Release Date: December 2015
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Official images and text below in italics are from :
This dodgy Chop Shop figure steals everything he sees and has the skills to get away with it! He’s a sneaky robot fighter and he’ll be a match for any Autobot who tries to take him on, whether he’s in robot mode or armored insect mode! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his foes dish out!
In the Generation One era, the Insecticons were originally three characters who all shared a similar color scheme. They each represented a type of mechanical insect and were heavily featured in several Transformers episodes and the 1986 "Transformers: The Movie" film. Later, the Insecticon ranks would grow in the toy line to include four new characters: the Deluxe Insecticons. One of these characters was Chop Shop, a robotic stag beetle with a penchant for stealing.
Chop Shop made an appearance in the "Generations" toy line as the small weapon/partner included with Legends Class Megatron a couple years back, but now he's returned as a Legends Class figure himself towards the latter half of the "Combiner Wars". Chop Shop is a retool and redeco of Legends Class Skrapnel, minus any accessories. You'll definitely want to check out that review too as this review will focus on the changes made to this figure for this release.
Chop Shop is packaged in a blister set against a rectangular backing card. The card features a large segment of his package art in the front with a black bar and the modern "Transformers" logo over the black bar. Chop Shop's artwork is based on this specific figure and is not recycled from the now defunct "Transformers Legends" mobile card game. The "Combiner Wars" logo is in smaller letters at the top. The back features multiple languages and a brief bio of the character with photos of the toy in both modes. The photography is set against a light colored grid background, evoking Generation One packaging. The bottom features several legal notices and an "Authentic Transformers" symbol.
Chop Shop uses the Skrapnel sculpt with a new head. The two characters actually have a lot of physical parallels including their beast mode mandibles forming extensions that flank their head and insect legs on their arms. Sure if you get into the nitty gritty of their actual designs there are some pretty major differences such as the shapes of their chest and legs, but for a redeco this totally works, partly in thanks to the deco on this version of the figure.
Chop Shop is cast entirely in brown. This is pretty distinctive as most
sTransformers have at least two plastic colors. For this character however it works since G1 Chop Shop was mostly brown as well (though this one seems to be a lighter shade). His paint colors include metallic orange, white, silver and red. The orange is a really beautiful color and sparkles a bit in the light. This color is used on his head, torso and lower legs. Silver is found on the head and his eyes are painted red. You'll also find silver painted on the vents on the sides of his lower legs. A distinctive white line pattern is painted onto his chest, a direct callback to the G1 figure. In the center of his chest is a silver and purple Decepticon symbol. While the deco isn't 100% accurate to the G1 figure, the colors carry enough of the spirit of the G1 figure that I think it looks great.
The new head sculpt has a very insect-like appearance compared to Skrapnel's more robotic head. He has a curved face, thin eyes and antennae sticking up on the sides. The designers did a great job of creating a new version of the G1 Chop Shop's head design. For anyone wondering, the head is a separate piece from the torso, so you can turn it.
All the joints on this figure are nice and tight and his fists can still accomodate 5mm peg weapons.
Transformation to Beast Mode:
- Point the feet down.
- Swing the side panels on the lower legs to cover the front of the lower legs.
- Swing the torso panel forward, then pull it up and flatten it.
- Swing the robot arms back, and attach the lower arms to the tabs on the other insect leg sections.
- Push the legs together and swing them forward.
- Push the mandibles together.
Both Skrapnel and Chop Shop are mechanical stag beetles in beast mode, so this mode fits Chop Shop very well. There are some minor differences between the G1 version and this one of course. The G1 version of Chop Shop had raised sections that looked like boosters and he had "teeth" on the front mandibles. Those details are missing here of course since Skrapnel doesn't have these details.
The main paint details that appear here are the orange from the robot torso and the white lines over it. The silver from the legs appears on the back section and the Decepticon symbol on the head rounds out the colors in beast mode. G1 Chop Shop wasn't exactly a cornucopia of colors so this jives nicely with the original.
Chop Shop is a cool redeco and I'm really glad to see they gave him a new head sculpt. Thanks to his form looking similar to Shrapnel's in G1, this is also a good choice of a sculpt to bring the character into "Combiner Wars". All that said, I can understand if someone would have reservations about buying this sculpt if you own Skrapnel already. That choice comes down to how much of a completist you are. If you just want one of each basic sculpt, feel free to skip this figure. If you want to be one step closer to having all the Insecticons in "Generations" then you should snap this up.