My first official review online! I think it’s fitting that I pick a figure that represents the era of Transformers responsible with reminding 10-year old me just how kickass Transformers were. If it were not for Beast Wars and characters like Waspinator, I doubt I would have as much passion and appreciation for the franchise as I do to this day.
Fast-forward to the end of 2013: Hasbro has released a very solid representation of Waspinator as part of its Thrilling 30 anniversary line. This Predacon is also part of the new IDW Generation 1 Continuity, but I haven’t actually read far enough to discover what his role is exactly.
Waspinator has a great alt. mode, but it’s definitely the weaker of his two forms. Some strong points include the ability for his skinny insect legs to support the weight of his entire body and the built-in wing-flapping mechanic, but the highlights stop there. You can see plenty of Waspy’s legs under his belly, which isn’t a huge deal for most toys, but when you can see his feet and arms so clearly pressed up against the rest of him, it’s a little distracting.
The colors and detailing on the actual mold are really great. The metallic blue compound eyes really stand out, the murky translucent plastic used for his wings remind me a lot of 90’s insect transformers in a good way. The Predacon faction symbol is easiest to see in this mode, but mine seems to be slightly miss-printed and looks a little fuzzy against the white outline.
The Transformation is simple to figure out, especially for a Generations Deluxe figure. It’s a really smooth transition that basically involves pulling the legs out from under his belly and twisting an interesting waist-bit on a ball joint around so that they sit comfy up against his torso. Pull down the bug head, split it in half, and you’re practically done.
Waspinator looks almost exactly to his TV appearance, save for a few minor details, and it’s amazing. All the flaws of the beast mode disappear and become this figure’s strengths: Cool sculpted robot limbs, out-of-the-way insect legs, and a kick-ass light-piping on Waspy’s dorky-yet-terrifying face. He is so spectacular and simple in his design that it makes me long for an entire revamp of all my favorite Beast Wars cast.
Compare him to Universe Cheetor from a few years ago and you can see Hasbro took a lot more care in Waspinator’s design. I was pretty happy with Cheetor getting another shot at the spotlight, but Waspinator makes the Maximal look like an awkward, lanky mess. I am sure they will make a great shelf-partners, but I think the Preds definitely win this round. (I may change my mind when I get a hold of the new Rhinox)
The wing gimmick remains unchanged in robot mode, and Waspinator’s stinger-butt flips out into a non-firing missile launcher to seal the deal. He’s articulate enough for a wide array of poses, and you can even use his insect legs to hold up his wings at certain angles to get his full wingspan in view. My only complaint when he’s fully transformed is that his Predacon symbol is out of view. I wish they were painted onto the sides of his head like the show, but I’ll gladly take the slick translucent eyes as a trade.
Overall, Waspinator is a must-buy for any current collector who loved Beast Wars. Kids these days won’t really appreciate him as much, but they can still have fun playing with him. I don’t see myself growing old of this figure and all the memories it stirs any time soon.