Cliffbee.com: Insecticon Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Insecticon
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Surveillance
Alternate Mode: Beetle



BEETLE MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 7cm

   A dark metallic blue beetle with kiwi green legs, mandibles and antennae, Insecticon has red eyes and no other colours. While this is a very simple colour scheme, it works. The robot arms are visible but unobtrusive on the sides, they form the base for the insect legs, while the blue robot feet stick out at the back slightly, but being blue they also don't stand out.

   The legs are well sculpted with little barbs and moulded joints. I'm actually glad they lack proper joints, since the rigid legs mean Insecticon stands better than most BW insects - even if they insect legs can't fold away in robot mode. The head, abdomen and thorax are all clearly defined, with the thorax represented by wing covers as is the case on beetles. These wing covers have moulded longitudinal lines, which gives texture to an otherwise smooth body with making things too unrealistic.

   While the legs don't move, there's nothing holding the robot arms in place, which is a little annoying. Luckily the shoulders are tight enough that the arms wont flop around. The mandibles can swing out to the sides, and they're geared so if one moves the other follows. The antennae are fixed in place although since their point of attachment is a transformation joint it looks like they can move at first glance. The wing covers swing out to the sides, revealing jet boosters, which are actually his robot mode crossbow unassembled.

   While it's not without shortcomings, this is a good beetle mode. The concept and colour scheme are both simple but effective. The play value is fairly limited but the static legs make Insecticon stand better than most BW insects, a worthwhile tradeoff. I do wish the robot arms were pegged down, but this is the only major blight on a good beetle mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   As with other early BW basics, there's an auto-transform. Hold the back of abdomen and push down on his mandibles - you should find the head folds down to become his chest, the robot legs extend and the robot head is revealed. It's one of the more successful auto-transformations - no doubt because things aren't pegged down - all you need to do is flip his feet up. If you want to leave the crossbow stowed, it'll happily stay stowed in this mode. You can always slide the halves out, clip together and lift out the bow halves. Place it in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 9cm

   Again mainly dark metallic blue and kiwi green, which again work well together. The chest, head and boots are blue along with the core of his weapon, while the groin, thighs, arms and bow are green. His eyes are red along with a patch on top of his head (an abandoned lightpipe) while his mouth is white - it's wide open with bared teeth. The mandibles sit on either side of his chest, pointing up, while the antennae sit flush against the groin. The insect legs hang off his arms, and while they're kibble they're also a feature.

   The poseability here is pretty good, really. His head turns while the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball jointed. The ankles are hinged while his feet are big with heelspurs, giving Insecticon a range of stable poses. The frontmost set of insect legs stick up from his shoulders, limiting the shoulder movement a little, but not as much as you'd expect. Meanwhile the rear rears stick out and down from the forearms and don't get in the way of motion at all, which is great.

   The detailing here is about the same as the beast mode - fairly minimal in many places, but with such distinct colours a complex sculpt would get in the way. The undersides of the mandibles have holes (to save plastic), which bugs me a little. The boots are well sculpted along with the head, and they represent most of the robot-only parts here. The incest aspects are enough detail to make Insecticon visually complex, without there being too much to take in.

   A good robot mode considering how simple this toy is. The poseability is excellent considering how many insect pieces are floating away while the crossbow makes for a great handheld weapon. Visually appealing - although I'll admit the blue and green combination works for me, and if it doesn't work for you Insecticon wont look so good. The engineering is great for a toy with an auto-transform, which makes this robot mode work.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   Insecticon has a good beast mode, save for robot arms that suspend in place rather than clip, along with a very well engineered robot mode, which has a great weapon. The colours are kept simple, which works with two strong colours. The auto-transform is very simple, which takes the challenge away, but to its credit it works well. I don't mind the auto-transform since both modes are good and there's enough robot articulation to keep me happy - 8.5/10

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