Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) -
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 205, February 18th 1989
First/Last Cartoon Appearance -
First Toy Appearance - 1985
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - FansProject
Toyline - Causality
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the chest
Chop Shop is a character I feel was criminally underused during the halcyon days of the original G1 fiction - his entire run can be attributed to one issue during the UK Timewars saga, in which he briefly turned up only to be ruthlessly dispatched by the combined might/lunacy of Megatron and Galvatron. Although perhaps he should be glad of that, considering that his sole appearance is one more than his fellow Deluxe Insecticons managed. Even FansProject emphasised this figures anonymity when they swapped his and Barrage's names around, so apparently Chop Shop's FansProject moniker is 'Blockade' as opposed to 'Teardown'. I know which one makes more sense. He has been more prominent in the modern G1 fiction, but my recollection was seeing this figure and noting how striking he was visually. I knew nothing else about the character other than I wanted the figure. I never did pick it up (given its non-availability in the UK), but now thankfully FansProject have stepped in and retooled their Shrapnel figure, to great effect.
Appearance (Robot Mode) 9/10
Chop Shop obviously shares the physical characteristics of Shrapnel in looks like a tough little bot that you would not want to mess with. He is extremely stocky. His head sculpt perfectly evokes the original and is excellent, although as per usual with FansProject there is no light-piping. His kibble can be displayed as you see fit - I tend to have the legs on his torso hanging down but you can recreate the 'legs akimbo' look of the original is you wish to do so. Unlike Shrapnel with his rather bonkers weapons, Chop Shop comes with brand new mouth parts which much better homage the original figure. These are affixed to the uppermost insect legs when he is in robot mode. His colour scheme is just great, he really pops in the way that only Transformers of a certain era can. He has many white paint apps which contrast really well with his claret and amber plastic. Did I mention that Bradford City, the best football team in the world play in Claret and Amber? This guy could be the mascot!
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 9/10
This version of the mould is marginally nicer than the Shrapnel one, mainly because FansProject omitted to pick out the 'cockpit' detailing in a different colour. This improves the look in my opinion, because it makes the cockpit less noticeable. I still don't really understand why it is there, when the other moulds have no similar feature. Anyhow, this is a great-looking alt mode and looks very coherent overall. The mouth part is also much nicer than the Shrapnel counterpart. Sorry Shrapnel.
This is my least enjoyable of the Insecticons to transform, which is a shame. Firstly, I find it difficult to align the arms up just so to enable them to slide through the lower legs. And the robot feet? you have to flip and swivel them to the side for the alt mode and I have real difficulty doing this without colliding them into the adjoining surface. There is a 'sweet spot' but as can be typical with FansProject, there is more drama than there needs to be. Elswhere, there are some innovative features, such as the hips which are slid back before the waist is rotated. OK, it is vaguely similar to Hot Rod, but it is nice to see different things from time to time. Also, don't forget that the shoulder piece rotates for the robot mode, I have seen loads of pictures that has this part mis-transformed. The mouth parts are connected to the detached forearm 'armour' and slotted in to from the menacing gob.
My one gripe with this figure is that his hip joints are very stiff. Other than this though, he can do just about anything. He has a ball-jointed neck, swivel waist, and ball-jointed shoulders/hips. He has bicep swivel and double ball-joints at the elbow, which is handy because this negates the need for wrist swivel. He also has thigh swivel, knee joints and a very decent range of movement in his feet, which are also large enough to hold a variety of poses.
I feel that the transformation sequence puts the plastic under unnecessary strain, which always makes me annoyed. I really like this guy and would not let anyone else attempt to transform him, for the spectre of gouged plastic is all too real! It's a shame because this is otherwise a decent quality, stocky little figure.
Overall - 39/50
Aesthetically this figure is very successful, looking great in both modes. He also offers a plethora of poses, and options regarding how you set him up with his weaponry. However, I have some concerns regarding his transformation which is why the Shrapnel mould is probably the least recommended of the 3 Insecticon moulds. That said, in his own right, he is still a very decent figure. Also, I think that the additions made to Chop Shop marginally improve the figure overall, and the paintjob is awesome.