Cliffbee.com: CyberSlammer Bumblebee 1970s Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Bumblebee
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: 1970s Camaro

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Bumblebee for this review



CAR MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 12cm Width: 7.5cm

   A yellow Camaro with black stripes on the hood and spoiler, Bumblebee has metallic dark blue painted windows. The taillights are painted red while the grille and headlights are silver along with the doorhandles. There's a white license plate at the back sporting "BUMBL-B" in blue lettering. The colour scheme is very similar to the regular version, although there are some minor changes. Thankfully, there's none of that ridiculously executed battle damage here. His tyres are black with silver hubcaps. The proportions are very kiddy here, which detracts from the Camaro, but he's clearly a Camaro at least.

   The play value really relates to the gimmick, which is accessible in robot mode. He rolls very well and there are rubber belts on the rear tyres to assist the gimmick. Bumblebee has a rear axle so he rolls quite straight, which is nice. There's a switch underneath but it doesn't do anything in this mode, except to transform it.

   While the realism is lost thanks to the almost comical proportions, the paint job here is pretty good, and the detailing is ample to ensure this is clearly a Camaro. While this car mode might work for a 3 year old, it's a bit too much of a caricature for many adult fans to really appreciate. Still, this is his better mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Slide the white switch underneath back and the cabin pops up, revealing the robot. The front slides back slightly.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 7cm

   A yellow robot that somewhat resembles Bumblebee. The front of the car is his toes and there's a false front on his chest, although it's poorly executed. The face is silver and black with blue eyes and the false grille is painted silver with silver headlights. There's a red Autobot logo on his chest, the fists and groin are painted black. The colour layout is essentially correct, but there's not quite enough definition on the torso, it looks jumbled and indistinct. The head is the main thing that makes this Bumblebee, aside from the obvious yellow.

   I'm not very impressed with this robot mode. There are no legs, which means that the front of the vehicle doesn't really look like feet. I've seen some fans compare the CyberSlammers to the Throttlebots - but they latter have legs, and while they're short, they ensure that the Throttlebot robot forms are robots - despite the bad proportions. The shape here is far from humanoid, the head and fists are the only instantly recognisable body parts at a glance. The arms are simply the doors, and unlike the G1 equivalents (Throttlebots, Battlechargers), they don't lift out to the sides at all. In this case, the forward pointing black fists are a distinct positive, even if the chest is a mess. There's not much of a gap and while the arms lift up, springs ensure they spring back down, so we can't even use the arms to help with a humanoid shape. The elbows are sculpted bent anyway, so with the arms down he's pointing his fist forward.

   The gimmick doesn't really justify the poor robot shape (or the chibi vehicle). The idea is that you push down the robot onto the base and it'll roll forward. Okay, so pushing him down does reform the vehicle mode as they planned - which is nice - but from a standing start he rolls maybe two feet. A little more if you push him along as you do it, but this isn't enough to really impress. This doesn't really compare to the Throttlebots which will happily zip across a larger room - it's about as impressive as the Battlechargers (but sturdier). The gimmick is dumbed right down for a young audience (we're talking 3 year olds), but I still don't see why such a poor gimmick was implemented when a better gimmick such as a pullback motor would have worked better, and allowed a better robot mode.

   A pretty disappointing robot mode. While the gimmick is lame anyway, what really annoys me is that the yellow and black should provide enough contrast to make Bumblebee one of the better Slammers in robot mode. The designer has wasted this with lazy sculpting on the torso, so we get a head and fists on a lump. With an unimpressive gimmick - I can see kids becoming bored with it awfully quickly, I can't see today's kids really appreciating this concept. Judging by the slow movement of CyberSlammers in stores around here, I don't think they've been that successful.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although there is a stronger 2008 Camaro version.

OVERALL

   Of all the characters in the film, Bumblebee is the best choice for a toy aimed at toddlers. Sadly, this one isn't a winner - in fact I'd recommend the 2008 version over this one. The 1970s Camaro was one of the better candidates for this idea, but just doesn't pull it off. The vehicle mode is well painted and looks fairly good if very simple, but the robot mode isn't executed well. The limited gimmick only compounds things - this is not a toy for an adult collector. If you're after a cheaper Bumblebee for a kid, I'd actually recommend the cheaper Legends toy - 2/10

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