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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Detective Barricade's review: Bumblebee

Name: Bumblebee
Function: Autobot Speedster
Sub-Group: Animated Deluxe class

"Enough talk. It’s time for action!"

The youngest robot on the crew, Bumblebee is what some - especially Autobot Ratchet - would call over-eager. It’s not his fault he prefers action over talk. Talk is just, you know, boring. Especially when you could be racing at top speed into a fight, or boosting into the air to launch a few well-placed energy stingers at an enemy. Nothing scares Bumblebee, not even Megatron.

Alright, I want to know who wrote this bio. Do they even watch the show? Big difference between Bumblebee in the Movie and in Animated. Movie Bumblebee was mostly mute, no thanks to Megatron crushing his voice transmitter. Animated Bumblebee won’t shut up! As for the “not even Megatron scares him” part, to quote Yoda, “You will be. You will be...” OK, now that that’s out of the system, let’s get on to reviewing the figure!

Alternate Mode:

Bumblebee becomes an exact duplicate of Chief Fanzone’s car, which is based on a sports coupe. And it’s cute! Not much gives away his disguise here. He’s even got a trunk for small, female human replicas, fuzzy cube thingies, air fresheners, and even a custom car horn! (Actually, it’s space for the torso to rotate into, but the piece on the back can move up to allow a few small objects to be stored in there). As with most car-formers, the robot parts make no attempt to be disguised as anything other than robot parts.

The few colors on ‘Bee include yellow primarily, with a black stripe running down the left side. The windows and all other translucent pieces are blue. There are also three different shades of silver: very light silver for the headlights, darker silver for the Autobot symbols, and a silver-grey for his face, hubs, and details on the boosters. And a red siren light of the sort that would be placed on top of a car used by an undercover officer. And no, it doesn’t come off.

Just a couple of gimmicks here. In either mode, you can stick a pair of boosters into peg holes in the rear windows, as seen in the episodes “Nanosec” and “Velocity”. They fit in there very, very tightly, and can even help release those panels during transformation. In robot mode, ‘Bee has a pair of energy stingers that can be put together for stronger electrical blasts. They need to be put together for vehicle. There’s a few problems with them, though. The first, in the show, the stingers rotate in place of his hands and sit where his hands usually are. Since this is virtually impossible to do with today’s limitations, they fold out a different way, and thus look odd. Speaking of which, the stingers don’t fold all the way in, despite space being designed to fit them. Yet another thing Hasbro dropped the ball on... There are two small pieces of excess plastic just beside the hinge that can be trimmed to allow them to fold completely away.

Robot Mode:

To transform Bumblebee, just watch an episode of Transformers Animated. Other than sticking the boosters on to assist with the first step, the figure follows the stock footage very closely. Getting the feet to separate can be slightly tricky, but that’s the way it should be. It means that there’s no fear of the vehicle coming apart literally at the seams!

In robot mode, ‘Bee looks absolutely adorable! (In a childish sense). Though the stripe now runs down the wrong side, it couldn’t be helped as the waist turns 180 degrees for transformation. What could’ve been helped though is the stripe being continued down his leg. Very little kibble to get in the way, and he’s got what’s called anti-kibble: the chest is fake. It doesn’t form any part of the roof in vehicle! And the screw that helps hold his waist together ends up in an... unfortunate place...

Due to all the twists and turns of transformation, Bumblebee has quite an assortment of points of articulation. The head, shoulders, hips, and toes are all on ball joints. When ball joints work well, like on this figure, they’re one of the best methods of giving some movement to a figure! Moving right along, there are two joints in each arm not counting the hand, the waist and shins swivel, and the knee bends back and forward. He also has some pretty good balance, rivaling that of Prowl or Jazz!

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 4 Transforms just like on the show! The boosters really help as well!
Durability: 9 Don’t let the cheap KO color fool you. This plastic is tough and scrappy! (OK maybe not scrappy)
Fun: 10 As if the monkeys had a chance...
Price: 9 $10USD If you like the character, this is a steal! If not, at least it’s not a big waste of money.
Overall: 9 He may be small and scrappy, but he’s too adorable to pass up!
 
 
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