Kickback (Transformers)

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Kickback is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers series.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Transformers character
Voiced byClive Revill[1]
Motto"Friend is another word for fool."
Alternate modesMechanical Grasshopper Insectrain (Rear) Logo.png Search Kickback (Transformers) on Logo.png Search Kickback (Transformers) on Amazon.

Kickback is the name of an Insecticon who turns into a giant mechanical grasshopper.[2]

Charming, but cruelly clever... makes friends so he can influence them to do his bidding by digging up facts he can hold against them. Humans are particularly susceptible to this Insecticon. In insect mode can jump 40 ft. for a distance of .1 miles... kick a hole in 1/4 inch steel. In robot mode can fly 30 mph up to 100 miles. Sub-machine gun fires 300 rounds per minute. Very vulnerable as insect and flying in high winds.[3]

Marvel Comics[edit]

A story called "The Gift" in issue 93 of the Marvel U.K. comics explored Jetfire's problems fitting in with the other Autobots. Wheeljack informed Optimus Prime of a news cast where they learned the Decepticons had taken over a NASA space monitoring facility near the Ark. Prowl and Trailbreaker, with Jetfire as backup engaged the Decepticons Soundwave, Kickback and Dirge as the Decepticons attempted to contact Cybertron with the facility's deep space radio equipment. Although Prowl ordered Jetfire to stop Soundwave from sending his message, Jetfire ignored the order to help save Prowl from Kickback's attack. With the transmission sent the Decepticons retreated victorious.

Later, Optimus Prime lead Prowl and Warpath to a meeting with President Ronald Reagan in Washington D.C. to open a dialog between the Autobots and the U.S. government. However Soundwave had intercepted word of the talks and informed Megatron, who decided send the Ravage and the Insecticons. The Insecticons did not attack the Autobots, but instead attacked the US military in the name of the Autobots. Prowl was badly damaged by one of Shrapnel's grenades during the battle. Although the Autobots managed to chase off the Insecticons Optimus Prime gave up on explaining the misunderstanding to Reagan, thinking he would never be believed. Reagan had been ready to hear what Optimus had to say and was disappointed they gave up so easily.[4]

Kickback appeared in issie #41 "Totaled!" He was among the Decepticon forces that attacked the Autobots on the moon.

Animated series[edit]

Kickback debuted with the rest of the Insecticons in the first-season episode, "A Plague of Insecticons". The Insecticons were a group of Decepticons, who fled the Nemesis four million years ago in an escape ship. The ship landed on the island of Bali in Indonesia where the Insecticons reformatted themselves to resemble insects. The Insecticons' stomachs could absorb most forms of energy and matter and use it to fuel the robots.

Kickback seemed to take a back seat to Bombshell and Shrapnel in the leadership department. He loved to use his powerful legs to cause trouble for the Autobots (i.e. kicking tree trunks at them), along with having the ability to create and control an unlimited number of clones of himself using just small pieces of scrap metal. At first Megatron was very pleased with meeting the Insecticons. However, once the tide of battle turned in the Autobots' favor, the Insecticons consumed the Decepticons' Energon. This began a feud between the Insecticons and the Decepticons.

The Decepticon/Insecticon feud continued throughout the second season. In The Transformers: The Movie, Kickback and the Insecticons were involved in the battle of Autobot City. Kickback, or one of his clones, suffered major injuries when he was knocked over by Hot Rod and then quickly had his head crushed by Kup and later gunned down by Optimus Prime. As a result, Kickback was among the Decepticons who were ejected into space during their return trip to Cybertron, and was transformed into one of the Sweeps by Unicron.

Kickback can be seen among the Decepticons on Cybertron scattered by the arrival of Galvatron and Cyclonus, as well as other small appearances in the third season. If the version that was damaged in the movie was the original or a clone, was never stated.


Kickback was featured in the 1985 Find Your Fate Junior book called Dinobots Strike Back by Casey Todd.[5] He is also featured in the 1985 book "Insecticon Attack!" published by Budget Books PTY LTD. for the Australian market under licence by Hasbro, and Marvel Books for the US market. In this book he is partnered with another Insecticon named Bombshell.[6]

IDW Publishing[edit]

Kickback would make his first appearance in Transformers: Megatron Origin, where he could be seen among Megatron's troops during the battle at Kaon. Later, in the events of All Hail Megatron, he is created alongside his partners, Shrapnel and Bombshell, and sent to Earth and arrive at New York. He and the Insecticons go to Beijing and wreck it, but are afterwards bullied by Skywarp.

The Insecticons are featured in The Transformers: Evolutions comic series. Together Bombshell, Shrapnel and Kickback combine into a Decepticon Battle Train.


  • Generation 1 Insecticon Kickback (1985)
Based on a Diaclone toy. This toy was later recolored into ehobby exclusive Shot Hole, done in the original Diaclone colors.[7]
  • Universe Insecticon Kickback (2009)
A Toys R us store exclusive packaged with Shrapnel and Bombshell.

Transformers: Energon[edit]

Transformers character
Japanese nameBrawl
Sub-groupBasic Vehicles
FunctionGround Assault
PartnerBarricade, Blackout, Blight, and Stormcloud
Alternate modesGepard Logo.png Search Kickback (Transformers) on Logo.png Search Kickback (Transformers) on Amazon.

Kickback was a member of the Decepticon Destruction Team who transformed into a tank. He was able to combine with his team to form a limb of the giant robot Bruticus Maximus.

Animated series[edit]

In the Energon TV show, Kickback was commanded by team leader Barricade. As with all of the Energon combiner limbs, Kickback has a twin brother on his team - Blight. Their Energon weapons are a cannon and a pair of guns. In the Japanese series, each member had the name of an original Combaticon - Kickback's name was Brawl.

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

Although the Transformers: Energon comic book series by Dreamwave Productions was canceled before Kickback could appear in them, the Energon "More Than Meets The Eye" guide book was under development at the time. Pencil art by Guido Guidi was released later showing the art that would have been used with Kickback's profile.

Video game[edit]

This version of Kickback is a Mini-Con from the Transformers: Armada video game. He generates a force field.


  • Energon Basic Kickback
This toy shared a mold with Energon Blight, and was later recolored into Landquake and movie Gunbarrel. A real Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard is 768 centimeters long, while this toy is 10 centimeters long, giving it a scale of about 1/77. With the toy standing 11 centimeters tall as a robot, the real world robot would stand about 847 centimeters (27 feet 9 inches) tall.


Transformers character
Alternate modesMechanical grasshopper
Bulldozer Logo.png Search Kickback (Transformers) on Logo.png Search Kickback (Transformers) on Amazon.

The Sector 7 viral marketing web site featured several videos recording supposed evidence of Transformers on Earth. These featured cameos by Generation 1 Transformers, including scenes of Grimlock destroying a construction site, as well as scenes of Kickback and Laserbeak being video taped by people accidentally, and a security video showing bits of a robot looking a lot like Generation 1 Bumblebee transforming in a parking garage.[8]

A version of Kickback appears among the Decepticons loyal to Megatron in the book Transformers: The Veiled Threat by Alan Dean Foster. Kickback is a Decepticon Bulldozer who worked with the Decepticon brothers Tread and Trample in Australia to mine Uranium, which they planned to use to revive Megatron. Kickback is killed by Optimus Prime.

Shattered Glass[edit]

Transformers character
Alternate modesGiant mechanical grasshopper Logo.png Search Kickback (Transformers) on Logo.png Search Kickback (Transformers) on Amazon.

This character is one of Megatron's heroic Decepticons, but secretly loyal to Alpha Trion. He is depicted as looking like the Generation 1 character Shothole.

Fun Publications[edit]

A character named Kickback appears in the story "Reunification" by Fun Publications.


  • Generation 1 Insecticon Shothole
An ehobby exclusive recolor of Kickback.

Aligned Continuity[edit]

Transformers character
Voiced byTroy Baker (Transformers: Fall of Cybertron)
Liam O'Brien (Transformers: Robots in Disguise)
PartnerSharpshot, Hardshell
Alternate modesMechanical grasshopper
Formula race car Logo.png Search Kickback (Transformers) on Logo.png Search Kickback (Transformers) on Amazon.

Kickback is an Insecticon who turns into a mechanical grasshopper like in previous incarnations. However, upon arriving on Earth, he adopts a formula race car altmode, yet retaining a grasshopper-themed robot mode. He is mentioned as having formed alliances with nearly every known Decepticon on Cybertron, thus leading to his imprisonment on board the Alchemor, until he escaped after the prison ship crashed on Earth.


Kickback appears in the 2012 game Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. He is one of three Insecticons modified by Shockwave that receive heightened intelligence. Kickback, Hardshell and Sharpshot join Shockwave in viewing Grimlock, as witnessed by Starscream before he set the Dinobot free. Kickback volunteers to assist Shockwave in unlocking Grimlock's ability to transform, and sends several of his fellow Insecticons to attack the Dinobot. Eventually Grimlock's rage allows him to transform into a mechanical Tyrannosaurus, and once his legion is defeated, Kickback tries to escape, only to be partially crushed under a fallen door by Slug.

Animated series[edit]

Kickback is an Insecticon prisoner. He transforms into a Drag Racing Car and his robot mode is grasshopper-themed. After escaping in the episode "Lockout," Kickback tried to join up with Steeljaw's gang only for them to tie him up and use him as bait to lure the Autobots away from their scrapyard base. They freed him prompting the toadying Kickback to ask if the Autobots needed a new sidekick. When they refused, Kickback used his side kick to escape his captors whereupon he immediately transformed and fled. In "Metal Meltdown" Kickback is seen as part of Glowstripe's crew. Kickback is presumably captured during the "Decepticon Island" two parter.


  • Generations Fall of Cybertron Deluxe Kickback (2012)
A Fall of Cybertron toy in the Generations line.[9]


  1. Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Third Edition. Infobase Publishing. p. 656. ISBN 978-0-8160-6599-8. Search this book on Logo.png
  2. Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 25. ISBN 0764313649. Search this book on Logo.png
  3. Furman, Simon (2004). Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. DK Publishing Inc. p. 26. ISBN 1405304618. Search this book on Logo.png
  4. Marvel Transformers U.K. Annual 1985
  6. "In Space, No One Can Hear Starscream - Insecticon Attack!".
  7. Lee's Guide to Loose 1985 Transformers: The Decepticons. Lee's Toy Review magazine, issue #201, August 2009
  8. "Transformers Movie Update: Sector Seven Video Gives Nod To Dinobots, Insecticons, Lazerbeak And Generation One Bumblebee". Jalopnik. 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
  9. "Botcon 2012 Panel - Hasbro Brand Team - "The Hasbro Panel" - Transformers News - TFW2005". 2012-04-28.

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