While I have been focusing exclusively on the Generations-style stuff, Hasbro has been maintaining a few different lines of their profitable change-o-bots, one of those being this Buzzworthy Bumblebee series. I don’t get it. At first, I thought this was a tie-in for some streaming cartoon directed at the younger Transformers fans, but apparently that’s not the case. So, yeah… I really don’t get it and the stupid name inexplicably makes me angry, so I’ve been largely ignoring it. That is until I saw they did a version of Bumblebee based on his Cybertronian appearance in the first episode of the More Than Meets The Eye mini-series.
Well, the packaging design is nice! We get a bright yellow box, with the Transformers logo in black, and some various shots of Bumblebee on the side. What I don’t like here is the lack of a plastic window over the toy. Yes, I understand it’s an environmental thing, but I don’t like the idea that kids can come along and stick boogers on my action figure. DAMN KIDS… STAY OUT OF THE TOY AISLE… YOU THINK TOYS ARE FOR KIDS? GO PLAY YOUR FORTCRAFTING APP!!! I would much rather Hasbro just used a completely enclosed box. If I’m willing to spend $200 on a Titan Class figure and not get to see it until I open it, I think I’d be OK taking a gamble on a $20 Deluxe Class, knowing a kid didn’t touch it with his peanut butter fingers. But, enough complaining… let’s start with the alt mode!
Wow, this is a pretty cool little representation of Bumblebee’s Cybertron mode in the Sunbow style and one that I would have loved to have as a kid. It’s sleek and smooth, with stubby wings and a single blue windshield. It kind of looks like what you would get if you took his Earth mode, removed the wheels and squished it. Come to think of it, it was pretty damn convenient that Cybertron’s alt modes each had a suitable Earth mode counterpart.
Yes, it certainly has a mess of seams from the transformation, but that doesn’t bother me too much. Some of them mix well with the existing panel lines in the sculpt, and to be fair, the network of seams signify that a decent amount of thought and engineering went into this little toy, rather than just go for a lazy shell-former. And while you can’t tell yet, I was particularly impressed that the hood section with the Autobot emblem actually becomes the chest in robot mode, rather than being entirely faked out. Overall, the toy locks together pretty well, and I couldn’t be more pleased!
There are three sockets on the vehicle to plug weapons into, but since I’m a fan of symmetry, I just plugged Bumblebee’s gun into the one on the top.
And here he is in robot mode, and I have to say the transformation is pretty clever, fairly intuitive, and not at all too finicky. As I’m sure I’ve said before, my favorite thing to do with new Transformers is to try to figure them out without looking at the instructions. I wasn’t sure that was going to work here, but I made it happen. And yes, we have a fair amount of ugly kibble on those lower legs. I’m not a fan of it, but I can certainly understand that it had to go somewhere, and to be fair, that’s pretty much all of it. He wears the vehicle roof on his back, like a lot of Autobot cars, and just like in the cartoon, the chest piece is stylized to have the VW windows we’re used to seeing on Bumblebee, despite him not taking on that alt mode yet.
The head sculpt is excellent! I think I actually like this one a bit more than the one we got on the War For Cybertron figure, although that one isn’t too bad either. Here we get a little smirk and a fatter, more stylized helmet. This one just screams a little more Sunbow style to me!
Bumblebee comes with a pistol and a jetpack. The jetpack was initially shown off in silver, and I would have preferred it, but what we got is just black plastic. I guess it matches his deco better.
And you also get some of the conductor rods that Bumblebee and Wheeljack were scavenging in the beginning of the first episode. These are a pretty cool bonus accessory, although honestly it doesn’t look like there is enough energy in them to last a quartrex.
In terms of size, in robot mode this figure comes up at almost the exact same height as the War For Cybertron Volkswagen version. His vehicle mode, on the other hand, is a wee bit bigger.
All in all, this is a fun little figure, and one that I didn’t think we’d ever see realized. Despite all the Bumblebee figures Hasbro produces, he’s gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to Cybertron alt modes, and I’m glad they chose this one when they finally got around to doing one. I passed this one up on the pegs a couple times, before eventually grabbing him one day when I couldn’t find anything else and didn’t want to go home empty handed. And I’m mighty glad I did!