January 27th, 2009

Smile

Apparently the universe loves Waspinator very much!

Shortpacked!: more like NOTman am i rite


Transformers Animated has always tried to grab the best aspects from yesterday's Transformers and cram them together. The continued use of guys from all over the franchise's 25-year history is a testament to that.

For example, Waspinator.

Waspinator is yet another Beast Wars nod, of course, adding to the use of Blackarachnia and the admitted Primalification of the series's Optimus Prime. But this time, Waspinator has a past. He wasn't always like this. He used to be "Wasp," just another Autobot cadet, a small green fellow that shared Bumblebee's bodyframe, until he was framed for treason and thrown in the slammer for countless years. He's escaped, he's now deranged and calling himself "Waspinator," and at some point in the next season, I'd lay bets on him getting forcibly transformed into the wasp-based form represented by the toy.

While the original Waspinator was a little more stocky and a little more goofy, the animated-style Waspinator is a more lithe and monstrous. For example, instead of fists in robot mode, he's got four-taloned claws. Oh, and that third set of limbs, a tiny pair of claws that point out from his chest. (I thought they'd be weird and in-the-way, but they're actually pretty neat. Give me something else to do when posing him.)

Otherwise, he does share a lot of visual features with the original Waspinator, namely the wasp-head-becoming-the-robot-chest thing, the abdomen-hanging-off-his-butt thing, the bug-eyed mandibled head design, and the back-mounted wings. Animated Waspinator does drop the original's yellow for more lime green, plus more sharp edges and, of course, the more monstery look. He still feels pretty lovable, though. It's those bug eyes and mandibles, I tell ya.

And this time, there's no sets of kibbly insect legs sprouting from his robot arms to eternally get in the way and frustrate you to no end! Sweet. Plus, hey, his gimmick is addictive. When you toggle a lever on his back, his insect wings flap. Maggie picked him up yesterday and found herself flapping those wings for several minutes. It's fun to do. It does bug me that he only has one set of wings. There should be another, smaller pair! He's a wasp! The old Transmetal version of Waspinator got that right, but no other version has.

With his unique bestial look, his gimmick, and especially that extra set of tiny robot-mode limbs, he's a great guy to fiddle with. Plus, dude, he's Waspinator. It remains to be seen exactly how this version of Waspy will play out in the cartoon, but I don't think I'll be disappointed.