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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Auntie Slag's review of: Bumblebee

Name: Bumblebee
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Scout
Sub-Group: Minicars
"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.

And there shall come... a leader!

Words that will never be attributed to Bumblebee; the smallest, weakest, yellowest Autobot of them all. His lack of strength may be legendary, but so is his incredible stadium filling charisma. For what he lacks in almost everything else, he makes up for in this intangible, and therefore monetarily redundant quality.

Vehicle Mode:
If you've managed to click on this page, you're probably interested enough in Transformers to know who and what Bumblebee is. But if you've been blind drunk all your life (and I'm sure some of you have), and managed to navigate your way here through sheer coincidence, then suddenly sobered up and begun wondering where your pants are, fear not. They are tied to a street lamp two blocks away, but Bumblebee.... Bumblebee transforms into an amazing, high tech, super sexy...... Volkswagon Beetle.

Okay so not amazingly sexy, but there's a buyer for every car (believe me, that's what I'm counting on). Although he's not a totally accurate scale model of a VW Bug, he is nevertheless outstandingly cute, especially when compared to say..... Shockwave, or some feces. Everything about him screams cuddliness. He's Herbie the Love Bug, only cuter. He possesses four, count 'em, FOUR independently rotating wheels that go both clockwise and counter-clockwise. This amounts to almost limitless possibilities, provided all your possibilities consist of only ever going forward or back. If you push him with enough forward velocity, he will go up inclines. This motion will depend entirely upon the steepness of the incline, and how much you can bench press. Remember, if in trouble, consult an adult, or other authority figure.

Bumblebee will happily play with all your other Transformers, even other toylines, if you're that way inclined (you dirty b****)! Why you ask? because Bumblebee was 'everybody's Transformer'. He was the blue collar bot, equally happy working down the mines, or running errands for big boss bot Prime. He is the 'yellow man' of which Springsteen sings, THAT'S how deeply ingrained into Western psyche Bumblebee is.

It should also be noted at this point that none of his doors open, and his bumper is not changeable, so don't try.

Robot Mode:
Transforming Bumblebee is a lot harder than it initially appears. Firstly, sit yourself down and breathe deeply. Next, consult the instruction manual. What? you didn't get a manual? No, you haven't been jipped, that's just Hasbro ****in' wit you (Sorry, had a Marcellus Wallace moment there).

Some people like to have Bumblebee in car mode facing them, others prefer to have him positioned to the side. It may be that these people fear confrontation, or are just pathetically sad. Nevertheless, whichever way you choose, use one hand (preferably your left or your right), with which to grasp the hood and undercarriage of the Volkswagon. Then, with your other hand (you should, all things being equal, still have one hand free at this point), position your opposeable thumb and fingers around his bonnet and clamp down. Ever so slowly, with your bonnet hand, pull backwards in a lateral motion whilst still maintaining a static, clean grip with your other appendage. Remember to take your time and don't panic. If in doubt, consult a physician.

The bonnet should now have come free from the central section. The more observant amongst you will also notice that there are two long black pillars attached between the central section and the bonnet. These are in fact Bumblebee's legs when in robot mode. Take a moment for pause and reflection if need be. Its exciting stuff I know.

Next, address the wheels. Rather interestingly you will find that on either side of the vehicle the wheels are connected by a similar long black pillar-like section of plastic. These are in fact, Bumblebee's arms in robot mode. They should be extended outward from the central section of the car. There is no immediate indication as to where the user should stop extending, but the general rule of thumb is to stop when you get tired of pulling (indeed this is true in all aspects of your life). What you should be left with, is a hyper extended bonnet connected by columns, and the same with the arms, only extended outwards.

We're about 50% of the way through the transformation process now, so give yourself a pat on the back if you haven't done so already. Feel better? good.

Now, remember those columns attached to the now hyper extended bonnet? (if not, refer to previous paragraph). Well there is a pivot joint connecting the two. It is around this pivot that you must slowly and surely swing the two parts into a 45 degree position. There is no positive 'click' sound to indicate that you have completed this task properly, and there is no latch to lock this part of the transformation into place. I consider this to be an oversight on Hasbro's part, which resulted in many children's bumblebee's unexpectedly falling over. As you can imagine, this caused much distress, which is why I feel its pertinent to inform you of the risks you are exposing yourself to. But do press on with this. It is only by doing that we learn, and it is only by learning that we become real men, like me.

Your robot transformation is almost complete. Attempt to stand your Bumblebee up. If you have followed the instructions thus far, your robot should be a free-standing individual. The only thing missing now is his head. Now comes the clever part.

Think back to the time when you had your Bumblebee in Volkswagon mode. On the back he bore a shiny chrome-like square, where a feaux spare wheel decal had been placed by the manufacturer. You are right to be confused, it is precisely this part of the design that conceals Bumblebee's head. Place one of your fingernails around the edge of this chrome square and tease out the head ever so slightly. Be gentle and it will come. If you don't have any fingernails, get your sister to help you. If you don't have a sister, encourage liberal unprotected copulation methods between your parents, then sit back for 5-6 years.

Congratulations, you should now be standing (or sitting) before a fully transformed Bumblebee. Marvel at his intricate detailing. Gasp at his lack of weapons. To change him back into a VW Beetle, simply reverse the process, then repeat for added enjoyment.

Transformation: 3 - Provided you stick to the plan, trouble free transformations shall bless you the rest of your unnatural life.
Durability: 2 - Easily broken. His arms, legs and head can snap at the drop of a hat. Always exercise caution and patience, young padawan.
Fun: 3 - If swedish penis enlargers really aren't your bag, you'll love this.
Price: 3 - Bumblebee is the quintessential mini-Autobot volkswagon, and one of the major personalities in both the cartoons and the comics (which isn't saying much). Expect to pay top dollar for him, compared to similar toys who never got an acting part.
Summary: 8 - Love comes and goes, people die, nations crumble.... but Bumblebee will always be a cool little transformer whose yellowness and endearing cuteness will make you put down that gun and consider your actions every time you gaze upon him. And if that doesn't do it for you, just die already.

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