Posted October 14, 2005 at 1:14 am

Clockwise, starting at top: The original Beast Wars Buzzclaw, Dirge, two Virulent Clones, and Buzzclaw.

Buzzclaw, Dirge, and the clone two-pack are all redecos of Buzzclaw. The first two were part of the 7-figure box set, and the last two could be purchased separately. Now, these guys are neat. Again, we see Yet More Black, but since Buzzclaw and Dirge are meant to evoke the classic Insecticon color scheme (black, purple, and gold, with red trim), I don't see how they'd get around that. And, frankly, the colors are vibrant enough that it doesn't bother me that much.

As you can see, the original Buzzclaw was bright little sucker. (The one shown is my pal Graham's. I sold mine a few years ago when I was short on cash.) He's also a Fuzor, which in this case means he's half lizard and half mantis. Oddly enough, the lizard half didn't keep him from being made into four Insecticons. Thankfully, the black replacing the green obscures his scales and lizard wrinkles nicely. (Another reason I don't mind so much.)

It's hard for me to decide whether I like Buzzclaw or Dirge more; it doesn't help that the only difference between the two is that their purple and gold are reversed. Dirge's translucent yellow is very pretty, but Buzzclaw's colors are a little more striking. But hey, if having to choose between which exclusive is the best is the worst thing about these guys... Hell, it's like old times again.

On the problem side of things, all four guys have an assembly error. Their mandibles are put in upside-down. Since this aligns the piece downward at a different angle, this gives the mandibles the appearance of a bandito mustache. Some people have managed to disassemble the head to flip it over, but other than removing the screw, there's also a rivet inside and the head halves are glued together. So, uh, I don't think I'm going to try. Hasbro is using the Buzzclaw toy later in the year (redecoed to be Repugnus), and the one on display in the cases at BotCon also had the mandibles upside-down. Well, I guess we can look forward to that.