Series: Generation 1
Function: Electronic Warfare
Alternate Mode: Lamellicorn Beetle
Height: 3.5cm Length: 13cm Width: 5.5cm
Like his teammates, Shrapnel is black and purple with yellow highlights. The central block of his thorax is die cast metal, painted black, his abdomen (well, technically his wing covers, since he's a beetle) is black plastic, and the head and giant pincers sticking out the front are chrome silver. The combination of colours works pretty well, which someone obviously decided when recolouring the Diaclone toys, since they used them for all three Insecticons.
Being a Diaclone recolour, Shrapnel has a cockpit, which is a transparent yellow hatch on his thorax, on top of which sits a Decepticon logo - his rubsign lives on his right wing cover. The very rear tip - which I suppose could be the exposed abdomen is purple, as are the rear legs.
I should point out that Shrapnel doesn't have true insect legs, the rear set are actually purple posts hanging off the underside of his purple robot arms, which sit on the sides of the insect, and are rather obvious. The front two sets are joined, and are effectively curved yellow runners (like on a helicopter). The front runners and rear legs have wheels, so it's possible to roll Shrapnel along, provided his shoulder joints aren't too loose (in which case any downward pressure will just cause the rear set to lift off the ground).
The wing covers are flat and angular, but this fits in with the ridiculously robotic look of this beetle with wheels. The pincers have small barrels at their tips, meaning this is an armed insect, and of course it fits in with his mechanical look.
While I wouldn't say I dislike this mode as such, it's not really very beetle-like. If you want a more realistic lamellicorn mode, Chop Shop may be a better purchase. Still, the colours work and he does look good in a mecha insect way, so it's a decent alt mode.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Extend the rear section to become the robot legs, rotate 180° and fold up the feet. Swing the pincers down and to the sides to reveal the head, fold the runners up onto his back. Give him his gun - which actually fits over the fist.
Height: 12cm Width: 10.5cm
A lot of that width is the big horns sticking out from his shoulders. Anyway, Shrapnel’s still dominated by black, on his torso, head and lower legs. His shins and the horns are chromed silver, his arms and feet are purple and the transparent yellow hatch is the central part of his chestplate. His chest (around the yellow hatch) is die cast metal.
The horns actually help the overall look of Shrapnel's robot mode, since they make him look bigger and grander than he really is, and they offset all that black. There's not really any hints that he has an animal mode aside from the horns, and even they're not a give away.
Shrapnel has a silver painted face, with an eyevisor, nose and mouth. It's actually pretty good facial detail for a G1 toy this size. Otherwise the sculpt is fairly average, although he does have those posts under his fists (the rear legs) that look like little lasers, so if you lift his hands up he looks like he's shooting stuff from his arms. I suspect this is accidental, but it's still nifty.
Poseability is good for 1985 - his shoulders rotate, his hips swing and his waist swivels right around - and only the waist movement is needed for the transformation. He's got big feet too, so the hip joints are meaningful points of articulation.
While there's nothing that jumps out about this mode as such, the poseability, colours and facial sculpt are all positives, and there's no major downsides, so he's a pretty good little robot.
The 2004 Takara reissue came with a soft pink plastic Energon cube, which Shrapnel can stow in his chest. Zaptrap, an eHobby exclusive, is a repaint of Shrapnel.
Shrapnel's a decent little mecha insect, and while his insect mode isn't very realistic, his robot mode's not bad and the colours work, so if you're a G1 fan he's worth grabbing. I suppose his only major flaw is the abundance of chrome - if it wears he's going to have yellow thighs and yellow pincers, which would look pretty poor. I wouldn't search the world for him, but if you can grab him at a fair price, he's a decent toy - 7/10