Hunt for the Decepticons Insecticon Toy Review

in 2010, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Hunt for the Decepticons, Insecticon, Movie (2007)

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: August 2009
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Towards the climax of "Revenge of the Fallen", Sam Witwicky is hiding from the Decepticons but they send in a tiny probe to track him down. This probe takes the form of a tiny insect that is clearly of Cybertronian design. While Sam dispatched of this tiny terror, it managed to serve as an inspiration for Insecticon, one of the late summer 2010 figures released as part of the "Hunt for the Decepticons" line of figures. Insecticon is notable as one of the very few Transformers released in the movie universe with a beast mode.

Robot Mode:
Robot modes are often the tricky part of any Transformer design involving a beast mode. You don't want tons of beast mode parts hanging off seemingly serving no purpose because that just looks like a Transformer skinned an animal and put its skin on. In the case of Insecticon, most of his robot mode parts are created right from parts of the beast mode. For instance, instead of having two arms like most Transformers, he has four, two that angle upwards and two set to the sides. These are of course insect legs in the beast mode. His robot legs are also insect legs, bringing the total to an appropriate six legs altogether. On the back of the robot mode are his insect wings. There's a really nice visual design trick at work here. At first the wings just looke like angled, Cybertronian equivalents to an Earth insect's wings, but look closer and you'll see at the front portion (or top in this form) of each wing is a cylinder that greatly resembles a thruster. Extrapolate the detail down a bit and the wings actually wind up looking like blasts of exhaust and energy coming from those thrusters. It's a fantastic little touch that melds the beast mode aspects of the figure perfectly with its true robotic self.

There are some parts that are strictly intended for the robot mode, the most prominent of which is the robot head. The head is one mean looking design with some definite insectoid influences. The "helmet" section curves on the top of the head leading to the sides of the head. On both the sides of the head and the mouth area are details showing layers of armor detail including a nose in the middle. On either side of the head are three tubes facing forward which could be interpreted as weapons. Look behind the head and you'll find more tubes and mechanical details. All of these parts are intricately detailed. For instance, the tubes all have what look like turbines inside. Combined with lots of hinge and piston details on his arms and legs I have to say this is a wonderfully detailed figure.

Insecticon has three primary plastic colors in this form: silver, olive green and translucent blue. The green is the primary color, but there's quite a bit of silver too. The green is found mostly on his arms and legs while the silver is used for smaller parts such as the shoulder joints and heels. It's a nice blend of colors. The silver alludes to the robot mode while the green is a bit of a more organic color. The translucent blue plastic is found on his back, making up the wing sections. There is some frosting inside the plastic that gives it a metallic appearance. This is a really nice touch since most translucent parts on Transformers are generally left to stand on their own. Enhancing it makes the figure look more interesting.

When you first look at Insecticon head on, it looks almost as if he has no paint applications. In fact, the figure has five different colors of paint: red, silver, gunmetal grey, black and metallic green. The silver and the gunmetal are found on the face and the red paints his eyes. Silver is also found on the top edges of his wings, along with black Decepticon symbols on top of the silver. The thrusters at the top of the wings are painted metallic green. The colors work really nice on the figure, and considering the Insecticon he was based on in the movie was basically just silver, black and red these colors are more diverse than what could have been!

Insecticon has twenty seven points of articulation. You read that right. This is quite unusual for a Scout Class figure and a lot of it is owed to the design of his arms and the number of arms. Each arm has three points of articulation, and he has four arms. Then the shoulder joint turns as well, totaling fourteen points of articulations altogether on just the arms alone. It's quite extraordinary especially considering the articulation points are useful as well. His shoulder joints for instance are all ball joints, as are his hip joints. Each arm can also bend at the elbows. I am also counting his wings being able to move up and down.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

    Swing the foot and heel pieces together.
  1. Rotate the legs around and bend the robot legs at the knee joints.
  2. Rotate the robot arms so they point the same direction as the legs, bend them at the elbow joints.
  3. Pull the chest piece up and swing the hinge forward.
  4. Tuck the robot head behind the insect head.
  5. Holding the wing sections, pull them forward to form the middle section of the insect mode.
  6. Turn the insect over and on the underside of the rear section, swing the hinged, curved piece down (it only swings down part way).

Beast Mode:
The Beast Wars toy line proved a long time ago that the Transformers team is more than capable of developing Transformers that become beasts, but the current team was not the team that worked on Beast Wars so it's cool to see what they can do with the concept every now and then. Insecticon is of course, a non-organic beast, but it's cool to see how many elements of the design are inspired by an organic insect. His head has two mandibles on either side of the head, each leg has several triangular points that resemble the various segments on a real insect. At the end of each leg are claws and the rear abdomen section has several segmented sections that have a nice seashell like design. He may be a mechanical beast, but Insecticon still manages to look plenty creepy!

There are several distinctive mechanical design elements as well. In the center of the head is a single mechanical eye that looks like one you'd find on a camera. The center of the body has wings mounted on to of flat platforms. The sides of his abdomen section have large circles on them with very intricate designs inside with tiny raised tubes. What's cool is in this mode the tube sections from the robot mode wind up pointing downward on the underside of the vehicle. This essentially gives him thrusters on the underside which you can imagine help him lift off until his wing thrusters take over.

All the colors fro mhis robot mode carry over here, but some parts become more obvious. His beast mode head is cast in silver and olive green plastic with the eye in the center painted gunmetal and red. Some details towards the back of the head are also painted gumetal. On the abdomen section, the circles on either side are painted silver. Again, this doesn't sound like a lot, but it looks fantastic.

In this mode, Insecticon has twenty three points of articulation. His joints are tight, so that allows the figure to stand on its insect legs perfectly without any flopping around. His head is on a hinge, so it can move up and down.

Final Thoughts:
Insecticon is a fantastic beast based figure that embodies a lot of the really awesome points of Transformers creature designs. A great sculpt, creepy detailing, fantastic articulation and a connection to an onscreen character to boot makes this one highly recommended figure!