Welcome back to the next installment of Catch A Wave: Transformers. Staying in 1985, let’s roll on with another Decepticon line, The Insecticons. Let’s get into it.
We were given 3 new Insecticons at the start. This was growing the line beyond just vehicles and expanding into creatures. The Insecticons are a group of insectoid Transformers that display a wide array of unique abilities not seen in other Transformers. The Insecticons appear to be able to devour both organic and inorganic matter for energy and can create clones of themselves, all while being a nuisance to even their own side.
Portrayed on the cartoon as troublemakers and they offered their fair share of comedic relief, the initial lineup featured Bombshell, Kickback, and Shrapnel who was the Moe of the trio.
These three were immediately identifiable as a crew in that they all shared the same black and purple color scheme. This was not carried over to the next wave of Insecticons that upped the ante by releasing them as Deluxe figures that were a bit larger than the originals and featured a more diverse palette of colors.
The 1st Wave of Insecticons were sold in small boxes priced at about $6. They are like many G1 Transformers, Diaclone-origin toys. They noticeably retain the cockpits common to The Diaclones as those original versions featured small pilots sold with the figures. As noted, the 1st three share a standard color scheme of black, purple, yellow cockpits, and silver chrome highlights and weapons.
As you can see in the official instructions on these new Insecticons, they are not that involved. Going from Insect to robot in a matter of seconds with a few simple moves. A total of 5 steps shown here. That’s it. And one of the “steps” is putting the gun in his hand.
That said, the 2nd batch of Insecticons were originally designed by Takatoku Toys for their Armored Insect Battalion Beetras toy line. This helps explain their total absence from the rest of the G1 lore. I don’t recall these guys on the cartoon. Sure, it could have been budgetary reasons, but the more likely explanation is that they were just repurposed figures to sell more toys in the US. These four are a bit larger and a bit more complex than the standard Insecticons.
Sure 8 steps as opposed to 5 doesn’t seem like much, but there were more points of articulation and accessories, and a few more tiny decals that were such a pain to put on. For whatever reason, I loved putting on the decals on my G.I. vehicles, but I hated putting them on Transformers.
And on that Bombshell, let’s move on to…
Well that’s it for this week. Hopefully you enjoyed this quick look at the Insecticons as we near the end of the 1985 G1 line. Not much left to cover before we roll on to 1986. So, I leave you again with a small commercial excerpt.
Be sure to check out more waves covering other classic toy lines at Toyinformer.com