Cliffbee.com: Elite Guard Bumblebee Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Bumblebee
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Speedster
Alternate Mode: Sports Car

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Bumblebee for this review



CAR MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 11cm Width: 6.5cm

   A black sports car with transparent blue windows and gold painted around the lower edges, Bumblebee has a silver badge on either door with integrated Autobot logos. The headlights are silver and his taillights are red while there's an outburst of bright yellow on his roof for no good reason. Bumblebee has black tyres with yellow hubcaps. There are odd transparent blue boosters on the sides, towards the roof, which look more like the "fatboy" bomb than rockets. There's a strobe on top of the roof, which is unpainted (it's a carry over from the original). While this colour scheme is more unified than the mismatched yellows of the original, it strays a long way from the yellow that defines this character, and the unpainted strobe looks awkward.

   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, making him dark and simple. The dark colours are atypical of the cartoon feel of Animated.

   There's no play value here other than rolling Bumblebee along, and removing the rockets. I don't really expect more at this size, but some action would go well on such a simple vehicle.

   An improvement compared to the original since there's no poor colour mismatches, but he's still low detail with little play value. The weird jetpods and a colour scheme that isn't Bumblebee and shows up the low detail otherwise, this is an unattractive vehicle mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   I won't got through every detail, because it's quite hard to describe. It's quite clever and is easily the best aspect of this toy. The doors end up as his arms, the front ends up as his boots - but swap sides - while the roof becomes his heelspurs. The chest is actually a false roof, which is a clever way of reducing the size of the roof during the transformation.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 7.5cm

   A black robot with some transparent blue on his eyes, a silver face and charcoal false windows on the torso. There's a silver Autobot logo integrated into a similar logo on his chest, this time only the outline is painted. There's gold on his shoulders, torso and feel while the collar is painted yellow. The elbows and thighs are also yellow - this time plastic, and a slightly different shade. Thankfully there's no stripe here running down the wrong side of the robot, so this colour scheme looks better than on the original, despite the lack of signature yellow.

   Bumblebee's proportions are ridiculous, with a huge head - we're talking gigantism here, and large floating blocks for feet. The shins have a weird concave surface which just looks wrong next to the floating feet. I don't so much mind the stylised face, even if it's not to my tastes, but his head is as large as his chest - which ruins this robot mode visually, for me. I understand what the designer was aiming for with the overall shape, but the flaws ruin the stylised shape.

   The poseability is good, which is probably the only saving grace here. The head sits on a ball joint while the base of the next is a hinge. The shoulders and hips sit on ball joints, as do the feet themselves. The elbows have two hinges each while the knees are hinged with rotators below. The heelspurs are very useful - Bumblebee has a really good range of poses available.

   Sadly, the rockets do nothing but sit on his back here, so Bumblebee doesn't have a true ranged weapon. There are two transparent blue pieces which flip out from inside the forearms, clipping together to form a drillbit, which is a good idea for a melee weapon, except that it only protrudes a few millimetres beyond his open hands. The cartoon portrays the drill halves as guns, but they really don't look like they can fire.

   As awesome as the poseability is here, Bumblebee's proportions and underwhelming weapons really limit this robot mode. The poses are impressive, but I'd be much happier if he could wield the rockets as some sort of weapon. The colour scheme is pretty good, and works much better than that of the original, even if the colours aren't what we'd expected for this character.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he's a repaint of the original Animated Bumblebee.


OVERALL

   A decent repaint of a disappointing toy. The colours work well even if they're not Bumblebee, since the base colours matches itself. The level of detailing is low but the transformation is very well engineered - it's a shame the resultant robot mode has awful feet and a huge head. The poseability is good, but with his odd proportions I don't find the poses really dynamic, and the weapon can't really be wielded in a threatening way. Despite the engineering, I can't help but feel extremely disappointed by a toy which tries too hard to achieve a stylised look, even if the colourof this repaint do help a fair bit - 4/10

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