Robots in Disguise 2000 Universe Scourge Walmart Exclusive
Transformers Generations Legacy Velocitron Speedia 500 Collection Toy
Item No.: No. F3077 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Blaster, sword, matrix, trailer, axe Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to truck cab, also from trailer to battle station Retail:$55.97 Availability: August 2022 Other: Black Optimus Prime Re-re-re-re-re-re-revisited
There was a time when a black repaint of Optimus Prime was novel - and that time was about 21 years ago. This Robots in Disguise 2000 Universe Scourge takes its design cues from the Japanese and Korean release of Black Convoy, rather than the 2022 US release of Scourge. The former had upside-down Autobot logos on it (so it could make use of existing discs for a disc launcher) and some very pink weapons. The US release was redder and swapped out "Commando" symbols for Decepticons, and that's what I bought - because at the time, Decepticon symbols were something that hadn't been sold in the US market on toys in quite some time. Now? I think we'd all prefer the upside-down G2 Autobot faces, and mercifully, that's what we got.
As the first repaint of Legacy Laser Optimus Prime - itself a Ship of Theseus-esque series of retools dating back to at least 2019 - you get something that's both better and worse than what has come before. Scourge/Nemesis Prime has had so many toys over the years that you may not ever need to see another one. Or, you may really love the idea. The very first release was a redeco (sans electronics) of the great Generation 2 Laser Rods Optimus Prime which was bigger, more gimmick-laden, and just so easy to transform. The mold was regarded by fans as one of the very best in the entire Transformers pantheon of toys, and given that this was after Beast Wars that's saying quite a bit. I would still recommend buying the original mold - used for Scourge, Optimus Prime, and Ultra Magnus (but sadly, never Toxitron) if you can find it. It's a joy.
But, unfortunately collectors don't experience joy - they want "challenges" and "super-articulation," which can get in the way of fun. 2022 Scourge is still a big boy, with lots of teal and pink. The articulation is impressive, but the big shoulder pylons don't rotate like the original toy - the arms inside can, though. There are new elements like rocking ankles, a Matrix inside the chest, and rocket boosters that fold down on the figure's back. It's clever - Hasbro and Takara-Tomy engineered a lot of fun play (or really, display) features into the mold. The shoulder pylons have 5mm teal circles that can hold C.O.M.B.A.T. effects, or flip up to reveal blisteringly bright pink rocket launchers. They're non-functioning, but they're gorgeous. The clear plastic was also used for Scourge's false window chest, which flips up to reveal a silver and pink redeco of the Matrix of Leadership. The figure's head has bright teal lines, silver elements, and light-up pink eyes - I love it. It's great. It's not quite as bright (or gray) as the original release, but it's colorful and chipper for a black redeco.
The figure is not left wanting for gear. The axe can fold up and store in the trailer, or be used as a pizza cutter, or combine with the sword. There's a blaster hidden in the tanker trailer that pops out to serve as a non-light-up blaster - and I'm very fond of the 5mm ports for additional storage in there. The sword is always a necessary part of a good Scourge/Nemesis Prime toy, but this one is a little weird. There's a tab on it that locks it out of being used with most figures. Scourge has an open hand, so you can slide it between his thumb and fingers - but any 5mm fists with a closed fist won't be able to hold it without modifying the hand or sword. I don't understand why they bothered to add this "feature," as it would be cool to share this accessory with other figures, but there you go. Hasbro gonna Hasbro.
Nothing in the set is bigger than the battle station which both scratches a necessary itch and disappoints. The chrome has been replaced by silver paint, and the interior is all black with no paint. You can fold down a tower and aim a gun, but there aren't any firing rockets or launching discs. It's not really big enough for your smaller figures to use as a battle station either - it's shelf scenery, and the designers did a great job sculpting detailing into it. But is it fun? No, not really - nothing can eclipse the madness and 1990s-ness of the original mold. It's just not possible.
If you don't have an original Scourge or Nemesis Prime this is a decent substitute. But, a complete original isn't very expensive right now - it's over $100 but not by much. I'd nudge you to get one, because why wouldn't I? It's a blast because you get lots of parts and you can shoot your other toys with it. The 2022 model is arguably - arguably - prettier, cheaper, and much more articulated. The original one lacks rocker ankles or swivel wrists, but it is a beefy bruiser that's going to want to punch your other toys.
Transformation is much more complex than the original "pull out the arms and pull down the legs" of the original toy, which will no doubt satisfy adult fans who bristle when you call their toys "collectibles." Me, I want something I can change in seconds - or maybe a minute. I love it. This takes a couple of minutes, but at least you're rewarded with interesting twists and turns, a fake rocket pack in the cab, and a look at some interesting engineering decisions. The swivel wrists are actually a ball-and-socket joints in addition to Scourge being positively brimming with 5mm ports to plug in other accessories. If you've got a loaded toy box, this figure and his goofy transformation will keep you busy. It's also arguably so good that if you have this one, and the original one, I have little reason to recommend ever buying a collector-level toy of Scourge again. (Having said that, the "Spychangers"-sized Scourge that fits on Hot Wheels tracks is absolutely worth your time to find.)
His truck mode is a truck. It will not impress, but it's good enough to say Hasbro did a nice job with it. I like the teal pinstriping, the silver wheel covers, and a pink that's so pink I'm sure Stuart Semple would want to keep it away from Anish Kapoor. (That's for you paint people in the back.) The front wheels don't roll freely, and the back ones don't roll much. It's not a very fun toy truck, but it's been quite a while since we've gotten truly fun vehicle alt modes for these things. What you're buying is a super-poseable robot with a shelf-ready vehicle mode, and most likely you won't transform it more than once or twice because you'll want to keep the robot mode out for the world to see. And you'd be right to do this. Hasbro did a nice job painting it to look like Scourge, and I would say the truck mode looks more like the original toy than the robot mode.
Unless Hasbro starts cranking out ridiculously fun 1-step toys, I may never want to buy another Scourge (based on the G2 Laser Optimus Prime) ever again. Heck, Movie Scourge in Studio Series 86 was also so good I can't imagine wanting to buy another one of him, either. We're getting to a point where some of these guys are pretty satisfying, but in a lot of cases fall short of the fun factor of the original. Each does something well, andI probably don't ever need to spend time or money thinking about getting another one like this. It's possible Hasbro will prove me wrong, but sometimes in life you pick up a figure and short of making it exactly like the cartoon's paint job there's not much else you can do with it. I appreciate the arm and chest deco changes, and I've been having a lot of fun playing with this one (and giving him other accessories to fuss with.) Any toy that inspires you to dig out and play with your other toys is a good one, which means this is probably one of the better things I've bought this year. Get one if you like how he looks - I doubt you'll be sorry.
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