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

Name: Scanning Bumblebee (Hyper Hobby Exclusive)
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Movie Legends / EZ Collection (Legends of Cybertron) Exclusive

The Movie Legends moulds are a rather mixed lot, as with the previous Legends of Cybertron series. However, where there are some astoundingly excellent moulds from the previous lines, the quality has been lowered by the Movie releases. Now, the best moulds are average, while the worst are astoundingly awful (Jazz epitomizes this!). However, the better moulds are likely to find their way into collections of small Transformers, and are best measured by fun value, as opposed to aesthetics.

LOC Movie Bumblebee is one of the surprise successes of this line. The mould, on first inspection, looks rather poor, and I only picked up the original release because of my affinity to Bumblebee (G1 Bumblebee was my first Transformer, and I’ve been hooked since). However, the style was reminiscent of the G1 Minibots, and I found him to be excellent fun, if not the best representation of the Movie character (nor is he among the best wee Transformers out there).

Given how enjoyable the figure was, I decided I’d try and hunt down the exclusive Japanese clear version (for the right price), to add to my collection of wee Transformers. This figure was only available as an exclusive with the September 2007 issue of Hyper Hobby magazine (which featured a short article on the Transformers live action movie line). It represents Bumblebee at the point when he scans the ’08 Camaro in the film, and is between forms.

Given I’ve already reviewed the standard release of this mould, I’m going to concentrate on the details and merits of this exclusive version. For a more exhaustive look at the mould, you’d be better reading the review of LOC Movie Bumblebee.


Alternate Mode:

Bumblebee comes packaged in his alternate mode (unusual for Legends class figures) - which is the '74 Camaro, as opposed to the '08 (which does not have a Legends class interpretation to date).

The clear yellow plastic is darker than the yellow used in the standard release, and transmits light well. There are n painted details in this mode, emphasizing the transient nature of the moment Bumblebee scans his new alternate mode. Black plastic is used for the upper legs, shoulders, and spine – which are all visible through the clear yellow shell. The wheels are also black.

There are a number of interesting shapes within the plastic, which give a techno feel – in particular, details moulded on the insides of the doors which are revealed in the standard release only in robot mode can be seen quite clearly.

The effect is fun, and, having no painted details, it avoids some of the issues that bring down the standard release (such as the unpainted rear windows) – however, this is just by chance. This mode, while fun (and superior to clear Spychangers which are of similar size in intricacy and detail), is not quite as enjoyable as the standard release, and is more of a novelty.


Robot Mode:

The robot mode is considerably more exciting than the Camaro!

There are far more details visible through the plastic, giving a wonderfully techno-feel, a harking back to that afforded in the original Transformers Movie when Unicron scans the decrepit fallen Decepticons and reformats them – which is rather appropriate. In particular, those doors / wings are fabulous!

Little paint has been used in this mode, although it is unavoidable (thankfully) that some would be needed to pick out details on the face. Silver is used to highlight elements of the face, while the eyes are metallic blue. A silver Autobot insignia is located on the chest, in the same place as with the standard release.

The ball joints in the shoulders are slightly looser than in my standard release version, which allows for the doors / wings to be positioned more accurately. Whether this is a fluke, or not, I don’t know.

All in all, the robot mode is very impressive, and looks just fabulous on display, and outshines the mass retail LOC Movie Bumblebee (although does not site alongside the G1 Minibot quite so well…).


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 3 – Very easy, but fun!
Durability: 7 – The clear plastic feels a little more brittle than the standard release.
Fun: 7 – It’s scene specific, but it’s fun! And the clear plastic makes for an interesting display piece in robot mode. However, the Camaro mode looks rather plain, and the mould is a disappointment compared with older LOC figures.
Price: 6 – The price ranges wildly, but I picked mine up at 6 (including postage – around $12). At that price, he’s worth it for a collector of wee Transformers, but not for the casual fan. That said, he’s probably the most affordable LOC exclusive – but the Cybertron LOC Seekers, although more expensive, really deliver.
Overall: 4 – Given how affordable he is, Scanning Bumblebee could be a happy novelty in any collection. However, unless you are particularly keen on Bumblebee or wee Transformers, it’s likely you won’t bother to track him down.
 
 
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