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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Warcry's Review: Insecticon

Name: Insecticon

Insecticon has teamed up with Ravage to hunt and destroy Autobots before, but never with as much satisfaction as he feels this time. Bumblebee has been an annoyance to them both. It will be a pleasure to sink his pincers into the soft internal wiring of the Autobot warrior.

Loosely based on the tiny insectoid Decepticon that spied on Sam and Mikaela in the Revenge of the Fallen movie, Insecticon is probably the only character in the history of Transformers whose toy is bigger than the character it represents. As depicted on-screen he would be the size of a small Minicon toy at best, but he's been promoted to Scout class in the toy line. His bio even implies that he's large enough to be a threat to Bumblebee, so presumably in the tech spec bio universe he either mass-shifts into a much bigger robot or turns into a huge, unsubtle insect.

In spite of the name, he really doesn't bear much resemblance to any of the original Insecticons, or to the Beast Wars and Energon characters who've used the name.

Robot Mode:

Insecticon is packed in robot mode, and if we're being brutally honest he doesn't make much of an impression. Aside from his wings, which are translucent blue, his entire body is bland grey. His shoulders, insect-mode mandibles and codpiece are a light, neutral grey and the rest is a darker grey with a hint of green in the mix. He has silver paint on his face and his eyes are red, and that's the end of his colour palate. Screen-accurate or not, I'm not sure how Hasbro thought this colour scheme would sell many toys.

Insecticon's proportions don't do him any favours either. He's extremely hunchbacked, almost comically so, with a huge hump on his back and shoulders that are on the same level as his chin. He doesn't have normal humanoid arms either, eschewing them in exchange for two wicked-looking clawed appendages on each shoulder. His arms and legs are skinny, and his wings stick out like a sore thumb no matter what you do with them because they're the only part of Insecticon with any colour. I prefer to have them hanging down like a cape, but they can be posed up in 'flight position' too. But no matter what you do with them Insecticon is going to look pudgy, comical and nonthreatening.

The only positive in robot mode is that Insecticon is very, very posable. His wings can be repositioned and each of his four arms have three points of articulation. His legs have four, including ankles, knees and double-jointed hips. His head is on a ball-joint as well, but its movement is restricted by his huge hump. The arms are the best part here, and make him some fun to play with. It's very easy to imagine Insecticon throwing himself at a larger foe, furiously stabbing and tearing away at them with his claws until there's nothing left. And because his arms are so well-jointed, you can actually act it out. Unfortunately, his shoulders don't lock into place at all which can make posing the arms a bit of a chore. Cool, but not enough to save the robot mode.

Alternate Mode:

Insecticon transforms into a six-legged robotic insect of some nondescript variety. His colour scheme is basically the same as it was in robot mode, with the addition of two tiny Decepticon symbols at the base of his wings which were much less noticeable in robot mode. The colours work a lot better here though. Insecticon looks like some sort of industrial abomination more than a Transformer, and strongly resembles the spiderbots from Deus Ex. I keep expecting him to start skittering around and shooting lightning at a man in a leather coat, but it never happens. Boo!

Unfortunately he's not nearly as posable in beast mode as he is in robot mode. All of the joints are still there, but just by dint of being an insect, there's very little you can actually do with the legs before he stops looking like one. His wings can swing forward and back and his head can tilt up and down, but that's the extent of his alternate-mode articulation. Insecticon's beast most isn't bad, but it's not especially impressive either.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: Surprisingly simple for a Movie toy. Unfortunately, the end result in robot mode leaves a lot to be desired. He could have done with some more complexity, like locking shoulders and the option of giving him normal arms. 4/10

Durability: Insecticon is basically nothing but joints. Parts will pop off but it would be hard to break him unless you're trying. 9/10

Fun: His claw-arms are neat. Not much else going for him, though. 5/10

Aesthetics: Blech. 1/10

Articulation: He shines here, it's hard to deny that. You'll have a hard time finding a Scout with as many joints, if only because you'll have a hard time finding one with as many limbs. 8/10

Price: He's a Scout, so he's not expensive. There are undeniably better toys that could be had for the price, though. 6/10

Overall: M'eh. Insecticon isn't terrible, but I honestly can't see any reason to recommend him. He's stunningly bland and mediocre, and completely forgettable. If you absolutely have to have the mold, wait for the redeco. The colour scheme literally has to be better than this one. 4/10
 
 
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