Release Date: September 2014
Price Point: $46.50 (with subscription)
uimRetailer: Collector's Club Exclusive
Accessories: Blaster/Stinger, Missiles x 2
For the second iteration of the "Transformers Collector's Club Subscription Service", Fun Publications reached way back to 1998 and used the "Beast Wars the Second" Dirgegun sculpt as the base sculpt for the release of "Thrustinator". This figure is inspired by a scene in the final moments of the "Beast Machines" television series which featured the Predacon Waspinator fused with the head of his Vehicon persona, Thrust. The idea behind this figure is taking the two characters and mutating them into a mashed up body. The nightmare mash up of machinery and organic parts that made up Dirgegun was the perfect way to express this new take on the character since Dirgegun himself was originally based on the first "Beast Wars" Waspinator sculpt.
Sadly, my original review of Dirgegun is long gone and my old reviews of the Waspinator sculpt were rather short and not up to my current (personal) standards for reviews. To provide you with a well written and thorough review this review will be from scratch while noting what has changed or stayed the same.
The original "Beast Wars" Waspinator sculpt was meant to represent an "organic" looking wasp in beast mode. Dirgegun's form was extrapolated from that. Basically someone said "How do we make this wasp look more dangerous?" and it was decided to make him asymmetrical with organic details meshed into mechanical looking details. This involved a pretty significant retooling from the original Waspinator toy. Among the parts that were retooled are:
- The left half of the beast mode head is mechanical now with oval shaped eyes and even an angled mandible section on the left.
- Waspinator's more organic looking wings have been replaced with mechanical looking wings that look like knives with angles and a serrated edge on the inside. These new wing pieces feature some beautiful detailing like hover fans near the front.
- The back piece on the figure has been outfitted with a missile launcher. This swings forward and you can insert one of the missiles included with the figure into the barrel and launch it by pressing the green button.
- The right side rear leg has a similar shape to the left, but instead of being rounded, smooth and organic looking, it is instead full of mechanical detailing such as vents and what appear to be cables or wires running from the top of the ankle to the feet. The claw-like ends of these leg sections are segmented like overlapping armor to give it more of that machine-like feel.
- The stinger/missile launcher piece in the back of the figure is now a more mechanical looking launcher than the one Waspinator came with. It has lots of raised details on it including what appear to be cables running along the top. Even the stinger at the end is different, looking more like a drill now than an organic stinger.
Even with all these modifications, it's easy to see how this sculpt was meant to represent an organic disguise for a robot underneath. Many of the parts are still very round and have very organic stylings including the segments on the antennae, the design of the right side eye and the abdomen section from the middle to back. While it may not have been 100% scientifically accurate, it was a very good approximation of what a wasp could look like as a Transformer.
Since Thrustinator is a mash up of Thrust and Waspinator, he has colors borrowed from both characters. The two primary plastic colors on the figure are green and purple, with a pearlescent translucent plastic used for the wings. Some parts are cast in black such as the antennae and insect legs. The green is actually a lighter shade than the one from the original Waspinator, but it is more akin to the color seen on the television show.
Thrustinator's paint colors include yellow, black, silver and purple. The decos are really extensive. You'll find large ones like the black and yellow bands on his abdomen and bold purple edges on the wings. However his more impressive deco design involves sections like his head and right, rear leg which have a really intricate pattern of painted details alternating between silver and yellow, focusing on a lot of the raised, sculpted details on those sections. He even has yellow on several parts of the cannon on his back. The fact that certain parts like the raised details on the tail are also painted shows the amazing attention to detail on this figure.
There are seven points of articulation in this form. This includes two in each rear leg and the wings. The cannon on the back can swing forward and fire over the beast mode head or you can split the head and have the cannon point forward (though the beast mode head halves just kind of wind up flopping around as a consequence). The missiles are each stashed under one of the wings - and on a related note the missiles are not the same ones Waspinator came with but a new design.
One note: on my copy of this figure, the right wing's ball joint is more loose than the left. It still poses and turns just fine, but some positions won't hold. This is easily solved by brushing a layer of clear nail polish on the ball joint to make it more snug, and it's possible it may just be my copy but I thought it worth mentioning.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the tail/stinger and insert one of the missiles.
- Swing down each of the rear legs.
- Swing up the hip piece that both legs are attached to.
- Swing the rear legs down, rotate around the lower legs and swing them up.
- Swing each of the robot arms out to the sides and straighten them out.
- Split the beast mode head and swing each half down, then push them in to the piece on the center of the torso.
- Place the missile launcher into one of the hands.
Many of the parts that were replaced between the original Waspinator figure and this release can be seen in both forms, so some won't come as any kind of surprise such as the lower leg on the right side and the wings. However there are three other parts that represent significant change in this form from the original sculpt:
- The panel that forms the center of the torso is different than the one on Waspinator. The chest section has a square (for a symbol) and there are other raised details on it including a circle with pointed lines sticking out of it. Unlike the piece on Waspinator, this one cannot swing down (since there is no extra head to "swap". It is actually screwed in to hold it in place.
- The head sculpt is brand new, meaning it's not even Dirgegun's head - it's a brand new sculpt created for this release. The design reflects elements of both "Beast Wars" Waspinator and "Beast Machines" Thrust meshed into one. For instance, he has the "insect styled eye" on the right side, but Thrust's thin, optical sensor on the left. Inversely he has a mandible on the left but the part resembling an air intake on Thrust on the right.
- The left side thigh has been changed from just being a purely organic looking piece to one with a purple section that has mechanical looking details on it.
This mode shows off a lot of green plastic. This includes the shoulders, forearms, most of the legs and part of the chest. Purple plastic still appears on the left side of the chest, the torso's middle plate and the right lower leg. The translucent wings are also still very prominent in this form, but since they're sharper and more angled this character has a much more "hard edged" look than the original Waspinator.
The same paint colors from beast mode show up here. The purple torso plate has yellow paint on smaller details as well as a black Predacon symbol in the center. Silver is used for the outline of the symbol area. Silver and yellow are also found on the lower right leg and the left side of the chest section. The head is perhaps the most intricately painted section. There's a combination of yellow, black, purple and metallic blue, all coming together to provide a fantastic representation of both Thrust and Waspinator's head designs. It's a brilliant deco that really reminds you how special these "Timelines" figures can be.
In this form Thrustinator has thirteen points of articulation (if you include his wings). The knee joints on this figure are a tad more loose than I expected. He can stand and I had no problem posing him in the photos I took for this review, but the "feel" of the joints were not as tight as the original Waspinator figure I had in hand for comparison. The missile firing mechanism works just fine and you can still use the one mounted behind his back in this form.
I've always been very fond of the Waspinator sculpt. At the time of its release, it was revolutionary in many respects in redefining just what a "Transformers" toy could look like. The Dirgegun retool/redeco was a very cool way of reusing the base sculpt and dialing it up in a visually visceral fashion. This is a brilliant way of taking an iconic moment from the end of the "Beast Machines" series into a new figure. Even better, we get a new head sculpt out of it appropriate to the character(s)! I'd rate this figure slightly higher if all the joints were tight, but the knee and right wing looseness are a strike against the figure (but again, those could just be my copy of the figure). Recommended if you want a really special piece in your collection based on the "Beast Era" of Transformers.