"Generations" Scourge with Fracas Toy Review
Release Date: July 2016
Price Point: $16.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Fracas Titan Master figure, Blaster, Scope/weapon barrel
Official images and text below in italics are from Bigbadtoystore.com:
Scourge is a tracker unrivaled in his ability. The Decepticon is one of the universe's most powerful bots, and those he pursues inevitably meet with an unfortunate end. Titan Master Fracas can steal the powers of other bots, letting Scourge harness whatever ability suits his sinister plans.
Very early on in the life of the Transformers line the toy line began to move away from the sole gimmick of transformation. Once figures like Combiners were introduced it became clear Transformers could be more than just a robot that changed from one form to another. In 1987 Hasbro and Takara took a bold step into a new play pattern by introducing Headmasters. Headmasters were Transformers whose heads detached and became smaller figures that could then pilot or ride the Transformers in beast and vehicle forms (or in a couple cases, their battle station or city forms!). Now almost thirty years after they were originally introduced the Headmaster gimmick has returned in a new form: Titan Masters!
Titan Masters focuses on the return of small robots to Cybertron that can unlock incredible power, and it is up to the Transformers to merge with them and harness those abilities and strengths. In some ways the story resembles "Armada" which had a similar conceit for the Mini-Cons. In true "Generations" fashion, Titans Return gives us characters from the Headmasters era in new forms that pay homage to the originals.
In the Generation One era Scourge became a Targetmaster a year after his introduction. Unlike Headmasters, Targetmasters were Transformers whose weapons could convert into smaller figures. Since "Titans Return" focuses on the Headmaster gimmick, it is Scourge's head that transforms this time out, not his weapon.
The Titans Return packaging uses the design of the last few years and updates it. The figure is packaged in robot mode with its weapons to the side. An insert shows you the alt mode along with the names of the Titan Master and character along with the "Titans Return" logo. The side of the insert gives you a look at the character's artwork. Most of the backing card is plastered with a close up of the character's package art. While entire bodies were drawn for this line, the packaging zooms in to the chest and head to focus on the Titan Master gimmick, with the head hovering a bit over the body as if it is about to connect. The side has the now familiar "Generations" logo with an Autobot symbol on it and the vertical "Transformers" logo under it.
The back of the packaging shows off the stock photography of the figure in both forms but more importantly, it shows off a diagram explaining the way the Titan Master play system works. The heads of the Titan Masters can be swapped from figure to figure, and the diagram helps illustrate this across size classes. These also act as cosells. In Scourge's case Crashbash, Skullsmasher, Galvatron and Blaster are the cosells.
Titans Return figures come with a collector card, similar to last year's "Combiner Wars" series. However these cards are shaped differently, with corners cut out on two sides. The front features the character's artwork, giving you a better look at the full body. The back features something fans have wanted since last year: tech specs! These are not traditional specs with a full motto and so on, but instead there are four qualities reflected here (via icons). The four icons are: A robot flexing arms (strength), a character running (speed), a brain (intelligence) and a missile (firepower). These are laid out on the X axis of a bar chart with lines going across from a scale of one through twenty. Traditional tech specs only go from one to ten, but these tech specs take into account the Titan Master being combined with the Transformer. This extends the line into the zone past the number ten. I'm really glad these were added in as I think it was a missed opportunity not to do so last year. I also appreciate the bright and colorful icons and lines used on the back of the cards.
Scourge comes with two weapons. The first is a scope that is based on Scourge's signature piece that attaches to the top of his head in both the G1 toy and animation. In general this piece is a cylinder leading to a larger cylinder then narrowing in the back. This piece represents this design well, but interestingly enough it is not intended to attach to his head but rather serves purely as a weapon for the figure. This piece is cast in metallic blue plastic with red painted in front, mirroring its G1 appearance.
The other weapon included with the figure pays homage to Scourge's Targetmaster version. The design is a large, dual barreled blaster with a hollowed out section towards the back for a Titan Master to sit inside. There is a 5mm port in the middle that allows you to attach the scope to form three weapon barrels, similar to Fracas' weapon mode in Generation One. It's a large, imposing looking weapon and I like it quite a lot.
Fracas is one of the few Titan Masters who have kept the same name as the G1 characters that inspired them.
When I was a kid I always kind of wondered why Transformers were sometimes drawn with facial hair such as mustaches and beards. Sure it helped make them look ancient and wise but they're robots, do they "grow" metallic hair or something? Well, the inner kid in me still wonders this to this day but the older collector in me thinks it makes for really distinctive head sculpts.
In Scourge's case he has both a mustache and beard which make up a good chunk of the face detail. He also has a very pronounced brow that is set at angles giving him an angry appearance. The "helmet" section of the figure has a wide "C" shaped piece over the head and thin panels on either side of the face. Aside from his "facial hair" Scourge's defining feature is the scope on top of is head, and here you have a small scope that can be raised up on the top of his head. All these details carry over from the G1 animation model and it looks great.
The head sculpt is not perfect however. Fracas' arms stick out on the sides a bit resulting in a more blocky looking head than you would expect of Scourge. Traditionally his head shape was more rectangular. This doesn't take away from the sculpted details on the face or the cool scope on top, but it does diminish the overall head sculpt just a bit.
The head is cast in metallic blue plastic (the same color as the accessories). The face is painted silver and the eyes are red, aligning with the look of the character in the animated series.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
In general the Titan Master transformation is fairly simple. Hold on to the back of the head and just unfold it, revealing the robot form. On this figure you'll want to push the scope in first.
Fracas' robot mode is based on Generation One Nightstick's robot form (or humanoid form if you prefer). Nightstick was the Targetmaster partner of Cyclonus, one of Scourge's fellow warriors under the command of Galvatron. This may seem like an error at first, but in fact according to the TFWiki, in both cartoons and comic books the models for Nightstick and Fracas were switched in G1, so this figure actually winds up representing Fracas accurately as he appeared in comic books and animation.
There are a few details carried over from G1 Nightstick's figure to this one. They include:
- The head has a crest in the center and distinctive "visor eyes".
- The chest panels have two small horizontal lines on each side.
- The arms have flat panels on the sides with blocky shoulders instead of the more wide shoulder of the G1 Fracas figure.
- The knees have raised knee armor pieces.
- The lower legs have polygons near the feet.
Fracas is cast in metallic blue plastic. His face is painted silver and his eyes are red. The lower legs are painted light blue. While I'm happy to see some paint on Fracas at all, I find myself wishing the designers had tried to emulate G1 Fracas' colors in some way, however that would have required most of the upper body being silver and the legs being black, which I'm sure was cost prohibitive.
Titan Master figures have a standard five points of articulation including the arms and head. The legs are stuck together, but they can bend at the knees and hips.
The last time there was a Deluxe "Generations" Scourge the designers succeeded in carrying many of Scourge's G1 animation details over to the figure. However due to its transformation and alt form, it could only go so far with G1 accuracy. This time out the designers really did try to use G1 as their inspiration. In addition to the head sculpt, many of the designs on this figure come right from G1 Scourge including:
- The basic shape of the figure is inspired by Scourge and the Sweeps, with rounded parts on the body making the robot form look almost like a suit of armor. The "wings" on the back represent the cape-like wings on Scourge and the Sweeps from the cartoon.
- The torso is curved with layers of armor, similar to G1 Scourge.
- The mid-body (or "abdominal area") has a series of angled lines running across it, calling back to the animation model which had a series of horizontal lines running across in the same area.
- The middle of the torso has a raised section leading to "collar" like pieces at the base of the head.
- The waist/hip area has distinctive curved armor with small circular designs sticking out the sides.
- The shoulders are round with raised circles on the sides.
- The forearms are tube shaped, with grooves in the middle.
- The knee armor comes up a bit over the thighs and they have a small rectangle inside of them.
All of these details work together to create a robot mode that is distinctly Scourge. Indeed, I think out of all the Scourge figures we've had in the last five to six years this is the one that captures the look of the G1 animation model the best.
Scourge is mostly cast in, you guessed it, metallic blue plastic. However, he also has a lighter blue plastic forming the wings on his back and the back of the lower legs. Since the G1 figure and animation model had dark and light shades of blue these colors work perfectly for the character.
There is not a ton of deco in this mode, but to be fair Scourge was mostly just blue in the animated series anyhow. The only paint applications are a spot of green on his waist area and a combination of silver and dark blue on the back of his wings. The main details in this mode are tampographs with silver backgrounds and black designs on top. These designs are inspired directly by stickers included with the G1 Scourge toy. The finishing touch is a small tampographed Decepticon symbol on the left side of the chest. I really dig this mash up of details from both the original toy and animation model.
Not including the wings, this figure has nineteen points of articulation. If you include the wings that adds four more. His shoulders are ball joints so they allow for a wide range of movement. Scourge can hold his weapon in either hand or store it on his back. Of all the first wave Deluxe Titan Master figures I purchased my copy of this figure has the tightest joints. His arm joints in particular are strong enough that he can hold up his weapon with the scope attached and a Titan Master sitting in it.
In terms of the head connection to the body, I recommend having Fracas' head face the opposite direction of Scourge's face for the most secure connection.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach Fracas and convert him into robot mode. When transforming this figure, always be sure the head is set aside and not sitting inside.
- Detach the weapon(s) and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the fists into the forearms.
- Swing the feet and heel pieces together.
- Push the robot arms up, connecting the tabs on the sides of the torso into the corresponding grooves on the arms.
- Swing the front panel of the lower legs out.
- Holding on to the top part of the thighs, pull the lower body down.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- Swing the legs out to the sides a couple notches, then swing the front panels of the lower legs against the leg.
- Rotate the lower legs around so you can see the halves of the Decepticon symbols facing up.
- Swing each lower leg up over the thighs and connect the halves together.
- Fold the wings down and use the tabs at the end to connect them to the main body of the ship.
- The top panels (with the Decepticon symbol in the middle) have small tabs that connect to the area near the 5mm weapon port in the middle.
- Attach the scope to the top of the rear section on top of the cockpit.
- The dual barreled weapon can be connected to the port in the middle.
In the G1 era Scourge's alt form was a hovercraft which often doubled as a spaceship. To me it always looked like a flying boat with blasters on top. It is that form that the designers tried to emulate with this figure. However, instead of a slavish remake of the animation model or G1 figure, this vehicle mode took G1 Scourge's vehicle mode and then adds a bunch of details to make it more visually interesting.
The basic shape of this vehicle is similar to G1 Scourge. The front is curved and it widens in the back. There is a large scope in the center and it is flanked by two additional blasters. What has been added are several layers of details. on the top and sides. The top has a layer of armor on top of the curved section in front. The sides have round details that look like thrusters to help him change direction as he flies. On the sides towards the back are angled stabilizer fins. That's not all! Flip the figure over and you'll notice the panels that formed the front of the lower legs actually have blasters sculpted into them, bringing Scourge's weapon barrel total to nine in this mode if you have his weapon attached! I hadn't expected all this extra detail when I got the figure so it was all a very pleasant surprise.
Much of the plastic showing in this mode is light blue, with some dark blue on the sides and center. The cockpit section has translucent blue plastic.
I mentioned the robot mode was kind of sparse with paint detail. It turns out that's because most of the paint detail wound up in this mode. Dark blue paint is found on the top and sides. A lighter blue is found on the front. Red is used for the front of each of the three main sensors/weapons and silver is used on the sides for the 'side thrusters' mentioned above. The middle of the vehicle has a large Decepticon symbol tampographed onto it. Many of these details borrow from the G1 toy and once again the figure looks distinctively like Scourge. I'm really glad to see this much deco in this mode as vehicle modes don't always get this much attention.
The dual barreled weapon attaches to the top of the vehicle, allowing a Titan Master to sit in it like a gunner. Push the main sensor in the middle forward and you can put a Titan Master inside Scourge's cockpit. To add to the play value there are two small pegs towards the front of the vehicle. This allows Titan Master figures to stand at the front, which is a fun little touch.
I really like this version of Scourge. It really looks like the version from the movie and it has some fun functionality to boot. There are some minor issues here and there (such as Fracas' deco) but those are very minor. Recommended!