I never was a huge fan of the Insecticons. I had the original Shrapnel, Bombshell, and Kickback when I was a kid. I just was not as taken with them as some of my buddies were. All Transformers fans have a favorite villain. I was a Soundwave kid, my older brother was a Megatron guy, and my best friend was a Starscream fan. The Insecticons were just bugs smashed by Hot Rod and Kup on the way to Autobot City.
However, being the completer I am, I jumped at the chance to round out my Season One Masterpiece Decepticon collection. Badcube is not the only 3rd party company making the insect team. But they are the only ones offering all three in one value pack, which is a good thing for the collector on a budget. Make no mistake though, by all accounts, they are masterpiece figures.
Badcube has opened my mind to the possibility that 3rd party is a viable alternative to having to wait for Takara Tomy to complete your collection. I used to be a straight official release only guy, but that is changing fast. Do your research and you will not be disappointed. Dare I say that there are 3rd party companies doing some things better than Takara Tomy. Fans Toys Spotter and XTransbots' Apollyon are the other 3rd party MPs I have handled, but I have never had anything from Badcube to review.
First up: "Claymore" (Shrapnel). His transformation is nice and easy. I really like how his shoulders compress into his torso for bug mode. It is a nice Masterpiece moment. It's fun to transform him, and it's smooth and repeatable. His articulation is great; his head is on a ball joint and so are the shoulders. He has double jointed elbows and knees that bend at 90 degrees. Ankle tilts, along with waist, wrist and bicep swivels round out his possibility. He is my favorite of the trio. He comes with a blaster that can be stored in either robot or bug mode, a sticky energon cube and an alternate smirking face.
Next up is "Hypno" (Bombshell). His transformation is not any more complicated than Shrapnel, but is still highly enjoyable. This figure, like that of his leader, pays homage to the original toys while at the same time updating them with proper size and complexity. This epitomizes the very essence of the masterpiece line. Hypno's articulation is the same as Claymore with the exception of the shoulders. This figure's shoulders use two different joints to achieve the same results. This is a necessity for his transformation, so it doesn't bother me. His blaster is incorporated into his bug mode. He also comes with a sticky energon cube. However, Hypno's face does not lend itself to expression, so no alternate face here.
Lastly, "Kickbutt" (Kickback) the grasshopper. I really like this figure's robot mode. His bug mode is decent, but unfortunately his transformation is what some refer to as "over-engineered". I don't like that term, but it basically means it's overly complex. The designer could have solved the problem of transformation with simpler solutions. The second time I transformed him it was a little smoother, because I found a couple ways to simplify it. I also discovered his legs compress at the thigh, and his thorax clipped into his crotch to help make his bug mode more sturdy. His transformation being so finicky makes him my least favorite of the three. This is a shame because his articulation being as good as his brothers' really makes him a cool robot. He also comes with an energon cube and alternate smirk face. His gun is stored between his legs in bug mode, which is hilarious.
Overall, if you want to pick up a MP Insecticon Trio that will look great next to your other Decepticons then Badcube's Evil Bug Corps Value Pack is perfect for you. If you are a big Insecticon fan and want the absolute best representation of the characters, then I would suggest going with the more expensive Fans Toys options. But for me, these work just fine. If you would like to get a set to complete your Decepticons make sure you visit Big Bad Toy Store and get yours.
Until all are one- Hanchey