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Blackjack's Review: Injector

Name: Injector
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Air Commander
Size Class: Deluxe Class
Accessories: Gun/Abdomen, Missile

Injector is probably one of the ugliest motherfockers to ever be realized in plastic form. See, most Fuzors are content with just slapping two animals to make an awesome-looking third one. Torca is a monstrous behemoth straight out of hell by combining a killer whale and an elephant. Buzzclaw is a super-awesome velociraptor with mantis scythes for arms with wings and a bug head thrown in for good measure. Sky Shadow is a lizard with a dragonfly abdomen and wings. Silverbolt is a wolf with eagle wings and talons. Of course there are some oddities… we get absurdly fun designs like Air Hammer, who turns into an eagle with a hammerhead shark head. Or Noctorro, the bull-headed-bat thing.

But the universal winner for ‘weirdest-looking beast mode’ in the entire series, and I can safely say the entire Transformers franchise, goes to Injector.

Like many non-show BW toys, I first encountered Injector in the horrible IDW Beast Wars comics. With the messy storytelling the art ended up being the only thing I pay attention to, and when Injector showed up… well, I know that they had weird-ass Fuzors running around, but Injector is just… well, look at him.

He’s a freaking giant bumblebee with the illegitimate child of a stonefish and a lionfish replacing the head. He’s a fishbee. I’ve taken to calling his ugly-as-sin alternate mode a ‘Demonbee’ and I think it suits him really fine. Injector gets a lot of flak for being a terrible toy, but I was immediately drawn to him. He’s just so weird.

Researching about Injector, I began to find out that his beast mode isn’t as horrible as a lot of people have stated, with it being mistransformed in most pictures. And he’s actually gotten a personality ever since the days of the tech specs… despite his ugly face, he’s extremely vain and charismatic. Plus he’s apparently extremely clever, and represents one of the biggest threats to the Maximals. He doesn’t let his ugliness cripple him, his function is freaking air commander, the same position made famous by Decepticon second-in-command Starscream. So, yeah, Injector is a freaking badass and the only reason he doesn’t show up more in fiction is that he’ll murder every Maximal and make the book unsellable.

Plus he’s a notorious peg-warmer apparently. It didn’t take me long to hunt down the great Demonbee and make him part of my collection and I really do find him hilarious.

Beast Mode:
Injector transforms into what his bio describes as a half-hornet, half-lionfish Fuzor. Which we can take to assume is as large as Waspinator’s beast mode… meaning this horrible Demonbee from the depths of the elder gods’ realm is a massive car-sized monstrosity. Injector’s main body is that of the hornet or a bee or a wasp, I really can’t tell. It’s painted in a wonderful shade of yellow with strong black stripes running across the abdomen, and given a little mottled texture which I really like. His stinger is purple and sadly doesn’t end in a sharp point but is rounded for safety. His bug legs are cast in purple, and his wings – which have extremely intricate moulded veins – are cast in clear red plastic. No real hornets have red wings as far as I know, but Injector’s wings are drenched in the blood of his enemies and the virgins sacrificed to the great Demonbee so it’s an acceptable break from realism.

He’s got the thorax and the abdomen of a hornet, but the head has been replaced with the body of a lionfish. Well, it’s mostly a lionfish primarily by the shape of the body and the majestic dorsal fins, but the side fins and the mottled appearance is that of the lionfish’s close relative, the stonefish. Or as far as my knowledge on marine fishes can tell me, anyway. Regardless the end result is the ugliest looking fish you’ll ever lay your eyes on. Combining the ugly-looking green eyes and vertical alien mouth, the loud purple-and-red (the red is clear and makes him look even more wackier) paint scheme, the orange warts, the orange horn randomly jutting out of his forehead, the ugly looking fins… yeah, Injector is one hell of an ugly fish. Again, the amount of detail put into the sculpt of the fish is still phenomenal, with extremely accurate renditions of the stonefish’s side fins and gills and whatnot being sculpted.

Injector has got two pairs of nice insect legs, but the rearmost pair of legs are obviously his robot feet. Granted Injector’s robot feet are skinny and are cast in the same colour, and with enough fiddling (basically rotating the entire ball joint of the thigh) you can have them approximate the third pair of legs without being too out of place.

Injector is an articulated Demonbee! His abdomen can wiggle up and down to allow him to aim his stinger. The base of his wings are articulated in two places, although I prefer them jutting upwards vertically at a slight angle which is makes Injector actually look somewhat streamlined and threatening. His jaw opens. The two pairs of insect legs are ball-jointed, and the rearmost pair have thigh ball joints, thigh rotary joints and knee hinges, as well as ‘claws’ near the end. both pincers are individually articulated, and really the presence of grabbing claws just adds to the mix of eldritch horror that Injector represents.

He’s got a gimmick too, if that’s not enough. Press a button on the hornet abdomen and the stinger will fire! None of this ‘bees die after their stinger is ripped out of their body’ shit, Injector and Waspinator shoot as many stings as they want at the enemy! And by pushing forward the rear fins, Injector’s entire fish-head thing springs forwards and his dorsal fins separate and extend, presumably to stab and slash the enemy to death.

Overall I bought Injector just to laugh at him, but I am extremely surprised not only to like his Fuzor mode, but actually rank it among my all-time favourite beast modes. It actually looks pretty good in an ugly sort of way.

Robot Mode:
Injector’s transformation is extremely simple, but there is one part I have to call out specifically. His robot face slides out from inside the lionfish’s like the goddamned Alien from the movie Alien. And his robot face is even uglier. It’s a pretty clever design in my opinion to make him as repulsive and ugly-looking as possible, and they certainly succeeded with it.

Injetor’s robot mode isn’t as nicely executed as his beast mode other than the head, though. The entire fish portion just sits on top of the neck and doesn’t look natural like how it followed the contours of the wasp body. Injector’s torso and abdomen are short especially in comparison to the massive fish head he’s lugging around. His hands are kinda messy as well. His bee wings end up jutting out of his biceps and while you can retcon them as some kind of arm blades, whether they point upwards or downwards they just look awkward. The lower arms are encased in bee-abdomen chunks, making the actual hands very indistinguishable. A huge chunk of the bee abdomen ends up a weapon, and you can attach it to one of the hands to form an oversized stinger-shooting appendage. I really like how the robot hand disappears when you attach the weapon to it.

Injector’s robot mode is a lot messier. He’s not particularly well-articulated… he’s one of those toys with many joints but the big fish head pretty much ruins the balance of most poses, even with those double-sided feet he has. The entire fish can rotate on the neck, and his lower jaw can open and close. Injector’s shoulders are double-jointed, and his elbows are hinged. The contraption where the bee wings are attached to his biceps can rotate and the wings can swing up and down. Injector has a very unobstructed waist joint, and his legs have the same articulation as they had in beast mode. All the gimmicks – the fish horn and the sting missile – are intact.

I’m not a big fan of Injector’s robot mode, again, he does look extremely wacky and generally goofy in robot mode instead of looking like an unholy eldritch abomination.

Marks out of ten for the following:
Transformation Design: 4/10 Not one of the best designed transformations out there, although I really like how the beast mode ended up. Robot mode is kind of a mess, though, and you’d think a different transformation might fix this.

Durability: 8/10 Be careful of the insect arms, the ball joints on mine are showing a lot of stress marks and as such I’m afraid of fiddling with them. The rest of him feels relatively sturdy though.

Aesthetics: 7/10 I really, really, really, really like how the beast mode ended up turning out. Sure, it’s ugly, but damn it if Injector didn’t take ugliness to the best that ugliness could be. It does what it does with pride and when what you intend to do is ‘ugliest animal ever’ and your end product is the Great Demonbee Injector, you succeeded. The robot mode is a fair bit more m’eh, though.

Articulation: 4/10 Injector’s got all the joints and while he can pull off a fair bit of poses, the too-long hands and too-large head makes it extremely difficult to pull off too many poses. It’s mitigated somewhat by the beast mode articulation, but eh.

Fun: 9/10 Do like mucking around with Injector. Do like mucking around with Injector a lot. He’s just a crazy-fun toy to have, even when he’s staring at me from the top of my desk with soulless eyes promising the reaping of souls.

Price/Value: 10/10 He’s cheap, and you shouldn’t really find it too hard to get a good deal on him.

Overall: 7/10 I am full of positiveness for Injector. He’s reach the zenith of weirdness and ugliness that he loops around and lands solidly on the good half on the line between good and bad toys. The robot mode is certainly weak, what with those too-large arms and the odd placement of the bee wings, but I am a big, big fan of the Demonfishbee Fuzor beast mode. And the addition of having an actually interesting bio, and the ugliest toy in all of Beast Wars has certainly grown to be one of my favourite toys. He’ll never be as good as many other toys from Beast Wars, but what he lacks in good articulation and cool-looking aesthetics, he makes up for in ugliness and personality. More than any Beast Wars toy, Injector is not just for everybody, but if you want a healthy dose of weirdness and oddity in your collection and not pay a lot for it, Injector is your man.
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