Tomy DX IdeonTomy's basic plan for selling Ideon figures seems to have been to throw as many out as possible, presumably planning to tailor one to every demographic conceivable. The market research division seem to have not bothered checking what exactly was selling and just doing a big foot-high diecast with a simple combination, but you can't say they weren't trying different things...

The Scramble Combination model seems to cover a very specific group - kids who didn't have a huge amount to spend, but did want to have a combining Ideon, on the condition that Ideon could be combined really quickly. That might seem like a pretty mad idea to come up with, but it's one that's come back mainly thanks to their sister company Hasbro's recent strategy of releasing four figures of every single Transformers character, without actually making any of them any good.

Tomy DX IdeonThe Scramble Combination incarnation of Ideon stands 6" tall, and is almost entirely plastic. Once again, it looks surprisingly different from the other Tomy Ideons, with another change in head design. The proportions are pretty good, though - the arms hang down a little too far, but they've got the legs and the rest of the shape fairly close. The Scramble figure uses the same blue parts as the DX version, something I still haven't got used to. Detail is rather disappointing - a few dabs of silver paint and some stickers. Most of the figure is red plastic, with a bit of blue, and that's it.

Tomy DX IdeonThe robot is fairly low on features, with only spring-loaded fists and a little articulation to get by. There's rotation at the shoulders, and the elbows hinge - the joints are stiff enough (unlike the Miracle Combination figure) for these to be some use, and they do help de-emphasise the length of the arms. The fists have actually got holes drilled in the palms - I wonder if a handgun or sword was planned at some point.

Tomy DX IdeonThe main problem with the figure, though, is that it is cheap. The plastic isn't the high grade ABS used on most figures of the time (such as, say, the compound used on the Sound Flasher Ideon), but a really thin, brittle type that is basically knockoff quality. I can see it getting stress marks very easily. The moulding is also haphazard - the feet don't lock into place in robot mode at all, while I had to spend 10 minutes shaving down waste plastic to get the waist to clip together, and to get rid of a few nasty bits on joints. Even then, some parts aren't as flush as they should be. Considering that whatever else you can say about Tomy's other figures, they're nicely presented, this was a big disappointment (it's covered in Tomy stamps, so it doesn't seem likely I've got a knockoff).

That Tomy would try to make such a small figure combine fully is either a feat of engineering bravery or folly, I can't quite work out which. First things first, the instructions and box art only show how to make the jet modes of each unit. It is possible to make approximations of the truck modes from the same units, but these are more an added bonus or side effect, so I'll be trying not to judge these too harshly.

The Ideo-Delta is the most complex of these units, and at this scale does a fair job of the arms moving in to cover the head. The arms are actually connected by a solid diecast bar, however, and this stays in place. Now, I took some spiteful, envious shots at the Miracle Combination Ideon for relying on extra parts to form the vehicle modules, not at all influenced by my lack of aforementioned parts. This one is even worse, with a plastic nosecone and, astonishingly, entire back end of the jet clipping on. It'd be more forgivable if the back end was even red. Aside from the shoulder bar and its' stubby wings, this segment can actually make a nearly decent Sol-Amber, thanks to the elbow joints clipping back on themselves. There's even a little Glen Cannon on the top as used early on in the series. This is an odd convenience, which makes me think the original plan was to have both vehicle modes present, but this was abandoned at some point.

The Ideo-Nova is even less complex... It's basically the Ideon's chest with some little casters underneath, a bit bunged on the front and a (firing) missile launcher on top. Sure, the complex unfolding mechanism would be tricky on something this size, but this is still a bit hopeless. It's a shame some yellow couldn't be added to the mix, but this is a cheap figure... Less forgivable is the use of blue plastic - red would have been better. Sure, the thing would be largely one colour, but then so is the Ideon... It's difficult to tell whether they were planning to incorporate a Sol-Vainer into the unit, seeing as the Sol-Vainer is the Ideo-Nova with a few bits hidden anyway. The toy manages to roughly replicate this, but also just manages to look even more like it's just the Ideon's torso.

As you go down, it gets even slacker... the Ideo-Buster is just the Ideon's legs, with a vague stab at the cockpit in the top and tiny sliding out wings. Good work, lads...Weirdly, it looks more like the Sol-Conver, both from the more rounded cockpit and that, well, it's a pair of robot legs on tiny wheels. The basic difference between the picture on the left and the one on the right is the tiny stubby wings are out in one and not the other. Dynamic.

What the set lacks in features, engineering and quality it makes up in random additional bits, though. The set comes with a trio of rubber figures for no real reason I can see - there's a 2" Ideon, a 1" Ideon and what looks like Gije (someone in a Buff Clan pilot suit, anyway, but I like Gije, so it's him to me). Despite some sloppy moulding, these are quite nice as these things go, with a fair bit of detail. I just couldn't tell you what they're for - target practice for the spring-loaded fists and missiles? The Ideon tests its' firing fists on smaller versions of itself and an oversized Gije? Well, it's still more normal than the Diamond Gokin one...

The Scramble Combination Ideon is probably the worst of Tomy's figures, and the first one to leave me outright disappointed. It's not so much the designs or the features - if you buy a Tomy Ideon, you expect it to fail in several key areas, and anyway the Soul of Chogokin figure is the best toy ever made, so it's on a hiding to nothing against that. No, the problem with this one is the sheer lack of care taken, from poor colour choices (I realise adding a third plastic colour to the mix would have been a problem, but rendering most of it in just red with the fists, caterpillar tracks and so on in black would have looked much nicer) to very shoddy manufacturing. One to avoid.