Transformers Animated Waspinator Review

in 2008, Action Figure Review, Beast Wars, Decepticon, Predacons, Transformers Animated

Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: March 2009
Price Point: $10.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None


*Images from

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Driven crazy by years locked in an AUTOBOT prison, WASPINATOR is determined to take revenge on the robot who put him there – BUMBLEBEETM. Now, after bizarre experiments conducted by BLACKARACHNIA, he finally has the power to make his vengeance a reality. He has come to Earth hunting the AUTOBOT speedster, and he will not stop until BUMBLEBEE is a pile of smoking scrap.

Convert this robot figure into wasp mode and back again! The advanced conversion figure features flapping wings in insect mode – just press the button! Buzz into battle and let this mutant madman’s enemies feel the sting of defeat!

WaspinatorThe name Waspinator generally gives fans fond memories of the character from Beast Wars with the unbeatable spirit and apparently, indestructible body. Though blown apart time after time, the character persisted until finally coming to an odd but comedic fate by the end of the "Beast Machines" series. "Transformers Animated" pays homage to this classic character by introducing a new version with a very different origin. Originally an Autobot named Wasp, this character would come to be betrayed and then driven mad. Once Blackarachnia performs an experiment on him, he becomes the powerful Waspinator!

Beast Mode:
The previous version of Waspinator was a good faith attempt at creating a semi-realistic beast mode that turned into a techno-organic robot. In this case, the designers were working with not only a more mechanical character, but one that was heavily stylized as well thanks to the "Animated" style. The result is a beast mode that does not just copy Beast Wars' Waspinator, but rather pays homage to it while being unique.

What struck me as most interesting about this mode is how mechanical it looks. In some ways, Waspinator is more reminscent of a G1 Insecticon than a Beast Wars "organic" beast. The design uses a lot of hard angles and tech detail. For instance, the beast mode head is angled on the edges and his mandibles look more like blades than curved, organic teeth. On his back are vent details on either side and his abdomen section has a series of lines carved into the sculpt running from front to back. I think this was a good way to go as it immediately distinguishes this Waspinator from his Beast Wars counterpart, while taking a familiar looking form that helps associate the two characters.

While he may be mostly mechanical (or some weird combination), this Waspinator is still partly organic. This shows the most in the design of his legs. While the head, wings and upper body may be angular and straight edges in many places, his legs are all curved with distinct segments and even small spurs sticking out. His claws are very organic looking and curved. They're divided up into segments as well, looking both organic and creepy at the same time.

As with many "Animated" figures, Waspinator skirts the line between looking detailed and matching the "clean" style of the animated program. In this case, his details are largely sculpted, including hexagonal details on his wings, the aforementioned vents and lines and he even has a small stinger on the underside of his abdomen. My favorite details are the hex shapes on his wings and the lines on his abdomen which just look fantastic.

Waspinator is cast in two shades of green plastic and translucent purple. The greens used are a dark green and a much lighter (almost pastel) green. The translucent purple is used for his wings, eyes and smaller details found on his insect legs. I found the use of the lighter green an interesting choice as wasps traditionally have a yellow and black pattern, not a light green and black pattern, but it works to help this figure look different from his predecessor while still giving the effect of alternating light and dark colors. Paint applications are applied with black, mostly on the main body where it forms alternating patterns of lines with his light green parts. A tiny bit of metallic light blue paint can be found on the back, coloring the area with the vent lines. Meanwhile, a gold Decepticon symbol graces Waspinator's forehead, set against a bit of light green paint in the center. Again I ask, why gold? It's just a rather weird color to stick on here whereas a purple one would make much more sense given the affiliation and color scheme. Go figure.

Waspinator has twenty two points of articulation in this form. This includes five in each of his forward arm sections and the ability of his wings to swing up and down. Push the tab on his back down and his wings flap, which is a neat action feature and adds a bit of life to the figure by incorporating a movement that the creature he is based on would make. I also like the way his abdomen can be moved as if to "sting" an enemy, neat touch.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the feet on the rear legs back and straighten out those legs.
  2. Swing the two smaller legs in front together, connecting them to form the robot arms.
  3. Swing the robot arms out to the sides.
  4. Swing the wings up.
  5. Swing the beast mode head down and then swing the robot head up.
  6. Push the beast mode head against the main body to form the chest.
  7. Swing the wasp abdomen up slightly.

Robot Mode:
In "Beast Wars", Waspinator was a character whose humorous exploits and awesome voice work made you empathize with him on some levels, and his very rounded face made him almost "cute" at times. There's no threat of that here however. The designers were clearly going for creep out factor with the design of this Waspinator and it works very well. First, I have to say that I love the way the designers kept maintained four arms in the front of the design by incorporating tiny little (articulated!) arms that appear in this form on the upper body. If his four clawed larger arms weren't enough to creep you out, the tiny two clawed arms hanging off of him should do the trick. This design also emphasizes how this character has become mutated by having organics forced into his system artificially.

Of course, Waspinator is meant to pay homage to his "Beast Wars" predecessor, and his basic design does just that. His head design has a serrated lower jaw, compound eyes and antannae on his forehead, all of which were features on "Beast Wars" Waspinator's head. His basic body design also emulates "Beast Wars" Waspinator's by putting the wings on his back, wasp head on his chest and the wasp abdomen hanging on him like a large tail.

What I also like about this form is how it allows you to appreciate a lot more of the detail work put into the legs. Now you can see the segments of armor pieces and spurs on his shoulders. I also love the way the line details in his robot eyes match those from his beast mode eyes. Instead of the usual set of hex shapes in the eyes or circles, he has a jagged line that looks almost like a life line reading from medical equipment.

There are no color surprises here, but what we do get to see is a lot more dark green thanks to the beast mode legs being more prominant here as arms and legs and the robot head being sculpted in dark green. We also get to focus more on the small translucent purple bits that are found on his arms and legs. Between those and the beast mode eyes on his chest, the translucent color is distributed well throughout his body, which is a nice change from the translucent color merely being used for the robot eyes.

In robot mode, Waspinator has twenty two points of articulation. I really appreciate the way the designers tried to maintain the number of articulation points between forms. This doesn't matter much with vehicle forms, but with beast forms it's a big deal. By introducing his "tiny arms" in this form, the designers essentially "cheated" six extra articulation points into the robot mode that would not have been there otherwise - very well done. I'm also fond of how many points of articulation here are ball joints, including the shoulders, head and hips which allow him a wide range of motion on those parts. The wing flapping gimmick can still be used in this form and makes for great "flying" play action.

If there were one weakness to this figure, I'd say that I wish he had some type of weapon. The old "Beast Wars" fan in me would have loved to see a gun hidden in the abdomen or back piece, but the way the character is presented in the cartoon, all his weapons seem build into his main body, so it's show accurate in that respect. However, I did notice after seeing "Predacons Rising" (Waspinator's introductory episode) that he he is much more sleek and thin than his bulkier animated counterpart, making that one big difference between the two.

My only design concern is with the antennae on his head. They're made of soft, rubbery plastic so be careful when you transform him back to beast mode you. The parts fit right into the grooves on the beast mode head with ease. There's no need to pull or stretch them too severaly.

Final Thoughts:
Waspinator is a fantastic homage to the "Beast Wars" character. He looks creepy in both modes and manages to introduce a new take on a basic design that has been used in previous Transformers toy lines. To me, his lack of a weapon is the only unfortunate point of this figure, but otherwise he is recommended!