"Generations" Skrapnel with Reflector Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: May 2014
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Amazon, Target etc.)
Accessories: Reflector figure/weapon

*Images above with asterisks are from Toys R Us Canada. The text below in italics is from Amazon.com:
Reflector and Skrapnel are always on the lookout. Reflector can turn his lens on anything, getting a snapshot of enemy movements and stealing Autobot secrets from long range. Skrapnel is also on the lookout...for his next victim. The Insecticon treats every enemy as a welcome excuse to bombard something with blasts of his supercharged electric current. Pop into some "explosive" Transformers action with these sneaky Skrapnel and Reflector figures! These Decepticon robot figures know that stealth is sometimes more effective than an attack. Your Skrapnel figure can ambush his Autobot enemies in insect mode and your Reflector figure can do recon in camera mode. Will the Autobots be able to handle your sly Skrapnel and Reflector figures? Only you can decide! Transformers and all related terms are trademarks of Hasbro.

The popular Legends Class of "Transformers" figures continues forward in 2014 with the introduction of a new wave featuring Tailgate and Skrapnel with Reflector. "Skrapnel" is a new name in the "Transformers" universe, but it has its origins in the days of Generation One, the original "Transformers" series. There, a Decepticon warrior named "Shrapnel" belonged to the sub-group known as The Insecticons. This is the same team that the previous "Generations" release Kickback belonged to. However, the name "Shrapnel" was no longer available as a trademark, so the similar name "Skarpnel" was created and used instead. Paired with Skrapnel is another character from the original "Transformers" series: Reflector.

Reflector Review

 Reflector is a character who has been part of the "Transformers" universe since the beginning. Introduced in the original "Generation One" cartoon, Reflector was made up of three robots who seemed to share one mind. They would often speak simultaneously and when they transformed, they would all combine and shrink down into a camera mode. This time out, Reflector is just one robot who transforms into both a camera and a blaster for Skrapnel.

Robot Mode:
In the "Generation One" cartoon, Reflector was represented by three identical Transformers. However, the toys released in the 80's were three different robots named Viewfinder, Spyglass and Spectro. Viewfinder was the robot who formed the center of the camera complete with the lens on his torso. He was also the one chosen as the cartoon model for all the members of the Reflector "team". This made him the natural choice to represent a "single robot" version of Reflector in this two pack.

In this incarnation, Reflector has many of the same features as G1 Viewfinder. This includes the head design that includes a crest in the center of his head, visor eyes and a mouthplate. His chest has a unique, wide "U" shape with the lens of the camera in the center of his torso. His legs are very blocky with thick feet that are similar to the same sections on the G1 Viewfinder toy. It's a cool looking sculpt and to any fan of the original series it's insantly recognizable as the iconic Decepticon.

Reflector is cast in silver and purple plastic. Teal paint is used on the chest and the visor eyes, borrowing a bit of inspiration from the G1 cartoon which painted the chest green. Purple paint is used on the legs and black is found on the back. The colors are character appropriate and I was surprised to find the legs painted as well as the chest.

Reflector has two points of articulation: his arms. They can move up and down although they do feel a bit tight when you try to move his arms all the way up.

Transformation to Camera Mode:

  1. Move the arms down to the sides.
  2. Swing the peg on his back down.

Camera Mode:
Reflector's camera mode uses a lot of details from the G1 figure. The camera lens is long, similar to those I see tourists using all the time in New York City. This leads to a section towards the middle that looks like a dial for adjusting the lens. The base of the camera has buttons on the right side and a flash bulb on the left. This is the same arrangement that G1 Reflector had in camera mode. However, since he has to serve as a weapon as well, the 5mm peg to hold him is on top of the camera. This means in order to hold him, Skrapnel essentially holds him upside down for this mode. It's hardly a deal breaker, but it did strike me as odd at first.

This mode gives heavy focus to the black section on the back of the camera. This is inspired by the colors used on G1 Reflector, who was mostly black in that area as well. The actual camera lens at the end is painted purple.

Transformation to Weapon Mode (from Camera Mode):

  1. Swing the end of the lens section up.
  2. Half the robot body will flip out.

Weapon Mode:
Reflector's weapon mode is a neat bit of design. The barrel of the weapon has a distinct cone shape. Then the arms form a pattern that is very reminiscent of G1 Shrapnel's blaster. Some of the hollowed out parts are a bit distracting visually, but I love the fact the designers even considered the shape of G1 Shrapnel's weapon when creating this mode. Also thanks to its length it looks quite impressive when Skrapnel is holding it.

This mode is mostly purple and silver with the purple paint on the legs making up part of the middle section.

Skrapnel Review

 In the G1 series, Shrapnel was often seen as leading the Insecticons. He had a distinctive speech pattern where he would repeat words and he was even referenced in the "Beast Wars" series when Waspinator thought he was Shrapnel for a moment! It's great to see him pop into the "Generations" line.

Robot Mode:
Skrapnel's robot mode is largely based on G1 Shrapnel's animation model, which in turn was pretty much a streamlined version of the G1 toy. He has many of the key features from G1 Shrapnel including:

  • Skrapnel's head design includes a crest in the center, large visor eyes and an oval shaped helmet section.
  • On either side of the head are large mandible sections from the beast mode. The shape is even similar including what appear to be barrels at the end and notches towards the middle.
  • Each of the shoulders are round leading to more rectangular forearms.
  • The torso has a flat panel making up most of the front complete with circular parts above it.
  • The sides of the torso section have notches and angles similar to those on G1 Shrapnel.

There are some differences of course. The forearms have beast mode legs on them which G1 Shrapnel did not. His forearms are also missing details that looked like blasters on the G1 version. His legs also have a different design from the G1 figure, but they are nicely detailed with small, rectangular details on the lower legs and small notches that stick out on the feet. The sides of his legs also have vent-like sections. It's a nicely detailed sculpt that doesn't go overboard and stays true to the look of the original character's toy and animation model.

Skrapnel is cast in purple, black and silver plastic. The torso, head and lower legs are black while the rest of his body is purple except for the mandibles. Those are cast in silver. Each of these colors are iconic Insecticon colors and they match up nicely to the color arrangement of the character in G1. The main exception are his thighs, which were silver in G1 but are purple here.

Additional details are done with yellow and silver paint. The yellow is most present on the flat panel on the torso, matching his animated appearance from G1. There's also some yellow used on the vents on the sides of his legs. His face is painted silver. The center of the chest has a purple Decepticon symbol stamped on, again reflecting a design aspect from G1 Shrapnel.

Skrapnel has ten points of articulation, two on each arm and three on each leg. The range of motion is good given that almost all the joints are ball joints. The insect limbs can sometimes get in the way of certain poses, but overall I'm happy with the articulation. For those worried about his arms staying up when he's holding Reflector, no need! His arms stay up just fine thanks to the ball joints all being nice and tight.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach Reflector if attached and set him aside.
  2. Point the feet down.
  3. Swing the side panels on the lower legs to cover the front of the lower legs.
  4. Swing the torso panel forward, then pull it up and flatten it.
  5. Swing the robot arms back, and attach the lower arms to the tabs on the other insect leg sections.
  6. Push the legs together and swing them forward.
  7. Push the mandibles together.
  8. Reflector can be attached to the port in the center.

Beast Mode:
Skrapnel transforms into a type of mechanical Stag Beetle. Like a real life beetle he has two mandibles in front, six legs and the way his robot legs come together in the back resemble the wing cases on a real life beetle. Even though he's all mechanical, he still has a bit of a creepy appearance, especially with the long mandibles in front. This modern interpretation of the character looks much more insect-like than the G1 version, which had really obvious robot details in this form (such as the robot arms which just sat on the sides of the insect mode). This doesn't mean none of the G1 inspired details made it in. The overall shape is very much based on the G1 Shrapnel toy and he even has small "fins" towards the back that are inspired by design elements from G1 Shrapnel.

All the colors visible from the robot mode show clearly here, but the yellow painted details from the legs and chest wind up on top of the beast mode, giving a nice, bright contrast to the black plastic.

Other than the ability of the mandibles to move, there isn't much articulation to speak of here. He has a 5mm port in the center that allows you to attach Reflector or any other weapon with a 5mm peg.

Final Thoughts:
Skrapnel is a fantastic update of a classic character. Sure part of me would've preferred to get a Deluxe Class figure like Kickback did. However on this scale this figure is great. It pays homage to the original very well and I love Reflector being his partner. Highly recommended!

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