The latest line of Transformers is hitting shelves: Transformers Energon. Unlike the
Alternator line, Energon is meant for the general market, especially children. The
figures feature more play value. The Autobots have the ability to combine to form larger
robots and all of the figures now have energon weapons. In the comic, they are weapons
formed from pure energy. For the toys, that means lots of translucent plastic for the
weapons. Another change is the absence, at least for now, of Megatron. Instead we have
the return of Scorponok or at least the return of a leader named Scorponok.
Whether he is supposed to be the same character hasn't exactly been revealed though the
most recent issue of Dreamwave's Transformer Energon comic seems to indicate he is the
same as the G1 character. I always liked the G1 Scorponok character and wanted the
toy, so when the Energon version was annouced, it seemed like an far more affordable
alternative to the original G1 version.
Packaging - 7/10Scorponok is a gigacon figure, one of the larger boxed figures. The box he comes in has a window across most of the front and top along with a drawing showing his robot form. The sides have the energon back story on one end and the full drawing of his robot mode on the other. The back shows Scorponok's three modes and the bottom has some of the other figures available in the line. The packaging isn't as weak as the score might lead you to believe, it just suffers from a few shortcomings. The first is the way the toy is displayed in the box. The packaging is designed to remain consistent with the rest of the line but would have looked better if the box were designed to lie flat or perhaps if the figure were packaged in the robot mode instead. The second problem is that the box is simply to flimsy for its size. This is a new release but the box was already showing significant shelf wear and warping. MOC collectorswill probably find that the package won't hold up well over time. The third issue, which is minor, is the trilingual printing. I don't object to Hasbro economizing by having one packaging for multiple markets but the resulting space constraints means that there isn't enough room for any significant amount of text.
Sculpting - 4/10At heart, I'm still a fan of the original Transformer concept, robots that change into regular, day to day items. The recent mass market transformers seem to have lost that. With Scorponok, Hasbro seems to have simply tried to make the sculpting as complex as was feasibly possible with the result being a sculpt that just looks cluttered in all three modes. The claws are the biggest disappointment. They have been made so oversized inorder to accomadate the missle launchers inside that they are almost completely worthless. One the plus side, it does a nice job of invoking images of the original Scorponok and gets a point or two just for that.
Paint - 8/10In many ways, Scorponoks gets a by in this category. There is a lot of color in the figure, but most of it comes from the color of the plastic used for the various parts. But what paint there is, such as the face and symbol on the chest are all very well done. They also used a black paint wash on the claws to make them appear dirty. I suspect some people will be turned off by this.
Articulation - 5/10Poor Scorponok isn't much better than some G1 figures. He has about 17 points of articulation in robot mode not counting his tail but most of those are the clicking type joints which offer a limited number of potential positions and the claws are so large that there just isn't room to position them. In jet mode he really has no articulation. And in scorpion mode he has some movement in the tail and claws but both are so large that the options are quite limited.
Accessories - 1/10Scorponok's only accessories are the two missles for the launchers built into his claws.
Special NotesScorponok makes up for his lack of accessories slightly with his built in features. There are missle launchers built into each claw. The tail has two guns that come out via a slider on the tail. There are also built in sounds. I've actually found the sounds rather annoying since they can be triggered with minimal movement of the tail and there is no means to turn them off short of removal of the batteries.
Value - 5/10This certainly isn't the best Transformer, or even the best on currently available. But he does have a fair amount of playvalue for the kids and nostalgia value for adults. At under $30 he isn't for the casual fan, but is still a lot cheaper than the original.
Happy Hunting:Scorponok is one of the two Gigacon figures currently shipping as part of the Energon line along with a repaint of Tidal Wave. I bought him for $26 and change at Walmart. But they are also showing up at Toys R Us and Target and should be available online where ever Transformers are sold.