Fans Toys FT-13 Mercenary (Masterpiece Shrapnel)
Fanstoys items usually come with an outer plastic baggie to protect the box.
Diecast parts include:
Optional alternate “G1-toy style” clear chest panel included. Swapping requires unscrewing the default chest piece though.
Since this is a Third Party, non-official item, it doesn’t come with a faction symbol. It’s best to get some stickers from Reprolabels/Toyhax.com to make this guy more “toon-accurate”. Alternately, you can also use “water slide decals” to make them look even more flawless (you won’t see the edges, unlike with stickers) but I’ve never really had the proper skills, or time (usually needs to be individually cut first) to work with those.
For water slide decals, most folks recommend the one from Ocean Studio. Here:
To apply stickers, I find the best way to stick the stickers on is to use the tip of a blade, or a flat, small-tipped object, this way you have more control over the application, as compared to using one’s stubby fingers. You can also use the blade to help gently peel off a corner of the sticker in case you didn’t center it right and need to re-apply.
Leader of the Insecticons, Shrapnel is as twisted and dangerous as the rest of his crew. Capable of betraying even their master, Megatron, the Insecticons are loyal only to themselves. Shrapnel can easily dispatch several Autobots at once thanks to his ability to manipulate electricity.
Sigh… The back kibble on this guy is the worst among the three Insecticons. After seeing this in person, I gotta give props to Badcube for making their Shrapnel have less back kibble.
Hehe, thanks QC 32 for rolling out a problem-free figure.
Unfortunately, while my figure is OK, one of my Energon cubes is missing the plate cover on the bottom, I’ve asked my store to ask Fans Toys for a replacement, hope it goes well.
Like his pals, Mercenary comes with 3 Energon cubes.
He comes with his Grenade Launcher rifle .
Alternately, Fans Toys also included a chromed repaint of the same gun, to better match his Insecticon team partners’ shiny weapons.
As previously mentioned, in the cartoons, Shrapnel can manipulate any nearby high-voltage electricity (such as lightning) through his antennae and shoot the bolts from his hands to severely damage his targets.
Too bad no lightning effects parts were included here.
To transform Mercenary, remember to fold his arms into this configuration first, it saves you a lot of grief later on.
His weapon can be stowed underneath his insect mode.
Fans Toys included “toon-accurate” insect legs for this guy. They do, however, require unscrewing the default legs, and since the toon legs have fewer joints and are much bigger (the hind legs), they tend to stick out like sore thumbs and just won’t look good in robot mode. So you’d have to take the legs apart again for the robot mode.
Since each figure comes with 3 Energon cubes, you can pool them together for a total of 9 cubes.
Originally, the Insecticons were the only bad guys back in the old Diaclone days, called the “Waruder”, while the rest of the toyline (Autobots and Decepticons alike) were the good guys.
Overall, a beautiful piece, it feels heavy and solid thanks to the diecast. From what I understand, nothing here has been intentionally modified or improved from the original release (unlike FT-12 Grenadier/ Bombshell).
His back side, unfortunately, is not a pretty sight to see, thanks to the insect legs hanging out. When Fans Toys first announced their reissues, I was really hoping for 2.0 versions with streamlined fixes to the insect legs in robot mode. Ah well.. It’s still a solid figure and definitely has a slightly better shelf presence than the Badcube versions.
I will most likely make the FT Insecticons my default robot modes, while the BC versions will be the “insect clones” in the background. It’s all good.