As legit G1 characters, I'm surprised that 1984-bait Skrapnel with Reflector don't have more toys. We've seen reissues and a statue, plus a Robot Heroes figure. It feels that we should have more, more. Of course, not having done them earlier means we get a remake that's actually about the right size, with exceptional articulation, and a fun sidekick figure. After seeing a few third-party bug toys I'm happy I waited to get the $10 official Hasbro one because I'm cheap, cheap.
The robot is pretty good, coming in smaller than his Legends contemporaries unless you count the massive mandibles. he has a tiny head, which makes the toy feel considerably smaller than the original. 9 points of articulation allow him considerable movement and he has no problem holding Reflector in gun mode in either hand - and what a gun it is! But more on that later. The sculpting is pretty good and the detail isn't bad, but the smaller head and tiny Decepticon shield on his chest feel like they could have been improved on in some way. It gives the illusion that this is a much smaller toy, and at least with the logo that's something Reprolabels will no doubt fix in the coming months. The head sculpt itself is fairly true to the cartoons, toys, and comics but lacks any red paint on his visor - it's just silver, like the original plaything. This toy will look good on your "classic" Decepticon shelf and feels sized appropriately overall, it's just that the head issue - complete with larger hands - doesn't do much to relate just how decent this toy is. It's fun, but it feels like it could have used some more tweaking on the way to the toy store shelves.
Transformation is a bit of a trial - the robot arms sort of tuck in under the torso, but the pegs don't quite fit in their slots. By "don't quite" I really mean "don't fit at all." The legs fold in and tab in place, but it requires more force than you might hope. The sliding panels on the shins are a satisfying step, and sliding the mandibles in to place is easy but one of the two was assembled loose so it sags a bit. You didn't break anything, I'm being told they're all like this.
The stag beetle mode measures nearly 5-inches long and basically looks like a robot bug. There's gold, grey, purple, and black without much of a head. There's a void of where a head should go in the area with the mandibles, but it more or less looks OK. Since I assume most collectors will display him in robot mode, this won't matter much. I would have preferred a bit more in this area.
Reflector is pretty cool - it's a deluxe-scaled camera that does a few neat things. Modeled after Viewfinder (the central robot that makes up Reflector) this tiny version is only the second toy to hold the name since the original, which was a mail-in here in the USA back in 1986. As such, it being available at retail is quite exciting and a lot of fun. The tiny robot "transforms" much like the other micro companions in this line, in that you stand the camera up on its lens and presto, robot. To change it into a gun, fold down the lens and the spring-loaded head and body automatically fold down to make a really close approximation of the G1 Shrapnel toy's gun. Working this many nods in a single toy is worthy of praise. The robot mode has a nice sculpt, as does the camera. My only legit gripe? They didn't design it to be held as a camera for my other toys - a figure may be able to grip his arms as a handle, but a 5mm peg on the bottom of the camera would have totally made this awesome. Instead, it's just merely good and I think worth the ten bucks on his own for the novelty of finally owning Reflector.
I was never a huge fan of the bug bots, but now I wish we'd see more of them - especially at this scale. This version of Skrapnel is about the same size as G1 Shrapnel, minus some chrome and a few other bits and pieces. For the price you get enough toy to be worthwhile. I appreciate the love for upsized Minibots - heck, I'll buy all of them - but seeing some smaller Decepticons is nice, too. We're eight years in on this "classic" run and this is only the first transforming G1 Insecticon from that original trio, so he's certainly welcome in my house.
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