Two days back, we took a look at Boss on this blog, today, we’re looking at Scorch, as part of a week long look at the Turbomasters cars, a quick one each day, and then a recap and group shots at the weekend. They are firmly G1, sometimes known as Euro G1.5 and occasionally mistaken for G2 figures. Some people know a few of the molds from Machine Wars and even the Universe line of repaints, but not all the molds have been re-used.
The Turbomaster Cars for instance, were released in 1992 in Europe by Hasbro, and they were also released by Takara as part of the Operation Combination series in Japan later the same year, but they never saw release in the United States, ever, and to date have never had any repaints, retools or reissues.
The gimmick for this series (other than Transforming, of course) was missiles! Lots and lots (and lots, seriously) of missiles. Their rivals are the Predators (sometimes called the Predator Jets, who we will be looking at next week) also has the same gimmick, but with much more generic – and fragile – launchers.
So, Scorch then…
He actually has one of the most awkward robot modes of the group, mostly because of a very unique transformation that rotates his front wheels up towards the top of his cab. His head is quite reminiscent of Armada Red Alert’s head and gives him a distinct look as a robot. His light-piping works to great effect and he had very powerful missile launchers, and comes with enough spare that you can clip them on to the side of the legs. Annoyingly, it was during the photo-shoot for this that I realised my Scorch pictured here, has the wrong missile-launcher. This has since been rectified.
As a truck, he should be fairly generic and boring looking vehicle, probably the most generic of the team. Luckily, a big-ass missile launcher and flame decals help, as everything with flames is 22.7% cooler, and he totally pulls this off. The real appeal of this guy comes with just how quick he is to transform back and forth, something which gets lost in the “super show accurate” complex transformations we find so often in the adult collectible field. As part of a play pattern, a kid could transform this guy sub 10 seconds without any risk of damage.
The central section on Scorch is prone to paint wear, as it’s actually all clear-pink molded plastic with the yellow bits painted on. Between this and the easily damaged fire pattern on the hood, it’s not always easy to get this guy in great condition, despite their relative cheapness in Europe.
This guy has had a few different re-names along the way; in some parts of mainline Europe he is known as Dragon, and in Japan where he was released with Shadow Jet / Falcon he was called Fire Road. Curiously, these releases under Operation Combination are considered completely separate characters to the European releases, and not just different names for the same characters.
I only actually realised while researching this blog post that his 2010 reimagining for Botcon saw him named Turbomaster – not the first time a subgroup name has been reused for a single figure (we’re looking at you Beast Wars Insecticon and Dinobot). Using the Classics Hound mold, the figure is a great little toy, but as a Scorch re-imagining it leaves a lot to be desired, mostly because the head-sculpt wasn’t changed and there wouldn’t be room for a proper sculpted Scorch head as part of the Hound toys transformation. As always; I was happy to see the re-imagining of an obscure figure into the wider CHUG line, but without his team-mates, he is just a floaty individual which doesn’t quite fit anywhere.