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Series: Generations Selects
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Titan
Year: 2021

Prelude: When a Titan-class Scorponok appeared in War for Cybertron Earthrise, we dared to dream that we would get it repainted into Black Zarak. Hasbro heard our pleas and Black Zarak was released in the Generations Selects series, complete with Tyrant Spear, a retooled head, and (hopefully) an utter lack of gold plastic syndrome. As someone who has never owned Titan Scorponok, this is my first experience with the mold. So let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Let’s start by saying that Black Zarak is big. Granted, he is a Titan, so that is kind of to be expected, but still: he’s big. Not quite as big as Fortress Maximus, but still: big. Much like his predecessor Masterforce Black Zarak, he is mostly black with red and golden highlights. The head is a dead ringer for the one he sported in the Masterforce cartoon and looks great. His silhouette is pretty clean, the only kibble is the city-mode ramp on his back.

Black Zarak is very nicely articulated, and his big feet give him a stable platform. Despite his size, he can easily perform a kick without toppling over. His huge claws are articulate and can easily hold his primary weapon, the Tyrant spear, and even his own head (more on that below). Additional weapons are the double-barreled guns on his shoulders. Slight point deduction: he only comes with two of those guns instead of four like his G1 counterpart. There are upgrade sets for that, sure, but why not include four guns to start with?

Anyway, Black Zarak also comes with a shield that he can put on his arm or carry on his back. The shield can be made bigger by attaching the two golden pieces from his legs. Now the original Black Zarak came with a support robot called Black Roritchi and that figure was also available separately as a Generations Selects Weaponizer. Black Zarak can wield Black Roritchi in his spear mode, though that spear is a good deal smaller than the Tyrant spear. Well, it’s the thought that counts.

So bottom line, Black Zarak’s robot mode is pretty awesome. Apart from the missing two shoulder guns there is very little to complain about.

Partner: Black Zarak is a Headmaster, so his head detaches (it fits in his claw) and becomes a separate Deluxe-sized figure called… well, that’s actually hard to say. Black Zarak as seen in the Masterforce cartoon was never shown to be a Headmaster. The figure seen here actually resembles the Black Zarak seen in the Zone cartoon with his eyepatch and scratched chest. Zarak, as I have decided to call the smaller figure, is a nicely articulated and good-looking robot and the detailing, especially the chest wound, looks fabulous. He has the antenna / pincers of his head mode on his arms as weapons. Nicely done.

Of course Zarak is also a Headmaster and can detach his own head to become a small Titanmaster. Again, no separate name here, and it’s a pretty standard Titanmaster figure, so not much to tell. The Titanmaster can sit inside the scorpion’s “cockpit” (see picture no. 30).

Alternate Mode: In the Masterforce cartoon Black Zarak used to shout “Big Transform!” every time he transformed and the moniker is apt. While the transformation into scorpion mode is rather simple, the figure’s sheer size makes it a bit of an effort. Black Zarak basically lies down on his back, folds in half, and you’ve got a scorpion. Well, not quite that easily, but it’s mostly that.

The scorpion looks pretty cool and while the tail and stinger are possibly a bit small, you can attach the tip of his Tyrant spear to make it larger. The rest of the spear can be attached to the sides. Eight scorpion legs unfold from underneath and while they are not really strong enough to lift the entire body, they give a good impression of doing so. Each legs is individually articulated. The robot’s head becomes the scorpion’s head, but the helmet is pushed down (and flips out an additional plate) to hide the robot’s face. As mentioned above, there is a sort-of cockpit for the Titanmaster figure underneath the robot’s chest plate, which is now on top of the scorpion.

Overall I like the scorpion mode. It’s big, looks dangerous, and while it will never be confused with a real scorpion, it’s easily recognizable as one. Mission accomplished.

Black Zarak has a third mode where he becomes a ‘city’ (really just a futuristic base). The robot legs fold out sideways, the shield and claws form the city center, and the tail becomes the main ramp. The city mode looks pretty cool, but sadly there are almost no play features or anything. No launching ramps, no hidden compartments, nothing. Granted, the original’s city mode wasn’t really much better, so it’s accurate in that regard. Still, easily the most boring of Black Zarak’s three modes. Best to leave him in robot or scorpion mode.

In the Masterforce cartoon Black Zarak had a sort-of fourth mode, called hydra mode. It’s really just the scorpion mode with the scorpion legs folded in and the head removed. Now the Titan is technically capable of achieving that mode, but it looks far less streamlined than in the cartoon and the claws don’t really make for convincing hydra heads.

Remarks: Scorponok (or Mega Zarak as he was known in Japan) was the main bad guy of both the US series finale “The Rebirth” as well as the Japanese Headmaster series. Then a repaint of him appeared in the follow-up series Masterforce under the name Black Zarak, though this Zarak was merely mindless muscle, not the scheming leader seen in the previous series. One had to read the accompanying manga to learn that Black Zarak was indeed Mega Zarak, who – after his defeat at the end of Headmasters – had run afoul of Devil Z, who turned him into his slave.

I have mostly stopped collecting Titan-class figures, simply because they take up so much space, but when I saw Black Zarak here at greatly reduced price at this year’s C.O.N.S. convention, I just had to take him home with me. I have not regretted it. Black Zarak is a great figure, nicely articulated, very detailed, and personally I enjoy this paintjob a lot more than the Scorponok one, but that is subjective, of course. So bottom line: a great figure and well worth getting. Whether you get this version or the Scorponok is a matter of personal taste.

Rating: A-
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