Series: Generation 1
Function: Psychological Warfare
Alternate Mode: Horned Beetle
Height: 4cm Length: 12cm Width: 6cm
A black robotic beetle with a prominent chrome silver horn at the front, Bombshell's head is black while his thorax is purple die cast metal and his rather boxy abdomen is black. On top of the thorax is a transparent yellow panel, and on either side are small solid yellow lumps. His feet are black. It's a very dark colour scheme that works well for him, and of course coordinates with Kickback and Shrapnel.
Bombshell's essentially a small block on wheels, since the front and rear legs have black wheels on them. The silver protrusion at the front is his most notable feature, yet he's not boring. There's something of a charm to this insect mode - it's simple and stylised. There's a Decepticon logo on top of the yellow panel and a rubsign at the right corner of the abdomen, along with some other stickers here and there giving him a little colour.
The play value is pretty much what you'd expect of a Diaclone based Transformer - the wheels roll and he has an accessable cockpit. The transparent yellow panel lifts back to reveal the cockpit, although you have to swing the abdomen back a little if you want to lift the hatch right back. There's a joint at the base of his horn which allows it to lift up and down, which gives some poseability.
The horn manages to resemble both a stinger and a ranged weapon, which makes it a worthwhile centrepiece for this mode. It's biggest shortcoming is the heavy reliance on chrome - if your Bombshell's chrome is worn he'll sport a half-yellow horn.
A simple yet nice beetle mode that's really all about the horn. Chrome aside there's not really any shortcomings, aside from the fact taht it's clearly _not_ an organic insect.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Fold the abdomen up and out to form his legs, flip up the leg-assemblies to form the robot arms, swing the insect head back to reveal the robot head, fold the horn up to form a head-mounted cannon. Give him his chrome silver handgun.
Height: 12cm Width: 7cm
There's a lot more purple now - since the bulk of his torso and boots are purple. The outsides of his shins, arms and head are black, while the shoulder sockets are yellow, his thighs and overhead stinger are chrome silver, his face is silver (not chromed) and the transparent yellow panel is now in the middle of his torso. His colours are well used here - the purple and black contrast really well with the silver, and the yellow is a great auxiliary colour.
There are two main features that stand out in this robot mode. The first is of course the stinger on his head, which is a really nice feature that was used to full effect in the cartoon. The second is the rather unorthodox knee joints. Like a lot of G1 Transformers, Bombshell's legs flip out in transformation - the knees bend to the point where the thighs fit inside the boots. Most toys have the shins fitting inside the calves, but on Bombshell they fit inside the shins. So it's immediately noticeable that this guy has hollow shins. I'll stop just short of calling this a flaw, since it's clearly a deliberate design feature, but I will say that the visual effect isn't necessarily positive.
Personally, I'm not bothered by the shins, since there are well defined feet below the (gaping) shins, and the dark colours help hide the gaps. It did take a fair bit of getting used to, though. I'm more troubled by the possibility of worn chrome on the stinger and thigh - even though my Bombshell's chrome is in fine condition.
There's some poseability here - more than on the average small Diaclone toy in fact. The shoulder joints rotate, the hips swing about 45° and the knees can bend about 20° backwards (and of course all the way forward). There are two hinges attaching the stinger, so you can aim the thing up and down, although you'll have to be careful not to cover his face.
Whilst on the subject of Bombshell's face, the cartoon stuck with the toy's face - making this toy instantly recognisable as Bombshell. His mouthcover looks like the grill from a knight's helmet, and this was used in the cartoon, and more or less retained on Actionmaster Bombshell.
This is a robot mode for G1 fans, since there's really not that much play value. The colours are well done and the stinger on his head is a really cool aspect of this robot mode. The shins are weird, and if they bug you you're likely to dislike this robot mode, so it really all comes down to that one feature.
Some Bombshells, including mine, have a notch on the stinger allowing it to fold down further in robot mode. Those that lack this notch will have a stinger that points up at about 35°. The 2004 Takara reissue came with a soft pink plastic Energon cube, which Bombshell can stow in his chest. There was an Actionmaster Bombshell in Europe & Australasia. Salvo, an eHobby exclusive, is a repaint of Bombshell.
A nice Diaclone based Transformer with a lot happening for it's size, Bombshell is very much a toy for the G1 fans. His prominence in the cartoon makes him desirable, and while this toy has some shortcomings Bombshell still manages to be my favourite Insecticon - 7/10