It’s Transformers Thursday again and I’m still chipping away at my last wave of IDW Comic Packs. There were two figures in this wave that I was really excited to get: The first was Skids and the second was good old Waspinator here. I’m still not a steady reader of IDW’s Robots in Disguise comic, but at some point I will get to reading my stack of RiD TPBs. I promise! I haven’t been terribly impressed with the half dozen or so issues that I have read, but then it’s kind of been eclipsed by the brilliance of More Than Meets The Eye. One thing I will applaud about the comic is IDW’s willingness to bring characters from other continuities into the fold. Sure, we got a straight up Beast Wars version of Rhinox in Generations, but he was a Voyager and as far as Deluxes go, right now it seems that Hasbro is predicating the releases in this size assortment as part of the comic packs, at least where the Generations toys are concerned.
And there’s nothing wrong with that because as I’m so fond of pointing out, I think any kind of action figure comic pack is just amazing. Ok, so yeah it’s a little odd to see Waspinator on a G1-inspired cardback, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Beast Wars figures in the Classics-Universe-Generations lines. Anyway, I’ve gushed on and on about my infatuation with the presentation of the Generations Comic Pack long enough in the past and so let’s just move on to the figure. I’m going to buck the trend here and I’m actually going to start with Waspinator’s robot mode.
So, perfection isn’t a word I throw around a lot when talking about action figures, and I’m going to come just short of doing it here today. But damn, if this Waspinator figure doesn’t come close. There are minor nits to pick, the exposed hollow portion of the wasp butt between the legs is a little unsightly, but when you consider what a complex and difficult character design this is to reproduce at a Deluxe Class level, I’m willing to overlook whatever minor blemishes there may be. I love the way the wasp head splits to form the chest and even the bug leg kibble feels like it belongs there rather then getting in the way. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how I would sit down and design a transforming figure like this one, and that makes it all the more impressive to me. So, how could I possibly improve on this figure? Give him a sound chip that says, “Wazzzpinator has planzzzzz.”
The head sculpt is poetry in plastic. It has a remarkable amount of depth to it, particularly around the mandibles. I love the white plastic light piping in the eyes. I don’t recall seeing white plastic light piping on any previous Transformers, but it sure looks great here. Alas, there is a little chipping to the yellow paint on my Waspy’s noggin, but I don’t think it’s going to bother me enough to make me try for a better one.
If I have one significant gripe, it comes in the articulation, but not in the individual points. No, my only real issue is with how loose the joints are on this guy, particularly in the hips. If I put him in too wide of a stance, he’s likely to buckle and do the splits. It’s nothing that a little nail polish won’t fix, but still worth pointing out. As to the rest of the articulation, Waspinator features ball joints a plenty which not only gives him great articulation, but also makes for a nice nod back to the Beast Wars figures where ball joints started appearing as the order of the day.
Waspinator comes with one accessory and that’s his little handgun that transforms from his wasp stinger. The barrel is made of the same milky translucent plastic that they used for the light piping in his eyes. It looks cool enough and he can hold it well in either hand. You can also store it by pegging it into his wasp butt.
With how good Waspinator’s robot mode is I was expecting the beast mode to be a terrible afterthought. I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it’s apparent that the designers went for the robot mode first and the wasp second, but it’s still a remarkably solid alt mode. Not only can he stand perfectly on his insect legs, supporting the full weight of his body, but the engineering includes a plethora of tabs and slots and pegs to secure this mode together quite nicely. Everything has an obvious and intentional place to go and it’s all intuitive enough that I didn’t even have to look at the instructions once. And you’ve just got to love the way his gun becomes his stinger.
Yes, he’s rather blocky under the wasp head, yes you can see through parts of him from the side, and yes, you can see his robot arms and hands pretty clearly, but I’m willing to forgive all of that for the sake of having such a great robot mode.
I didn’t talk a lot about the deco in robot mode, but it remains pretty much the same in both modes, so let’s discuss it here. You get the same two tones of green, the beautiful and bright yellow striped butt, and touches of brown for the legs, antenna, and other bits. I also really dig the paint they used for his huge compound eyes. Oh yeah, you get a perfect little Predacon insignia stamped on his back. The translucent wings include sculpted veins and look pretty good and by working the button on his back you can make them flap. I didn’t really need that gimmick in the toy, but then it really doesn’t hurt anything either. The wings are still connected with ball joints so you can angle them in a variety of ways.
Waspinator was easily one of my favorite characters in the Beast Wars series because he always made me laugh, and that shouldn’t be discounted. Comic relief characters are hard to do properly, particularly in a series aimed at kids. Just ask Jar Jar Binks! But Waspinator worked. He was endearing and he was the one Predacon I always felt bad for even though he was a bad guy. He was just trying to get by and could never get a break. It’s no surprise I had high hopes for this figure to turn out well and I’m so pleased that Hasbro did such a great job on him. Primus knows that Hasbro has put out some amazing figures this year in the Generations line, but Waspinator is definitely vying for the top spot as one of my favorite Deluxes this year. How about that? Never in a million years did I think I’d be raving about a Generations figure of Waspinator.