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Knightdramon's review: Bumblebee (2008 Camaro)

Name: Bumblebee
Function: Warrior\Guardian
Allegiance: Autobot
Scale: 1/36

The last figure I needed in order to complete my movie Autobot cast was Bumblebee. For the way I figure it, I had two options: either import one from Japan (August 10th) or import one from the US. Waiting to see him in stores in Greece was NOT an option. Thankfully, I spotted the pre-order at BBTS before the price went up and received him at around the same time he started popping up in stores, give or take a few days.

The character Bumblebee appears in two forms throughout the movie-a dirty and used '74/76 Camaro and a brand new 08 Camaro (called Concept Camaro on the box). As far as I can see, there's not even a single part in common between the two deluxe releases, which is a good thing. The "old" Bumblebee is, in my opinion, vastly inferior to this release.

Vehicle Mode

This time, Bumblebee makes an awing appearance as a Concept\08 Chevrolet Camaro. I won't lie to you; this really is one of the best, if not the best deluxe car on the market for the past 5 years. His car mode made a better impression than most of his teammates, with lots of sculpted details AND the colours to bring them out. Bumblebee measures around 14-15 centimetres from one end to another, effectively bringing him at around 1/36 scale.

Bumblebee is cast in yellow (leaning to orange), black and clear navy blue plastic. All four wheels are cast in black, the doors and windshields are navy blue and the rest of the car is yellow\orange. Silver paint is used for the hubcaps, front Chevrolet logo, headlights and exhaust pipes. Red is used for the brake lights, and black stripes run across the hood and rear end of the vehicle. On both occasions, the black stripes run along more than one panels, yet manage to appear unified and not spaced out. It should be noted that both doors open, but reveal squashed up robot parts inside.

The only paint application this Bee seems to be missing is the Chevrolet logo on the rear and any sort of painted license plate. All other parts are painted or cast in the right colours.

Overall, this is the definite winner in the deluxe scale of the movie figures. The only other contestant for such a lavish vehicle mode is his rival, Barricade (they also appear to be on the same scale), but it's a close match. An absolutely stunning vehicle mode that's very reminiscent of a smaller scale Alternator.

Robot Mode

Compared to Barricade and Jazz, this guy's transformation is a breeze. There's no annoying pegs that the hands clip onto, no punching gimmick that activates by accident and the arms transform in a way that doesn't have you thinking you'll break the figure. Bumblebee stands at around 14 centimetres from toe to head, a bit taller when you take into consideration the doors.

The only new colour that shows up is a hint of white that's supposed to represent a license plate on his abdomen. "4NZZ Z454" is painted on the license plate. Other than that, I'm happy to see that the designers opted to paint some details rather than leave them unpainted. His waist is painted metallic blue with hints of orange\yellow, his forearms are painted yellow in some parts to bring out an armour panel, and his face is painted black with silver. Mine had some over spray of the silver, but overall it's stellar.

Bumblebee is averagely articulated, because while he has the mobility and the joints, some of them are in useless places. He has three points of articulation on each leg, them being foot, knee and hip to body. It should be noted that his knee is a bit higher than normal. He has waist articulation in the form of a ball joint (I see this one stressing easily because of all the weight it supports) and six points of articulation on each arm. I'm counting based on the fact that his shoulders can move in many ways because of the transformation method, but it's not really useful in posing. His arms are connected on the main body via ball joints, there's a swivel joint just above the elbow, a pseudo-ratchet elbow and ball jointed wrists. Lastly, the head design is reminiscent of MP Starscream, as there's a ball jointed neck above a swiveling joint. Bumblebee can look in all directions, unlike most of his comrades.

There are some details that are brought to the foreground by intricate sculpting, but they're considerably less than other figures. Because Bumblebee basically a very elegant shell former, only his arms and lower legs along with the waist are pieces that are relatively car-free. Cogs, panels and vents are replicated on all these parts, but they're not plentiful. I'll make an exception with this figure and say that I don't mind; it's otherwise perfect. All the car parts left and right replicate the movie model quite nicely.

Last but not least, Bumblebee comes armed with a killer weapon. It's a huge cannon, not unlike the one he carries in the movie, but at the separation of the muzzle, a navy blue clear blade pops out (the whole assembly works with gears).

Automorph Gimmick

Bumblebee features two (three if you count the weapon) automorph gimmicks that basically, transform the figure for you. By pulling his hood down (gently) the whole arm-shoulders assembly moves into place. Additionally, by pulling his "heels" down from the rear of the car, the entire lower leg basically unfolds, snaps panels out of the way and transforms itself. None of these gimmicks interfere with the overall integrity or durability of the figure.

To sum things up, Bumblebee is the winner of winners in the movie line. The fantastic vehicle mode, the accurate and poseable robot mode and the mind-blowing transformation in the middle make a tremendous figure. Bumblebee is to the movie deluxes what Mirage was to Classics Deluxes, plain and simple.

Transformation: 9. I wasn't sure if I needed to mark this at all since the figure nearly transforms itself, but it does get full marks for innovation and execution.
Durability: 9. The automorph gimmicks seem steady and solid, but the ball joint on the waist WILL get loose.
Fun: 10. King of kings in both modes. Want to have a rally with the other autobots, keep him in vehicle mode. Want a bad ass robot? Transform him.
Price: 10++++. For the joints, paint applications and clear plastic used, they should be charging at least 5 bucks over the suggested retail price.
Overall: 10++. One of the best deluxe figures I ever had. Highly recommended. There's some two packs that include this figure, so even if you miss the initial shipment, there's still hope to get one.

 
 
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