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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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The Reverend's review: Repugnus

Name: Repugnus
Generation: One
Faction: Autobot
Function: Counter-Intelligence
Sub-Group: Monsterbots

"No job is too disgusting to disgust me."
He has a personality as repellent as his looks -- been kicked out of the Autobots many times for insubordination only to be asked back since he's always willing to undertake missions too low-down and dirty for anyone else to consider. In robot mode, carries venom laser that slows cerebro impulses and paralyzes on impact. In creature mode, has infra-red and X-ray vision; can emit colors and stroboscopic effect with eyes. Claws contain chemical, electromagnetic and audio sensors; can rip through almost any substance.


The Monsterbots appeared about the same time as the Nebulans in G1 toydom, and probably became one of the more overlooked subgroups in short order because of it, although they did make brief appearances in the Headmasters cartoon and in the Marvel comics. All three (Repugnus, Grotusque and Doublecross) featured "spark shooting action". One web column, in running down a list of the "most useless Transformers" of G1 fame, gave Repugnus the #1 ranking. Why? Because "Repugnus transforms from robot to "#$%@ Pointless" in record time."

I didn't give a likewise #$%@ about the Monsterbots when I was a kid, as I still had a bevy of Dinobots around to fulfill the "terrorizing" slot. Reading DW's More Than Meets The Eye profiles interested me in the bugger, though, he had a fascinating characterization.


Alternate Mode:

What the heck is this? The packaging says Mr. Repugnus is an 'insect'. When I showed him in alternate mode to my wife, her description was "Umm... he's a beetle... or roach... or something... wow, he's ugly", so at least I know the 'insect' description is at least tenable. (NOTE: He did not, however, displace her designation of Gnaw as the ugliest Transformer she's ever seen.) If you saw the original version of "The Fly", he looks sort of like that, except that there might have been some coelacanth in the machine too. He is, bluntly, a real freak - a tall, two-legged bug-thing with big clawed feet, a single grey claw sticking downwards out of straight arms, a blocky yellow torso, and a giant rust-red head with molded teeth, grey mandibles on the sides and big green insectoid eyes that bears no resemblance to much of anything. I guess that's what makes him monstrous. The designers clearly concentrated on the head sculpt here and it shows. His long lanky legs have red sheaths at the upper part and grey claws on the front of each foot. The waist, hips and knees can move somewhat, and he has some sideways movement at the elbows. He can backhand Rodimus Prime! Well, that has possibilities. Anyhow, because of the large downward pointing claw on each arm, one automatically wants to raise his arms to, say, impale a shorter Transformer's cranium... but he appears to have big grey shoulder-pads that prevent much upward movement of the arms. The toy catalog pictured him standing completely upright, but you can manipulate his legs to give him a more crouching pose that looks somewhat bestial. He also has a dark red piece hanging down his back that doesn't look like anything at all, but the shape does suggest folded insect wings. His bright yellow torso, though squarish and blocky, has some faceting on the front that suggests armor. Repugnus is sparse on labels, bearing only an Autobot symbol on the chest in this mode and a couple of foil stickers on the inside of arms and legs, which I think is a shame - he could have been more eye-catching if they'd dressed him up a little more.

Regardless, as alt-modes go, it's a standout, and I actually like it for its weirdness. A button on top of its head, when pressed, engages a sparking mechanism inside the big head. I don't know what it was like when new, but if I press this button down with enough force, the bug-head sprays sparks out its mouth, about an inch or so. Kind of cool, actually. The mandibles move outward when the spark-shooter is engaged, which is a nice touch. He's different, he's weird, you love it or you hate it. I understand either way.

Robot Mode:

Repugnus has a pretty easy transformation, but it's not 100% clear at points what the final outcome should look like. Essentially, he doesn't go through any major changes, the torso rotates upwards and a few pieces are folded out of the way. The same bright colors are kept in robot mode, except the rust-red parts are mainly on his back in favor of bright red shin pieces, forearms, hands and the insect's forearms folded over his chest. He also gets some grey from his now exposed upper legs and his upper arms as well, which were overhanging the bug-thing's shoulders in alt-mode. He's just as tall in robot mode, with pretty much the same articulation except that he now has vertical instead of horizontal elbow movement. Again, he's sparse on labels here, which makes him look a bit drab... just stickers above the knees or on his chest armor would have gone a long way. What really hurts the figure is his face - a completely yellow rendering with little green eyes who looks overly cuddly and serene, even if the sculpting is nice. He gets his white venom laser in this mode, but it doesn't really do much for his odd Winnie-the-Pooh look. I guess he looks brawnier than some of the other Autobots at the time due to his wide chest, but not by much.

To be blunt, the robot mode isn't very eye-catching, and I don't see the value. If you like Repugnus, I wager it's really for the alternate mode. If you so desire, you can bring out the insect arms from his chest for more freakishness, but this exposes the totally smooth and undetailed portion of the chest they are meant to cover. Maybe the above column was wrong. Robot mode might be the pointless one. The insect head and wing-piece are now on his back, which makes him look like he'll fall over backwards at any moment, but the size of his feet keep that from happening. At least he has that going for him.

Marks out of ten for the following:


Transformation: 3 - Not much to it, but you might miss something small, like the fact that his robot feet are actually the bug feet turned backwards. Dreamwave did.
Durability: 7 - Seems solid enough, even though it's all plastic. If buying a loose one, look closely at the bug eyes, the green paint tends to chip.
Fun: 5 - If you think the alternate mode is cool, and/or it's sparking action, Repugnus is kind of neat. He's tall enough to butt around a large number of Decepticons, that's true enough. And he does have a neat character profile.
Price: 3 - Varies, I've seen Repugnus go for a range of prices. Mine was under US $20, because I found it in a mislabeled auction.
Overall: 3 - Hard to say. It really depends on how much that insect grabs you.
 
 
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