"Beast Wars Transformers" Insecticon Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date:1996
Price Point: $4.99 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Kay Bee Toys, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Accessories: Crossbow halves x 2

Insecticon is a basic level Beast Wars figure. For those curious, his odd sounding name originates from the original Transformers series where there was a group of Transformers who called themselves the Insecticons. Each one transformed into an insect of some kind. The group was comprised of: Bombshell (boll weevil), Kickback (grasshopper) and Shrapnel (beetle).

Beast Mode:
In beast mode, Insecticon is a beetle. His color scheme is mostly dark blue and lime green. Dark red is used for his beast mode eyes. As Beast Wars toys go, this is actually a fairly accurate depiction of a beetle. The robot kibble (ends of the robot feet and the robot fists) are visible, but blend well enough into the rest of the toy color-wise that the illusion of an insect is not lost. This makes for one smooth and elegant looking beast mode. The detailing is nicely done as well. with a line texture running down his back and individual parts on his insect legs molded to detail.

As a beetle, Insecticon has only one meaningful point of articulation - his mandibles which can open and close. His insect legs cannot bend, but the piece they are attached to (the robot arms) can, so you can have your beetle stand high if you wish. As a side note, you can swing his rear section out to reveal his robot mode weapon. Lift the small green sections of these weapons and it looks like Insecticon can fly!

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Swing open the panels on the back of the beast mode and remove the two pieces inside. Attach them together and straighten out the green pieces to form Insecticon's crossbow weapon. Now set the weapon aside and swing the robot legs forward. Now press down on the mandibles and Insecticon's "spring action" transformation will set most of the body in place. Straighten out the robot mode feet and then place the crossbow in Insecticon's hands. Insecticon is now in robot mode.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Insecticon retains the same colors as his beast mode, but there is a lot more green present, mostly focused on his lowerbody and upper legs. His robot eyes are red as well as the top of his head. An off white is used for his robot head's "mouth" which shows off a toothy sneer. Some off white is also used for minor details on his legs.

Insecticon has eleven points of articulation in this mode. A couple of kudos points are lost because of the insect arms still protruding forward in this mode. Another joint to allow them to swivel or swing back would have been helpful. However, points can be given for some neat detailing, including some spikes on his legs and wrinkles around his robot eyes (I guess he's squinting as he makes that angry face). Also, he has a really nice looking weapon which holds together very well.

Overall, Insecticon is a cool toy. A couple of drawbacks to not subtract from the overall look and fun factor in this figure. Recommended. A

Updated Thoughts (December 23, 2022):
It's been decades since this figure was released, and I still consider it to be one of the best Basic Class figures ever put out in the Beast Wars line.  I had actually hoped to use this sculpt as part of the Botcon 2005 "Descent into Evil" set, but even back then Hasbro informed us that the tooling was no longer available.  It's a shame because aside from a small Japanese release in 1998 this sculpt never came out again.  The good thing?  You can get this guy fairly cheap on ebay even in 2022 (a quick ebay search shows he's less than $25 loose).  If you're into Beast Wars at all, I highly recommend adding this to your collection!

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