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Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Insecticon
Year: 1985

I take no prisoners, just spare parts.
Sneakiest of the Insecticons... if it's not bolted to the floor, it's not safe from his greedy grasp. No challenge is too great; the more difficult something is to steal, the more he wants to steal it. As insect, flies 30mph with two small jets on his back. Pincer-like antennae can slice through 2-inch thick steel. Has twin pinpoint lasers on mouth; can carry 30 tons. As robot has photon cannon.

Robot Mode: Chop Shop is a brown and orange robot and quite clearly transforms into an insect of some kind, as evident by the pincers on his shoulders and the four insect legs attached to his arms. They do make him look quite creepy, though, which is the desired effect, I’d wager. Like most early G1 figures he’s partially diecast, giving him a nice, heavy feel.

In terms of articulation Chop Shop is a mixed blessing. Below the waist he’s doing pretty good, able to bend his legs at the hip and knees individually, but his arm articulation is strictly limited to moving them out sideways. Meaning he can’t ever aim his gun forward. Apart from said gun he also has a very tiny little spear to hold in his other hand. Actually looks more like he’s holding a flower to give to his sweetheart.

Bottom line: Chop Shop is very much a product of his time. Cool look, above average articulation for a G1 figure, an all-around nice figure for 80s enthusiasts.

Alternate Mode: Chop Shop transforms into a robotic stag beetle (lat. Lucanus Cervus). The transformation is rather straight-forward, involving no more than folding in the legs and arms and shifting the chest plates of Chop Shop to cover his head. The resulting insect is clearly robotic in nature, but looks pretty cool and sufficiently creepy. All six insect legs are articulated, which is a nice touch considering that this is a toy originally from the early 80s. Not much else I can write here. The robo-bug looks great, he even has the sculpted mini jets on his back that are mentioned in his profile text. So bottom line: a good alternate mode. No complaints.

Remarks: The so-called Deluxe Insecticons – Chop Shop, Barrage, Ransack, and Venom – were originally produced by Takatoku Toys for their Armored Insect Battalion Beetras toyline. When Takatoku went bankrupt in 1984 the company was taken over by Bandai, who licensed several toys to Hasbro for use in the Transformers toyline. Given that Bandai was (and still is) a competitor of Takara in Japan, their toys did not appear in the G1 cartoon (which was heavily sponsored by Takara), but they did appear in most versions of the G1 comic books. Never in starring roles, though.

Now I must confess to a certain amount of nostalgia bonus here, as Chop Shop was the one Deluxe Insecticon I had as a kid and I still remember him fondly. That said, he still holds up pretty well considering his age. So bottom line: certainly not a must-have, but a nice G1 figure for all those who want to bolster their Decepticon ranks (and the ‘Cons certainly needed some reinforcements in those first two years).

Rating: B
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