Sunday, 25 September 2022

Insectrons (Transformers Collection, 2004)

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The Insectrons (aka Insecticons) were released September 2004 for 3,500 Yen, the 16th release in the Transformers Collection series. The Insectrons were last available in Japan as a mail away exclusive in 1991 and these releases were in a Hasbro box and were more than likely the Chinese reissues which were available in the late 80's and early 90's.

This release also marks the first time the Insectrons have been released in a gift set within the Transformer series. Previously the Diaclone versions were available in a giftset in January 1985.

The Diaclone coloured Insectrons were also made available in October 2004 as an e-Hobby exclusive.

The set also includes three small purple rubber Energon Cubes which are made to fit inside the opening yellow compartments of the Insectrons which is a nice touch.

Energon Cube storage

All three Insectrons are well made, easy to transform and have relatively good articulation for their age.


Kickback transforms into a grasshopper and one interesting thing to note about this mould is it uses the original Diaclone wings. On the Transformer release both by Hasbro and Takara, the wings had a circle moulded on the end to remove the sharp point. This was changed for this reissue as well as the reissues that followed.


Bombshell transforms into a mechanical Boll Weevil although his tech spec reads "kabutomushi" which is a Japanese Rhinocerous Beetle.


Shrapnel transforms into a mechanical stag beetle and was the leader of the Insectrons in the cartoon.


40 Insectron Espionage Soldier Kickback
Function: Espionage Soldier
Transformation: Locust
Ability: Has an incredibly powerful jump, and can also kick a hole in a steel plate. He carries a sub-machine gun that can shoot up to 300 rounds per minute.
Character: Callous, will launch hostile attacks against humans and Cybertrons alike.
STR…3; INT...8; SPD...4; END...4; RNK...7; CRG...6; FPR...5; SKL...8; TTL...45

41 Insectron Psychological Soldier Bombshell
Function: Psychological Soldier
Transformation: Rhinoceros Beetle
Ability: Has a special stinger which can launch a 50 lb explosive in the air; whomever is exposed will come under Bombshell’s control.
Character: His abilities and personality make him popular amongst his peers and in particular he has Megatron’s trust.
STR…5; INT...7; SPD...4; END...5; RNK...6; CRG...5; FPR...6; SKL...9; TTL...47

42 Insectron Electronic Soldier Shrapnel
Function: Electronic Soldier
Transformation: Stag Beetle
Ability: Can generate 40,000 volts, can control almost all electronic devices.
Character: Enjoys fierce battles, the noises and screams of his enemy increase his desire to fight.
STR…8; INT...5; SPD...4; END...6; RNK...6; CRG...6; FPR...7; SKL...8; TTL...50

Destron Shrapnel
○ Function: Electronic Soldier
○ Motto: “Control electricity and you control the world.”
○ Profile:
The crackling sound of fused body parts short-circuiting is a sure sign of Shrapnel's work. Just as an actor enjoys the sound of applause, the noise of war and the screams of his victims is what Shrapnel considers the true rewards of his work. And he's not shy about showing his own evil glee - the piercing battle cry of this loathsome Insecticon can be heard up to 13Km away. In insect mode he can fly up to 80 Km; uses his twin antennae to generate an electric burst of up to 40,000 volts and with enough precision to control virtually any electrically run device - from a pocket calculator to a small factory. In robot mode his antenna attracts massive bolts of lightning from the sky and he can then release that power through his hands. Insulating materials, such as rubber and glass, can be used to thwart Shrapnel's electronic assaults. He also carries a grenade launcher that shoots a 14 Kg steel ball that splinters into thousands of razor-sharp spikes in mid-air. Needless to say, anything caught in their path would be sliced to ribbons.

Released April 1983 “Diaclone / Insect Robo” Kuwagatorer 
Released 1985 Europe & North America “The Transformers” Shrapnel 
Released October 1985 “Transformers” No.42 Shrapnel (Pictured) 
Released September 2004 “T/F Collection” 16 Insectrons 

Shrapnel originated from the Diaclone Kuwagatorer. The moulding colour for Shrapnel was changed from the dark red and brown of Kuwagatorer to black and purple. In the Diaclone series, all three Insect Robos were sold in a set, “Insect Squadron Insect Robo 3 Piece Set”. For the Transformer release, the first time they were sold in a set was with the 2004 T/F Collection version.

Destron Bombshell
○ Function: Psychological Soldier 
○ Motto: “The mind is my playpen!” 
○ Profile
Those who are stung by Bombshell’s stinger (special needle) lose their sense of self. Bombshell uses his small size in insect mode to infiltrate human populations allowing him to implant his tiny “Cerebro-Shells” in people. They travel through the blood vessels and when they reach the brain, thousands of connecting wires are released. This puts the victim under Bombshell’s complete control. The stinger is also effective on the high-function mental circuitry of super robot lifeforms, however when implanting the Cerebro-Shell, laser torches on either side of the stinger make small holes in the casing of his opponents head. Highly prized by Megatron for his ability to turn foes into helpless accomplices. However if a victim is able to extract a Cerebro-Shell, they can use it to send false signals back to Bombshell. He has a head mounted mortar which can throw a 23kg explosive up to 13 Km away with very good accuracy. 

Released April 1983 “Diaclone / Insect Robo” Kabutoron
Released 1985 Europe & North America “The Transformers” Bombshell 
Released October 1985 “Transformers” No.41 Bombshell (Pictured) 
Released September 2004 “T/F Collection” 16 Insectrons 

Unlike the red and dark brown “Diaclone” version, Bombshell uses a purple and black base colour. The three Insectron’s released in Japan, including Bombshell, were only produced in small quantities and quickly disappeared from store shelves. Potentially due to these circumstances, the overseas versions of the Insectrons were made available by mail order through TF Station, a Japanese institution since 1987.

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