Scourge (Transformers)

Scourge (Transformers) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For whatever reason Takara loved making evil versions of Optimus Prime around the time of Car Robots. So we got Black Convoy, who in-story was an Autobot protoform (ask a Transformers fans) who was merged with Gigatron’s spark and Fire Convoy’s design. The toy was actually a redeco of Optimus Prime…from the Generation Two line. Laser Optimus Prime had a light-up gimmick removed from Black Convoy as well as Scourge, the name used for the original Robots In Disguise line by Hasbro. For whatever reason, Scourge was a Toys R Us exclusive figure because none of the other stores wanted to sell him if memory serves. He’s an evil Optimus Prime from when G2 started to finally improve on Transformer articulation, so I don’t understand why. Especially since they did sell the Decepticon combiner team that was redecos of old Generation ONE figures with terrible articulation. I mean, what the heck guys?

Yes, let’s give the guy with a violent temper a tanker full of explosive fuel. That can only end in good things.

In vehicle mode Scourge is a tanker truck. The wheels are plastic but at least on my computer desktop has a real neat rumbling sound when rolled. The cab is separate from the tanker, so it actually can turn realistically as well, which is a nice touch that I can’t say for certain was intentional. The thing on top (I am not up on my tanker terminology) where the fuel would usually go into can turn and fires little black disks. On the original toy it was the G2 Autobot symbol, and in Japan an upside down version of that was used for Black Convoy’s faction symbol. For Scourge, however, the disks were remolded blank and the only faction symbol you’ll see belongs to the classic Decepticon symbol. I was never sure why Generation Two used new faction symbols. At least for Beast Wars and Beast Machines they were new factions.

“Breaker 1-9. Can you read me?” “I’ll break more than that, fleshling!”

The windows on the cab, which were for some reason pink on Black Convoy, are a menacing red on Scourge which works much better. The hub caps are painted while the smokestacks appear to be molded plastic. Not shown on this picture (oops) are the headlights in the same red plastic. The horns on the roof of the cab are not colored, which is too bad, and neither is the trailer hitch, so you have to look for it to connect the tanker. There are also holes where the batteries would have gone had they left the light-up gimmick in for his robot mode, as well as the button that activates it.

“Okay, maybe that ramp WAS too small.”

I wanted to show off how Scourge hides his sword. It snaps into the bottom of the cab. While it is held on by friction more than any kind of tab, it stays on quite well.

The only time you’ll see Scourge stand at attention and mean it. (click for full-size view)

Finally we get to his robot mode and it really is a nice design. Remember, this was intended as a new body for the original Optimus Prime, but as an evil Optimus it also works. The red plastic returns for Scourge’s eyes, and the lightpiping actually works, so if you hold a flashlight behind him he looks even more menacing. But who is going to do that all day, which is why lightpiping never interests me. The “Evil Prime” coloring on Scourge’s head is also really cool and properly evil, as is the blueish highlighting of blacks and greys all over his body. He also has…those things on his oversized shoulders. I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be but the show used them as small missile launchers or something.

“Oh, I’ll come at you, but I’m not you’re ‘bro’.” (click for full-side view)

Like I said this mold comes from when Generation Two stopped redecorating old molds and created brand new figures with some fairly decent articulation. Scourge’s head turns side-to-side, even if his shoulder pad do block his vision from the left and right. He pretty much has full shoulder range, a bicep swivel, but no wrists. His waist turns, his hips have full range, and he has a 90 degree knee bend. He has no ankles, which limits his posing, which considering his primary weapon isn’t a good thing.

“I’m so mean I’ll slit my OWN throat!” (click for full-size view)

While Scourge’s sword technique in the show is less about finesse and more about sheer brutality (like Scourge’s fighting and shooting style), it would have been nice to get him into better sword-fighting positions. I’m not sure how difficult adding wrists would have been (the light-up gimmick was in his fists and would make his sword light up…how well I can’t say because I never owned Laser Optimus Prime) with the gimmick removed but ankles probably would have been more work than Takara and Hasbro wanted to bother with. He can also use his vehicle mode footpads as armor to block with, although they’re underneath, and I can imagine the tanks on his arms becoming some kind of laser cannon or something along those lines. Add the shoulder cannons and Scourge can mess stuff up. But he didn’t stop there.

“Just a tanker of fuel sitting out in the open. Totally not a trap la-de-da.”

Scourge’s tanker is very chrome-covered. The left and right panels are all done in chrome with the rest all black. He has a bumper sticker with his name on it and a license plate reading “D-012”, a reference to Black Convoy’s ID number in the Car Robots line. (Japan likes to have a reference number for their figures but I can’t say for certain why. Some kind of filing system I think.) Press the hidden button near where the cab connects and it deploys into battle mode.

It’s so big I needed the TV tray to be able to show it off.

I forgot the 5-bay missile launcher that connects to the right side (it’s stored there but both the launcher and the missiles are the same black plastic so I didn’t even see them until I checked while writing this), but you can see the disk launcher better now. In addition the laser tower comes off for Scourge to use as a hand cannon…because he isn’t armed enough apparently. Another gimmick that rarely worked for me was the long missile launcher (a second missile is stored in the section with the disk launcher) that’s launched by slamming a plunger. The missile is always too tight for me and I think the hose for the plunger is bent as well. The tips of the long missiles are also a soft rubber and not quite in shape, which probably hurts the aerodynamics a bit. You can still pull it off manually and have it fire, so Scourge can blow stuff up real easily.

“Give me something to destroy. I don’t care what.”

Decision: STAYS

Scourge is a really cool toy. While some wrists would have been nice for swordplay, he just makes the perfect nemesis for Fire Prime and I’m glad I picked him up. It’s too bad more stores didn’t carry the figure because he’s a good addition to the line. But we have one more leader before this box is finished; namely this line’s Megatron. I hope to do that one for next week. It’s going to be a long one, and if you know the toy you know why.