Review by VF5SS
The waning years of what we now call Transformers: Generation One were a lot like the brand's current situation. Toys had gotten a bit smaller and simpler with an emphasis on gimmicks in addition to being more kid friendly. The small Targetmasters were part of this trend having taken a larger style of Transformer and shrunken it down while still retaining the signature feature. On the Autobot side you had three construction vehicles armed with a pair of little men who turned into guns to oppose the Decepticon's trio of military vehicles with the same armament. I had two of the three good guys growing up but never got around to acquiring the third. Out of nowhere, Hasbro put out a new version of that exact character. So here we have a loving tribute to a relatively obscure Autobot Targetmaster, Scoop.
Scoop comes packaged in robot mode so I'll start off here. He stands roughly five inches tall and is a tasteful update on the original G1 toy.
The character came too late to make an appearance in the cartoon and never amounted to much in the old comics so this redo comes without any baggage. Oddly enough this Scoop looks a lot like the rendition seen in one of the old commercials.
From front to back he's pretty clean with an equally straightforward color scheme. The only obvious hollow bits are due to his straightforward transformation.
Scoop's head is a good G1 style design with the now common light piping gimmick in his eyes. His neck sits on a ball-joint with a fair range of motion.
His chest flips down for part of his transformation so the designers added some detailing underneath.
Another neat aspect of his engineering is the fan made "digger mode" where Scoop's scoop can be easily deployed in robot mode. Think of this like an extra bit of armor in the front.
Like many of the new Generations figures, Scoop comes with a pack-in comic by IDW. I don't really follow the modern Transformers comics so while the book is quite well produced, the story didn't really grab me. It doesn't help that this is actually a reprint of another comic and not a unique one about Scoop.
Despite Scoop being on the cover, this issue is more of a collection of three intertwining stories with the title character only appearing at the end. It does feature many scenes of Optimus Prime (who can retract his faceplate to reveal a mouth these days) sitting at a bar and drinking heavily.
All of the vintage small Targetmasters came with two little dudes who can transform into guns. The Generations version of Scoop lovingly replicates this feature with a pair of great looking accessories that are much more than meets the eye. Hasbro even went the extra mile and gave Caliburst and Holepunch individual sculpts
This is Holepunch who like his big partner is a excellent update of his vintage counterpart. His colors really pop and he even sports a good number of paint apps on his face, chest, and armored undies. The only thing that is kind of odd is the orange plastic gun handle that swivels around between his knees.
Caliburst is pretty much the same as Holepunch. On the original figure he was called Tracer but his named had to be reassigned due to lapsed trademarks.
Here is a little family photo with the two figures that came with G1 Quickmix. I appreciate how the modern Targetmaster guns look a lot more like little dudes in armor as opposed to a bricks carved into the shape of men. Advances in toy technology have even allowed them previously unattainable luxuries like ball-jointed arms!
Just fold up their little arms and flip out a gun barrel to turn Holepunch and Caliburst into two rocking rifles for Scoop to wield. They fit nicely into his hands or any of the 5 millimeter ports all over his body. Scoop's articulation is typical for a modern deluxe class Transformer as he possess numerous ball-joints, swivels, and even a fully functional waist. My only real complaint is his footprint is rather small due to the way his legs are hollow around his heels.
Scoop's transformation affords him a pair of double-jointed knees that let him kneel down like a haggard warrior.
As I mentioned before, I owned the other two small Autobot Targetmasters as a child and I still have them to this day! Here is Scoop with his aged comrades Quickmix and Landfill. These guys were some of my absolute favorites as a kid so I am happy to give the team a proper reunion 26 years later. There's just something about transforming construction vehicles that still makes me smile.
And because the modern toy still uses 5 millimeter ports for his guns, you can swap weapons between the vintage Targetmaster and the new one! Tolerances have changed a bit over the years so be aware the pegs may not fit snugly from one to the other. Still that is some great legacy support considering these toys are over a quarter century apart!
Like the old toys, Scoop can stack his guns together to form a single super weapon. The main difference is now Holepunch and Caliburst combine with a tab and slot setup instead of the basic peg and hole like the original figures.
For a real orgy of tiny man guns, Caliburst and Holepunch have additional 5 millimeter ports that you can just plug the old Targermasters into. It's five guys grilling up some major firepower to put the hurt on those Decepticreeps!
Scoop's transformation is pretty basic but has some neat bits like how his entire shoulder assembly rotates between modes and other little touches such as retracting feet.
As a front end loader, Scoop is fairly tidy though I do wish his arms pegged into the sides of his waist a little more cleanly. He rolls around on four big plastic tires and does everything this type of vehicle should.
One cool bit of engineering is how Scoop's head ends up inside the cabin. Now you know he's fully protected on the job site.
Scoop's articulated scoop lets him pick up stuff like a proper construction vehicle. He can even give Holepunch and Caliburst a joyride. There is a sizable cavity that gets exposed when his equipment is fully extended but that's just how the toy is designed.
Also if you want to add about sixty dollars in value to Scoop, just configure his vehicle mode like this.
The back of Scoop's vehicle mode has a bunch of 5 millimeter ports for attaching either his partners or any other gun that has the same type of peg.
With these you can make a pretty boss attack mode for Scoop.
Some of the ports work better than others though. The holes on either fender are oddly placed and don't really gel with his Targetmaster guys when Scoop is in vehicle mode. Those parts are placed there as more of an homage to the old toy anyway.
I actually prefer just having Holepunch and Caliburst just ride on the back of Scoop using their hinged gun handles to hang on. Standing on the back of mean looking earth-mover is the only way to ride into battle.
In vehicle mode Scoop looks right at home with his old war buddies. Just give him some worn stickers and you'd never know the difference!
Generations Scoop is a unexpected tribute to an often unsung part of Generation One. I don't think anyone out there was asking for a modern update of Scoop but it was the combination of his gimmick and vehicle mode that made him stand out among the current crop of figures so it makes sense that Hasbro chose him to be a part of the "Thrilling 30" line. His design really lends itself to representing that era in one humble little package. Many older fans may scoff at the later years of G1, but as a person who grew up with that era I think there is a lot to appreciate and Scoop shows that it can be done quite well. While Scoop is not terribly ambitious toy, I appreciate his existence just the same.
|Posted 5 May, 2014 - 19:28 by VF5SS|