"Generations" Combiner Wars Bombshell Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: December 2014
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Amazon, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! Insecticon Bombshell is a fierce Insecticon who is a master of mind control. This Insecticon Bombshell figure looks just like him and he’ll be a match for any Autobot who tries to take him on! He converts fast from robot mode to insect mode, and no enemy can hope to escape him! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his foes dish out! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

The Legends Class of Transformers continues in 2015, but this time the price has gone up and you're getting a bit less than before. Now around the $9.99 price point (depending on retailer), the Legends Class has now caught up to the Deluxe Class pricing. Given that the Deluxe Class price point held steady for almost a decade, this isn't exactly a shock but it is going to take getting used to. The other change is the removal of a Mini-Con/Micromaster/Targetmaster partner. Previous releases such as Swerve included a mini-figure that served as a weapon, but more importantly represented an update of an existing character from G1. It's not all bad news however. Several of the figures created for "Combiner Wars" have been given a third mode, making them weapons/Targetmasters themselves. One of these figures is Bombshell, the dastardly Insecticon from Generation One, known for his mind controlling abilities. He is the second Insecticon to receive the "Legends" treatment after last year's release of Skrapnel (aka "Shrapnel").

Robot Mode:
While some figures in "Generations" are new interpretations of characters others serve as direct homages to their Generation One roots, and that's the category that Bombshell falls into. The robot mode is instantly recognizable as the character because most of his details come directly from Generation One. G1 Bombshell was one of the characters who greatly resembled his toy in both the cartoon and comic books. While this figure mostly uses the cartoon/comic book model as its source there is at least one feature from the G1 toy. Here's a rundown:

  • The head design is taken directly from G1. This includes the launcher on the top of his head and the thin fin that sits on top of the cover that would go over his face in beast mode. His head design includes the distinctive mouthplate with vertical lines sculpted into it.
  • The torso takes its design from the G1 cartoon/comic book model and the toy since both were almost the same. This includes the round, insect eyes behind on the sides and a vertical panel in the middle with a series of five rectangular shapes in the lower section.
  • Each of the arms have insect legs hanging off the shoulder area.
  • The thighs each have two circles in the front, a design element used in the G1 comic book/TV show model.
  • There are circles on each lower leg with a line in the middle, looking like a screw. This is a detail taken directly from the G1 action figure.
  • There are panels that bevel outward on the sides of the lower legs, these are inspired by designs found on the G1 action figure.
  • The feet on Bombshell are rather short and boxy looking, similar to their appearance in the G1 TV Show/comic book.

While his forearms are different in design than his G1 counterpart, they do seem to retain some of the spirit of the original. G1 Bombshell had small blasters connected to his forearms. Here his forearm seems to be huge blasters with fists on top. The other detail which really sticks out (no pun intended, okay, maybe a little) are the pegs on his knees. Each knee has two 5mm pegs that stick out. These are intended to serve as the pegs other Transformers would use when holding Bombshell in weapon mode. The odd part? The designers chose to remove the weapon mode's existence from both the packaging and instructions - but no worries, I'll go into it further down in this review.

Bombshell is cast in purple, black and silver plastic - all the colors you would expect on an Insecticon. The purple is used for his torso and lower legs. Black is used for both his robot arms while silver is found on the launcher on top of his head and the mid-body to thighs. The arrangement of colors follows the G1 model pretty well, but it's the paint applications that really drive the deco home. Yellow is used on the raised panel on his chest and the insect eyes. Silver is used to paint the raised rectangular shapes on his torso. Black is found on the sides of the lower legs along with red. His eyes are painted red and his nose/mouthplate section is silver. The deco that ties everything together is the large silver and purple Decepticon symbol tampographed onto his chest. It's bold and looks fantastic.

There are eleven points of articulation on this figure. This includes two ball joints in each arm and waist articulation. There is no head articulation which makes sense since the head is between two raised panels and under a cover piece (with the launcher on it). Even if the head could turn it would be difficult to move it around. Bombshell has 5mm ports in each fist, allowing him to hold standard weapons such as those from other "Generations" figures and the Construct-Bots.

For those curious, Bombshell weighs in at .9 ounces (about 25.5 grams) which makes him about .3 ounces less in weight than Skrapnel with Reflector in his hand (he weighs in at 1.2 ounces (roughly 34 grams). However, thanks to the design of the figure, Bombshell is actually larger than Skrapnel in height and he looks bulkier.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Swing the panel on top of the head over it and straighten out the launcher.
  2. Rotate the waist around.
  3. On each lower leg, swing the insect legs out to the sides.
  4. Connect the two lower legs together.
  5. Swing the two lower legs up (you may need to swing the robot arms out of the way to do this).
  6. Swing the robot arms under the insect body and connect the two arms together using the tabs.
  7. Swing the front insect legs out.
  8. Push the pegs on the back down.

Beast Mode:
Like his G1 counterpart, Bombshell is a beetle in beast mode. In this form he takes a lot more from his G1 TV Show/Animation model than the toy. The toy looked a lot more mechanical and angular whereas the animation model rounded him off a bit and made him look a bit more compact. Still, all the details you'd expect are there including the large insect eyes on either side, the launcher sticking out in the front of the figure and some nicely detailed insect legs with creepy, spike like details sculpted onto them. This mode also gives you a look at a series of sculpted, vertical line details in the middle section (which would have been on the bottom of his feet in robot mode). A nice addition to the design are the robot arms, which look like they give him huge thrusters to fly with in this mode. Overall I think the sculpt looks fantastic in both modes and I'm very happy at how close the designers stuck to Bombshell's original designs.

All the colors from the robot mode carry over here so there aren't any huge shocks. The beast mode legs are cast in black plastic and the aforementioned vertical lines (from under the robot feet) are painted red. I do appreciate the beast mode having a prominent deco that isn't readily obvious in robot mode. That's a really nice touch.

There's not much articulation to speak of in this mode but if you want to push the definition I'd say there are five. The insect legs each move (as part of the transformation) and the launcher in front can swing up and down. This is all cool by me since frankly, there's not much else you can really expect Bombshell to do in this form.

Transformation to Weapon Mode (Starting in Beast Mode):

  1. Swing the pegs in the back out.
  2. Swing the robot arms down, then split them.
  3. Move the robot arms so they are pointing forward.
  4. Rotate the forearms around and connect them together.
  5. You can swing the insect legs in or out depending on your preference and whether they get in the way of the pegs being held by another figure.

The main issue I believe that kept the weapon mode from being officially acknowledged are the robot arms. On my copy of this figure, the arms won't tab together (hence why they appear separate in my photos). However, other fans have reported they are able to tab them together. Your experiences may vary.

Weapon Mode:
Bombshell's weapon mode is basically just the beast mode with extra barrels pointing forward, but they are rather threatening looking barrels. One can imagine the three barrels of firepower on Bombshell causing quite a bit of damage. Since he is part of "Combiner Wars", from a scale perspective he's clearly meant to be held by one of the Combiners such as Menasor. In that context I think he works fine. As a weapon for a smaller figure (like say, another Legends Class) he looks rather awkward. I think you can get away with him being the weapon for a Deluxe, and definitely a Voyager Class figure of course. This mode is a fun extra bit of play value and I do wish Hasbro had not chosen to disregard it, but I can sort of understand why given the forearm connection issues.

Final Thoughts:
While this era of Legends figures may seem to hold less value cost-wise than previous ones there's no denying that Bombshell himself is an excellent figure. My only "knock" against him is that he could have at least come with a blaster accessory. Still, I consider this figure a must-have for fans old and new. Highly recommended!

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