Cliffbee.com: Cannon Bumblebee Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Bumblebee
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: 2008 model Comaro



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 14cm Width: 6cm

   A deep yellow (almost amber) 2008 Camaro with twin black racing stripes running down the bonnet and rear, Bumblebee has black plastic tyres with silver hubcaps and metallic blue windows. His taillights are painted red, the tailpipes silver, the grille is black while the headlights and fog lights are silver. The overall effect is very similar to the 2008 Camaro from the previous film, although this one has a black airdam added, the Camaro badge on his grille is now red instead of silver and there's a small red Autobot logo on the left front fender. Oh and the windows are barely transparent. Aside from silver on his rear vision mirrors, I can't ask much more of an excellent colour scheme. A great colour scheme which sticks closely to that seen in the films, and while it's very similar to the last version, I can live with that since both are striving for film accuracy.

   It might not yet be obvious, but this is an almost entirely new mould - only the very rear of the car (legs) is shared with the original version. You can spot the difference easily enough if you look underneath, but from the top you've got to start looking at seams and the like to see that this isn't a repaint. As with most of the vehicles featured in the movies, this is a licensed vehicle mode - the likeness and realism are great here. The mould is great, Bumblebee has seams where he should have seams, doorhandles, grille detail and a fuel cap on the right rear fender. He no longer sports "CAMARO" on the front fenders, however. There are few detractions such as the robot feet are barely visible underneath the doors, but there are less than on the previous mould.

   There's actually some play value here beyond the tyres rolling, which is unusual for the realistic movie vehicles. If you flip up the sides of the hood (where the Autobot logo is), you'll reveal grey and black gatling-style guns, which swing out to fire forward. While they're not strictly speaking cannons, they're close enough, and it sounds better than Gun Bumblebee. You can open the doors, revealing metallic green seats, but this also reveals his hands and feet, so I wont count this as play value.

   A great car mode with flaws that are essentially trivial alongside all the good stuff. The paint job and sculpt are great, the realism is great and while we lose the transparency it's on par with the last film's equivalent. The gatling guns are a nice touch that bring something new without getting in the way of his realism.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Open the doors, split the rear, pull the feet back, which causes an automorph that a deluxe toy has no right to do. The rear panels swing up onto the back of his legs, pushing up the wheelbays. Meanwhile the rear window halves swing inwards. Swing the arms out from underneath, fold up the back window, swing the seats down to form his waist. Lift up the front of his hood, flip out the robot head and pull back on the rear central panel of his hood, which unlocks the chest. Fold the front down to become the chest, deploy the guns, position the arms.

   Again the transformation is new, aside from the legs. The basic idea is similar to last time, however. Be careful with the torso - if you don't unlock the central panel, you may damage him trying to force it down.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 12cm

   A yellow and dark metallic green robot, Bumblebee's chest is the yellow front of the car, the doors are yellow wings sticking out behind his shoulders. The groin, ankles and thighs are largely green although there's still yellow on these pieces and some green on his arms. The Autobot symbol isn't really visible here. His head is yellow with a green face and "AllSpark" blue eyes. There's a red mark on his forehead meant to represent an Autobot logo, but it really is just a mark. The face is more movie accurate than the previous version, which is nice. There's a license plate on his waist, but this time it lacks any numbers, it's just a white patch, and it's misaligned with itself which I find very annoying. The rear wheels sit on the outsides of his ankles while the front pair are now hidden inside his chest. The colours work well, and while the green isn't quite what we'd expect of Bumblebee, it's dark enough to work.

   The sculpt on his robot only pieces is great, especially the face - amazingly similar to that seen in the movie. The hands are moulded open since he doesn't carry a handheld weapon. The doors are a great aesthetic feature although they sit level behind his shoulders in a G1 sort of way, rather than the angle seen in the film. The bodyshape is good, without the awkward feet of the 1970s version. This is a strong robot mode.

   There's no actual gimmick here, only the cannons which sit behind his head. While they're not something seen on screen, they work well on this toy and again give Bumblebee something new. His thumbs are hinged so Bumblebee can grip handheld weapons, if you choose to give him some. His head is on a restricted ball joint while his shoulders are also ball jointed and his elbows have hinges and rotators. The waist is fixed, his hips are ball jointed, the knees and ankles are only hinged, no rotators. The feet are quite long with useful heelspurs, so while the range of leg motion isn't great the stability is. I can forgive the restricted leg movement, mind you - the automorph needs everything lined up, and rotators or ball joints would ruin this.

   A good robot mode, and while it doesn't hit the heights of the previous toy, it's still quite a feat. The cannons are a nice touch which bring something genuinely new (after at least four versions of the last mould) and he no longer has the loose shoulderpads. The waist is a bit of a letdown with the licence plate issue and no poseability, but these are minor issues on a great robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A very good toy which manages to break out from the repaints of the previous version while still being a great toy. As much as the last one was tricky to find for many, I'm glad that this film saw a brand new Bumblebee too. The idea is essentially the same, mind you - which makes the cannons a welcome addition here. Both modes are great and the play value is good for a movie deluxe. The waist is my only real complaint here. He's not quite as cleverly engineered as before, and I'm not sure that the overall feel is different enough that I'd recommend this toy to those who own the toy from the first film, but if you don't have a movie Bumblebee I'll happily recommend the cannon version - 9/10

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