Takara-Tomy Transformers Unite Warriors Grand Scourge Takara-Tomy, 2015
Day #1,322: November 27, 2015
Grand Scourge Decepticon Dark Commander
Transformers Unite Warriors e-Hobby Exclusive
Item No.: No. n/a Manufacturer:Takara-Tomy Includes:Comic book, large sword, purple guns Action Feature:Changes from robot to truck Retail:7,800 yen (or $65-$95 at importers) Availability: September 2015 Other: Recolor of Optimus Prime
I actually thought I canceled my order for Grand Scourge at HobbyLink Japan but that was not the case - my heart sank when I saw the credit card charge notice, because the surge in other exclusive Combiner Wars sets meant I was no longer going to be complete on the line's various molds. I didn't really need another Combiner Wars Optimus Prime, even if it is a super-cool black repaint. This toy was announced for the Japanese market before they got a version of Convoy or Optimus Prime, making it a little more interesting. Even with Japan's higher retail prices, it's still quite a mark-up. I'd be lying if I said it felt like a good deal, but it's almost a good deal with the paint, the comic, and the sword. It's worth noting the Matrix Breaker Sword is a recolor of Ultimate Beast Hunter Optimus Prime's bladed weapon, complete with sharp edges that also look something like motion lines.
The toy itself is exactly the same mold you got before - possibly more than once. Grand Scourge shares parts with Motormaster as well as Optimus Prime and the white Battle Core Optimus Prime, so you might have four torso combiner trucks by now. According to the comic, Grand Scourge is an interdimensional Matrix Bearer Slayer who pops into "our" reality and crushes Menasor, stealing his car limbs for his own. The comic is translated about as poorly as you could hope for, leading to one of the grand gems in toy fiction when Megatron says "You... made a fool of Megatron, of all people. You'll pay for this, dude!" Grand Scourge is a super-powerful entity befitting a high-priced collectible, but functions the same as your other toys based on this mold.
The red plastic is now black, the silver trim is now gold. More windows are painted, as are Optimus' headlights and hubcaps. A few cents on paint goes a long way toward making a good figure look better, and it certainly looks like a better overall toy. The purple guns mount to the back of the truck, and the sword can mount to the guns - it works out quite nicely. The sword itself is textured differently than the version that came with Arcee earlier this year, and I don't have a frame of reference handy for the original use of this mold - so for all I know, Arcee's is the odd one out. Grand Scourge can easily hold his weapons, although getting the sword in the first can be a bit of a squeeze.
My one deco complaint is the sticker quality. While Takara-Tomy do provide four labels for his blank shoulders - all-white, Blendtron, Decepticon, and Combatron (upside-down G2 Autobot) they're a little thin - you can see through the white paper pretty easily. If I over pay for an expensive collector's figure, I would like to think the label quality should be at least as good as whatever the Sticker Guy does - it's a little disappointing. I do appreciate that we got some options, though, and I was supremely tempted to use the Combatron insignia instead of the default Decepticon look.
Transformation from truck to robot is a snap, as you've no doubt done it a few times now. The toy also has a grand combiner torso mode, with tons of extra paint on the inside of his chest to make him look like the black redeco of Grand Convoy that exists primarily as a small model kit from Transformers SuperLink, Japan's Energon line. The sculpted details in the mold match Grand Convoy/Grand Scourge from 10 years ago quite nicely, really all we're missing is the matching limb set. This mode also shows a big fear of mine - gold plastic. We're told that Gold Plastic Syndrome is something Hasbro knows about and claims won't be happening again, but we've seen other manufacturers find new and interesting ways for their toys to decay prematurely on us. I'm still a little worried this toy may be rendered unplayable in a few years, but maybe everything will be OK. Granted, I was not raised to believe that everything will ever be OK.
According to the pack-in comic - six pages of story - this character is a big enough threat to our Optimus and Megatron that they both realize he needs to be taken down after Superion and Menasor are slaughtered in short order. That's pretty much all that happens - it's a classic character introduction story, where we meet someone new and they're seemingly unstoppable perfect entities. If you watched Armada and Energon you probably saw this trope a bunch. And if you recall other e-Hobby toys with comics, you'll probably also never see Unite Warriors Grand Scourge in the fiction in this form again.
Since Hasbro used the same sword mold with gorgeous paint in its own Combiner Hunters Comic-Con exclusive with three toys and three big weapons for about the same price, this one robot with one unpainted bonus weapon feels like something of a turkey. The comic is a nice bonus, and the box art is gorgeous, but it's still a $70 repaint of a $20-$25 toy. If it were a $40 exclusive at Comic-Con in the US I suspect there would be much complaining, so even though I do like this item I will not deny that even at the discount price of $65 I paid for mine feels like too much. I've got a lot of black repaints - I suspect I will also buy more of them - but I can't say I feel this provides the kind of value I got out of the Legends toys in the main line.
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