Cliffbee.com: Smallest Bumblebee Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Bumblebee
Series: World's Smallest Transformers
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Espionage
Alternate Mode: Classic VW Beetle

Thanks to Demonac for loaning me Bumblebee for this review



BEETLE MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 3cm Width: 2.5cm

   A small yellows superdeformed VW Beetle hatchback. While the Beetle a hatchback the superdeformed shape effective makes this figure a hatch. He has a black rear bumper, black windows, black trim on the bottom of the sides and a silver panel on the back. There are silver painted hubcaps on his wheels and a red Autobot logo is stamped on his roof. The colour are essentially the same as those on the original, without chrome on the wheels (although the back is still chromed). The headlights are also painted silver - which is actually an improvement over the larger toy which had unpainted lights. The colour scheme works - Bumblebee's colours have always been fairly simple, and this car's paint job matches the character well.

   There's no play value here - the wheels are fixed in place and the tyres aren't rubber anyway. I can deal with plastic tyres but I would have liked to see plastic tyres that rolled. It's not a dealbreaker, but is still a disappointing aspect of this toy (especially when you consider how finely engineered some other figures in this line are (especially Megatron). He still looks like Bumblebee - but that's all he does here.

   A simple beetle mode which does the job for the most part. Visually he works really well, and isn't far behind the larger version. I'm annoyed at the wheels, so I'm disappointed overall. The fact is that the level of play value here is less than most Smallest Transformers.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Identical to the original. Pull out the front of the car and fold up to form the feet. Lift up the rear panel to reveal the head. Pull the wheels out from the sides to form the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 4.5cm Width: 3cm

   A yellow robot with black arms & legs, Bumblebee's feet are yellow. His face is yellow with moulded detail comparable to that of the original. The Autobot logo is now central on his chest and the wheels are attached to his arms. Again he's very similar to the original, save for the still visible silver headlights. Visually he's simple and effective, with the only notable downside being his rather skinny arms (which isn't really a major issue).

   As with the vehicle mode, Bumblebee's play value is his weak point. The transformation relies on sliders at different heights inside his chest - the arms attach to these. While the original ensures that there's an offset for the lower slider (and therefore shoulder joints in the correct position), this toy's right shoulder joint is not offset - it's far too low as a result. So while his left arm can swing, you'll want to leave the right one down to the side.

   A decent looking robot, but as with the vehicle mode, Bumblebee comes up short on the play value. I don't expect an improvement on the original's play value at this scale, but the loss of poseability hurts since he's effectively a statue.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although there was a red chase repaint, representing Cliffjumper.

OVERALL

   While I expect some loss of detail and complexity in this line, for me Bumblebee is held back by the changes made - the shoulder joint and fixed wheels really hurt. He still displays very well, mind you, but there are better Smallest Transformers with better play value thanks to superior engineering. I wouldn't necessary recommend _against_ Bumblebee since visually he's a great reproduction of the original, but if you're interested in this line I'd say he's down the list - 5/10

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