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Series: Beast Wars
Year: 1999
Allegiance: Predacon
Class: Deluxe Transmetal
Prelude: Despite never receiving a Transmetal upgrade in the Beast Wars TV series, Waspinator nevertheless received a Transmetal toy. And a few years later said toy would receive a repaint as part of the Fox Kids Beast Wars line, which accompanied the launch of Beast Machines. So how does this repaint of a toy portraying a character that never looked like this in the TV series perform? Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: I already wrote a review for Transmetal Waspinator, but that was way back in 2006, so I think we can give this figure here another go. Like all the Fox Kids figures, this one, too, has gone through a pretty straight-forward color replacement. What was red is now orange, what was black is now yellow, and the transparent-blue wings are now transparent-green. The golden chrome accents of the original figure are now a shiny black. That’s really it in terms of changes.

For the most part this figure retains the basic look of the original Waspinator figure, meaning the big wasp head on the chest, with the ant’s rear and the wings on the back. The head is not a close match, but still follows the same general layout with the big bug eyes. The only thing hinting at his third mode is the jet cockpit underneath the wasp head on his chest. It does hang a little low, maybe, but I shall refrain from immature jokes about that. The four-piece wings on his back can unfold and move backwards and forwards, nicely done.

Articulation is pretty standard for a Beast Wars figure, meaning quite good, though there are some limitations. Transformers that turn into insects or spiders almost inevitably have quite a few extra legs as kibble somewhere on their robot bodies. In Waspinator’s case two of his six wasp legs become part of his robot mode legs, but the other four hang off his torso and thighs. They are all ball-jointed, so moving them out of the way for whatever pose you wish to put Waspinator in is quite possible, but they still get in the way a lot. This is a general problem with insect/spider Transformers, sure, but somehow in Waspinator’s case it’s a bit more bothersome than usual. Maybe because they are attached to the torso instead of the arms, I don’t know. Either way, it’s a bit bothersome.

For a weapon Waspinator carries his wasp stinger, which kind of looks like an extra insect leg or missile, but is a hand-held weapon only. Bottom line: a pretty cool-looking robot mode, but the way the insect legs are attached somewhat limits him in terms of posing ability.

Alternate Mode: Naturally Waspinator still transforms into a wasp and said wasp looks a whole lot better than the one the original figure transformed into. All six legs are the same size and the yellow and black paintjob does look a lot more wasp-like than any of the previous Waspinator figures achieved. Here, too, the wings are fully articulated and the mandibles of the wasp head can also move. The stinger is stored in the back, the (rounded) tip of it visible like it would be on a real wasp. You can also catch a glimpse of the jet engines back there, but that’s not really a bother to me. On the whole the wasp looks slightly more robotic than it did on the first Waspinator, but not much (mostly it’s the angular wings).

Like all Transmetals, Waspinator sports a third mode as well. He transforms into something resembling a jet, possibly a call-back to his brief possession by Starscream in Beast Wars’ first season. The jet cockpit unfolds from under the wasp head, the big wings refold into something resembling a wing shape, the smaller wings becoming tail finds. It does look somewhat jet-like from several angles, but the mode doesn’t really have a good way of folding away the insect legs. Best you can do is somewhat put them underneath the jet as a kind of landing gear. So bottom line: a nice third mode, but it does look better as a wasp than a jet.

Remarks: Waspinator never became a Transmetal in the TV series, much less a yellow one. Personally I consider this figure here to be the Transmetal upgrade of Predacon Buzzsaw (the yellow Waspinator repaint), but that’s just my head canon.

The Fox Kids repaints of several Beast Wars figures never made it across the pond to Europe, so getting them here is kind of difficult (and expensive). Some of these repaints look pretty cool, others not so much. Waspinator is more on the cool side for me, given that his yellow paintjob fits his beast mode very well and while the base figure does have some problems, I do like it overall. Not really something revolutionary and its lack of media presence will probably turn off some people, but Beast Wars enthusiasts like me will like him, I think.

Rating: B-
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