Saturday, August 1, 2015

Transformers G1: Deluxe Insecticon Chop Shop

The Deluxe Insecticons were never some of my favorite toys from the Generation One days of the Transformers. However in my childhood the Decepticon Chop Shop would find his way into my hands. As a kid I never quite understood why these were so different from the regular Insecticons. I even wondered why the plastic and build of the toy seemed to differ from my other Transformers. It wouldn't be until the wonders of the internet that I would realize that the Deluxe Insecticon toys weren't made by Takara or Hasbro and started off as something completely different.

picture courtesy of Seibertron.com

Created by Takatoku Toys for their Armored Battalion Beetras series, Chop Shop was called Beet-Gugal and sported a gray color scheme over his G1 brown. To this day I still haven't been able to land a nice MIB Beet-Gugal for my collection, but I did get this fairly nice MIB specimen of his G1 self.

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Maybe it was the box art, or maybe its because Chop Shop was the only Deluxe Insecticon I ever owned growing up, but I've also liked this toy. As I've been trying to piece together a full G1 run of toys, I don't usually look for boxed versions. While I love the old school packaging, the boxed versions usually command more money than I want to pay and the boxes will just end up in the closet anyways (unless it's a Japanese G1 release). I can't remember what I paid for this MIB Chop Shop, but I'm pretty sure it was around $40 to $45.

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Until I re-purchased Chop Shop, I don't recall his function being a Thief. I guess I always thought more of him as a body guard or front line infantry.

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Did you notice the small red and white AM sticker on the front of the box? Look back at the Beetras image and you'll see the same sticker. This was for the company Artmic, or ART-Modern Ideologist for Creation. They were responsible for working on a slew of Japanese animation series. While Beetras never had it's own animated series, its quite clear why the Deluxe Insections were never used in any sort of US media.

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Chop Shop came with a set of instructions, translucent label sheet, Photon Cannon and Vibro Spear.

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While remove the figure from the box for this review, I found the original cash register receipt tucked away neatly inside the box. Purchased from a store called Children's Place back on January 02, 1986 for a mere $11.97. I'm guessing some kid had some Christmas money left over that was burning a hole in their pocket and convinced their mom or dad to take them toy shopping. I love finding stuff like this!

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His tech specs mentioned he could fly up to 30 mph, however with these jets on his back I would think he could muster up a little more than a measly 30 mph. As you can tell my Chop Shop is "naked". I couldn't decided if I should take the unused sticker sheet and "dress" him up or not. Perhaps I'll just leave the vintage labels as is and see if Reprolabels has anything I could use.

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I've always thought Chop Shop had one of the more unique and interesting head sculpts in all of G1. I love that Hasbro used orange for his mouth and antenna and the red eyes really make complete that evil look.
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If you've ever held or owned one of the Deluxe Insecticons then you know these seem to have less articulation than most G1 TFs! Chop Shop can move his arms out to his sides, but that's it. He can't even aim his Photon Cannon at an Autobot and I'm assuming he is stuck trying to poke his adversary with his Vibro Spear!

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It would take 28 years before Chop Shop would receive new, official toy. Packaged with Legends scale Megatron under the Generations banner, this small Chop Shop caught me by surprise. While this tiny figure lacks some of the detail his G1 self has, this new version can also double as a Targetmaster type weapon for Megatron!

Now that my G1 collection only lacks 10 or so figures from completion, I can see his pre-Transformers version starting to fall into my collection sights finally. I find this a fun and interesting mold and one of the better Deluxe Instections.

1 comment:

  1. The only thing I don't like about Chop Shop are the legs in robot mode. They look like puffy pants. How many figures do you have left to get of the U.S. run?

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