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Jul
04

Buzzing About The Bee

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Of course you know about Optimus Prime and Megatron; they’re only the most super well-known Transformers! If you aren’t a big TF fan like myself then it wasn’t until 2007 that you permanently added another bot to your  database of robots in disguise. I am of course referring to the most popular bot since Michael Bay recreated the Transformers for a new generation; Bumblebee.

When the teaser trailer for Transformers hit screens worldwide I had no idea what to expect but I was definitely psyched. Before this point the latest recreation of transforming robots in my brains was the ferocious 3D-animated show Beast Wars; so really I had no solid recollection or fond memories of the bots as trucks, planes and automobiles. The only bot that was anything special to me still was the one that turned into a Walkman. Remember him? Remember Walkmans?!

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The Transformers, well at least the version we know here in the West has been around since 1984 (I wasn’t even a thing yet!) and has had many reboots and such to keep it fresh and relevant, and of course to continue making and selling neat toys!
Like I said, not a big Transformers fan, but boy oh boy did I get goosebumps when we first saw Bumblebee as a rusty yellow Chevrolet Camaro! The moment Sam wiped the dust off the steering wheel and exposed the Autobot logo… maaaan! >_<

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“Cars pick the driver. It’s a mystical bond between man and machine.”

Its embarrassing to admit that it wasn’t until the 4th time I watched the first TF movie (apparently I really enjoy these movies) that I actually noticed the yellow Beetle beside the Camaro… which is of course referencing Bee’s original vehicle form! Well, you can’t really blame me can you? I mean he has gone through a good amount of changes over the past 20+ years. At least the colours have remained consistent, nothing worse than colour changes!

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So before we get into the figure, a little bit about BumbleBee, first his info from Wikipedia based off his G1 character:

Bumblebee is one of the smallest and physically weakest Autobots. While his stature allows him to do his job better than most Autobots could manage, he is self-conscious about his size. Maybe this is why he makes fast friends among the humans. He looks up (so to speak) to the other Autobots, especially Optimus Prime, but what he doesn’t realize is that they look up to him. He may be small, but he’s brave, and he’s one of the most well-liked Autobots around. Bumblebee already has the respect he craves.

And now from his first appearance on the big screen as a radio-speaking Camaro, its nice that it hasn’t changed all that much. I suppose he has matured a bit in character:

Bumblebee is one of Optimus Prime‘s most trusted lieutenants. Although he is not the strongest or most powerful of the Autobots, Bumblebee more than makes up for this with a bottomless well of luck, determination and bravery. He would gladly give his life to protect others and stop the Decepticons.

There you have it, he’s not the biggest or the baddest, but we all love him just the same. Hes like the nice-guy bot that you can always count on to help you move… on a Sunday… and actually brings beer. I worry that after enough Michael Bay reboots our buddy Bumblebee will lose his fun yellow spark and turn into a mean ‘con killing machine. Sigh, hopefully that day never comes, I like Bee just the way he is :)

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“That’s a good Bee”

Alright lets get to the figure now!!
Transformers: Age of Extinction  High-Octane, Voyager class Bumblebee! For Ages 8+

bumblebee in package

I was hesitant to pick this guy up, not that I don’t like the character, but there were some Dinobots I could have grabbed instead, and really I am not sure about the new black vehicle. Of course there is also the concern of the scale, boy do I stress about the scale of things! He just looked  bit small from the get-go, but whatever, its only a toy.

First impression was that the figure was very light and felt cheap, fragile; I felt I could crush him in my hand with ease! Villain rants aside it definitively does feel like Hasbro is using cheaper/lighter plastics, hopefully this doesn’t translate to delicate and crappy. The fun thing here is that he isn’t only a robot figure, no no my friends, he is a robot in disguise! So in a sense I am reviewing a figure as well as a vehicle! First the bot…

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So he looks pretty good in his transformed form; large feet, balances rather well, definitely Bumblebee in design. Paintwise there isn’t much to really mention as there isn’t much paint other than the stripes on the hood/chest, though I do really like the flat finish on the black. Speaking of; not a huge fan of the backpack due mainly to it being a different colour, makes it more obvious, making him more turtle-y.
Headsulpt is nice, back of the head is transparent to allow light to go through and making his eyes GLOW real pretty. Not really feeling the grey robotic elements here, would definitely benefit from some paint. From the side you can see how hollow he really is, needless to say its not very pleasing to the eye. He comes with a blaster that is mounted on his forearm and apparently does not come off, though the missile does fire, making the canon not as visible afterwards.

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I am always impressed by the amount of articulation that these figures are able to pack! Though if you consider the fact that they need to contort themselves into vehicles its no real surprise that they would have so many joints.
Head doesn’t have too much up and down movement but good side to side, nothing from the torso. Upper body movement is greatly limited by his… doors; but you are still able to get some decent action. Legs on the other hand are full of possibilities with the nice hip joint, thigh swivel, single knee, and something of an ankle hinge.

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Fortunately I do have a few other Transformers to compare ol’ BB to. On our left we have a Cybertronian Bumblebee and on our right we have his fellow cast member from Age Of Extinction, Crosshairs. The AOE guys are very close in size, while the Cybertronian Bee bot has clearly been eating more vegetables. Aesthetically, much as I like the Bay designs I would have to say the classical designs is much nicer… clearly Hollywood changes a bot.

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Oh how I struggle with transforming Transformers, I’m like a Dad on Christmas morning… before coffee or breakfast, its a miracle the thing is still in one piece. On that note, lets look at the snazzy vehicle mode.

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As previously mentioned I was not pleased with the colour change for Bee’s vehicle mode. But according to the back of the package (I have not seen the movie yet) it was for a very good reason. “To avoid detection, BUMBLEBEE takes on a different form, disguising himself as a super-charged muscle car.” Oh yea great idea Bee, disguise yourself as a different coloured muscle car… that will totally fool them. He really should have gone for the rusty Toyota Tercel approach.

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It is a nice looking vehicle though, maybe not for an autobot named Bumblebee but a nice car nonetheless. The clear windows look nice in bot form but its a mess when in vehicle, looks the car is crammed to the brim with Mac&Cheese or something; some more frosting or tint would have gone a long way. The decal and stripes are painted cleanly enough, no paint on the lights though, a bit of a letdown. Overall looks pretty slick, maybe he should stay as a car heh.

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peek-a-boo!

An issue I have with the car is that it doesn’t roll too well due to his feet being so close to the ground, its always a good chuckle to see the bot crammed in the car shell like this, poor lil guy.

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Comparing the vehicle side by side with Crosshairs and Jazz (from first TF movie; he was the breakdancing bot… that dies) its clear how much smaller the Bumblebee Camaro is! This is where BB loses all points with me! I can deal with him being a smaller bot, but a tiny musclecar?? I am sooo not happy with this. If they were going to make him so small they should have stuck with the bug, or maybe make him a friggin FIAT. So uncool.

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At the end of the day I am somewhat happy with this figure, but for the most part I could have done without. I mean everyone needs a Bumblebee figure in their lives, that’s a definite… I just don’t think this one is the one for me. I will happily place him on my shelf with his Autobot and Dinobot buddies, but the moment I get a better movie Bee this one goes straight into carmode and never comes out!
With that said I give Mr.Bumbles here a disappointed 3/5!  Sorry Bee, maybe next time.

beerating

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♫ Till we meet again… ♪

 

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