Buzzworthy Bumblebee: Origin Bumblebee by Hasbro

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!

Transformers (Robot Enhanced Design Series): Bumblebee by Hasbro

I’ve been slowly working my way through Hasbro’s line of non-transforming Transformers figures, and overall I’ve been pretty happy with this line. Sure, I’ve had some nitpicks here and there, but so far I think the good has definitely outweighed the bad. Let’s see if we can continue that trend with Bumblebee!

Well, I can’t say as I wasn’t warned in the comments of my last RED review, but when I took this guy out of the shipping box, I was kind of shocked at what I saw. Why is he so freaking big? Why does he look so much more cheaply made than the others? Yup, before I even open this guy up, I’m having my doubts. That can’t be a good thing!

So, out of the box and in hand, I’m finding a little to like here. Like the others, he’s a hefty figure, thanks to the oddly dense plastic Hasbro has been using. He’s even a little more so, because he’s so chunky. Overall, he looks pretty good on his own, although I wish they had stuck a little closer to the Sunbow design. His forearms should be tubes, not rectangular, and I think they could have done a better job stylizing his chest. Still, I’m not hating the aesthetic. There’s a bit more sculpted detail here, than on the other figures, as seen in the panel lines and vents in his legs.

The coloring on the body is nearly all from the black and yellow plastic, although you do get an Autobot emblem on his chest. Hasbro also added in some silver dry brushing to look like weathering. I find it to be a really weird choice, as it’s used so sparingly that it’s like an afterthought, and it’s not present on any of the other RED figures I own.

Speaking of weird, the chest piece is removable and doing so reveals a whole painted and detailed slab. It looks like they had to do this to make a hinge in the torso work, but if you use that hinge to bend him over, the chest just pops off. So why bother? It would have been cool if it was designed to look like his inner workings, for repairs and such, but it’s just a slab. And adding this one point of useless actually hurts the figure, as even if I don’t use it, the chest piece can shift out of position. WHY???

On the flipside, the spare tire on his back is removable, which I guess is pretty neat. He can throw it at Decepticons if his gun runs out of power!

The head sculpt is pretty good, and while I had some issues with the body, the portrait is definitely Sunbow bumblebee. The facial features are a bit soft, but other than that I can’t complain. I like his big blue eyes and his little smirk too.

With the exception of that chest hinge, articulation here is solid, and he is indeed fun to play with. The arms have rotating hinges in the elbows, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and the wrists are on hinged pegs so that they can be swapped out between a set of gun-holding hands and fists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. He can swivel at the waist, and the neck is ball jointed.

Bumblebee comes with a few accessories, the most notable is his blaster, which includes two firing effect parts. The sculpt is a tad soft, but it’s an interesting design and it fits well in either of his hands. The effect parts are cast in translucent yellow plastic and peg into the muzzle of the gun.

And finally, he comes with an Energon Cube, which is a welcome bonus, especially since the one that came with Megatron was permanently attached to one of his hands.

I don’t hate this figure, but it’s a very strange entry into this series. Other than it being a non-transforming Transformer, it doesn’t really feel like it belongs with the others. It’s not at all to scale, and it even feels like some of the design elements are different. As a stand-alone figure, it’s not bad, but then I can’t help but think, if I’m going to own a stand-alone non-transforming Bumblebee figure, it should be something more special and higher quality than this. Maybe I’ll make him a desk buddy for a while, but he sure isn’t going to be displayed on a shelf with the other RED figures. And that makes me wonder what other oversized oddities this line has in store for us. Well, I’m only collecting the G1-style figures, so that means I just have Soundwave left to check out, and then I’ll be caught up.

Transformers (Netflix Series): Bumblebee by Hasbro

For decades, Hasbro has skirted their obligations to Bumblebee’s true heritage by not making his alt mode into a VW Bug again. Sure, some of that came from his change into a Camaro in those shitty movies, but even before that, it seemed like Volkswagen wasn’t interested in licensing to them, or maybe Hasbro wasn’t interested in paying out. Either way, we had to wait for the Takara Masterpiece figure to see Bumblebee once again strut his stuff as a Classic VW Bug. But all that’s behind us, as the last movie made him a VW Bug again, and I guess that’s something good to come out of that mess of a film franchise. Maybe that paved the way back to the figure I’m opening today. Jeez, when did Transformers toys become so complicated? Anywho, I can hardly believe that it was all the way back in June of last year when I reviewed Earthrise Cliffjumper. Damn, it feels like it was only a few weeks ago. I remember doing a lot of nitpicking, but ultimately being pleased with that figure. I also remember imagining how they were going to rework him into Bumblebee. Well, they did. And we’re going to look at it. Today. Let’s go!

Bumblebee is part of the Netflix Series tie-in, which is calling itself the War For Cybertron Trilogy and these figures come in white boxes. Yeah, it’s kind of weird to get Bumblebee in this mongrel off-shot, sub-series, but whatever. Once I throw out the package, this figure will fit right into the Earthrise or Kingdom series. And after a few generous pours of my friend Jameson, I won’t even know (or care about) the difference. Speaking of alcohol… I’ve tried watching the Netflix series, but I couldn’t make it through the first season, despite really wanting to like it. I decided to embark on the second season armed with a bottle of liquid courage, but all it did was make extra sad and depressed. The animated models look great, but the grimdark atmosphere is kind of stifling and I’m not a big fan of how they choose to portray some of the characters. But none of that makes this figure any less welcome and I’ve ranted on long enough. Let’s look at the damn toy! Like Cliffjumper, Bumblebee is packaged in the Deluxe assortment class, but he is much smaller than your average Deluxe. We’ll start with his alt mode!

OH, MY BEAUTIFUL DIESEL-POWERED DEUTCH BEAUTY!!! With no practice in a long while, I was worried Hasbro might not be able to pull off a VW Bug as an alt mode again. I mean, even the G1 original toy wasn’t a proper Beetle, but rather a Super-Deformed version. This Bug looks like it might be a little longer in the hood area than is accurate, but I’m no expert and either way it’s not bad looking at all. Indeed, I absolutely love it! The car mode locks together quite nicely and while there are some unsightly seams where the panels link up, it’s nothing that I’m not used to by now. The chonky curves are gorgeous and it is indeed licensed as there’s a Volkswagen insignia sculpted onto the hood right in front of the windshield. There are lots of great little details in the scul;t, like the vents over the engine compartment in the rear, as well as additional air vents behind the rear side windows. I can even make out the handle on the front of the hood. Great Primus, it’s so awesome to see the little guy’s alt mode return to his roots.

The Bug makes use of a rather deep yellow in terms of plastic and paint. The painted areas match the plastic quite well, and even has a bit of a metallic sheen to it. I love that, because sometimes the yellow plastic Hasbro uses tends to look cheap, but not here! The yellow also looks great next to the blue-tinted transparent windows. Some other paint flourishes include silver paint on the wheels, the headlamps, and even the windshield wipers and door pulls. The tires are black and so are the front and rear bumpers. And finally, you get a little red on the tail lights and an Autobot insignia stamped offset on the hood. What? You want me to complain about something? Fine! I wish they had detailed his license plate instead of just leaving it blank. Happy?

Bumblebee comes with the exact same giant bazooka as Cliffjumper, which means it can be broken down into parts to convert Bumblebee for water travel. This entails using the bipod for skis under the front wheels, using the tubes as pontoons, and the back piece as a stabilizer on the undercarriage. I liked this feature on Cliffjumper a lot, and I still like it here. On the other hand, Bumblebee lacks the port on top that Cliffjumper had to properly weaponize his alt mode, but that’s not a big deal for me. So, the alt mode gets a big thumbs up, let’s see how the robot mode turned out.

Not bad at all! Bumblebee transforms the same as Cliffjumper, which means you do have to take the back part of the car off in order to convert him. If that bothered you with Cliffjumper, it’ll likely do the same here. I’m not a huge fan of it, as I think it’s a cheat, but I’m willing to let it slide here because I really do love the resulting bot mode. Bumblebee sports a rather broad slab of chest, but I don’t think it works against the figure. His feet are still kind of big, but they don’t feel as bad as the giant clodhoppers that we saw on Cliffjumper. I remember calling out those cylindrical parts of the arms on Cliffjumper and saying how they look out of place on him, and that’s because they were always meant for Bumblebee here. Sure, he wears the back half of the car mode on his back, but as far as backpacks go, it’s not that bad at all. Indeed, I think it fills him out nicely.

The head sculpt is certainly on point! It would have been a shame to come all this way and not get the portrait right, but Bumblebee’s noggin turned out great. I would have liked the eye paint to be a little more blue and vibrant, but otherwise, I’ve got nothing but praise. From the horns on his rounded “helmet” to the silver paint on his face, Hasbro captured the character exactly as I always picture him.

I already pointed out that Bumblebee comes with Cliffjumper’s bazooka, and while it’s a damn cool weapon it feels out of place for this little guy. Fortunately, it can be broken down into smaller bite sized chunks. As smaller pistols, I think they work much better for Bumblebee. And if you absolutely don’t like the backpack and still want to use all the parts, it can be removed and turned into a shield, but I’ve never been a fan of that sort of thing.

Maybe it’s the booze making me all emotional, but this tiny scrapper posing as a Deluxe Class figure has made me so damn happy. It feels like such a momentous release, finally returning Bumblebee to his roots and doing it with style. Both the alt and robot modes kick ass, and it’s doubly impressive that Bumblebee and Cliffjumper manage to be so distinctive while still sharing all the same engineering and internal parts. Even in the context of mammoth releases like Scorponok and Omega Supreme, this little fella stands out as one of my favorite Transformers releases of late. And holy shit, that’s saying a lot because Hasbro has been successfully beating the Transformers drum consistently and without fail. And by Primus, it’s a great time to be a Transformers fan!

Transformers Titans Return: Legends Class Bumblebee by Hasbro

It’s Transformers Thursday and today I’m opening up another figure in the first wave of Titans Return Legends Class releases. Bumblebee was going to be an pass for me, but I found it easier and cheaper to buy the entire assortment in order to get my hands on Kickback and Gnaw. Let’s find out how that turned out for me…

It seems like we just had a Legends Bumblebee, but it looks like that last one was back in 2014. That Generations release was a damn fine little toy and even after two years, it’s going to be a tough act to follow. Granted, that one was going for more of a Fall of Cybertron look, whereas this one is definitely G1 inspired. The packaging shows off the figure in its robot mode and features some of the best character art for Bumblebee that I’ve seen on a toy package. I’ve also gotta say how much I love that they included his original G1 motto on the back of the package. Reading it literally made me smile.

The auto mode holds no surprises and I don’t have a whole lot to say about it. Hasbro went for a generic, yellow compact, which is about as close as you can get to a VW Bug without having to pay out for the license. There’s quite a bit of ugly seaming on the hood, especially for a Legends Class toy, but all in all I’m content with this alt mode. It displays particularly well with some of the Generations Legends cars like Windcharger and Swerve.

The yellow plastic is bright and fresh and matches the yellow paint pretty closely. The deco is rounded out with some black windows and striping. In addition to the Autobot emblem on the roof, Bumblebee even features some silver and red paint operations. As much as I’d love to see a Legends Class VW Bumblebee, this is a fair substitute.

The transformation here is not as overly complex as some of the Legends and the resulting robot mode reflects that. It’s a very traditional looking G1 Bumblebee, almost to a fault. You get the roof chest and the hood split into feet. All that is somewhat refreshing and the head sculpt is a total winner.

He even looks pretty clean from the back, albeit with some unsightly hollow feet. I wish they could have sculpted that disc he had on his back in the Sunbow cartoon, but I guess they needed somewhere to put all that COO and copyright crap.

Unfortunately, I’m having a problem getting past those arms. The bulky and over-sized biceps with those stubby little forearms make for a really bad combination. Do they ruin the figure for me? Yeah, I’m going to have to say they kind of do. Surely they had some engineering to spare that they could have used to fix those things. Instead, what we got feels a little lazy. I know that we’ve seen worse on bigger Transformers in the past, but I feel as if this little guy could have been a total winner if they had just found a way to fix those biceps.

In the end, I would have been totally fine with passing on this figure, but I don’t really mind owning him. I don’t have time or patience for toy hunting like I used to, but the few times I’ve ducked into a toy aisle, none of these Legends were on the pegs. Nope, not even this one, which seems like he should be warming those pegs. That’s Bumblebee’s job isn’t it? Anyway, I just kind of look at it like spending a little extra to get Gnaw and Kickback, and getting Bumblebee tossed in for free. Hey, whatever helps me sleep at night, right? And I probably shouldn’t be too hard on this little guy. I’ve certainly paid more for worse Transformers in my collection. It’s also a little easier to be more forgiving of a Legends Class, both in terms of complexity and price. On the other hand, the previous Legends Bumblebee, while certainly going for a very different style, is also a much better proportioned and engineered figure, so I probably shouldn’t be apologizing for this one.

Transformers Animated: Bumblebee by Hasbro

It’s no secret that I’ve been hard up for content for Transformers Thursdays, but today I’ve got a little compensation to offer in the form of a Transformers: Animated double feature. This past weekend I had my Animated collection out to do some re-shoots for their old Features and I realized that neither Bumblebee nor Ratchet ever had their due. I did a little digging to find out why, and found that I started the Features for these figures, but never finished them. I’m going to look at Bumblebee this morning and then swing on back later this evening with a look at Ratchet. I’ve got no packaged shot to offer, so let’s jump right into Bumblebee’s alt mode…



In keeping with modern tradition of making Bumblebee a little yellow sportscar, that’s exactly what we get here. The yellow plastic looks pretty good and even the transparent windshield pieces that have parts painted yellow match the base coloring pretty well. There’s an off-center black stripe running down the top of the car, and because Bee modeled himself after Captain Fanzone’s car, he has a little police light on top. Other paint apps include the red tail lights, some very faint metallic paint on the headlamps, and a silver Autobot insignia on the driver side of the rear bumper. Naturally, there are some unsightly seams on the car, but overall, I dig this alt mode.


Bumblebee comes with two rocket boosters that can peg into the rear sides. These attachments look like adorable, bloated atom bombs and feature some nice silver paint and translucent blue plastic.


Bumblebee’s robot mode is still an amazing sight to see, because it manages to produce such a creatively stylized robot figure out of a working Transformer. That’s something this line has generally been terrific at, but I think that goes double for Bumblebee because his proportions in the cartoon are so unconventional. Sure, the entire chest is a fake-out. The plates that make up the top of the car wind up on the back of the figure, but c’mon… this is still great stuff!


Despite all that car shell winding up on the Bumblebee’s back and lower legs, these pieces are neatly tucked away, so you don’t get a lot of ugly kibble. Plus, the plates on the backs of his legs serve as heel spurs. The modest backpack tabs together and acts as a storage for his bombs, which when attached make for a cool jetpack.


I suppose, if I had to nitpick something here it would be the feet. They look disjointed where they connect to the leg, so they’re not quite as clean as they could be, but when the rest of this figure looks so damn good, I can give them an easy pass.


The head is just fantastic. It captures all the personality of Bumblebee in the cartoon and serves up some very effective light piping for the eyes. I really liked this look for him, especially with the tiny little horns. Mine has a little scrape on his chin, but otherwise the paint is solid.



All this and solid articulation too? Yup. Bee features a satisfying array of both ball joints and hinges, making him a truly fun figure to play with and pose. Surprisingly, the rather large door plates on his forearms don’t really get in the way of the fun.


Bumblebee does have one little play gimmick. He has two translucent pieces folded into his arms that can deploy and connect to form an energy weapon. I don’t remember this from the series, but it’s been ages since I’ve watched it, and I never saw the whole thing. I recently got a good deal on the whole series on DVD, so I’m going to start going through it next week.


I was a little apprehensive about looking at these figures for the first time, so long after the fact. I find that a lot of older “modern” Transformers haven’t held up for me all that well and that’s why I’ve unloaded a lot of my Cybertron and Energon toys. Plus, it took a while for me to warm up to this style. I wasn’t fully on board until I had some of the toys in hand. I had originally taken these guys out of storage to photograph with the hopes that I could justify parting with them and generating some space and cash for other things on my want list, but that just hasn’t been the case. I still have a soft spot in my heart for this line in general, and I think Bumblebee is among Animated’s best figures.

Transformers (2007 Movie): Bumblebee (Classic Camero) by Hasbro

It’s Week-something-something of Transformers Thursday held hostage by the Bayformer menace. Christ, I’m getting tired of this! Age of Extinction comes out next week, so soon this will all be over and I can get back to featuring some Transformers that I actually want to look at. I should warn y’all that I’m in a real pissy mood today. Why I’m so put off isn’t important, but because I am, I’ve decided to break the randomness factor of TFT Bayformerpaloosa and channel my anger against a particular Bayformer that is worthy of my rage. It’s the original Bumblebee Deluxe figure from the 2007 movie. Holy hell… what a piece of crap!


I’ve had this figure since it was first released, so I’ve got no packaging to show you. Instead, I thought I’d spend the time to talk about the fact that a few nights ago I re-watched the movie for the first time in a while. I’ll also point out that it is now a day later, so I’m no longer the raging bastard that I was when I wrote the rest of this feature. Consider this an oasis of positivity before I start shitting all over the figure. So, I was a little surprised that I still genuinely enjoy this movie quite a bit. The two sequels have become films that I love to hate, or hate to love, depending on my mood, but this one is pretty alright. It’s not the Transformers movie I wanted, but it’s one that I can accept. I still love the introduction of Blackout destroying the US Army base, the fight between Barricade and Bumblebee is pretty cool, and the battle for Mission City injected a lot of the Transformer-on-Transformer action that I thought was missing from much of the rest of the film. The first time Optimus Prime transforms and speaks still gives me goosebumps. Hell, I even kinda liked Frenzy.  Amazing special effects aside, ‘07 Transformers feels a lot like an 80’s movie in all the good ways. Deep down inside, it has heart, and while there’s a lot in it that I wish wasn’t there, I think it did an admirable job setting up for what could have been a great series of movies. I guess you could say it was a solid origins movie. I look back on it as a missed opportunity and it’s an especially fresh experience when you go back to it after watching the clusterf’ck that is Revenge of the Fallen. Ok, I’ve said my piece and now I’m returning you all to the original bad-tempered bitch-fest that is today’s article.




Now where was I? Oh yeah, what a piece of crap! What you’re seeing is the alt mode as good as it ever looked. Don’t try to tell me, “but Fig, it’s been a while, the springs have worn down.” Bullshit! This is what Bumblebee looked like the day I took him out of the package with his droopy, broken hood. Hasbro had plenty of those little rubber bands holding this mess together. And it took me about ten minutes of tweaking to get it to look this good, because it usually looks like this.


This is clearly what Bee should look like after Sam got wasted on Mojo’s pain meds, blacked out and hit a tree. And don’t tell me I got a bad one either. This is my second Deluxe Bumblebee from the first movie. They both had the same issue. There’s a lot of reasons this crap should piss me off, but the biggest is because I genuinely wanted a decent version of his classic Camero mode. I liked Classic Camero Bumblebee and it sucks that this is the figure we got out of it. It also falls prey to my greatest of toy pet peeves… if you can’t pull off a gimmick that works, don’t do it. This droopy hood is the fault of the stupid “auto-morph” bullshit, and as we’ll soon see, it doesn’t fare much better in robot mode. Had they left that out, the toy’s alt mode would have been fine. The mold isn’t bad at all and while I’m not at all a fan of the painted windows, I see a lot of wasted potential in this car mode. Let’s transform him and see if he fares any better in robot mode. Here’s a spoiler… HE DOESN’T!


This robot mode doesn’t look anything like Bumblebee did in the movie. The chest is inaccurate, the feet are too big, and he just looks all sorts of wrong. Again, thanks to how badly the “auto-morph” gimmick fails, I still have to make all sorts of adjustments on pieces that are supposed to pop into place, so why did they even bother? Those headlights never pop out right and I usually have to dig that Autobot insignia out to get it into position. Is he at least a decent Camero Transformer? I guess. I think my biggest gripe is that it doesn’t look like any thought went into the legs at all. They’re just the back half of the car pulled apart with a few minor tweaks. And guess what? They feature “auto-morph” bullshit as well. Also, the way the windshield hangs off Bee’s back to make the door wings work feels really forced.


As long as I’m spreading the anger and hate, I’ll save a little for myself. Bumblebee came with a pair of missile launchers. I found them while going through another tote a few months ago and put a note on them and put them in a baggie. Well, instead of walking over to the closet and putting them in the drawer where the movie figures are, I wound up just tossing them back into the tote that got buried in my closet. I blame the fact that I probably had quite a few Jamesons in me at the time. Either way, as a result, I didn’t include them in any of the shots. Suffice it to say, they can be attached on his car mode by pegging them into the back wheels, and they make up a pair of shoulder launchers for his robot mode. They’re neat, but they only serve to alienate the toy design from the movie design even more.



The above pictures say it all. That’s what his chest usually looks like after I transform him and the “auto-morph” gimmick fails. One headlight nipple almost never pops out. And I can’t think of a better photo for the end of today’s feature. After beating my head over what it is about this figure that is so wrong, I came up with just a general sense of uneven complexity. It looks like all the engineering went into making the auto-morph in the chest and the rest of the figure was just given no thought at all. It’s like the entire budget was blown on the upper half and the rest was given the engineering of a Legends Class. Maybe that’s a little harsh, but then I think back to how the “auto-morph” totally ruins the car mode. Blah! I want this figure to be good and it just isn’t. Hell, that even got me thinking. If a third party out there made a decent Classic Camero Bumblebee, I might be tempted to buy it. In the meantime, screw this goddamn figure. It’s not even good enough to get sent up to my nephew in Jersey.

Vintage Vault: Transformers Collectors’ Case by Hasbro

Hey look! It’s another Collector Case! Yeah, I picked up two of these at the Toy Show. One was for Playmates’ Star Trek line, but this one holds a lot more sentimental value for me, because as a kid, I used a case exactly like this one to cart around my Transformers. A lot of these vintage Collector Cases were more about form over function, as they didn’t tend to hold a lot of figures, and the Transformers case we’re looking at today was one of the least efficient in terms of carrying capacity. I bought this one to repurpose as a modern Transformers case, so let’s see how that worked out.

There were a couple different “official” Transformers collector cases on the market back in the day, but since this was the one that I had as a kid, it was the one that I was really gunning for. What’s here is pretty simple, as it’s just a vinyl briefcase style case with a handle that slips through a slot in the flap to hold it together. A lot of these things had snapping lock, but this one just made due by pushing the handle through a slot in the top. It’s not quite as secure as the ones with the lock, but so long as you were carrying it by the handle, it couldn’t spill open.

The artwork consists of the glorious panoramic battle scene that graced the back of the earliest G1 packages. I absolutely adore this piece of art, because it shows us that very rare peak into the franchise in its purest form, before it got so heavily influenced by the Sunbow cartoon. I got my first Transformers toys before ever seeing the cartoon, so this character art never looked odd or different to me. In fact, it took me a little while to get used to the cartoon versions of some of these characters.

Originally, the case came with a fragile, molded plastic tray that was segmented to hold certain figures If memory serves there were four slots for Minibot Cars, there were a few more slots for the regular Autobot cars, a couple for accessories, and two big ones, which would fit fit Soundwave. For my purposes, the tray was way too limiting, and I was able to get one without the tray for less. That’s a win-win.

The case worked out really well for my modern Deluxes. I was able to fit sixteen of them in there along with their accessories, and a couple of the Legends style Minibots. It’s a cool way to store the figures, and easier for me to get at the ones I want than if they were just piled in a small tote.

My case also had a sad little G1 Bumblebee rattling around inside of it. The dealer pretended he didn’t know it was in there, and tried to get a couple more bucks out of me for it, but when I told him he could keep it, he tossed it in anyway. He’s actually in ok shape, although he does have some chrome wear to the area around his head and some cracks to one of his tires. Damn, I completely forgot these little guys had real rubber tires!

Transformers Prime: Bumblebee by Hasbro

So, yeah… I just got a heap of Transformers: Prime figures in the mail, thanks to a certain someone who decided to clearance a bunch of them out. I’ve been pretty tentative about buying these toys, but the three I already have were all pretty good, and hey… clearance! So, let’s kick off this Transformers Prime week with a look at everyone’s favorite, spunky little scout… Bumblebee!

We’ve seen this packaging here on FigureFan a few times already. I like it well enough. The oversized card with the character art really draws the eye. I do have to deduct a few points for the bio on the back mentioning one of the annoying human kids from the series. Bumblebee is carded in his vehicle mode, with his two blasters on the tray beside him. Bumblebee is one of the figures in this line that sort of kept me from wanting to commit. I just haven’t seen many appealing pictures of him in robot mode, so here’s hoping that having the figure in hand can sway me. Let’s start with his sports car mode.



Ok, so not bad. The fact that the car is held together by rubber bands had me a little worried, but truth be told he’s a solid enough car. He’s a little camero-ish with a twist of anime style. The similarities are there without Hasbro having to pay the royalties. Win-Win. Bumblebee’s windows are all clear blue translucent plastic, and anyone who’s read a few of my Transformers features may know that’s a big plus in my book. There’s not a lot of paintwork going on here. You get the car molded in yellow plastic, with some black stripes. For the most part, this seems ok, but the total lack of paint apps on the back of the car really upsets me. The exposed engine in the hood is cool and that’s where you can plug in the guns if you want your Bumblebee rolling into battle. So far, so good…

Transforming Bumblebee is pretty easy, but not overly so. In fact, I think this guy has just the right balance of ease and complexity. In robot form, Bumblebee’s big problem is his shoulders, which make him way too widely proportioned at the top of his torso. Posing him with a wide stance helps a bit, but the way his shoulders jut out makes me think he’s mis-transformed, when he’s really not. He also suffers a bit from the hollow factor. When you view him from the side, there’s a lot of empty space in his torso, but the down sloping chest and the roof that covers his back helps to make the figure look solid from the front and back.

Everything else about the figure works ok for me. He isn’t the most original of designs, borrowing heavily from the Bayformer look and one thing I do like a lot is the way the final robot form looks like the transformation should be a lot more complex than it actually is. A lot of this illusion comes from the auto-morphing in the torso. I’m not usually a big fan of the auto-morph features, but in this case it works really well and the exposed gears give him a cool mechanical look. I really dig the dual laser cannons that clip onto his arms, and they can also be combined into one quad-barrel gun to be held in either hand or clipped onto the hood of the car when he’s in alt mode.

Articulation? His arms rotate and have lateral movement at the shoulders and swivels and hinges in the elbows, but no wrist articulation. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, with additional swivels just below those ball joints. He’s also hinged at the knees and ankles. There’s no torso articulation, but the head is ball jointed on the neck. All in all, you get fairly satisfactory articulation for a small Deluxe Transformer.

I do have to take some issue with Bumblebee’s coloring. The bulk of the figure is left in the bare yellow plastic, and there’s something about it that feels kind of cheap. But my real issue here is the paint apps that have been stricken from the final figure. They’re on the product image on the back of the card, but in final production, they apparently didn’t make the cut. What really irks me about it is the fact that the Hot Shot repaint (we’ll get to him soon) is brimming with great paintwork. Why, Hasbro, would you cut paint apps on the main character of the line and then go hog wild painting a repaint that only completists are really going to care about?

So, yeah, in hand, Bumblebee is not so bad. In fact, if the shoulders had only recessed a bit into the torso, or flipped around to lay flush with it, I think the figure could have looked down right amazing. As he is now, it just takes some acceptance, and with the right posing, he can look pretty good. That all having been said, he’s a solid enough figure, with a fairly clever transformation and he is tons of fun to fiddle about with. Of course, my satisfaction with the figure also comes from the fact that he was about $6 and at that price, I’m willing to be pretty forgiving. At $10 I think he would have been a satisfactory purchase. But right now he’s hanging on the pegs for $15, and I just don’t think he warrants that at all.

Kre-O Transformers: Bumblebee by Hasbro, Part 2

Back again, with the second part of my look at Kre-O Bumblebee. So, enough with admiring the car mode. Time to bust it down and build the robot. Looking at Bumblebee’s robot mode from the boxart it seemed to use a lot of the pre-assembled car bits, so when I broke down the car mode, I left some parts together, particularly the front bumper and the doors. I’m not sure if that helped or hurt in the end, but breaking these models down after you build them is a pain in the arse. Once again, I recommend having a razor blade (be careful!) or some thin utensil that you can use to pry the stubborn bricks apart.

Once built, Bumblebee’s robot mode is absolutely fantastic. The final build in my hand looks tons better than what’s on the front of the box. His proportions are excellent and the car kibble is all strategically placed very well. Keep in mind there are A LOT of parts left over after his robot mode is built and as with Megatron, I tried to incorporate some of the more car kibbly bits onto him to make the transforming illusion look more plausible. For example, none of the wheel wells  are used on the official build, whereas I found places to put them on his legs, as it just makes sense that they would be visible on his robot mode if he were a real Transformer. There’s no doubt Bumblebee is heavily influenced by the Bayformer version, but he’s still got a bit more blocky and appealing G1 feel to me. The head certainly helps as its sculpted to look just like his G1 animated version.
Bumblebee sports excellent articulation with ball joints in his neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. He’s a solid enough figure, and holds positions very nicely. But he is still a building set so if you play around with him long enough, bits are bound to fall off.
I bought this set at the regular retail price of $24.99. Now, wait. Megatron was $29.99, but he had 25 less pieces. That’s weird. Either way, you can’t really touch a Lego set with 300+ pieces at this price range, let alone a set that is designed to build two different things, so once again I’m going to have to say these Kre-O sets are an amazing deal.  I’m every bit as impressed with Bumblebee as I was Megatron, and I’m anxious to check out the next one. I’m going to take a break to look at a few other things and then in a few days, we’ll check out Kre-O Sideswipe.

Kre-O Transformers: Bumblebee by Hasbro, Part 1

As promised, I’m back with more Kre-O! Yes, I was so impressed with the Megatron set, I ordered a couple more and Bumblebee came in yesterday. Was Megatron a one-shot wonder? Are all Kre-O sets as cool as him? Let’s find out as we check out the Autobots spunky little scout-slash-warrior, Bumblebee.

There’s the box and once again, Lego, take notes. It easily opens up like a briefcase giving you a great place to store the pieces and a nice makeshift tray to try to keep control over all the tiny pieces. Inside the box you get an instruction booklet, a sticker sheet, and a bunch of baggies containing a total of 335 bricks. You also get three Kreon minifigs, each individually bagged. Once again the baggies aren’t numbered so you need to spill all those bitches into the box to begin your build. Here’s something a little different, you get a plastic parts tree with all sorts of weapons and equipment for the Kreons. Interesting. What are we starting with? The Kreons, of course!
You get three Kreons: Two are adorable little Transformers and one is a generic human driver. At first, I thought he was going to be Spike or Sam, but nope, he’s just called “Driver”. The Transformers are Bumblebee and Red Alert and both little guys capture the G1 Transformer designs pretty well. Bumblebee is my favorite of the two. I love his little G1 horns!
I really need to start timing myself on these builds because I have no idea how long it took me to put together Bumblebee’s sportscar mode. It was definitely more than an hour, but some of that time was spent trying to keep my goddamn cat out of the parts box. [Pro-Tip: Cats are counter-productive when it comes to Legos and even not-Legos! -FF] And yes, as expected, Bumblebee is a yellow sportscar with some black detailing. He’s not quite a Camero, but definitely closer to the Bayformer alt mode than anything else we’ve seen Bumblebee turn into.
Sadly, I don’t think Bumblebee’s alt mode looks nearly as good as Megatron’s did, but in fairness, the truck cab is more boxy and easier to do with bricks. I’ll also cut it some slack as these Kre-O sets seem to avoid cheating by using a lot of specialized pieces. I think the biggest problem with the way the car mode looks lies with the roof, which would have benefited by using smoother, more rounder pieces, like the hood, rather than just being a slab. On the other hand, its not that bad for a Lego-style car. Its pretty big and very solid and the interior is nicely detailed and can fit two Kreons. I also like the optional missile launcher that can be attached to the top. The fugly roof can also be easily removed to better place the Kreons in the seats, and you can even leave it off altogether to give Bumblebee a cool convertible treatment, which looks quite good. By the way, isn’t it really bizarre that you can have Kreon Bumblebee driving himself? What kind of twisted universe is this?
There were a fair number of pieces left over after the sportscar is built. These are mostly joints and stuff used for the robot mode. I was able to fit nearly all the extra parts on Megsy’s cab mode, but there’s nowhere to put them on Bumblebee here. I did manage to use one of the robot joints for a cool trailer hitch, though.
So all in all, this is set is pretty good. I don’t know that I would recommend it on the sportscar alone, so give me a day to break it down and build the robot mode and we’ll see what happens, mm’kay?