Robo-Bugs (Somebody please talk me out of this...)

Posted by VenomMacbeth 
Alright, so here's the deal.

I've been into Transformers/transforming mecha since I was about 10 years old. I've also been into much so that I considered a career in entomology for awhile there. Anyway, there was a time when these "fandoms" (if you'd call insects a fandom) collided & I ended up exclusively insect Transformers. I still have all the G1 Insecticons, and quite a few Beast Wars bugs lying around somewhere.

However, I got a particularly strong rush of nostalgia when I found this today...

That right there is probably the first insect mech I ever bought. As I recall, they were sold at Big Lots for around $4-$6 (can't remember which.) I got that one, and while it was very obviously a KO, it was a neat figure. It had an interesting transformation & good proportions as a robot. It also wasn't particularly loose.

After this, I went on to buy several such insect-robo KOs. They were roughly in-scale with the deluxe Insecticons (Beetras) and each and every one of them were of TERRIBLE quality. Those knock offs are probably what killed that brief obsession of mine.

However, as I have been thoroughly obsessed with all things Convertors recently, I was rifling through the old Galvion thread here on TBDX. I went on from there to browse this amazing website:
(if you haven't already been there, go NOW. It's all in japanese, but you'll find pretty much any transforming, combining, or converting robot you could think of.)

I found several pages regarding these bug-formers. To save you from navigating, I've linked them below:


Can't read the text, but what I can tell, these vary in quality.

Now, the "Queenbee" 'former...
I remember mine being entirely plastic, with a painted silver head & no weapon. This one I found on ebay, however, comes with the weapon, which appears to be the logical speculation here would be that the weapon is also chrome.

Let's be frank, here...this is a KNOCK-OFF. It likely has just as low quality plastic as the one I had years ago. Yet somehow...I still want it. Badly. But I know it's not worth the $25 I'd pay for it there.

If someone knows where I can find one, with the chrome head & gun included, for cheaper, please let me know before I end up being stupid & buying this...because if I buy this one, I'll more than likely get the other ones, too. Halp plox!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2011 09:08AM by VenomMacbeth.
mcfitch (Admin)
Come on it's only $18. But the hell out of that thing.

Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Anonymous User
Just keep looking around. You'll find one eventually if you're patient.

I've seen these at both Big Lots and Dollar General stores. They're also available in boxed sets of 3 or 4, and you might see them mixed into those prepacked easter gift baskets.

The one in your auction link doesn't have the chrome on the legs. If you really want one, I can check my local Big Lots for you. I think they still have 'em.

Oh - and the Japanese name for it is "Metalhornet".

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2011 11:46AM by AcroRay.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Great obsession to have! I love reading about different collectors' focuses...especially if they're off the beaten path.

According to Ray, it sounds like these KO's are pretty damn in that case, waiting probably makes sense. If they were harder to find, I'd just throw down like Mason said...even if the KO quality is crappy.

Have you tried searching for these on Y!J? Seems pretty easy to lift the search terms from that page...

Anyway, I assume you've seen these (click on the kanji)!!
Oh yeah, they're common. I just have yet to see one that included a weapon...until now. So we'll see, I guess. And Acro-Ray, if you can find one with chrome & weapon, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Oh - And yes, I've seen those. I've never been a huge fan of the Waruders/Insecticons, but those look particularly insectile :3

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2011 06:06AM by VenomMacbeth.
Anonymous User
The ones at my local big lots don't have the chrome, no. They've just got metallic silver plastic, like seen in your auction photo.
Well thanks for checking for me, anyway.

*sigh* alright, I'm gonna do it. I'll get one. However, I'm stuck between the hornet ( [] )
the mantis ( [] )
or the dragonfly ( [] )

So which do you guys think I should get?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/2011 01:31PM by VenomMacbeth.
mcfitch (Admin)
Mantis. Always mantis. Though I may be biased.

Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
VenomMacbeth: You know, as I was reading through this thread it occurred to me that you were asking the folks here at TBX to talk you OUT of buying something...A place where "just buy it you hobo..." is as close to agreement that anyone on here gets...
You like toy crack? Buy toy crack.


I love the crossbow. Very creative/unusual weapon.

These are much smaller than I remember. They're roughly in-scale with the Convertors figures (which is great for meeeee.)
I just got this a few days ago, thought I'd share it with you all, what with the nifty vintage japanese packaging & whatnot.

It's one of those Jam shokugan mecha. Quite commonly KO'd, but this is the original!

You do NOT want to know how much I paid for it.

No fancy packaging or accessories; for 500 yen, you didn't get much.

For not being a KO, it might as well be...the quality is poor. I still like the figure, though; the beetle mode looks very mechanical/robotic.

Here it is in robot mode. I REALLY like the headsculpt; if this were released as a Transformer, it would most DEFINITELY be a decepticon.

This is how I have him displayed with my other "Insectors." The seller kindly included a blue gun from a Convertors Crawler figure...and I happened to have an extra one lying around, so I donated it to Beetle Mecha here. He's kinda adopted the "badass-gunslinger" persona now. ;)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2011 12:38AM by VenomMacbeth.
Sanjeev (Admin)
That's fresh. Hey, take some better pics, and this it totally brog-worthy. Aw, who am I kidding? With Sjoen bringing down the average, "photo quality" is hardly a concern! ;P
yyyeaaaahhh... I'm really sorry that all my pictures suck >< I lack a digital camera ATM, so I've been using my phone...which is great & all, but it does not like action figures. x_x
Anonymous User
Very nice. Finding an original of one of these Convertors really brings the hobby full-circle. A rare gem. Good pictures, too.

I've got a candy-toy model of the same blue-silver beetle, from the '90s.
Nice! I'm chasing after the green grasshopper one, now...I can't seem to find an original version. You can get one similar in those 4-packs they sell at big lots, but it's a totally different sculpt w/ articulated legs and a HORRENDOUS headsculpt.
I had the brown grasshopper when I was a wee little V.

I love the box art there BTW.


I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
There are these wacky bug-formers out on the discount isles at Wally World. They're a little more modern in design than the doods in this thread, but they're still funky. The basically transform by standing up. And one of them looks like a cockroach, straight outta Michael Bay's adaptation of Joe's Apartment.

UPDATE: Found some pics. These were $4 last time I saw them.
OMG someone other than me knows about Joe's Apartment!! :D
Sanjeev (Admin)
Jerry O'Connell: one of the most underrated actors of all time.
A post from me on Twitter yesterday, "Confession: I saw Scream 3 in the theatre when I was 19 on a date. I could blame the date, but I wanted see that guy from Sliders in it."

Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: []
AHHHH SLIDERS! *more nostalgia*

So, this "Brog"...excuse me for being n00bish, but how would one go about posting such a brog & what should it contain?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Sliders was flavor...but My Secret Identity??? Shit, that was the JAM!

VenomMacbeth Wrote:
> So, this "Brog"...excuse me for being n00bish, but
> how would one go about posting such a brog & what
> should it contain?

Stand by.

And by the way, shouldn't this thread be on the Vintage board? Some of these boots may be contemporary, but the originals are from the 80's, right?
VenomMacbeth Wrote:
> OMG someone other than me knows about Joe's
> Apartment!! :D

Was that the old videogame where you got turned into a cockroach somehow and needed to escape from the place? If so, I had that one myself.

More serious than thou
Sanjeev Wrote:
> And by the way, shouldn't this thread be on the
> Vintage board? Some of these boots may be
> contemporary, but the originals are from the 80's,
> right?

I dunno, I guess I figured the Vintage board was for vintage gokin/machinder ranting only. >.< If it needs to be moved, by all means move it. :)

Actually, that's a very good question...the actual "Robo-Bugs" figures I got are from the early 90s, and I'm not sure when the shokugan bug mechs were actually released...they certainly look like 80s robots!
1980s, but they get reissued every couple of years.

Joe's Apartment was one of those MTV stop motion shorts in the late '80s or early '90s which mysteriously got converted into a feature length movie starring the guy from Sliders. Which I totally saw back in the day.

Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: []
Sorry for reviving a dead topic, but if anyone wants to get this for me & I'll pay em, that would be great.


I tried the whole Celga thing, but the fees for such inexpensive items I got were WAY too outragious. Any suggestions?
Sanjeev (Admin)

Fees are just a reality. :/

TB will be a bit cheaper than Celga, but not monumentally. Heh...I'm sure any of us would be happy to pick the item up for you, but the double-shipping would likely make it more expensive for you--none of us have any secret fee-avoiding ninjitsu... ;)
Well it's like, I got a 2000 yen item, and a 200 yen item...and they charged around $100 for that! I wonder if they got it wrong or something...because if that's what it actually costs, then that's just not effing worth it.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Uh...that don't sound right. Check the fee breakdown...that should tell you if it makes sense or not.
When I used to be addicted to Yahoo Japan Auctions, I'm sure I was easily paying Celga over $50 in fees when I'd randomly splurge on 1000yen items. EMS shipping to the proxy and then to the buyer is what knocks it out of the atmosphere. Fortunately, most of these places will hold items, but when you're addicted, you're also impatient and antsy for the fix so I didn't like to wait for items to accumulate or I'd splurge on a bunch at a time to make it seem more cost effective (of course thats delusional). I never carefully added up the fees because I didn't want to know. In fact, I almost bid on the Mecha Insect candy toy models just now but managed to resist (I want the dragonfly SO BAD).

I want YOU for Moé Sucks Army
Ughh! You can have the dragonfly, just gimme the hopper! ;)
Sanjeev Wrote:
> Uh...that don't sound right. Check the fee
> breakdown...that should tell you if it makes sense
> or not.

Well, I paid them (I believe) about $58 for the items themselves...but then they wanted an additional 5000Y for shipping! I've done EMS shipping before, and there's no way in HELL that it costs that much.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Was one of the items a stuffed animal that had to be shipped in a refrigerator crate? :P
Hey, Venom,

Have you seen these? I've got a bunch of extra ones if you're interested in purchasing some.


I want YOU for Moé Sucks Army
Sanjeev (Admin)
I remember when you first posted about those Kabaya kits, Scope. Very cool. They're basically just the same robot body inside and just different insect armor, right?
Oh, the Beetle Armor guys! I have the full set. They're a little floppy, but VERY cool!
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