Sunday, March 13, 2016

Oh buggers! The Fanstoys Insecticons go marching on...

Insecticons have always been a popular and staple part of the Transformers brand. They've appeared in many cartoons, comics, and even the live action movies. Their gluttony, clones, and special powers make them fearsome advisories for the peace-loving Autobots. This review covers the Fanstoys homages to the classic Deception subgroup.

The Fanstoys take seems more in touch with the comics version, with nods to the 80's toys. The biggest draw to the Fanstoys is their trademark use... almost abuse... of diecast. Legs, chest, feet all are heavy, solid metal. This gives them a definite heft and feel of quality, but also changes the look slightly of the figures with a matte finish, and they don't have the plastic shine of many other third party and official figures, which are mostly plastic. 
Biggest complaint I have is when you first get them, they have super articulated bug legs which curl as a clumsy backpack. They each come with G1 accurate bug legs as well, but swapping them out is very tedious, but it does clean up well. Would rather they used mushroom pegs instead of screws. Also, some of the joints are extremely tight. Mercenary, their Shrapnel, has robot legs that collapse to form the bug abdomen. It's incredibly tight, to almost painful levels. When it does snap into place, you think you broke it.

Individual review:  Grenadier.   A solid, beautifully made homage to G1 Bombshell. Lots of articulation, menacing looks, and great options. With G1 legs installed, the "backpack" is manageable.  Minus: little gun on his head is thin plastic. Forager/Kickback will have metal replacement. Unlike the Badcube homage to Bombshell, Grenadier doesn't change color, but comes in two colors- gray and purple, so pick your version based on how you'll most likely display him. 

Individual review: Mercenary.  Strong design, but the insect mode legs are atrocious no matter how you fold them. Rich colors and solid build, this will be a "front of display piece" for years to come. Minus- legs are near impossible to collapse without injury. Fanstoys needs to incorporate a lock tab that can make sliding safer.

Individual review: Forager.  Easily the best design of the three, with minimal backpack. He has an 

ingenious carriage system for rolling out the legs and swapping the bug legs for bot arms. Nice and solid diecast for much of the body, he really feels like an old school toy. Special care needs to be taken during transformation as several parts of the wings and carriage are thin and easily broken or sheered. 


  • Heavy bugs. Lots of diecast and chrome.
  • Energon cubes are a great accessory.


  • Wish there was the option to substitute silver paint for chromed parts.
  • Careful when transforming you grasshopper or he'll hop no longer!

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