double TargetMasters of old, Caliburst and Holepunch can combine for a double blaster.  All you do is unfold the arms of one and plug the other into their back.  It’s a weak connection held together by a small tab.  Scoop then has two ways of holding them.  From the handle in the middle or the handle at the end.



Once again I don’t think the end result is all that fantastic.


Now for some TargetMaster fun!  They can be loaded into the scoop of vehicle mode for some driving around, or mounted in the holes in the vehicle, problem with that though is the size of the TM partner’s feet is too large, so you can only have one pointing forwards, or have them both pointing left or right somewhere.  Or dragging on the ground.  And I completely forgot about the ones above his rear wheels, which makes them the most symmetrical and handy ones to use I guess.





Luckily the great articulation of the robot mode makes lots of fun very possible.  You can almost make him hold both handles of the gun when it’s combined.




In the end Scoop is a great toy in robot mode and a decent vehicle.  Caliburst and Holepunch are not so great.  Sadly they seem to fail in becoming a nice looking weapon.  As it is they just become elongated sticks with a hint of gun, which is a real shame as their sole reason for existing is to change into guns.  From the top they look cool, but every other angle, they don’t looks like guns at all.  Perhaps had I come across coop and friends before I did Cosmos and Swerve, I would have liked these guys more, but I think when comparing them to Payload and Flanker (Cosmos’ and Swerve’s TM partners) they just don’t seem all that crash hot, specislly since all they have to do is look like little robots and a GUN. 


While I really like Scoop, I think I’ll be leaving Caliburst and Holepunch in their robot modes standing around with coop as that’s how they look best.  A shame.

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