"Timelines" Botcon 2014 Scorponok Toy Review


General Information:
Release Year: June 19, 2014
Retailer: Botcon 2014 Exclusive
Price: $395.00 (in a boxed set with Cannonball, Devcon, Ginrai and Ferak)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 4
Accessories: Missiles x 2

In 2003, Energon Scorponok was released, bringing a new version of a classic character to life for a new generation of fans. The character would later be brought back to life as Dark Scorponok. This sculpt would later be reused as Double Punch in the Botcon 2010 set of toys. Now the base sculpt has been used once again for a Botcon exclusive. Unlike the previous exclusive, he represents the Scorponok from the original G1 series (or some variation thereof) in a new form.

Olin Zarak
In the Generation One series, Scorponok's Headmaster was Lord Zarak. When the time came to update Scorponok, the crew at Fun Publications decided to continue the Zarak legacy with his son: Olin Zarak! Using the Spike Headmaster from the recently reissued Fortress Maximus, a new Headmaster was created complete with an all new "face" sculpt for Scorponok based on his cartoon and comic book appearances from Generation One.

The main figure itself is the same as Spike's complete with a round helmet section, distinctive sections on the torso like a chest, abdomen and waist area. The arms have two blasters built into each wrist section and thrusters built into the lower legs. The design is generic enough that you can buy it as representing Zarak instead of Spike or Gran (the previous characters represented by this sculpt).

The face design for Scorponok is mostly based on G1 Scorponok's animation model design (also used in the comic books). This includes large visor eyes, antennae on the sides and a pronounced chin piece. The sculpt looks great and instantly recalls the look of the character from the original series. The forehead piece is a carry over from the head of Cerebros, the original sculpt this head was based on. This forehead panel does flip out a little bit, but because of the thick, visor eyes, it cannot fully fold up to cover the face when Zarak is in humanoid mode.

Like his father, Olin Zarak has chosen beige and purple parts for his humanoid mode. The face is painted silver. The Scorponok face is dark grey. Orange paint is used for the antennae and the face is painted beige. The eyes are a dark shade of pink. This may seem odd (red would be the more obvious choice) but in fact in many of his appearances his eyes did appear more pink than red so it works out perfectly. I love such attention to detail when paying homage to a classic character.

The joints on the figure are nice and tight, which is crucial since the transformation basically involves the character folding up his legs up against the torso. Scorponok's sculpt has been modified with a section with a groove that allows you to fit Zarak in by the three plastic tabs on the neck area. These tabs originally activated cylinders on the original Cerebros that showed his statistics such as Strength. Here there is no such mechanism, but the tabs do fit nice and snug in the groove.

It's very cool to see what's been done here. A lot of thought went into this and Fun Publications deserves major kudos for including the Headmaster and making sure it works with the larger figure.

Scorponok Review

The first time this sculpt was released, it was as a character named Scorponok, but this is the first use of this sculpt as a version of the original Scorponok.

Ground Vehicle Mode:
Instead of his original scorpion mode, Scorponok has now traded up for a ground vehicle mode with design aspects inspired by a scorpion. That includes the tail that hovers over the vehicle, two large claw arms and even mandibles in the front. He even has dual barreled blasters on the sides of the rear section, similar to the dual cannons on G1 Scorponok's shoulders.

The interesting thing is, this vehicle also has elements of a construction vehicle even though it appears to be built for destruction. His tail has both a hook and blasters on it. The front claws resemble shovels and instead of insect legs he rolls on giant treads (okay, really small wheels underneath, but the treads are sculpted). It's a really creative reinterpretation of the character's "beast mode".

Taking inspiration from his G1 counterpart, this new version of Scorponok is cast in light green, purple, orange and silver plastic. The green and purple make up most of the figure. The green is much brighter than the original Scorponok's, but the dull shade of the color keeps it from being an eyesore. The purple plastic is dark and contrasts nicely with the green. The color also evokes the original Scorponok immediately since it was a very distinctive color scheme even in the G1 days. The orange adds a splash of brightness in both solid and translucent forms. The solid orange is used for hinges/joints on the arms while the translucent color is used for the more destructive parts such as the blades on his arms, the blasters on his tail and the claws behind the treads. The silver color is used for smaller parts such as the faux hydraulics near the mandibles and the blasters above his treads. The colors are striking and look fantastic.

Thanks to the varied plastic colors on the figure, there aren't many paint applications needed. Paint applications are done in orange, metallic teal, silver, purple and dark orange. The orange is used on the front of the vehicle and the base of the tail. The cockpit section has the teal, silver and purple on top. The darker orange color is found on the sides of the tread - but here's the odd part - on my copy it's only on the left side, not the right. I've seen other copies where both sides were painted, so this was an error. Honestly though, it's a small enough detail that I didn't even notice it until I transformed him several times.

Overall this vehicle mode looks fantastic. Even with the lighter green, the colors are distinctive to the character and they're very striking.

Functionally speaking, all the joints on this figure are nice and tight - not shocking since a large portion of them are ratchet joints. The cockpit section can be swung open, allowing Zarak to stand in it. Unfortunately Zarak is too big to fit in and close it, but in a way it gives him a regal appearance, almost like Scorponok is a chariot for Zarak. The missile firing mechanisms in the arms still work great as well.

Transformation to Aerial Mode:

  1. Swing the side pieces (that the arms are attached to) out, and fold the halves of the front of the ground vehicle up so they are at a right angle with the side pieces.
  2. Rotate the shovel arms so the shovels face the other direction.
  3. Swing the tail down on the orange section with the small wheels.
  4. Swing the treads up so the orange "Energon claws" are pointing forward.
  5. On each tread, swing the silver turbine to the sides.
  6. Swing each half of the front of the vehicle form out to the sides.
  7. Swing the tail out to the front and straighten it out.
  8. Deploy the two Energon blasters on the tail.
  9. Move the shovel arms so they rest up against the main body.
  10. Move the Energon claws/blades on the shovel arms out.

Aerial Vehicle Mode:
The aerial mode is a nice addition to Scorponok's repertoire of modes. It basically replaces the city mode (which was used as a transport mode in the cartoon) so it works. In this mode, most of the green color winds up in the middle to back of the vehicle. The purple is mostly along the center to the front. The translucent orange parts also wind up concentrated in the back.

There aren't any new paint colors revealed in this form. However, like the ground vehicle mode the colors are all so distinctive that he still looks great.

While they are available in other modes, this mode gives you a good look at the various weapon and Mini-Con connection points. The most obvious is on the front of the vehicle where there is a Mini-Con peg. Sliding that piece swings the two blasters in front out or back. You can also attach weapons with 5mm holes on them (like many of the Energon weapons from 2004). Other 5mm holes can be found near the shovel claws. There are also 5mm holes on the sides of the treads (which wind up on the top of the vehicle in this form). These are a bit loose however so some weapons will fit a bit more snug than others.

Transformation to Robot Mode (from Ground Vehicle Mode):

  1. Swing the treads back and straighten them out to form the robot legs.
  2. At the ends of the treads, flip up the purple shovels, and push the heel piece on the other side down.
  3. Split the front of the vehicle in half and swing them to the sides.
  4. Swing the driver's area compartment up and swing out the section inside the compartment. Close the compartment.
  5. Attach Zarak in head mode to the groove on the neck area.
  6. The tail can be tucked behind Scorponok or raised up behind him as an additional weapon.

Robot Mode:
Scorponok's robot mode is what I consider the centerpiece of this redeco/retool. The sculpt was designed to evoke the original Scorponok. Details include the "tail" of the vehicle winding up on the back, the claw-like arms and the rectangular design of the chest. Of course, the most striking design element is the head, which now truly looks like the original Scorponok. Throw in all the green, purple and orange colors and this is truly G1 Scorponok reborn. He looks absolutely amazing and even though he's a "Timelines" figure, I consider him on par with some of the recent "Generations" reimaginings of G1 characters.

The head isn't able to turn in this version of the figure, but frankly that's not a big deal, especially given the design of his shoulders. The platform the head rests on also raises the head up a bit, so it doesn't look like Scorponok is a turtle pulling its head into its shell.

All of Scorponok's twenty two points of articulation are nice and tight, which is great to see given how many times the tooling for this sculpt has been used.

Final Thoughts:
This is one of the best exclusives to ever come out of the "Timelines" series. It's a formidable, hefty figure (a rarity in today's world) and the retooling done to make it a "true" Headmaster is absolutely awesome. Being a Botcon exclusive, it will cost you quite a bit to add it to your collection, but for the hardcore collectors looking for a special piece - this one's for you!

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