You know it’s been a busy couple of weeks here at FigureFan Central when I let a bunch of Transformers comic packs sit around unopened. Yes, I’ve had a lot of stuff rolling in and I’m trying to get to everything in a reasonable amount of time. Well, I’m starting to catch up a bit so let’s tear open another one of these today… hey, look it’s Bumblebee!
Wow, this is an impressive piece of packaging. Bumblebee is carded in robot mode and between him and his weapons, he fills out the bubble admirably. You also get the comic book behind him with the exclusive Hasbro cover. This is award winning packaging. When I see it on the pegs, I want to buy it, even though I already have own it. I’m extra pleased to get the comic, because I wasn’t following this run when it was out. Bumblebee isn’t really in More Than Meets The Eye much, and I’ve only started reading Robots In Disguise where he’s been reformatted into a different body back on Cybertron. The comic is decent enough. It’s been tough for me to adopt the idea of Bumblebee as Autobot leader, and this issue addresses some of that a bit. On the other hand, it features two of my favorite Transformers, Thundercracker and Prowl, so I found it to be a good read even though it didn’t send me scrambling to Comixology to download more. Let’s start with Bumblebee’s alt mode.
Drawing from the comic design, which makes some nods to the Bayformer design, Bumblebee is for all intents and purposes a concept Chevy Camero. The design certainly has some cool features, like the split spoiler in the back and the flared hood, which makes it look like a powerful machine. Little touches include the dual tailpipes, detailed headlights, and the rather nicely sculpted wheels. The clear windows and windshield are always a plus in my book, even if the rear window is painted on. I’ll also point out that Bumblebee is a nicely sized vehicle for a Deluxe. While he doesn’t dwarf any of the TF: Prime Deluxes, if you put him next to a figure like Cliffjumper or Bumblebee, he is noticeably bigger.
While size has improved, I’m still not completely satisfied with the deco, or to be more accurate, the plastic. There’s something about the yellow plastic used here that doesn’t do it for me. It’s similar to the stuff used for Prime Bumblebee, but in this case it’s lighter and looks a little worse. It doesn’t feel cheap, but it kind of looks like it. More paint apps would have probably helped, and while this vehicle makes out a little better than Prime Bumblebee in that department, it still feels like it could have used a little more something in the deco.
Bumblebee’s weapons can peg into the ports located on each side near his spoiler giving him some firepower while in his alt mode. I approve, but then I’m a pretty big fan of cars loaded out to deal damage. Your mileage may vary.
Transforming Bumblebee to robot mode is easy. Getting him back into vehicle mode is a pain in the ass because of some subtle shifting that occurs with his rear window. Nonetheless, once in robot mode Bumblebee has his ups and his downs. Hasbro certainly did a nice job converting the comic design into a working Transformer. Yes, Bee uses some trickery. The chest, which is obviously supposed to be the hood is faked out, but I’m willing to cut them some slack for having to reverse engineer this guy. I like the proportions a lot. He’s a pretty clean looking robot. The head sculpt is very cool and very G1 inspired.
My biggest issue here is the shoulders, in that I wish they were stationary. When you move Bee’s arms, the whole shoulder assembly moves with them and it’s kind of awkward. The way the doors become wings is a nice homage to the Bayformer design and to some extent classic Autobot design as well, but if the shoulders were fixed, this figure would have turned out a lot better for me. I’ve had a lot of fun playing with and posing most of the recent Transformers releases, but Bee here just isn’t one of them. On a brighter note, a lot of the deco issues I have with Bee’s alt mode are toned down in his robot mode. He has more black showing and grey thighs. It helps to break up the shabby looking yellow plastic a bit and make him a lot more interesting.
Bumblebee’s weapons can be wielded in either of his hands, or you can clip them together to make one really cool looking cannon. Peg ports on the forearms would have been a nice option, but that’s OK, because I’d still probably prefer to display him with the big cannon.
I’ve been up and down on this figure. When I saw the first official pictures of him, I thought I was going to love him. When I had the package in hand, I waffled a bit. Now that I’ve had him out and played with him a bit, I’m happy to say I’m a fan. The shoulders aren’t technical issues; they’re intentionally designed that way, so my attitude toward them is just a personal preference and not a flaw in the figure’s design. The plastic is what it is. Like I said, it doesn’t feel cheap, it just looks kind of cheap. But again, maybe that’s just me.