FansProject DX Armored Battalion
Review (Holiday Edition)

The FansProject DX Armored Battalion Holiday Editions were on my radar for awhile, but I wasn’t sure I needed it in my collection. Mostly due to it being a set, I really wanted one, kinda of wanted another, and didn’t much care about the third. When it sold out, I was okay not having it. Then they came back…

I never had any of the Deluxe Insecticons as a kid. Heck, I only had Bombshell and he was lost in The Great Flood™. Over the years, I’ve thought about picking up the G1 Insecticons in reissue form, but I never seemed to have the money when they popped up. I tempted to go check eBay right… now… (No! Focus!) Anyway, the Insecticons were kinda like the Dinobots (and a few other select characters) in that, even if you didn’t have them, they stuck out to you. You knew about them. You might’ve known (& been jealous) of some other kid that had them.

Well, you knew about three of them anyway. Or at least I did. While the original Insecticon trio was an iconic part of Transformers in my childhood, the other four weren’t even on the radar. I remember seeing them in the checklists with their “sophisticated” transformations, but I remember having some prejudice against later 80s Transformers back then – the more mostly solid-colored, blocky figures like Whirl, Quickswitch, and those Deluxe Insecticons just didn’t much appeal to me (Bring on G.I. Joe!!).

It didn’t help that you never saw the other four Insecticons anywhere. And it turns out that there might have been a very good reason for that, the four deluxe Insecticons (Barrage, Chop Shop, Ransack & Venom) were licensed from Takatoku Toys (later bought by Bandai), not Takara. This wasn’t that abnormal back then, a lot of Asian lines were melded together to make Transformers – Jetfire himself was a Takatoku Toy. But while Jetfire had a lot of time and energy spent on getting him in the media and distancing himself from the toy, that didn’t happen for the Deluxe Insecticons. In fact, if I didn’t have a huge affinity for those old Transformers Checklists, I probably wouldn’t even remember them at all.

Enter FansProject. In 2011, they released three new figures that represented updated versions of the initial three Insecticons: Stormbomb, Backfiery, & Thundershred. I completely missed those that year, but in 2012, they offered an exclusive 3-pack through TFSource that took those three molds, added some new pieces, and changed their colors to homage three of the four Deluxe Insecticons (Sorry, Venom, you’re sorely missed).

Now, based on everything I’ve just said, you might be asking – why did he buy these? Well, I can’t exactly say why at the outset.

There was just something about this set that leapt out at me, particularly Teardown (the repaint of Stormbomb that homages not-Barrage… do try to keep up…). The bright colors, once something I disliked, looked awesome. The old fondness for Bombshell probably carried over somewhat too. I’m not sure, but either way. I really wanted him, but I refrained from buying the set. I thought I’d be okay without it, but then it sold out. I was a lot more bummed than I thought. I patrolled eBay looking for someone selling Teardown separately, but had little luck. And the secondhand price for the set certainly wasn’t going to get me when the original price did not. I figured I’d just go without. So be it.

But then TFSource got more back in stock! And, it’s well-established here at IAT that I’m a sucker. I didn’t want to miss them again. Since they were exclusive, it was my first order from TFSource and it was pretty fantastic – they really aren’t kidding about bulletproof packaging by the way. Everything got to me quickly, and I’ve purchased from them twice since. Continue to Page 2…

16 thoughts on “FansProject DX Armored Battalion
Review (Holiday Edition)

  1. At first I figured they’d just be redeco’s and I tend to avoid that, but they are pretty unique considering the weapons the come with, not to mention the really cool paint apps that make them unique from the original FP set. I tend to think of my FP not-Insecticons as ninjas and the newer troop as just badass soldiers. I also joined FOC Kickback with them. The scale, colors, and Cybertron-ness tends to integrate them fairly well together, almost enough to make them seem like they were supposed to be together.

  2. Excellent review and photos of some dang nifty-looking toys.

    I’m almost tempted, but they whole cost-and-space issue raises its ugly head. Again.

  3. I only had the G1 Shrapnel, but these are making me wish I had the money to drop on a number of FP sets. (How much is PowerBall this week? that should about cover everything I want this week! LOL) I’m even taking another look at that new Kickback. Too bad the only one near me was ripped half off his card. :/ any word on more Insecticons in the upcoming waves?

    Gotta love that last Combiner gag! You’d think with all the other teams and even expanded I-con roster, this would be a natural, but they never did. 🙁

    oh, and your TFsource link is slightly wonky. There is a ” at the end of your embedded link that throws off the site to an “ERROR” page. 😉

    1. btw, is that MP Grimlock? I bought the most recent retail one for ~$30, but apparently the spacing was off on his legs or something. I never could get his dino-mode right and wound up taking him back. oh well.

      someone also shared this link about some fan designs for more Dinos:
      and I think RIPT had a real dinos with Dinobot coloring shirt up this past Fri or Sat? I was tempted, but I gotta watch my spending right now.

  4. I’m torn between getting this set or Quakewave. What it really comes down to is wether I want a MP size figure or another set of some smaller guys since they are both around the same price. Such a tough decision with the 3P releases because there is so much good out there, but they can just vanish at any time and become completely unaffordable. Forcing me to have to act now, but I’ve already put so much down on 3P stuff the past few months! ><

    Great review now you have made this decision even tougher.

    LOL at the Venom picture hanging on the wall.

  5. Nice review! I really didn’t know any of the background on these guys, so when I saw the giftset announced, I just assumed they were repaints of the original FP set. I had no idea they were different characters. That really adds something to them. I’ve read that the original not-insecticons were gorgeous as action figures, but not so much as Transformers. that sounds like it’s the case here. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s just not what I look for in a Transformer.

    Love the pics, though. I particularly love the Combiner shot.

  6. I’m not a huge fan of the Insecticons but the robot modes on these are cool, as are the colors chosen. I’d rate them in the same order as well.

  7. Thought I’d share this image to entice Noisy further. These are my classic insecticons using the FP original release, weapons and accessories from shapeways, reprolabel sets, and some metallic silver pant to Bombshell and Shrapnell’s thighs.

  8. I really liked the not-Shrapnel guy, Thundershred, and the cool vehicle mode, Warbug, but I kinda wish I had waited for Blockade, because of the cool weapons it comes with and the all-important odd robo-pincers that were added.
    Thanks Andy for pointing out the Shapeways pincers you added onto your Thundershred – it so needs them! I ended up adding on the pincers from a vintage junker Shrapnel that does the job, but it would have been nice to have them included originally like on Blockade.

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