Cliffbee.com: Prime DVD Pack Bumblebee Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Bumblebee
Series: TF Prime
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Sports Car



SPORTS CAR MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 13cm Width: 6.5cm

   A rich yellow repaint of First Edition Bumblebee, using a much more sedate (and less garish) yellow than the standard toy. There are azure lines on the front which rapidly fade to black on the doors, the back half of the toy has black stripes. He has transparent blue windows, black plastic tyres with silver painted hubcaps. The grille is painted black while the taillights are painted red an the headlights are transparent blue. His engineblock is painted dark grey. This is a fairly detailed colour scheme with an impressive amount of painted applications. There's no Autobot logo visible in this mode, which is my only complaint about the paint job. I'm a sucker for azure, so I like the stripes - and really appreciate the use of a less garish yellow here.

   There's not a whole lot of detail on this sleek vehicle, but there's more than enough that we can't accuse the designer of laziness. There are sculpted taillights, detailed grille and engineblock, side mirrors, exhausts, sports lights below the headlights and wipers on the windshield. There are a lot of seams on this vehicle and while most of them are well concealed, the doors have some awkward spots - the rear seams and grey blocks on the front seams. All the windows are transparent and the painted yellow spots match the yellow plastic perfectly.

   Play value is limited to his wheels rolling; there's a handgun but but can't be attached (or even concealed) in this mode. While I don't expect much from a more or less realistic sports car, somewhere to attach the gun is something I _do_ expect of modern Transformers.

   A good vehicle mode if not a perfect one. The sculpt is good, the switch away from garish yellow is a change for the better compared to the First Edition version, although the blue stripes wont suit everyone. I like the mould overall but really wish they'd done something with the gun here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Complex and fiddly, especially around the chest, so I'll summarise. The rear pulls out to become the legs, in a way fairly similar to the 57 movie Bumblebees, although without any clever tricks as seen on some of those moulds. The arms are tucked inside the passenger cabin and the head under his hood, which becomes the chest. The doors become wings while the roof and windshield end up on his back. The chest, for all it's concreting, doesn't hold toothier that well. The gun can attach to the outside of either forearm. Transforming back to car mode is equally fiddly.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 14cm

   Again mainly yellow, Bumblebee has many minor grey elements, notably the feet and hands. The blue headlights are on his chest, his face is silver with transparently blue eyes (and a decent lightpipe). There are some other minor silver painted details & the blue stripes are visible on the wings which stick out to the sides behind his shoulders and on the chest. Again there's no Autobot logo - Bumblebee has no allegiance symbol at all.

   The bodyshape is good, although this Bumblebee is probably "tougher" than we'd expect of the character, thanks to wide bulky shoulders. His arms are long & side quite wide thanks to the wide shoulders and the jointing in those shoulders which make his upper arms tend outwards. There are shoulderpads - covers over the front tyres - which is a nice touch.

   The poseability here is pretty good, with shoulders that swing and lift out to the sides while his elbows are ball jointed. His waist rotates and his neck is a ball joint. Bumblebee's hips are ball jointed with rotators just below them to supplement the hinged knees. His feet are hinged as are the light grey heelspurs hidden within his feet. The hands are fixed and cannot hold his gun, despite having fistholes. The gun's post is just too short for Bumblebee to grasp. The shoulder poseability is good, but you'll find that posing his arms can be tricky as the torso tends to get out of shape if you're not careful, since it doesn't clip together firmly.

   A great looking robot mode with excellent articulation, but his poseability is a little hampered by the loose torso. The handgun looks nice on his forearms but I'm disappointed that it can't hold in his hands - and given that it does _nothing_ in vehicle mode, surely the post could have been long enough for him to grasp. The colour scheme works very well here and the painted details are subtle. I'm surprised there's no Autobot logo here, but it's easy to add your own if you feel the need.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, he is a repaint of First Edition Bumblebee. He is sold in a two-pack with a repaint of First Edition Starscream (which includes a DVD in the US release).

OVERALL

   I know the blue stripes wont fit everyone's tastes, but the more muted yellow make this repaint worth considering. The mould has its flaws, most notably the loose robot chest and needlessly useless gun, but it's still a clever transformation and a toy that displays well in both modes. Really he's more of a display piece than a fun toy to play with, but is worthwhile as part of the set with the stronger Starscream, and in my opinion a better toy than the standalone FE Bumblebee (with that terrible bright yellow). Recommended if you don't have either of the originals, or if you didn't pick up FE Starscream - 7/10

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