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Movie Scorponok Reviewed by Thunderscream
Terror from Below

Scorponok is a name that should be familiar to Transformers fans of all generations. Fans of the original series will remember him as the giant Headmaster triple changer, while newer fans will equate the name with Megatron's sub-commander in Beast Wars or the tortured triple-changing Terrorcon from the Energon series. Whatever the characterization, his name has always been a play on his main alternate form: a scorpion. For the 2007 Transformers movie, Scorponok is re-imagined as Blackout's non-transforming partner, and while the Voyager Blackout comes with a small Scorponok figure, Hasbro has produced a larger figure for collectors and kids.

Altmode: Scorpion

As one might expect from his name, Scorponok is a mechanical scorpion, making him the only animal themed character in the line, if the Real Gear sub-line is not included. His primary color is a light silvery gray, with medium brown for his six legs, pincers, and stem for his tail lance. Dark orange is used for his face, the gears inside his pincers, on his shoulders, and on the turbine in his back. Red has been painted on his eyes and two "windows" on his tail, gold on the middle joint of his arms and on the top of his pincher casing, and black on the turbine, fins on the tail, spikes in the stinger trident, and on the rubber wheels. A black Decepticon insignia has been stamped behind his head.

Scorponok's body is covered in letters and warning labels. The phrase "Keep Away" has been stamped in black on the right side of his pincer casing, with the word "Danger" stamped in black on the left, over a black arrow pointing at his pincers. The term "No Step" has been etched in black on either side behind his head, and the words, "Caution," "Fuel," and "Explosive" are stamped on either side of his face, with Fuel outlined in a black box. The word "Rescue" outlined in an arrow pointing towards the lower back has been stamped in black just behind the turbine. The numbers "0360" have been stamped in white on either side of his body. These may seem odd features to include on a character that doesn't transform into a vehicle that would have these features, but they make sense once you think about it. In the movie, Scorponok comes off Blackout's back, and it's conceivable that he passes as the engine block and rotor shaft for his larger partner; which would explain the markings on Scorponok.

Scorponok has nineteen points of articulation in this form, three on each arm, two on his "neck", one for each of his six legs, and five in his tail. The greatest ranges of motion are in his arms and tail; his legs are attached to ball joints on his body and are positioned so close to each other and his body they can't move too much. They're not even long enough to lift him off the ground. Although it looks like the three pincer fingers could move a little at the base, they mostly don't and are slightly twisted inward around each other. Three of Scorponok's five articulation points are hinge points that allows him to curl or flatten his tail, just as a real scorpion would, though I would prefer ball joints, and more of them. There are a couple of pivot points on either end of the tail, but these don't really add much. There's a gold-colored trigger at the top of the "stinger" pod; spring activated, it launches the trident-like spear to impale his opponent. The spear doesn't fly off; a knob in the back prevents the spear from sailing off, which is true to the movie; the tail is an impaling weapon, not a projectile. Another action feature involved the rubber wheels near the base of his tail. Press down on the back and roll him along a smooth, hard surface and the center turbine spins along with the pincers, like drills, or more accurately, a pair of eggbeaters. There's a third, gold-colored wheel under his head that allows him to roll along without dragging along the front.


Scorponok's transformation is rated as "3 Advanced," but that's likely a misprint. Where most toys in the deluxe class have ten or more steps, Scorponok's instructions contain precisely four steps. That's it, that's all, no more. They're not overly complicated and easy to figure out, with or without the instructions, though I always suggest reading the directions first. Considering Scorponok doesn't transform in the movie, I think forcing a conversion out of the character is pushing things a bit.

Robot Mode

Scorponok stands about four and a half inches tall in what is called his robot mode. All the colors of his scorpion mode carry over to his robot mode; there are no changes. He has sixteen points of articulation, most of which also carry over from his animal form. The new points are at his "hips" and the knees of his short, stubby legs. You can still activate his spinning pincers via the rubber wheel in front of the base of his tail, but the wheels' location is sure to inspire more than a few dirty jokes.

To call this form Scorponok's robot mode is stretching things a bit. The only thing that changes on him is that the sides of his scorpion mode turn into a pair of short, stubby legs. In fact, it looks more like he's rearing up to intimidate his opponents. There aren't many poses I can think of for this form, which is another detraction. His tail is behind him, a fairly ineffectual place, and the lance has to be fired to allow him to stand upright. Most Transformers figures have elements of their alternate form on their bodies, but this is one of the few cases I know of, if not the only one, where the alternate mode is the robot mode. It's obvious that the designers were forcing a transformation from a design that's not really meant to transform, and it's a poor attempt at best.

Blackout Combination

Look closely at Scorponok's back, around the turbine, and you'll see two holes on either side, in the front, and a peg at the base, between the rubber wheels. When you roll the wheels and set the turbine and pincers spinning, and you'll see the peg spinning as well. The peg and holes on Scorponok line up with a hole and pegs on the underside of Blackout when he's in helicopter form. You'll have to turn the tail so it's under Scorponok to get them to combine neatly. Press down on the Blackout's tail trigger will cause his main rotor, Scorponok's turbine and pincers to spin in unison. It's a neat little feature the toys' designers though of, though it doesn't mesh with the interaction between the characters in the film (not to mention the scale's off considerably). It could also be argued that it benefits Scorponok more than it does Blackout. Displaying the pair this way could also be problematic; if the tail isn't flattened, the pairing lists to one side.

Final Thoughts

Scorponok has a great scorpion mode, one that could be argued as cute, but his conversion process and robot mode are poor attempts at best to squeeze him into the role of a true Transformer. It would have been best if they left him as he appears in the movie and as an accessory to the Blackout toy.

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