I love the idea of Targetmasters. Who wouldn’t want a couple of friends that turn into guns? But I was already getting out of Transformers when this new breed of Transformers was arriving on the scene. I did, however, somehow manage to get Scoop and his two little buddies. I think he was my only one, but it’s possible I had Targetmaster Blurr as well. I don’t know if it was because I finally had an Autobot construction vehicle or because of the whole Targetmaster gimmick, but I really dug that G1 Scoop figure a lot and thanks to the character’s appearance in the IDW comic, this unlikely figure has gotten a long overdue update in the Generations line.
Yes, as unlikely as it is to see an update to Scoop, it’s even more incredible that he comes with a comic book spotlighting the character. But that’s what I always liked about the IDW comics, they draw their character roster from a deep well of Transformers lore. We’ve seen this packaging many times before, so I don’t have anything new to say about it, except it’s still among my favorite of all the Transformers packages. You get the figure in robot form with his two Targetmasters, Tracer and Holepunch, beside him and a bonus reprint comic book in the background. How can you go wrong? You can’t! Let’s start with Scoop in his alt mode.
Obviously, that alt mode is an orange payloader vehicle and in that sense it definitely pays respect to the original G1 toy. It’s a fairly simple sculpt with some articulation in the front scoop and it holds together and rolls along great. There are some notable details, like the molded ladders on the sides of the driver’s cabin, but that’s about it. There’s also not a lot of paintwork to speak of. You get a lot of orange plastic and black wheels. I’ve been known to jump all over Hasbro for how much they’ve scaled back on paint operations on recent toys, but in the case of Scoop’s alt mode, I don’t think it hurts the toy any. Construction vehicles aren’t meant to be flashy, and besides, Hasbro saved most of the color for Scoop’s robot mode, which I think was a rather good choice.
There are three sets of peg holes on Scoop’s alt mode that can fit the Targetmaster guns. The two above his rear wheels don’t work so well because the guns bump up against the fenders. The ports between the two wheels work Ok, but I prefer to stick them onto the two top holes.
Transforming Scoop doesn’t feel all that much different from the original toy. It’s extremely simple when going to robot mode. It was only when going back into vehicle mode that I had to ponder what exactly to do with the arms. Either way, the end result is a very clean and wonderfully proportioned robot. Scoop wears his scoop on his back and two of his wheels fall proudly on his shoulders. Some blue paint apps nicely recreate the chest stickers from the original toy and he’s got a crisp Autobot insignia stamped on his chest.
Scoop sports some simple but effective articulation, which compliments his clean robot mode. With ball joints and hinges in the shoulders, ball joints in the hips, and hinges in the elbows and knees, Scoop feels very action figure-y, making him a lot of fun to play with and pose. If I have one complaint about Scoop it would be that he feels very hollow. The legs are hollowed out, the arms are hollowed out, and he’s rather light even for a Deluxe. But, maybe that’s more of an observation than a complaint, because it really doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the figure at all.
The Targetmasters, Tracer and Holepunch, are simple, but oh so awesome. They represent some fantastic sculpting and paintwork for such little figures. These guys are a lot more stylized than the Nightstick figure that Hasbro released with Classics Cyclonus and I really dig that. Their articulation and transformation is simple, but that’s to be expected, and in the end you get a nice pair of little figures and a decent pair of guns. You can even combine the two into one ridiculous and unwieldy weapon just like you could with the original G1 figures.
With distribution on these IDW comic packs being so poor in my area and online prices getting crazy, I all but gave up on getting many more of these. Nonetheless, a little persistence netted me Scoop for just a couple of bucks over regular retail and I’m mighty glad to have found him. He may not have been high on everyone’s list of Transformers that needed an update, but it’s hard to argue with results like this. He’s a fairly simple figure, but he’s easily among the best modern redesigns of a classic figure that Hasbro has done. He’s a great looking figure and super fun to play with… and hey, two Targetmasters! What’s not to like?