Revenge of the Fallen Scalpel Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Movie (2007), Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: June 2009
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
SCALPEL has a massive database of anatomical data for millions of creatures across the universe. He can disassemble anything that doesn’t struggle too much in a matter of minutes, and usually puts it back together with only a few parts in the wrong place. He serves as medic to the DECEPTICON army, but most DECEPTICONS prefer to suffer in silence rather than allow SCALPEL to work on them.

Add this DECEPTICON defender to your collection! Convert from robot mode to microscope mode and get a close-up look at the AUTOBOT enemy! Recreate exciting movie scenes – or stage new battles of your own – right there in your living room!

One of the most unusual characters to be introduced in "Revenge of the Fallen" is Scalpel, a tiny Transformer who served as the resident Decepticon scientist and medic, turning the idea of Perceptor as a noble scientist on its head. His unusual, insect like robot form and his microscope mode also distinguish him from the other Scout Class figures who become boats, motorcycles and more.

Robot Mode:
Often when a toy is based on a character in a feature movie, a lot of parallel design is done between the way the character will look in the movie and its toy form. While many Transformers manage to look very close to their on-screen counterparts, Scalpel is a bit less "movie accurate" than other figures such as Sideswipe. That said, he does retain a lot of the general features of Scalpel's on screen persona. The general shape of Scalpel's body is akin to that of a grasshopper, with six insect-like legs in the back, a mid-body that angles up to the head, claw like arms and a head with antennae and mandibles under large round eyes. It is interesting to note that the antennae were shortened in later releases of this figure to better accomodate the transformation scheme.

There are several small details that the Scalpel figure takes directly from the CGI model. This includes the curved, pointed shape of his lower legs and hooks on the upper legs. He also has a layer of clear plastic over his pupils, making him look like he is wearing a pair of glasses. Inside the "glasses" are horizontal lines that look like eyebrows, set in an angry expression. In an interesting design choice, the glasses can actually come off, though the shame is he can't hold them particularly well with his stubby little arms. He also has a pair of small arms and parts of his microscope form become his chest.

Among the differences between this figure and the CGI model is the way the rear section of his body is designed. On the figure, the box like sides of the microscope form swing up to become panels on his back. To give the designers some credit however, the panels have spike details sculpted into them that resemble the spikes on the back of the CGI model. On the CGI model, his front legs can become claw like protrusions on the two forward claws, but that is not reflected here. Also, his small arms have hands instead of the single claws that appear on this figure. I should stress however that I can totally understand why his rear section is designed the way it is. After all, the microscope parts simply have to go somewhere, and unlike the CGI model which had the benefit of CGI trickery on-screen, this is a three dimensional model you need to be able to manipulate without the "cheats" used in the movie. I think his arms were sculpted the way they were to accomodate his transformation, which require the arms squeezing into a very tiny space. So while the inaccuracies are a bit of a bummer, I don't consider them an egregious design decision.

Scalpel is cast in black, grey, off-white and clear plastic. His legs are the grey parts while his rear section and parts of the eyes are black. The off-white parts include his chest, parts of his head and the mid-section of the body. The clear plastic is used on his head where it makes up his "eyeglasses". He also has three parts made up of a rubbery, clear plastic, namely his antennae and arms. Behind his eyes are red-orange pupils that look like they're lit up, just like the eyes of the CGI model. Scalpel also makes liberal use of purple plastic, found on the back of the robot as a Decepticon symbol and on the sides of his lower legs. He also has a really cool looking circuit board pattern etched onto his chest, with each side having a differrent pattern of lines than the other. This color pattern differs significantly from the one used on the CGI model, which is mostly metallic grey and silver with the red eyes. Truth be told while it's not accurate to the movie model, I much prefer this color scheme. It's a lot more interesting than what was seen on screen.

Scalpel has twenty three points of articulation in this mode. A lot of this is due to each leg having two points of articulation, but surprisingly his rather fragile, tiny arms also have elbow articulation and his mandibles can move as well. I really appreciate the level of articulation on this figure, really impressive.

Transformation to Microscope Mode:

  1. Swing each lower leg up against the upper legs.
  2. Push one row of legs back.
  3. Swing the head/chest section and the pole it's attached to back.
  4. Fold each leg section up.
  5. Fold the black panels on each side down.
  6. Swing the back, middle panel down.
  7. Split the sections under the chest out to the sides.
  8. Swing down the robot arms and tuck them under the chest section.
  9. Swing the robot head back.
  10. Swing the panels from under the chest up, connect them and push them down. Tuck them over the antannae and the robot eyes.
  11. Swing the eyepiece section down.
  12. Rotate the eyepiece section around on the arm of the microscope.

Microscope Mode:
In his microscope mode Scalpel is not the traditional looking type with a semi-circle at the bottom or "legs" like G1 Perceptor. Instead he has a flat platform with an arm towards the back. The eyepiece connects to the arm. There are a lot of neat details including ridges around the edges of the eye piece, knobs and dials on the sides of the lower section of the eyepiece. There are more knobs on the sides of the section that connect to the arm. The circular section with the Decepticon symbol on it winds up on the bottom here, looking like the piece that serves to magnify anything put on the base of the microscope.

In this form, all the colors are the same as the robot mode, but this time the base has white paint in the center with silver in the middle. Black paint is used for several of the knobs. The eyepiece is black and you can still see the purple circuitry pattern from the robot chest. The arm and several of the joint pieces from the robot mode are grey. This color pattern is not too dissimilar from many modern day microscopes which are black and white.

The interesting part of this microscope mode is that it is completely different than what was portrayed on screen. There he looked like an old style microscope with tubes in the front and back with a piece in the middle on a hinge that connected to a rounded off base. All things considered, I'm not surprised that this figure had to get a more "modern" looking form. Part of it is not just the aesthetic, but frankly there's no way the robot mode as designed could become the microscope shown in the movie at this price point. Had this been say, a deluxe figure I think the complexity to perform this task could have been done, but Scalpel is definitely meant to be a Scout Class figure considering his size in the movie.

Most of the movement in this form is achieved via the eyepiece section moving up and down and swiveling out to the sides on the arm. He's about the right size for ultra or leader class figures to use as a microscope, which is kind of nifty in itself.

Final Thoughts:
Usually I'd be highly disappointed by a figure that did not totally resemble its on-screen counterpart, but in the case of Scalpel I'll make an exception. He's funky looking, comes pretty close to the CGI model in robot mode and ultimately is a very unique figure in the line. I take points off for the lack of fidelity to the on screen model, but I still consider this figure recommended.