"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Paralon Toy Review
Release Date: September 2016
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Walmart, Target etc.)
Official images above are from the Toys R Us web site.
Paralon was introduced in the "Robots in Disguise" cartoon as part of a group called the "Scavengers" who are more focused on finding old relics than any Decepticon grab for power. This figure was released long before Scorponok, making it one of those rare occasions when a retool/redeco is released before the original figure.
Paralon is packaged on a blister card. While the figure has a head based on "Beast Wars" Scorponok's, this packaging art uses the character's animation model (minus the visor eyes). If you are facing the card you will see the red "Transformers" logo set vertically on the right with the "Clash of the Transformers/Robots in Disguise" logo above it. The figure is packaged in robot mode inside the bubble. The insert has a photo of the Beast Mode and the art for the character on the side. On the insert is a gear design with a robot outline and the term "Mini-Con Weaponizers" with curved arrows going from the robot to the words. This is referencing the ability for 2016 "Weaponizer" Mini-Cons to connect to larger Transformers using 5mm pegs. The back of the packaging has photos of the figure in both modes indicating 11 steps to transform the figure. It also has the instructions to the side.
Paralon's design follows the design philosophy of having "beast" elements in the robot form. In this case Paralon has several features that act as references to his beast mode: a scorpion. These details include claw-like forearms and hands, giant claws acting as his shoulder armor and a tail piece on the back of the robot form. His legs are swept back from the knees down before sweeping forward again in a "chicken leg" style. Not only does this design make him scorpion-like in this mode, it also gives him a very alien appearance that I find very cool.
One interesting feature of this figure is the head sculpt, which differs from Scorponok's. The irony is that this head is based on the design of "Beast Wars" Scorponok's head! It has a distinct, rounded helmet section with a thin crest in the center, thin visor eyes and tooth like sections flanking the mouth area. Thanks to this awesome head sculpt I seriously want this figure in a "Beast Wars" Scorponok deco!
Paralon is mostly cast in two shades of metallic purple, one darker than the other. The metallic elements are really gorgeous, especially if you shine a bright light on them. The rest of the parts are cast in silver, including the sword weapon. In terms of paint deco the face is painted silver with red eyes. Yellow is used on small line details on the chest and the mid-body area a dark, metallic pink color. The finishing touch is a scannable Decepticon symbol on his chest that activates the character in the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app. For the most part this deco uses the colors on the animation model as a starting point, though that model has plenty more yellow lines on it to represent "glowing" energy.
There are seventeen points of articulation on this figure. If you want to include the tail on his back that adds two more. He does not have normal fists but instead has claws that are curled at the end, allowing him to hold weapons with 5mm pegs such as the sword included with the figure. The sword can also be attached to the tail on his back as a "stinger". The sword itself has a very cool design, featuring a scimitar like blade with several layers that look like armor on a scorpion. Very appropriate.
For those worried about his legs being stable, I will say my copy of this figure without much adjustment. This is quite impressive given how thin his legs are and the fact that they sweep back. Fortunately most of the joints are fairly tight so he should display just fine in various poses.
Transformation to Beast Mode:
- Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Point the feet down.
- Swing the tail down.
- On each shoulder, open up the shoulder armor panels.
- Slide the shoulder armor down against the forearms. Swing the forearms up and then cover them with the shoulder armor to create the beast mode claws.
- Pull the front of the torso forward and swing it down.
- Swing the beast mode head out.
- Rotate the robot head around, then push the torso panel in.
- Swing up each lower leg against the thighs. Rotate the legs around and insert the tabs on them into the slots near the beast mode head.
- Swing the beast mode legs up on the sides.
- Attach the sword to the beast mode tail.
Paralon's beast mode is a mechanical scorpion. This makes him one of the few Decepticons who has beast-like features in robot mode who actually transforms into a beast mode instead of a vehicle. The scorpion mode looks rather creepy, with four thin eyes cast on the head, two mandibles sticking up on the sides of the head, large claws and a tail with a stinger sculpted into the end. Among my favorite details are the layers of armor plating sculpted into both the main body and tail. Overall the figure looks great.
The same colors featured in the robot mode are here but much of the silver is now covered up. We get to see some more yellow details painted on the claws and tail while the eyes on the head are painted red. While there are more line details on the tail that could have been painted yellow they were left unpainted. While disappointing, this is pretty much the status quo for the Warrior Class figures.
There are ten points of articulation in this mode. This includes three in the tail and the ability of the mouth to open. I was surprised that the mouth could open at all and I love how creepy it looks. I also appreciate the sculpting on the end of the tail. There is a distinct stinger there, but if you want to make the tail look extra fierce, attaching the sword does the trick!
This is a really fun and creepy looking figure. My only strike against it is the lack of deco in some places, but from a sculpting, transformation and play value standpoint it's a great figure and worthy of joining your "Robots in Disguise" collection.