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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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numbat's review of: Bumblebee
(red variant)

Name: Bumblebee
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Espionage
Sub-Group: Minibot
“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.'

Bumblebee was my first, and favourite, Transformer, and so this review is likely to be biased, even if I were to try to be objective. In fact, I liked him so much, people didn’t ever seem to get the idea that one Bumblebee toy was enough, and, given the low price tag, I ended up with four! The little guy has left me with an ingrained love of VW Beetles – yellow ones in particular!

But this review is of the red variant, which I was lucky enough to come by recently. It is one of the rarest Minibots – being a leftover from Takara’s ‘Microman’ line.

As this is particularly a review of the Red Variant, I don’t see much reason to go too far in-depth with details that can be picked up from the standard version’s review. This should help reduce the bias!

Alternate Mode:
Bumblebee’s alternate mode is – wait for it – a VW Beetle! Bet you didn’t see that one coming!

In actuality, it is a stylised, manga-cute version of a VW Beetle – but, don’t let that put you off – it is a lovely alternate mode! I do particularly like the recessed black-plastic windows, and the tyre sticker on the back of the car.

The car does look nice in the rich red, without a doubt.

Robot Mode:
Pull the arms out, legs down, feet out, and flip the head up! Walla! You have the robot version of Bumblebee!

I’ve always liked Bumblebee’s robot mode. It is actually very nicely proportioned for such an old and small Transformer. The head is particularly nifty (and nothing like the cartoon version, of course!). In fact, the head offsets the whole ‘cute’ thing quite nicely.

But we all know this! What about the Red Variant thing? Well, in my opinion, it makes Bumblebee look a whole lot more, um serious, for lack of a better word. Not as friendly as he is in yellow. Bordering on the evil if Bumblebee can ever be.

Transformation: 4 – It’s Bumblebee! Dead easy, but pretty cool all the same.
Durability: 7 – He seems to stand up pretty well in my experience, and this guy’s old and in good shape too!
Fun: 7 – Ok, here’s the attempt at non-biased. He is great fun if you like VW Beetles, and he does look good on your shelf, but he isn’t the most fun thing ever.
Price: 2 (?) – Looking on E-Bay, the average seems to be around £10 ($18). A lot of money for a minibot, nifty as he may be. I got mine for 99p ($1.75) though (E-Bay…), so there are bargains out there, and he’s well worth it if you can find one!
Overall: 7 – He’s generally expensive, and he is the same as the standard Bumblebee, except for the red paintjob. If you aren’t a big fan, he ain’t worth it, unless you hit a bargain – if you are a Bumblebee or VW Beetle fan, then things may be a little different…
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