"Transformers Energon" Insecticon Toy Review


"Energon" Logo

General Information:
Release Year: April 2004
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $6.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 2
Accessories: Drill, Gun, Energon Star

Unicron's Terrorcon army is a great chance for the Hasbro team to bring back a beast element into the Transformers line (without using older molds). While previous releases such as Divebomb have represented the more mammalian type of beast, we now have a Transformer who is the first insectoid of the group. His name of course derives from his spiritual ancestors, the G1 Insecticons, who also became mechanical insects in their beast forms. The name Insecticon was also used for one of the Beast Wars Predacons.

Beast Mode:
Insecticon is a beetle in beast mode. Far from being a techno organic or anything like that, this beetle is fully mechanical and rather thick, looking more like a tank with six legs than a critter you'd find in your backyard. While the designers could have easily tried to go with a minimalistic appearance with smooth lines and simple details, they didn't. Insecticon is choc full of detail. His legs each look quite intricate, complete with sculpted hydraulics, pistons and springs! The insect head has two small eyes and what appear to be small mandibles. His horn has two small lasers at the end. The central body is the main show, where there are so many angles, levels and bits of details, it's very reassuring to see so much work going into a basic price point toy. Insecticon has two large vents in the back, smaller ones on the sides and parts of his back are raised a bit above others with tech detail on them. A really nice job overall.

Insecticon's color scheme is quite different than what you see on his packaging. There he is very brightly colored. The final product however is very muted. His main body is mostly green and yellow. His legs and horn are brown. Silver and purple are used for detailing on his back. In particular, he has a beautiful silver spray op on his rear vents that looks fantastic.

Of course, no Terrorcon is complete without accessories. Insecticon comes with a standard Energon Chip which attaches to his "Spark Crystal" section on the top of this form. He also comes with two weapons that can combine into a drill weapon that fits over his insect head. The weapon portion can turn which makes for a nice drilling effect.

The figure has seven points of articulation in this form, six being the legs. However, only the front two legs are on ball joints, with the others being on hinges. Still, I've never found that bugs really pose well, even with Transformers who have articulated legs in bug mode, and in the context of this rather stocky beetle, the legs are just fine.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the Energon Weapons if they are attached.
  2. Connect the two rear insect legs together and then swing them to the back.
  3. Swing the front beetle legs down.
  4. Swing out each half of the beetle's back (these form the robot arms).
  5. Twist the body around while holding the robot arms.
  6. Swing down the robot arms and rotate the lower arms to reveal the robot fists.
  7. Move the front beetle legs up to the shoulders and attach the weapons into his fists.

Robot Mode:
Insecticon's robot mode is quite interesting. Being an insectoid critter in his alt mode, you'd almost think that he should be somewhat slim and maybe even a bit spindly in this form. However, Insecticon is the stockiest, most bulky Terrorcon so far! Everything about him screams "Heavily armored machine". Starting with his head, he has a wide helmet which has a crest and points coming out in an almost star like pattern. The middle face is pretty cool, looking like an insectoid face itself, with a mouthplate and mandibles. His chest is fairly wide, an impression made greater by his large shoulders and lower arms. His lower arms/fists are positively huge, looking almost like the Cybertronian equivalent of boxing gloves without the curves! His waist is rather small, but the legs are also pretty big, complete with details that resemble knee pads of some sort. Have no doubt, this Terrorcon lives up to his group name!

The use of the front beast legs as shoulder guns is a really cool touch. His "drill" from beast mode breaks up into a sword and hand held, four barrelled cannon. The cannon has a hold in it meant for Powerlinx pegs, so you are able to use this weapon to attach to toys with those pegs or even activate Powerlinx features on Armada toys.

Yellow makes more of an appearance here on the head and upper legs. Green is used for details such as the inner bevelled areas on the legs. In this form you can see the Decepticon symbols on his chest upright. He has the "Spark Crystal" in the center, and a tampo stamped Decepticon symbol next to it.

Insecticon has eight basic points of articulation. If you want to add the ability for his chest to move for certain poses, make it nine.

Final Thoughts:
Insecticon is a nicely thought out toy, partly because he is designed to stay away from the "black/white/translucent green" aesthetic of Battle Ravage and Divebomb. This makes him distinct and offers up fans something a little different for their Terrorcon army. Coupled with his neat weaponry and threatening looks, Insecticon is highly recommended.

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