The line that got me started with beast robots in disguise was Beast Wars Fuzors, thanks in part to the one-two punch of a clearance section with all 10 toys at the Toys R Us combined with various $5 off 2 toy coupons being distributed in, if memory serves, early 1999. The idea of mishmashed creatures was going around Kenner in multiple lines at the time, with some wonderful ideas and some... are Injector.
Very few Transformers toys are duds at retail in the various assortments. Pegwarmers do exist, and it's not at all uncommon for a solid-pack exclusive or another high-dollar item that ships alone to pile up, but for a deluxe toy? That doesn't happen much on a national level. Sure, it's possible a Rite-Aid in Denver had a Manterror past its prime or Deluxe Supercon Optimus Prime and/or Smokescreen from Armada stuck around a wee bit too lung, but Injector hung out at Toys R Us so long that he and all his Fuzors brothers were marked down to $4.97 (deluxe) and $2.97 (basic). There were bins of them near the board game aisles at some Toys R Us locations, and they lasted quite some time - unless you were lucky enough to happen upon a $5 off the purchase of any 2 Beast Wars toys coupon, which brought them down quite nicely. Injector seemed to rot the hardest, in part due to the fact it was exquisitely inelegant. Buzzclaw sat a bit as well, but Injector? Well, he was just a special kind of a charming flop. Few toys really sat around like this one - some of the Beast Wars Megas (B'boom, Transquito, Transmetals Scavenger) sat for some time as did Ultras Magnaboss and Tripredacus. I guess you had to be there - in the 1990s, the level of unsold product Toys R Us seemed to be stuck with was pretty remarkable. See also: Man-Bat.
As a creature, this toy looks like a mess - a giant Lionfish head was cast in clear red plastic with some orange, purple, and green highlights. The mouth is not only articulated in its jaw, but the whole mouth assembly slides down to reveal the robot mode head. The body is a bug, with matching clear red wings as well as a stinger rocket launcher. Six legs are under the bug body, and it's easily the ugliest alt mode in Beast Wars. An action feature in the head is similar to the Wild Boar Alien from Aliens, you can nudge a lever under the head and the head springs forward - causing the spines to spring forth and "impale" the enemy. Also, the stinger can shot, but I guess we touched on that. It's a gimmicky little toy with jointed legs and wings, adding some fun features to what is one of the weirdest, ugliest characters in the line's several decades of life.
Transformation is pretty easy - the instructions list four steps, mostly because all you do is remove the stinger, swing down the legs, swing out the arms, and fold down the face. It's simpler than many of the Fuzors basics and the kind of toy that has achieved more than some notoriety as a "love to hate it" figure with collectors. His massive head is indeed jointed at the neck, plus he has shoulder, biceps, elbows, knees, ankles, hips, and waist joint. Sure it may be ungainly and hideous, but 20 points of articulation plus his opening maw really isn't anything to sneeze at. Okay his stinger cannon is awkward, and yes his shoulders look ugly, but they managed to work in a spectacular range of movement here on a 7 1/2-inch high (and I use this term loosely) robot.
The character also had a brief cameo, along with Airhammer, in Issue #4 of the Transformers Windblade comic book mini-series. A scene gave brief, one-panel glimpses into lost colonies of Cybertronians including Knock-Out (Prime) and the Fuzors. Sadly, this wasn't a window into the future of what Kenner was going to be selling. New toys wouldn't hurt - I could use a new Fuzors toy.
I am utterly enamored with Fuzors as a concept, as well as its Jurassic Park sibling Chaos Effect. The implementation of Wuzzles-style gene splicing in a boy action toy series was a great idea, and one that comes back every few years (see also: genetic tampering in G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom.) This toy is simple, ugly, and bizarre - it also got rereleased in similar colors in Beast Wars Neo as one of Unicron's heralds Rartorata. It's expensive - but virtually the same toy. His price has been steadily climbing in recent years, but I suggest you not pay more than $10 for him - unless it's part of a large collection, which will bring the per-figure price down to sensible levels. These bizarre figures are full of high and low points, with thoughtful new ideas next to concepts which could have used more refinement. Having said that, there are only eight Fuzors molds from which to collect and I suggest you snag them all.
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