During the second series of Generation 1 in 1985, Hasbro had to broaden their search for molds to use for the Transformers. Among the toys they acquired license to use were the Deluxe Insecticons, like Chop Shop, who transforms into a robotic stag beetle of family Lycanidae.
Chop Shop was designed in 1984 by Japanese toy manufacturer Takatoku for a new toyline, Armored Insect Battalion Beetras. However, Takatoku went bankrupt before the series could finish (in part due to Dorvack, the source of Roadbuster and Whirl), releasing Chop Shop as Beet-Gugal. This version is molded in black plastic with white robot parts. It also features a different sticker set than the Transformers release. There was also an unproduced “powered-up” version in green, with a different robot head design and different mandibles.
Chop Shop transforms into a robotic stag beetle with thrusters on the back of his thorax, He is molded mostly in brown, with orange highlights. He has large spiked mandibles, of which the contours much more closely resembling those of a real stag beetle than fellow Insecticon Shrapnel. His insect legs are somewhat articulated, with the middle and front pairs attached by ball joints. He has large red eyes on the side of his insect head, however, the orange square of background plastic reduces the contrast intended. His transformation is reasonably complex for his size, and features spring-loaded arms and fists that automatically extend when moved into position. His robot mode is stocky, with his mandibles standing prominently on his shoulders and two legs hanging from each forearm. His robot mode head features two insect-like antennae. His armament consists of a gun and an orange spear, but his shoulder articulation does not allow his shoulders to rotate forward, only two swing out to the sides.
Due to the detail of his design, Chop Shop is prone to breakage. His insect legs can be snapped off, particularly around the narrow band details near the claws. The antennae are generally short enough to avoid breakage, but nevertheless may be absent.
Likely due to his short production run, Chop Shop does not have any known production variants.
Chop Shop was available in the US and mainland Europe (excluding Italy and Greece) in 1985. He was never released in Japan or the UK. Due to Bandai owning the licenses to Takatoku’s designs, it is unlikely Chop Shop will ever be reissued.
Redecos & Retools
Chop Shop’s mold was first used in 1984 as Armored Battalion Beetras Beet-Gugal. The mold has not been used since it was licensed for Transformers.