Cliffbee.com: Universe Animated Legends Bumblebee Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Bumblebee
Series: Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Sports Car



CAR MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 6cm Width: 3.5cm

   A yellow unmarked police car based on Animated Bumblebee, this Bumblebee has a black racing strip down the length of the car, offset to the left. Bumblebee has metallic blue painted windows. There's a red strobe on the left side of the roof while his tyres are black. There are no boosters as on the larger version and the headlights are unpainted but this is a very similar colour scheme overall.

   While this toy is from the Universe line, it specifically represents Animated Bumblebee rather than a G1 character, as is usually the case for Universe toys. There are no Autobot logos on this car mode, and few details in general. There are doorhandles and door seams moulded on the sides while the headlights are also moulded, but there are knee gaps on the front of the car breaking things up. There's also a slightly out of place black panel at the rear, but it it's not really an issue. I am slightly disappointed by the knee gaps, but at this size I can deal with them. There's little play value here which is to be expected of a Legends toy - the wheels roll and that's it.

   While it's a simple car mode it does a good job of representing Animated Bumblebee without looking grossly underdone as is often the case with Legends alt modes. The gaps at the front are a flaw, but one that's forgivable for this size. There's a cute feel here, which I quite like - and I think the stylised feel of Animated actually helps in this respect.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip over the front to form his boots, pull the sides out to form arms and then rotate the torso (underneath) 180. Pivot the groin into place and fold the legs into position. Swing his arms into position and you're done. I really like this transformation, it's elegantly simple and proves that sometimes simple just plain works - the bodyshape works well. Certainly it's more elegant than the downright clunky transformation of the deluxe version of the character.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7cm Width: 4.5cm

   A yellow robot with black on his groin and thighs, Bumblebee has metallic blue feet (the windshield) and a metallic blue false window on his chest. There's a black stripe on the right side of his torso and down his right boot - and unlike on the larger toy there are no unexplained breaks in this stripe, so it looks pretty good. His face is grey with baby blue eyes, rounding out a well painted and attractive colour scheme.

   Bumblebee's head is a an upside-down teardrop shape with small horns on top and a mouthplate rather than crooked smile of the larger toy - a result of the mould being fairly simple. While I don't think much of the weird smiles on many Animated toys, I still would have liked Bumblebee to have a mouth of some sort. On close inspection I can just make out a smirk, but if you have to look this close and hard, it's a problem. His poseability is great for such a simple toy, with ball joints on his shoulders and hips while his knees are hinged. His head can tilt back on a hinge but cannot turn side to side. The elbows and waist are fixed while his legs naturally fit into a slightly spread stance, giving Bumblebee a relaxed look.

   The poseability and natural stance here are a highlight, even if his arms are a single pieces moulded inside the side panels of the car. This simple robot mode feels like an updated Minibot to me - even if this isn't the same Bumblebee first seen as a Minibot. This is an attractive robot mode with good colours and a thorough paint job, and aside from the lack of a mouth I have no complaints here.

VARIATIONS

   There was a slightly different version sold with Stealth Lockdown, which has lighter grey windows, a silver Autobot symbol and a slight sheen to the yellow plastic. Thanks to SilverDragon for this info.

OVERALL

   A good little figure despite some flaws brought about by its simple nature. Bumblebee has a good paint job and a simple yet elegant transformation with nice poseability. His robot mode's mouth is very hard to discern and the gaps on the front of the car count against him, but they can't change the fact that this is a very good Legends toy, and is far more elegant than the awkward deluxe version of the character released under the Animated banner. It's also much better value for money. Recommend if you like this character or if you liked the original Minibots - 8.5/10

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