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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's review of: WST Bumblebee (red)

Name:WST GTF X-2 Red Bumblebee
Allegiance: Cybertron / Autobot
Function: Espionage

Quote: “The least likely can be the most dangerous.”

Small, eager, and brave, Bumblebee acts as messenger and spy. Due to his small size, he dares to go where others can't and won't. He idolizes the bigger Autobots, especially Optimus Prime and Prowl, and strives to be accepted. He is the most energy efficient and has the best vision of all the Autobots. He can go underwater for reconnaissance and salvage missions. Although physically the weakest Autobot, his stealth more than compensates for this inadequacy.

NOTE: Tech-spec and bio lifted from G1 US Bumblebee.

Well, as a fan of wee Transformers, and a fan of Bumblebee, it was fairly predictable that this review would come along!

Coupling both of these loves, GTF X-2 Red Bumble was one of the chase figures from the first series of World's Smallest Transformers. These toys, produced by Takara in 2003, were all blind packaged, and available only in Japan. Strangely, the series picked up a very strong foreign following (including myself...), and now a lot of these figures go for a handsome price (depending upon availability, of course).

Of course, Red Bumblebee (also called 'Cliffjumper' by a large number of fans) was one of the rarer figures, being a 'chase', and I honestly never had any high hopes of owning him. In the end, I got him in a lot along with my goal - WST Convoy Trailer (amongst others)! I wasn't sure whether I'd be keeping him, or selling along with the rest of the lot, but that was me being just stupid. As soon as I saw this guy, I knew he'd found a permanent home!


Alternate Mode:

As with his G1 counterpart, and mainline yellow WST Bumble, Red Bumble turns into a VW Beetle. Oh, and he's red.

Although many complain that he does not really qualify as a 'smallest' Transformer, Bumblebee is actually the smallest World's Smallest Transformer available packaged alone.

In VW Beetle mode, this little guy measures exactly 1” (2.5cm) long! Although the G1 Bumblebee is only 2” (5cm) long, I'd still say this little guy qualifies as a World's Smallest Transformer!

The proportions are ever-so-slightly different than the original, but this actually gives a more realistic alternate mode than the stylised original. Molded detailing is also superior to the G1 Bumblebee in this mode, and he actually has silver painted headlights!

There are, of course, negatives as well. Alas, he does not have a sticker or decal to match the spare on the back of the G1 Bumblebee, nor does he have moving wheels. Although I understand why, I do feel that some degree of detail of just some kind would have broken the monotony of the hubcaps. As they are, the wheels detract from the more realistic proportions used in this tiny Bumblebee.

Red suits the VW Beetle mode well – perhaps, in this case, better than the yellow plastic used for GTF-04 Bumblebee.


Robot Mode:

WST Bumblebee follows exactly the same transformation as his G1 predecessor. This is perhaps one of the reasons folks complain about him, as this is rather simple – but he is a miniature version of a simple Transformer!

Unfortunately, all aspects are stiff, and rather terrifying in my guy at least.

Standing 1 3/4” (4.5cm) tall (G1 Bumblebee stands 3” [7.5cm] tall), he is still the smallest World's Smallest Transformer, followed closely by Soundwave.

Detailing in this mode is once again excellent, with the original G1 head sculpt reproduced beautifully even! Red is the colour of the day, although silver is used again on the face. The Autobot insignia stands proud on his slightly less dumpy chest, outlined in white. The detailing is so good, that the fingers on the hands have even been molded in!

There are negatives, though. The alternate struts supporting the arms have an equal sized gap (so totally disproportionately large) between them. This means that the arms rotate from wildly different points, making it difficult to pose the wee fellow. Also, as is often cited, the feet are not separate (although there is a molded line demarcating where this separation would be, at least).

As with the red version of G1 Bumblebee, the figure looks a lot more menacing (or less cute, at least) than the yellow incarnation. In my view, he also looks a little less fake, for lack of a better word.

Still, he is a well worthy addition to a collection of wee Transformers, especially for a Bumblebee fan.


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 4 – Very simple, but cool, and small!
Durability: 5 – Although size means he doesn't break from a fall quite so easily, he could go missing, and his joints are way too stiff...
Fun: 7 – He's a miniature Bumblebee! So he's gotta be at least as fun as the original... (And even more fun if you love wee Tfs!)
Price: ? - To be fair, I have been unable to track down a single price for this guy going at the moment. The yellow version carries a price-tag of £2 - £10 ($4 - $19), which is a huge range as it is. It's difficult to get solid info on this chase figure, so I'm afraid you'd have to take the prices as they appear and judge yourself. I'd expect he'll be overpriced by a fair whack, though. As mine was part of a lot, I'll break even selling the rest – but by division he cost me £8.12 ($15), including postage from the US. I'm very pleased with that anyhoo!
Overall: 2 – He ain't a must-own. I'd say WST Bumblebee in some form is, but this is merely an expensive rarity at the end of the day. Still a nice addition to a collection of tiny chaps!

 
 
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