Cliffbee.com: Activator Bumblebeee Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Bumblebeee
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Sports Car



SPORTS CAR MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 8cm Width: 4.5cm

   A yellow sports car with metallic blue windows and a black racing stripe offset to the left along the top. Bumblebee has black tyres with silver hubcaps and a silver Autobot logo on the right side of the roof. This car lacks the unusual boosters found on the Deluxe version of the character, which doesn't detract at all. There's a red strobe on top of the roof - on the stripe, delineating Bumblebee as an unmarked police car. The headlights are painted a milky white, which is hard to discern but works fairly well. The are black panels on the rear fenders and red painted taillights rounding out a pretty well executed colour scheme. It's streets ahead of the deluxe colour scheme, since there's a single yellow here rather than the two mismatched shades found on that toy. While the black panels are distracting, the concept is good and the designer has kept focus here, so Bumblebee's colours work quite well.

   Bumblebee's shape is essentially realistic - because his shape ends up similar to say, the Honda City. Having said that, the sculpt of headlights suggest he's actually meant to be a sports car. The sculpted detail is very sparse, but enough to cover the main features. The placement of the Autobot logo is much better than on the deluxe.

   There's not much play value here - Bumblebee rolls and that's it. I don't expect any more at this level. The side panels (the robot arms) don't lock into place, and can move out of place fairly easily, which is the only significant flaw of this car mode.

   While the detailing and play value are low, that's acceptable at this size. The colour scheme works well - it's much better than that of the deluxe, even ignoring the different pricepoints. The car's shape works well enough, so Bumblebee looks pretty good. The black rear fender panels and loose side panels are shortcomings, but at this size I can deal with them - neither of them are enough to wreck a decent sports car mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Press the cleverly concealed red button - the strobe - which will cause him to transform and end up laying face up on the table. Fold up and split the feet, stand him up, swing down the arms and bend his elbows. The auto transform is very well done and easy to reverse. This transformation is well engineered and far more elegant than that of the deluxe, despite being vastly simpler.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 7cm

   A yellow robot with baby blue eyes, a silver face and metallic blue windows on his torso. The silver Autobot logo and red strobe are on his chest. The stripe on the right side runs down most of the figure, with a gap on his knee. Much of his arms and thighs are black. I prefer this colour scheme to that of the deluxe - yet again - because it provides some black, ensuring this one isn't garish. Again we have a single shade of yellow, and with the added black, the colour map is much closer to the original Bumblebee concept. The basic layout of the transformation is also closer, incidentally.

   Bumblebee's proportions are very stylised, with a large head and very flat arms. His feet are far more convincing that the weird floating feet of the deluxe and the shins here avoid that odd concave look of those on the larger toy. I don't really like the face, but it's pretty standard for Animated. Thankfully his head isn't Ken Griffey Jr big (another problem found, you guessed it, on the deluxe).

   Bumblebee's poseability is pretty good considering how much of the toy's engineering goes into the auto-transform. The shoulders, neck and hips are ball jointed while the elbows, ankles and knees are hinged. We end up with great shoulder range and enough movement everywhere else for relaxed stances. He lacks a weapon, which is a common feature of Activators. The drill thing on the larger toy is a spectacular failure anyway, losing that is not a bad thing.

   A nice robot mode with a good bodyshape as Animated toys go, decent poseability and a good colour scheme. The paint job is focussed and the flaws of the larger toy's robot mode are avoided here. The slender arms are his only real flaw here, but they don't ruin a satisfying robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Activators Cliffjumper is a retool of Bumblebee (with a new head).

OVERALL

   A well engineered toy based around a very successful auto-transform gimmick, Bumblebee's colours are both well thought out and well executed. Both modes display well, the choice of the strobe as his activation button is great and his robot mode has enough poseability to work - especially considering that it exists on the edges of the auto-transform. While the deluxe toy is a great example of how to screw up a good idea, this Activator makes that same idea work well, manages to include a well executed auto-transform gimmick, costs less and scales better with the other Animated toys to boot. Avoid the crappy deluxe at all costs, save your money and buy this very good little toy - 8.5/10

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