Whirl was a little-used character until the IDW comics. He and Roadbuster were “Deluxe Autobots” in the second series of toys, but they were never in the TV show or the Marvel comics, so they were pretty much forgotten.
In the IDW comics Whirl really gets a chance to shine. He inadvertently helped convince Megatron to rebel against the Autobots, igniting the Great War that lasted for millions of years. As a punishment, Whirl had his hands and face removed. His hands were replaced with claws and his face with just a single dot that lit up, similar to the Decepticon Shockwave’s face.
Later Whirl joined the elite Autobot strike force the Wreckers, but he was eventually cast out for being too reckless. He joins up with the crew of the Lost Light, where he and Cyclonus have a mutual hatred of each other. In the More Than Meets the Eye series, Whirl is kind of the Deadpool of the group—a great fighter but a real goofball and also hideously disfigured.
He finally had his toy reissued a couple of years ago, though his name might have been used some other time. One of the things to like about the IDW comics series is that they often take characters like Whirl who were nothings and actually make them interesting characters. If only Michael Bay could figure out how to do that!
Speaking of the IDW comics, Waspinator is one of the few Beast Wars character to crossover to those titles. Like in the Beast Wars TV series, Waspinator is a hapless foot soldier who like Kenny in South Park meets with tragedy on a frequent basis. Waspinator getting beat up or mangled was a recurring issue in the Beast Wars TV series. It kind of made him endearing. And I guess he was brave in a way to keep going out there even after all the times he was beaten up. In the final episode of the Beast Wars series Waspinator is left behind, inadvertently becoming the ruler of the primitive Earth—or so he thinks until some primitive humans take him down.
As you’d guess from the name, Waspinator turns into a wasp. There have been a couple of reissues of him, which is kind of surprising but I guess being a popular punching bag can do that for you.