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Numbat's Review: TFCC Subscription Deluxe RID Scourge

Name: Scourge
Allegiance: Decepticon
Size Class: Transformers Collectors’ Club Subscription Service Deluxe

Robots in Disguise is the Transformers series that dragged me back in to collecting. A return to real-world vehicle-based Transformers hit the nostalgia note for me – not too surprising as actually a large number of the moulds used for the lien were rehashed from G1 and G2 (as well as other lines)... Although, that said, I never bought any of the repaints of figures from previous lines. But if I had bought one, it would have been Scourge... In fact, I tried really hard to find an RID Scourge at an affordable price back in the day, and have been hunting ever since. Why? Well, RID Scourge was a repaint of G2 Laser Rod Optimus Prime. While the original figure was an awesome mould, G2 Optimus Prime had the not inconsiderable handicap of god-awful paint scheme. Plus, frankly, what sense does it make for Optimus Prime to transform into an oil tanker, when the Autobots always seem to be extolling the virtues of green energy (at least back in G1 days...)? Scourge on the otherhand? Well, Scourge is an evil clone of Optimus Prime (ok, so actually he is mixup caused when Megatron scans an oil tanker and Optimus Prime at the same time and applies the results to a protoform... it’s complicated) , and looks totally badass as black, grey and teal oil tanker. He also had a superb character in RID – totally evil, and really fun. RID Scourge was the original ‘Nemesis Prime’ – the name of the requisite black repaint of most Optimus Prime moulds that would follow in future lines after RID.

When the Reveal the Shield Deluxe G2 Laser Rod Optimus Prime mould appeared, like many Transformers fans, I raised my eyebrows and asked ‘why?’ But, 30 seconds later, I realised this would surely mean a speedy issue painted in black as either ‘Nemesis Prime’, or the dream ‘Scourge’. Now that was a toy I would surely buy. Months ticked on, and while various wonderful and weird repaints of other Generations and Reveal the Shield moulds appeared, there was no word on a black version of the Deluxe G2 Prime mould. I, frankly, lost hope.

Then, finally, the news struck that the mould would be issued as Scourge. The bad news, though, was that this was to be a Transformers Collector’s Club (TFCC) exclusive – and in fact part of their new and highly overpriced Subscription Service. Bummer. Still, I resolved that I would buy this Scourge, even if he cost £100 GBP.

A year later, and Scourge was released, and now I have him. He cost me £65 GBP (including postage). Plus £20 GBP customs. Was he worth it? Hell yeah!

Alternate Mode:

G2 Optimus Prime is where the whole Peterbilt style alternate mode originates – this is where the live action movie style Prime comes from. And that’s cool. But what’s more cool is having this twist on an articulated truck that’s not a snub nose cab and is evil. That’s what I love about Scourge – he’s got a lot of similarities with G1 Optimus Prime, but he’s different at the same time. (It’s funny – I could never quite get in to G2 Prime for similar reasons – although I really think the colours were probably the biggest issue. Alongside the oil tanker trailer, as, frankly, that seemed totally at odds with the G1 environmental / clean energy message. I’m tellin’ ya – G1 Transformers was way ahead of its time. Or perhaps it was of its time, given large corporations built on fossil fuels are now on the defensive and making it more difficult for mainstream media to make such bold statements, but I digress...)

So, Scourge transforms into a tractor semi-cab. Measuring 6 ½” (14cm) long, he’s not the largest Deluxe ever, although he has plenty of gorgeous moulded detail and nice big chunky wheels. Sadly, he lacks his oil tanker trailer (perfect as for an evil version of Prime for exactly the same reasons it was plain wrong for Optimus himself). However, Make Toys are due to rectify this, so I’ll be patient...

In the meantime, the black cab is very cool. The teal pinstripe outlines are gorgeous (and incredibly precise and delicate), as are the silver grill and smokestacks/exhausts. The silver frame for the windows is a departure from the RID design, but necessary for the robot mode. Silver also picks out the wheels. Grey plastic has been used for the bumper, as well as some other pieces behind the cab. Fortunately, the grey is used sparingly and actually adds interest, rather than detracting from the mode. Clear red plastic has been used for the front windows and headlights, which looks cool. What’s not quite so cool is the clear red plastic supporting the cupola, but this is necessary for the sword’s integration with the truck mode, and, frankly, I’d take this slight compromise over having the sword as a totally separate accessory. Plus the red blends in better than the orange of the standard RTS G2 Laser Rod Prime release. There’s also a lovely tampographed upside down Autobot insignia. Now, on the face of it that strikes many as being rather odd. Sure, it kinda is. However, Scourge actually reveals hidden upside down Autobot insignias on his shoulders during the RID cartoon. Given, it’s a bit weird to have these on the truck doors, but I guess they just couldn’t be incorporated into the robot mode shoulders due to the moulded detail, so it’s a nice compromise. It may be observed that Scourge lacks a G1 Decepticon insignia, but this is also true of his RID anime appearance, so this makes perfect sense.

(What makes no sense is an upside down G2 Decepticon insignia on the bio card, but that’s another matter and my only interest is the toy really.)

The only thing I can fault in the truck mode execution really is the solid red plastic side windows, but these still look a lot better than the orange ones on RTS G2 Laser Rod Prime. It is a shame they’re not cast in transparent plastic though.

All in all TFCC Deluxe Scourge looks totally amazing in truck mode. It’s a shame he lacks his oil tanker trailer, but that was a fault of the RTS Deluxe G2 Laser Rod Prime mould in the first place, and will be rectified by Make Toys. With the trailer, Scourge is gonna look totally bad-ass.

Robot Mode:

Scourge has one of the most interesting ‘evil’ or ‘Nemesis’ Optimus Prime decos ever. Many of the subsequent black Optimus Prime’s were literally a repaint of an existing mould in the line. Scourge, on the otherhand, was not a straight redeco of RID Optimus Prime, but a robot that took elements of Optimus and twisted them, with an entirely different alternate mode and so strikingly similar but strange robot mode (sure, he was a repaint of an existing Optimus Prime, but not one in the same line). Scourge also had more grey, silver and teal than many subsequent Nemesis Prime’s which tended to overdo the black. This update is a complete success in these regards – it retains the G2 Laser Rod Prime robot mode (as you’d expect as it’s a straight repaint), and uses more grey and silver than black in robot mode, with loads of lovely teal highlights.

The transformation is not to be slighted either. It’s actually incredibly cool! I expected the figure to have a simple transformation, and so it comes as a huge surprise and great delight that, in fact, Scourge’s transformation is rather more involved. Amazingly, the truck windows now become the robot chest (unlike the G2/RID original), and he has a compact back (no giant truck backpack), where his sword can be stored. The rear truck wheels also adjust their positioning, recess into the legs, and allow full articulation without any need to alter robot mode proportions. I can’t sing this mould’s praises highly enough – if I’d known it was this well engineered, I would probably have picked up the mass retail G2 Laser Rod Prime version to ensure I got to play with it! No harm done though, as I have the version I always dreamed of – the perfect Classics Scourge!

In robot mode, Scourge stands 5 ½” (14cm) tall, which does feel quite short for a Deluxe – especially for a Decepticon leader. However, ignoring the fact Scourge is vertically challenged, he is gorgeous.

The robot mode reveals loads of moulded detail, and much of this is picked out with intricate silver and teal paint applications. Light piping has been used to great effect on his shoulder-mounted rocket-launchers and with red lines glowing on his arms and shoulders. The head also has loads of light piping glowing through the eyes and lines on the helmet. The head also has been lovingly painted with teal highlights and a silver crest and mouthplate. The main colour of plastic on show is grey, closely followed by black.

The red chest windows are a departure from the cartoon character model and RID toy, but a necessary one. As already noted, these are the windows from the truck mode (which are red in the anime and RID toy), and I think it was a good call to maintain the red, rather than replace with blue or grey smoked plastic. The red ties everything else together (with the eyes and sword), and gives a much needed warmth to an otherwise totally cold colourscheme.

The total effect is very sinister, and suits Scourge perfectly.

Of course, Scourge comes with a sword. As with the RID toy, the sword is cast in transparent red plastic. It has been updated with a more techno look, and the hilt is in black plastic, formed from the truck cupola. It’s really very cool, and Scourge looks awesome wielding it! However, if he needs to, he can store it on his back, out of the way, or ready for a He-Man moment.

The only thing Scourge is obviously missing in robot mode are the upside-down G2 Autobot insignias that the animation model sported on his shoulders (or the standard G1 Decepticon insignias the RID toy sported in the same place). Given the level of moulded detail on the shoulders, though, tampographed insignias would have looked pretty bad I guess.

Unlike in truck mode, the absence of a trailer in robot mode is not an issue. After all, the crappy-looking battle station just turned up when it suited the cartoon plot, as if out of nowhere, with Scourge himself being the cab section only. The standard Optimus Prime thing of having a magically disappearing trailer seems to have been picked up in the scanning process during Scourge’s creation.

Not only does Scourge look absolutely awesome, and comes with a kick-ass sword, but he also has amazing articulation allowing you to really take advantage of the mould and display it to great effect. There are fully 24 meaningful points of articulation on Scourge! The only joint with limitations is the waist, but this can still swivel within a humanly realistic range of motion (ok, so Scourge is a robot, but even a robot is unlikely to be able to swivel his waist 360°). Given the lack of a backback to unbalance him, and how light the guy is in the first place, your imagination is the only limitation to Scourge’s poses!

RID Scourge is the original and best ‘Nemesis Prime’. He was also the best use of the G2 Laser Rod Prime mould. It is fitting that Scourge is now also the best use of the Reveal the Shield Deluxe G2 Laser Rod Prime mould, and undoubtedly this is the definitive Scourge. It’s just a shame it’s an expensive TFCC exclusive.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 10 – This is one amazingly well thought out Transformer – I wouldn’t change a thing about the transformation, and it is great fun to boot!
Durability: 7 – Overall, Scourge feels solid. I don’t mind that he’s light and largely hollow – hollow plastic is actually tougher than solid plastic. That said, some of his thin panels do feel a little brittle and the joints are stiff, and I’d worry they could snap in time. It’s also worth noting as a general point that there is paint wear on the smokestacks and his crotch straight out the box.
Fun: 10 – RID Scourge is one of the coolest bad guys in Transformers ever! And this is one of the best Deluxe moulds ever! Put them together with a phenomenal paint job, and you have one of the most fun Transformers you’ll ever lay your hands on.
Aesthetics: 10 – Scourge looks gorgeous. Period.
Articulation: 10 – Scourge is so well articulated and so well balanced, your imagination is the only limitation on poses.
Value/Price: 1 – Yeah, this is where Scourge falls down... He goes for between £65 and £100+ GBP just now. Sadly, I think this price is only going to go up. The character is a fan favourite, and the whole black/evil Optimus Prime thing is ever popular more widely as well. Plus this is an excellent mould. And it was a limited run exclusive as part of a subscription service that was quite costly to sign up for. So, yeah, Scourge is likely to become quite sought after I think, meaning he’s gonna cost you.
Overall: X – TFCC Deluxe Scourge would be a 10, undoubtedly, except for the fact he costs a fortune. A lot of third party Voyager-sized figures cost less than Scourge. So you gotta weigh this one up carefully. If Scourge means a lot to you, though, this is the definitive version, and looks totally awesome.
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