Posts Tagged Update
He’s big, he’s bad, he might even be battlin’, but this Dudicus is somewhat awkward. Fall of Cybertron Bruticus!
As I mentioned in Jazz’s post, in the Fall of Cybertron line everyone is tremendously more bulky in game form than they appear in toy form.
There’s a million and one real world reasons for this and in my opinion it’s fine in most cases. I find the bulging designs of most of the characters in the game to be too much, I like the slimmer look of the toys. However, nowhere is this difference more apparent than the default combined mode for Fall of Cybertron Bruticus.
One arm longer than the other, his top is spindly, gangly, lanky, awkward; whichever word you choose. He takes the weight loss paradigm a little too far and definitely doesn’t have the impact his game incarnation has.
With the proportions reversed, using Swindle and Brawl for arms with Vortex and Blast Off as legs, things don’t any better.
Also, despite being a Scramble City style combiner, there really is a kind of default with Vortex and Blast Off as arms.
Fortunately you don’t have to do the default transformation for Vortex and Blast-Off. Unfortunately this lead me to an even bigger disappointment.
Not just hands, but each one has the ability to be either a right or a left arm, meaning each one has right and left hands — some by simply rotating the thumb piece around to the appropriate angle, some just have two full, separate hands. Though Brawl gets the award for worst, the best hands are actually on Swindle. Vortex’s karate chop/salute hand really annoys me.
So, how to use the best hands when they are both on the guy that is best used as a leg?
Step one, easily extract said hands by removing two screws and sliding them off their bars with Swindle none the worse for wear. Steps two through done; cut some dowel rods, make alternate transformations for Blast Off and Vortex, attach the hands, and voila.
The best hands in the set with a transformation that makes Bruticus a little less lanky.
Any other potential flaws are inconsequential enough that this alone moves these guys from “pretty ok” to “freaking awesome”. Also, falling in the “freaking awesome” category is the packaging for the exclusive G2 themed set.
Adorned with G2 Decepticon symbols and completed with painstakingly accurate original-style box art, the box itself is a masterpiece.
The lettering, the colours, the “Clip and Save!” Bio and Tech Specs, all perfect. One thing the package doesn’t do, is make one mention of Fall of Cybertron.
Why is this important?
Well, fictionally, it means there is no actual tie between this incarnation of Bruticus and the one from the videogame. Yes, the videogame has downloadable content to use the G2 coloration, but it also has a G1 Optimus Prime skin you can use.
So, why should you care?
You shouldn’t. Unless you run the TFWiki, in which case you then have to include the retail, SDCC, and TakaraTomy releases under “Fall of Cybertron” but include the G2-themed release under G1.
I’m still only including these guys on my War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron display. Continuity gives me nosebleeds.
The sum of his parts versus the Dudicus as a whole… your mileage may vary. Fall of Cybertron Combaticons!
With the two “game accurate” (not counting downloadable content) releases being ridiculously expensive — the San Diego Comic Con version initially selling for a laughable $100 and the initial import prices for the TakaraTomy release putting it at $150 before shipping, I went with the $60 G2-themed BigBadToyStore/Amazon.com exclusive. Providing even more odd symmetry to my personal saga of Bruticus, the G2 version is most likely the only one I will keep in my collection. There is a retail version, but as I discuss later, I’m only picking up the rest of them if I find them discounted; in Onslaught and Brawl’s case, heavily discounted.
On that ominous note, how do these new incarnations stack up against the originals?
Onslaught is the biggest disappointment for a lot of people. Though most say he is a disappointment because he is a deluxe release, not a larger, perhaps Voyager release, I disagree. Him being the same size class as the rest of his squad makes perfect sense to me for a number of reasons, primarily the fact that he does not appear much larger than the other Combaticons in the game.
Most important for me, his arms lack shoulder articulation which is just inexcusable in a modern Transformer. Also, they missed an easy opportunity by not allowing his gun to attach to his back in robot mode, like it does in combined mode.
My own biggest complaint against Onslaught has to be his mess of an alt mode, especially considering how straightforward the original Onslaught’s alt mode was.
Chief among my complaints are that his robot mode arms and hands are just a little too visible and his alt mode is missing most of its mass in the back. With its missing rear middle section, this Onslaught clearly stole his alt mode from G1 Kup.
From my least favourite we move on to my own personal biggest disappointment. Brawl shares Onslaught’s issue of having way too much hanging down in the back in robot mode. Though the reason he is my biggest disappointment out of the set isn’t even the toy’s fault directly. He has two cannons instead of one, his head is all angles instead of the boxy helmeted look, and… yeah, there’s just nothing really Brawl about him at all. Given that Brawl is my favourite G1 Combaticon, this make me sad.
Also, in the War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron world the hover tank is done absolutely to death already. They managed to pick the most boring design of all to give to Brawl.
Moving away from the two slight disappointments, there’s the three designs I like the best in the set. Swindle is really good from the front and actually comes off slightly bulkier in the upper torso than his game model.
Much like his sleazy sales-based personality, it’s all a front. (Haha! See what I did there?) Turning him around reveals a robotic skeleton.
His alt mode is really well done, this is helped along tremendously for me by the fact that his alt mode is the basis of my second favourite level from Fall of Cybertron. In Chapter VII: Belly of the Beast, tearing along at breakneck speeds under the Autobot Energon Transport endeared this little “Assault Transport” to me.
I not entirely sure what it is, but there’s something I really like about Blast Off’s design. Unlike Brawl, Blast Off’s head is clearly an update of the original.
The fairing of his humongous engine forming his shoulders gives him a very distinct silhouette.
In fact, I liked him enough that, when I saw his retail release at a discount, I grabbed him so fast it would make your head spin.
I have to say, his alt mode being almost 50% engine is grand.
My favorurite of the Fall of Cybertron Combaticons is easily Vortex. Not so coincidentally, my favourite level in the game is Chapter VI: Death from Above a.k.a. “the Vortex level”.
As my favourite, it didn’t take much for me to buy his retail release.
The reason he’s my favourite, though, as I pointed out in my post about the game, is Vortex’s alt mode was the best thing about the game for me. The toy does a wonderful job of capturing that.
I wish there would have been some sort of alternate transformation that mimicked the video game’s booster flight mode.
The other thing I am wondering is why they gave two swords to the guy with four blades already permanently attached to his arm. I like to think that Blast Off and Vortex end up on missions together quite a lot (like the one in Chapter VI) so they swap weapons.
Overall, out of the five Combaticons, there aren’t really any I would call outright failures and as display pieces they all work.
All together, I can easily imagine them as an elite Decepticon squad. Well, assuming they all lived through that last battle that sent Bruticus spiraling off into space and potentially hurtling back to Cybertron from orbit.
Speaking of whom, next up, Fall of Cybertron “G2″ Bruticus: is he big? is he bad? is he… battlin’? (What does that actually mean?)
While researching Hubcap’s complete lack of U.S. fiction appearances for the first 18 years of his existence, I came across the best description of his circumstance by way of the TFWiki:
“Despite his availability with the rest of the ’86 Mini-Vehicle assortment, Hubcap was omitted completely from the original cartoon. No character model was drawn up for him, and he was similarly absent from the Marvel Comics The Transformers Universe bio series, despite having a full-length bio written by Bob Budiansky. The reason for this omission is unknown.”
This created a situation where, very much like Scoop, I was aware of Hubcap, but not overly invested in adding him to the collection. The third character/toy that falls into this same category is Jackpot. It was Jackpot and Hubcap’s appearance in the TFCC story Gone Too Far that made me want to pick both of these guys up.
Out of the two of them, I liked the hapless but affable con artist Hubcap best. Though the chances of getting a Classics-style update to Jackpot are even more remote now that we are getting a toy of Animated Jackpot through the TFCC Figure Subscription Service, we got an updated Hubcap through the amazing work of Venksta over at Renderform.com.
With colours to match either Reveal the Shield Bumblebee or Legacy of Bumblebee Bumblebee, I went with the Reveal the Shield release.
Though the Legacy release has a closer yellow colour to his G1 incarnation, I wanted to differentiate Hubcap further from my Classics Bumblebee, that and the orangish red in his face goes really well with the slightly orangish yellow of the body.
As with the other replacement head sets for the Minibots, the “Hub Scout” set includes some serious weaponry for Hubcap.
Though Hubcap is more of a talker than a fighter, so they seem excessive. The generic ”Cruiser” hatchback alt mode does a good job in place of his G1 toy’s Porsche 924 Turbo.
Very few Transformers have warranted two posts, but as I stated in his first post, Hot Spot quickly jumped into my “favourite Scramble City combiners Commander” slot. That position was previously occupied by Scattorshot, but only by default because Computron was the only G1 combiner I had growing up. In another post, I wrote about hunting down a G1 Hot Spot to display separately from my combined Defensor, this was further reinforced when the new Generations release was announced. I lucked across one in a local collectibles shop.
Though he’s in good shape otherwise, I got him for a really good price because he’s is missing some stickers, one of this two fist tabs is broken off, and he came with no accessories. Luckily you can’t see the tab unless you’re specifically looking for it and I already had all his accessories, some pieces a couple times over.
As far as the Generations release, he’s darn near perfect. Well, that is if you put aside the darker paintjob and the fact that this is the fourth version of this mold I have.
Granted, a lot of people have the same problem with Hot Spot as they had with Inferno: the original G1 version of both have fire engines with ladder apparatus as their alt modes, however the Generations mold sports a water cannon in place of the telescoping ladder.
As updates go, I much prefer the more modern look of the water cannon, but to each their own, I guess. To tell the truth, as long as they made him any discernible firetruck that was blue with a firey comet logo on the front, I would have been happy. Either way, for me it’s the headsculpt that really sells it.
It’s so good, in fact, it makes me want to apply a little silver paint to the mouthplate of the G1 toy.
Something I forgot to mention in the previous post about Hot Spot, is that he received a little bit of an homage in the Armada line.
In his 2003 repaint, the Mini-con Emergency Team member Firebot received a Hot Spot inspired paintjob.
The coolest part is that the Emergency Team all have a second alt mode of a weapon, unfortunately with no cooresponding Mini-con port, neither Hot Spot can use Mini-Hot Spot as a missile launcher.
Hot Spot also got a release in the Japanese Kabaya series. It’s been a tradition of my last few Botcons to pick up whichever parts of that year’s Kabaya releases at the convention. This year I went with the clear goal of getting Deathsaurus and Hot Spot. (I actually ended up getting the third toy in that series, War for Cybertron Optimus Prime, for free along with them.)
I wanted to get Hot Spot especially so that he could sit on the shelves of my work display.
Much like the Generations release, my complaint about the Kabaya toy is that the blue is far too dark, but other than that he’ll fit right in with all the Legion class and Cyberverse Commander folks.
My only real regret is that this amazing new Hot Spot will never be the centerpiece of an equally sized Generations Defensor, which would be amazing.
In my head, the whole thing looks rather epic and a lot like this,
One can dream, right? Though, I guess it’s for the best “Protectobot Hot Spot” is the only Protectobot on the shelves. If he was part of a combiner I would have to hunt down a second Generations Hot Spot, like I found I just had to do with the G1 release.
Being very well acquainted with the concept of scientific method and the application of scientific theory, I am still somewhat confused as to how Skids’ function could be simply “Theoretician”. Among the other Autobot scientist-types we have Wheeljack (Mechanical Engineer), Brainstorm (Biomechanical Engineer), Highbrow (Electronic Warfare), and then there is Skids, the Theoretician, and Perceptor, the Scientist.
Both are remarkably vague. Both sound more like what you tell your friends and family you do for a living rather than trying to explain the complexities of your current project modelling particle interaction with drastic space-time fluctuation. Then again maybe Perceptor and Skids received Liberal Arts degrees and this is their way of skirting the issue. Of course, the distinct possibility exists that I am simply overthinking the whole thing.
Skids also has something else in common with Perceptor, toy-wise they are both rather heavily armed for scientists.
Skids also has something in common with another of his fellow G1 ‘bots. Just like Trailbreaker, he has yet to receive a proper update in any Classics or Generations lines. Unlike Trailbreaker, though, he at least received an entry in the Alternators toyline.
Like much of the Alternators line, Skids’ toy is absolutely wonderful. Great articulation, complex — but not frustrating — transformation, and a headsculpt that melds his animation model with his original toy.
His licensed alt mode, the Toyota Scion xB is also a perfect modern day analogy of his G1 alt mode.
Though a much splashier paintjob, the Scion xB is a perfect fit as a compact hatchback. However, this goes against the one thing most people tend to remember about Skids.
With only two lines in the entirety of the cartoon, those that remember him from there often refer to him as “the dude that transforms into a minivan”. He had a larger role in the comic, but this just leads to him being referred to as “the dude that transforms into a minivan that had the hots for that cowgirl.”
However, this was simply a misinterpretation by the creators of the fiction (the minivan part, not the Powerglide-like “falling for a squishy organic-type” part.) Not surprisingly, Skids’ toy was from the pre-Transformers Diaclone line from Japan. In Japan in the early 1980′s subcompact cars, like the Honda City Turbo Skids’ alt mode is based on, were very popular. In the U.S. at the same time, subcompact cars were virtually unheard of. This is what lead to Skids’ boxy alt mode being misinterpreted as one of the many American minivans of the time. In reality, Skids’ actual alt mode could probably fit in the cargo section of an American minivan.
Either way, until he gets his update in Generations form, his Alternators toy is certainly representing.
Swerve was a truck in G1. His pickup truck alt mode appears to be carrying some cargo already or maybe a camper like Trailbreaker, giving it a more SUV-ish look, but either way, he’s unmistakably a truck.
The odd thing is that this little truck dude would then go on to lend his name to a succession of homages; two straight repaints, one repaint with a new head, and one completely new sculpt that all had one thing in common: they were all red cars. Heck, even Swerve’s Alternators release was just Alternators Tracks’ Corvette done in red with a new head sculpt. Of those I only bought one, and not because he was Swerve, but because he was Sideswipe. In the Revenge of the Fallen line, a red repaint of my favourite movie Autobot, Sideswipe was released with a new headsculpt and with the name “Swerve”. One of my favourite things about all three movie lines was the inclusion of straight G1 homages. I have an entire shelf in my display dedicated to the G1 repaints of movie figures, like the Target exclusive movie Jazz repaint. Though it makes sense to give him a new name to along with the new head, a red and black Sideswipe to me was always a much better homage of G1 Sideswipe than he ever was as G1 Swerve.
However, within the last year Swerve has gotten an appearance in Prime (or rather Arms Micron) as a repaint of Breakdown (truck!) with a new headsculpt as well as a full on update in the same Generations line that brought us Wheelie’s most recent toy.
He’s again a repaint with a new headsculpt, this time of Generations Kup, but hey, G1 Swerve was a slight remold himself, so he’s probably ok with it. Especially given that this time, they got the alt mode perfect on this impeccably engineered piece.
Originally meant as a Hasbro Asia exclusive, he and Wheelie were the only two deluxes I really was unhappy about missing out on. Once they were released as exclusives on this side of the ocean, Toys R Us’ website fixed that problem rather quickly. Of course, this new, more mature look for Swerve is incongruous with his appearance in the currently running More Than Meets The Eye comic series, where he’s gotten some pretty good exposure, even garnering one of the promo images for the series.
It’s actually the wisecracking, sarcastic little ‘bot of the comics that has caused the few complaints I have seen about Generations Swerve: “Look at his face, he’s just too… serious looking.” Though I have enjoyed his hijinks in the comics, I much prefer this look on him now. As I have said with Warpath, Seaspray, and Powerglide before, I like when the little guys get respectably sized updates.
Not the Transformer we wanted and yet; definitely the Transformer we deserved to get. G1 and Generations Wheelie!
See what I did there? Though perhaps you think I’m being less than fair.
How could we deserve to get, an update of Wheelie in this set?
There are so many more ‘bots, absolutely any of those; would be preferable to that kid that bopped Grimlock on the nose.
His rhyming, his voice, his toy in G1! These things were not things that remind us of fun.
In fact, from the movie, why Hot Rod is dismissed; as most hated, is because Wheelie does exist.
Hot Rod was indirectly responsible for the death of Optimus Prime! Yet, Wheelie is more hated because of the rhyme.
So let me explain my statement, ’cause I will not swerve; when I say Generations Wheelie is something we deserve.
Generations is a toyline that shouldn’t be. To say the least, it’s financially risky.
Transformers are toys, toys are meant for the kids; an on-going retail release with no cartoon could put Hasbro on the skids.
Hasbro doing these toys at all takes a lot of guts; despite this fact most of the fandom still struts;
around with attitudes; spewing ridiculous platitudes,
“There’s my Grimlock, where’s the rest? 1 out of 5 Dinobots? Surely you jest!”
“My toys have gotten smaller! Give me more and make them taller!”
“How dare you give me Kup! I wanted Ironhide too, one’s not enough!”
“I know Hasbro has no control over pricing, but why; Hasbro sucks, the toys cost too much, kthnxbye!”
“Combaticons are too neon, Bruticus shouldn’t be fab! Kids would definitely buy Onslaught in olive drab!”
Prefaced with “I wish” none of these statements are too bad; but more often than not they are spoken by the raving mad.
Half-crazed, entitled, little brats; the fandom dissolves into numerous spats.
That’s precisely why, month’s ago I said; I wish upon you a repaint with a new head,
Make him two shades of orange mixed with off-white; yes, I hope you get a deluxe Wheelie, that’s right.
And that’s exactly what we got. The thing that’s surprising is that he’s not– no. Wait. Stop. No more rhyming. I originally planned on writing this entire post in rhyme, but just attempting to read any of the TFWiki entry for Wheelie (completely written in rhyme) has made me think that’s more annoying than clever. I’ll stop while I’m ahead-ish. I sincerely hope the first part was not nearly as painful to read as it was to write.
The fandom has a lot of hate for Wheelie, even going so far as having him killed off in 3H’s Wreckers comic book’s first issue.
Having grown tired of the constant moaning about a toyline that by all rights shouldn’t even be possible, I felt that a release of one of their most despised G1 characters was nothing less than what the vitriolic whiners deserved.
When Generations Wheelie was first announced I quite literally let loose a loud “Mwahahahahahahahaha!” My curse upon the fandom had worked! Besides, I was perfectly ok with Wheelie because my most recent recollection of him was from the Transformers Headmasters series, in which he is not only not a rhyming savant, he’s actually kinda funny; especially in the episode where he has too much energon and gets drunk.
Then it was announced that the whole line was a Hasbro Asia exclusive and I was crestfallen. When it was announced that they would also hit Toys R Us as an exclusive, I was even more crestfallen. Trying to get your hands on a single Toys R Us exclusive these days is painful to say the least (I’m still looking for Masterpiece Optimus Prime); trying to get an entire line of deluxes is downright excruciating. That is, unless they decide to actually put the exclusives up on their website. Thanks to the useful “e-mail me when this item is available” function, I was able to sit back and let them tell me when I could order.
Wheelie is awesome. Never thought I’d ever type that particular sentence, but it’s true. Starting with my personal favourite mold of recent history, “Special Ops” Jazz, his paintjob perfectly evokes his G1 toy.
Truth be told, the only reason I own his G1 toy is that it came packed in with the 2005 Transformers Collection reissue of Kup and Recoil. There’s not much else about his G1 toy that influenced his new Generations incarnation. His new headsculpt is a combination of his original cartoon head and the head seen in a lot of his most recent comic book appearances.
His weapon of choice, the slingshot, also made a surprise appearance.
The colour scheme does a good job of mimicking the orange with burnt orange highlights of the original.
Basically, a wish of ill upon the whinier portions of the fandom has actually been rendered into a pretty slick toy.
Of course, to play devil’s advocate for a moment, those that dislike him for the rhyming (a personality quirk resurrected in the bio of his Generations toy) potentially have a point. When I think of characters that speak in rhyme, one in particular jumps straight to mind, the Demon from DC Comics, Etrigan. In the DC Comics universe, rhyming is a sign of a demon’s higher rank amongst the other demons.
Maybe Wheelie’s childlike, cheery disposition is a cover for more… insidious goals.
I’ve already established that Jazz is the coolest cat you know, no matter what dimension. I think Jazz would most likely be my favourite Autobot were it not for Wheeljack. Of all the dumb things I did early on in my Transformers collecting, not picking up G2 Jazz ranks up there with my most regretful. Seeing him on the shelf with his mind-blowing new paint scheme was just too much for my still G1-centric mindset.
Judging by a lot of the online auctions I have seen out there, Jazz’s new sticker set proved somewhat challenging for kids. Or at least I hope it was a kid that did this.
To fill this hole in my collection for now, I broke down and bought a cheap Reveal the Shield Jazz and ordered the G2 Jazz upgrade stickers from Reprolabels. Moments after receiving the stickers in the mail, the news hit the internet that the very unlikely choice had been made to release an official “G2 Jazz”. This, naturally, annoyed the heck out of me because I am not a customizer in the least and Reprolabels’ G2 Jazz set required using rubbing alcohol to remove actual paint applications from Jazz. I would much rather just buy an official release and be done with it.
Then it was announced that G2 Jazz would be in a set and an exclusive.
Then it was announced that the price would be surprisingly reasonable.
Then a picture was released.
So… wait, what the heck is that? Nothing against the deco, per se, but that is not even somewhat G2 Jazz. My choice to go the semi-D.I.Y. route now seemed to be a very, very good choice.
As I said, I’m not customizer. I would like to say that removing the red line across the bottom of the front bumper was intentional, but it was actually removed accidentally. I considered getting paint and tape and putting it back, but I actually think I’m ok with it. It pulled attention away from the other added details, and this rainbowed wonderfulness is fine without it. Granted, it wouldn’t be G2 without a big, brightly coloured gun with overly elongated missile sticking out of it.
He still looks amazing in robot mode, still one of the best designs of recent years. Most of the deco ends up on his back in robot mode, so he’s definitely going to get displayed in alt mode; sporting speakers, of course.
This guy isn’t the only Jazz to hit my collection since the last Jazz post (which is pretty impressive considering there were already five different Jazz toys in that post). At this year’s Botcon, free Kre-O sets were being given away and thanks to some trading with an awesome friend (Hi, Rebekah!), I ended up with Jazz rather than a second Prowl — or was it Mirage?
Of course, all I wanted was the Kreon, the construction set itself didn’t even warrant building the alt mode and has joined a growing pile of Legos for playing with in imaginative, none-instructions-directed ways.
Next up is another dose of Jazz rating an “OMG!” on the adorable scale. Naturally, the ever-popular culture maven was given a release in the new Bot Shots series.
His alt mode is very reminiscent of the original “Penny Racer” style G1 minibots.
Which brings us to the most recent Jazz, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Jazz. Like a lot of the characters in the game that were turned into toys, Jazz is pretty much as close to his game model as you can get.
The only thing his toy is missing, is the sense of bulk his game model has, but that would have been difficult to achieve in while still keeping his alt mode streamlined.
His alt mode keeps the sleek lines of his traditional mode but dispenses altogether with the concept of being a passenger vehicle.
He also is one of the rare toys that doesn’t look goofy with his weapon mounted on his alt mode.
I’m assuming that’s just because Jazz is as inherently cool as he is.
Despite being the most monotone, dullest, least doom-inspiring voice of all time, he does try to follow that up with his “Big Stick”,
Actually, all things considered, G2 Megatron might be the least fearsome incarnation of the Decepticon commander. Just look at that face.
With his impish almost-smirk, he is at least an original mold. Amidst a swath of splendidly garish repaints, Megatron is one of the few to receive an all-new body. This is due to the fact that by 1993 his previous toy, with its Walther P-38 alt-mode, was darn near illegal to release in the United States. Instead, they turned him into a nice, safe tank. A really big tank too. Granted, a really big tank done up in purple and green camouflage.
G2! Yay! Of course, I had already been setup to accept his transformation into tank form by the G.I.Joe comics that served as an intro into Marvel’s Transformers: Generation 2 comic book series. Toy-wise, with no leg articulation to speak of and very little in the way of arm articulation, G2 Megatron’s robot mode is something of a brick. G2! Yay!
Still, his large size makes him an intimidating brick. Also, his gravity-fed, multi-shot cannon is a whole lot of fun.
Definitely one of my favourite pieces of G2. If you don’t have him already, he is worth tracking down. If not the original G2 version, you can probably find his Takara repaint Beast Wars II‘s “Duke of Destruction” Megastorm.
Showing that alt modes don’t always have to make any sense to be awesome. Energon Scorponok! Timelines Double Punch!
After two posts from Cybertron and now this guy, you might be able to guess that I have reached the A-E-C portion of the packing of the toys. For anyone not familiar with the “Unicron Trilogy”, Armada, Energon, and Cybertron or A-E-C for short were three back-to-back Transformers cartoons and toylines meant to be one continuity. Whereas Energon is a straightforward sequel to Armada, the connection between those two and Cybertron is tenuous at best (if not just an outright fabrication by Hasbro). All that aside, Energon is easily the weakest of the toylines of the three. In fact, I don’t own a good portion of it. I might have been more able to forgive the glaring mistakes of the toyline if the cartoon dub hadn’t been even worse than the already poor Armada. At the time, I didn’t have easy access to the Japanese version, called Super Link due to the combining gimmick of the series. Maybe watching Super Link would have made it somewhat better or, like with Galaxy Force versus Cybertron, actually downright enjoyable. I found copies of the Japanese releases of both Armada and Energon and maybe after enough years have gone by, I’ll attempt to watch them. Granted, the urge hasn’t hit yet and it’s been ten years since Armada first aired.
Enough ranting, let’s get to the toy.
My initial reaction to Energon Scorponok was, in order:
- What the ever-lovin’ heck is that supposed to be?
- Space Scorpion Construction Vehicle Assault Tank. Huh.
- I think I love it.
I am relatively sure I shouldn’t actually like him, but I do. There’s nothing at all that makes sense about his alt mode, but that’s never stopped me from totally liking a Transformer before. Then, of course, there’s the fact that he is a triple-changer, with a space ship alt mode as well.
His imposing robot mode, the mode that really sold me on this toy, is chunky but still manages to have some pretty decent articulation.
The Botcon-folks would use this mold in 2010 as part of the G2: Redux line to do one of my favourite repaint/remold tricks: provide a transforming update to an Action Master. As with all the Action Master Elites, G1 Double Punch was never released in the U.S. Also, as part of that European-exclusive Generation 1 toyline, Double Punch had some wonderfully obnoxious colours, faithfully recreated in his Botcon release.
Though Scorponok received a slight remolding to be released in the Cybertron line, Double Punch uses the original version of the mold.
Complete with awesome-ly nonsensical alt mode. To this day, I don’t know what they were thinking when they designed it, but I like it.
The original really can’t even come close to Double Punch’s application of the mold. Even the G1 Scorponok homaging head mold is made better in Double Punch’s colour scheme.
Double Punch is clearly the toy this mold was always meant to be.