In 1985, the second wave of Generation 1 deviated from the realistic cars, jets, and guns selection in the first series. However, many of the molds were still sourced from Takara’s previous toylines, such as the Insecticons like Bombshell. Bombshell transformers into a robotic weevil, probably of the family Curculionidae.
Like all the (non-Deluxe) Insecticons, Bombshell started his existence in Takara’s Diaclone, designed by Takashi Matsuda as the Insecter Robo Kabutron. This version of the toy is noticeably different from the Transformers release, with a primarily red body and a translucent red chestplate. Insecticons are the only Diaclone-descended Transformers that were originally part of the evil Waruder Army. This version also came witha small die-cast and plastic driver that could be seated in the opening cockpit. His US Patent, titled Reconfigurable insect toy was filed on August 21, 1984 (U.S. Patent No. USD287155 S).
Bombshell transforms into a black robotic weevil. His chest is purple painted die-cast metal, and his shoulder joints are molded in yellow plastic, giving the appearance of bulging eyes. Bombshell features a long, chrome snout with two small elbowed antenna near its tip. His stubby insect legs are all attached via his robot mode arms. His simple transformation follows a common pattern with many vehicular transformers, folding the arms out to the side, and swinging the legs down from the rear. The weevil snout is positioned pointed forward over Bombshell’s robot mode head. Bombshell includes a chrome gun that mimics his snout and antennae. Bombshell’s chest features a translucent yellow door which serves no purpose in the Transformers release.
Like so many former Diaclone toys before, Bombshell is prone to some breakage. His most common problem is with the center insect leg on each robot mode breaking off. Another nearly universal problem is the joint attaching his head cover and snout to the main body loosening, making it difficult to to balance the snout over his robot head, or worse, droop down in weevil mode. Other than this, Bombshell is rather sturdy.
Bombshell has two primary production variations in his original run. The first is nearly identical to the Diaclone casting, with a rubsign applied on the shell of the weevil. The later version featured a molded indent for the rubsign, as well as a depression in the hinge of the snout, so it could bend further against itself to point forward in robot mode while keeping the head cover tilted further back. Other minor variations were also made between these versions.
Bombshell was available in 1985. He was available again in Japan in 1987 and 1988 as a mail-away exclusive. Bombshell was reissued in Japan in the 2004 Transformers Collection with Kickback and Shrapnel in the Insectrons set. This set also included three pink rubber Energon cubes that could fit inside the Insecticons’ chest compartments. The US received a reissue set by means of the Universe 2 line in 2009, as a Toys ’R’ Us exclusive. This version did not include the Energon cubes.
Redecos & Retools
Bombshell’s mold was first used in 1983 to make Diaclone Kabutron, available alone or in the Insecter Robo Set. The reissue version of the mold was redecorated into Salvo, available only in the e-HOBBY Insectron Clone Army as part of Collector’s Edition. This version’s color palette resembles the original Diaclone deco, but retains the Transformers insignia and rubsign.