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Blackjack's review: Scorn

Name: Scorn
Allegiance: Autobot
Size Class: Generations Deluxe Class
Accessories: Dagger

Despite their many, many faults, my enthusiasm for the Bay movies has never been in question. But with Age of Extinction, I placed myself on a self-inflicted embargo from all movie-related news, and that included toy news as well. Other than that one trailer that showed Grimlock, I had absolutely no idea whatís going to happen in the movie, or who will show up in it. This included toyline news, which meant I knew absolutely jack shit about what the toys would look like. So a couple of weeks before the movie Warcry sent me a private message showing off his brand new Scorn, who is a bright red Dinobot that transforms into a Spinosaurus and has the same transformation scheme as Beast Wars Megatron. And Warcry did say that heís an awesome toy, so I bought him on sight.

(The fact that heís a red dinosaur that transforms just like BW Megatron is a huge personal sentimental reason for me because the obscure T-Wrecks was my first-ever Transformer before I even knew what Transformers are.)

Now I was a massive dinosaur geek as a kid. Who wouldnít be? So the very welcome news that the toyline would feature more than one Dinobot was an extremely welcome one. Back then I didnít know if Scorn was even going to be in the movie, or if any other Dinobot other than Grimlock would even show up. After all, Hasbro pulled that bullshit move with Beast Hunters on us where half the toyline is made up of dragons but only Predaking was really featured in the show. So when I finally did buy Scorn, I fully expected him not to show up in the movieÖ but lo and behold, he did! And, despite my fears that the Dinobots wouldnít even transform, they do!

Scorn was awesome in the movie, by the way. I donít think he does anything of note other than trampling generic Decepticons but by virtue of owning his toy before watching the movie 99% of the time when the Dinobots were on screen my attention was focused on Scorn. The Dinobots in general spend most of their time in their beast modes and feel a lot like walking bundles of barely-contained animalistic fury. Combined with the triumphant music that plays whenever the Dinobots show up and the fact that they donít speak like retarded cavemen, it really brings back the feel of Dinobots being portrayed like ultimate weapons. And thankfully, theyíre also available in toy form.

To note, the Age of Extinction toyline is divided into two further sub-lines: Robots in Disguise, which is made up of simplified toys geared towards children, and Generations, which are more complex and geared towards older collectors. They look extremely alike packaging-wise and most characters have toys in both sublines, so make sure youíre buying the version you want!

Beast Mode:
As mentioned before, Scorn transforms into a spinosaurus. He is mainly a visually appealing shade of bright red, with two shades of gray acting as secondary colours and streaks of orange across his main body. His eyes are painted in bright baby blue. Scorn looks more like a Ďproperí spinosaurus in toy form, albeit with more spikes on his legs, tail and head, than the Scorn from the movie. The movieís CG render of Scorn has three spiky sails running across his back, whereas toy-Scorn only has one. The Movie Scorn is also a dull shade of gray with a bit of red accents here and there, whereas this is a gorgeous shade of red, but those are inaccuracies that are thankfully ignored because gray is an extremely dull and boring colour.

Scornís beast mode isnít perfect, though. His tail is stiff and is supposed to peg to the piece thatíll become his waist and crotch in robot mode. ĎSupposedí being the operative word, for the two refuse to peg together properly, and even if they do there is a significant amount of tension thatíll quickly undo this. Scornís thighs are also panels that fold up and kind of attempt to barely cover up the empty space between them. Itís not something thatís really evident when youíre just displaying him, but muck with him around a little and youíll realize how easily exposed this empty space is.

Other than those two relatively forgivable problems, though, Scorn is a beautiful dinosaur. His head has an amazing range of articulation, being able to turn vertically as well as horizontally. There is a small piece under his lower jaw thatís supposed to lock the head into place depending on the pose you want him to, but since the neck joints are tight anyway, I find this more distracting than anything. His mouth opens and closes, of course, and combined with the neck articulation Scornís head is able to move in any direction you would want a carnivorous killing machine to move in.

Scornís little dino-arms are ball-jointed on the shoulders, and the legs have a lot of joints in them. The thighs are ball-jointed, there are two hinges to facilitate a dinosaurís bird-feet thing, and the thigh can rotate around the midway point as well. the base of his tail has a rotary joint and a hinge so Scorn can whack people with his tail, at the risk of revealing just how empty the space under it is. Basically all the articulation points one would want in a theropodal dinosaur is present.

What else is there to say? Scorn is a gorgeous, extremely accurate rendition of a robotic spinosaur. Just look at that angry-looking crocodilian face of his. ĎScorní is certainly an appropriate name. Scorn is also a fairly deceptively large deluxe class toy, especially considering the smaller size deluxes are now. With the added visual effect from the sail, Scorn looks fairly larger than deluxe class Classics Grimlock, which is highly appropriate considering the dinosaurs they are respectively based on.

All in all, his beast mode is pretty awesome!

Robot Mode:
Scornís transformation sits comfortably in that place between Ďoverly simpleí and Ďoverly complicatedí. This is how transformers should ideally be. Not too simple as to make an ugly robot, but at the same time not too complicated that you wonít be bothered to transform him from one mode to the other. Scornís transformation, as I had repeatedly stated above, is based on Beast Wars Megatron, with the head forming one hand and the tail forming another, and the dinosaur feet forming the robot feet. The sail splits into two and ends up as some sort of cool-looking spikes running down Scornís back.

Now this transformation isnít exactly show-accurate. Both in the movie and in concept arts, Scorn is shown with a right hand thatís decidedly not a spinosaurus head. With the power of movie magic, the head ends up somewhere in the robot-mode thighs, and they actually sculpted the jaw-kibble seen in the CG model on his thighs. Itís a small cheating that I can easily overlook due to how awesome the final product ends up looking.

Scornís dino-head hand can actually transform into a proper hand. A robot hand can fold out from his beast modeís forehead, and itís so deviously moulded that I wouldnít even realize that itís a robot hand if the instructions hadnít pointed it out to me. But the instructions also tells me to splay open his dinosaur jaw wide, leaving a big unsightly hole in the middle of his lower arm (not to mention, you know, a big splayed-out dinosaur head) so if I ever want to flip out the traditional hand I keep the dinosaurís mouth closed.

Scorn is a pretty impressive-looking robot. Heís got great articulation and great balance, and with his awesome tail-lance he can strike some pretty cool-looking poses. Scornís general design just exudes power, but at the same time agility. The Dinobotsí robot modes are apparently designed after knights, and compared to the other Dinobots I think Scorn and Grimlock nails the Ďknightí look pretty well. Scornís robot mode is something that represents his apex predator alternate mode pretty well, and you can just imagine Scorn running through a battlefield, dodging shots and stabbing people in the face with his lance-tail. Itís more like a whip in the movie itself, but the lance does look a lot more impressive in my personal opinion. I also like how itís slightly shaped like a hook near the end Ė doubtless it will be painful if you get stabbed by it.

But in case a spiky lance isnít enough, Scorn comes with an awesome serrated dagger that he can hold in his hand. I believe itís called the ĎScrapmaker swordí or something to that effect? Itís a nice looking dagger and itís enough motivation for me to not ignore the robot hand instead of keeping him with a dinosaur head for a hand permanently. I mean, I would think a fanged dinosaurís head would deal far more damage to an enemy than a dagger, but both look cool so itís no problem. When Scorn feels peckish and wants to bite people with his hand, the dagger can neatly slot into his tail.

Scorn is well-articulated in this robot mode. His shoulders are triple-jointed, and both the tail-arm and the head-arm retain their already impressive articulation points from the beast mode. The head is on a ball joint and can look in all directions including up. Scorn also retains all the articulation in his dino-feet, and itís not restricted at all by any kibble. Heís the cleanest and most posable robot Iíve owned in a long, long time.

His head looks so simple, especially for a Movie-styled toy. It looked like something that would be right at home with Nick Rocheís stylized art style, but itís actually what the Dinobots have in the movie. And unlike what I feared, it fits perfectly with the rest of Scornís movie-ized body. Itís a great looking head. I do like it.

I have to say, I havenít been so happy with a toy in a long, long time.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 8/10 There might be some work needed with the gaps around the dinosaur modeís legs, but otherwise it replicates and even improves upon an already awesome transformation scheme.

Durability: 9/10 There are some parts of Scorn that is made out of softer rubbery plastic Ė his sail and tail in particular Ė which might bend or warp over time but otherwise Scorn seems extremely sturdy. Unless youíre particularly barbaric I donít think youíll break him.

Aesthetics: 10/10 Yeah, between being painted in a gorgeous shade of red and being a freaking transforming robot dinosaur, Scorn looks pretty awesome. His vibrant scheme and his unique look will certainly make him stand out on a shelf.

Articulation: 10/10 He doesnít have the elusive waist joint, but Scornís articulation range more than compensates for the lack of said joint. In both beast and robot forms, Scorn has all the articulation range you would ever want a robotic dinosaur to have.

Fun: 10/10 I love beast-mode transformers, I love dinosaurs, I love Dinobots and I love Scorn.

Price/Value: 7/10 Deluxe class toys are ridiculously expensive in my countryís retail, but even with that price I didnít really feel cheated with a figure as awesome as Scorn.

Overall: 9.5/10 Scorn is a brilliant, brilliant toy and certainly one of the highlights of the Age of Extinction toyline so far. There are a few minute flaws that keeps him from being billed as perfect, but he is a well-designed toy that really looks and feels great in both dinosaur and robot modes. He's an extremely solid figure that won't disappoint you.
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