Alternate Mode: Suzuki Swift Sport
Thanks to kup for loaning me Bumblebee, making this review possible.
Height: 5cm Length: 12cm Width: 5.5cm
A neon yellow 1:32 Suzuki Swift with black rubber tyres, silver hub caps, colourless plastic on the headlights & windows. transparent red taillights and black on the grille, window struts and such. The silver Suzuki logos on the grille and boot indicates that Bumblebee is a licensed toy. There's gunmetal on his bumpers and side curtain The yellow used is much brighter than usually found on Bumblebee toys - it's tending more towards green as well - and is a close match to the very bright yellow Suzuki use on this car. There are many fine details, such as a black antenna stub on the roof, black number plate at the back, so the colour paint job is quiet detailed. There are no allegiance symbols visible in this mode.
Like its Binaltech big brother, the Alternity line features licensed scale models, and an intricate level of detail. Aside from the features I've mentioned above Bumblebee features side mirrors with silver painted indicators and on the mirror side, sport lights at the front, twin exhausts at the back, door handles, four internal seats and a RHD steering wheel. At this size the detailing is quite spectacular, although one of the drawbacks of such a bright colour scheme is that the transformation seams on his roof are very prominent.
All four doors open, the hood and rear door (this is a 5 door hatch) slide out and open, there's a fairly rudimentary silver engine under the hood, complete with "SUZUKI" in raised lettering while the boot is essentially just a gap, but we do get to see a red Autobot logo in there (even if it is upside-down). The wheels all turn, unlike BT there's no steering here. Aside from the rack and pinion, I don't think we could ask for more play value from a realistic licensed car mode at this size.
Aside from the messy lines on the roof, this is a great car mode. The yellow isn't quite what we associate with Bumblebee, but he's still a subcompact so the tribute works well. The detailing and paint job are top notch, the play value is impressive - especially opening all four doors to reveal seats.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Complex and involved, so I'll summarise. The front splits and extends to become his legs, with the bumper forming feet. The hood and windshield push it, the former becoming his groin while the roof and front doors become the chest. The back half unfold to the back of the robot, revealing the robot head while the rear fenders become shoulderpads and the rear bumper becomes his arms. There are twin handguns concealed under the engine. Essentially the transformation mimics that of the original minicar, although the layout is actually closer to that of the Classics version. The horns on his head actually pull out slightly during transformation, which is a nice touch.
Height: 13.5cm Width: 11cm
A bright yellow robot with dark gunmetal and black on his arms and legs, a silver face and transparent blue eyes (with a lightpipe). The guns are silver along with the rear hubcaps on his shoulderpads. Aside from the obviously brighter yellow, the colour layout is close to the original toy, with some yellow and dark charcoal on his arms, alluding to cartoon Bumblebee. That Autobot logo is not on top of his chest, in front of his face, and it slops forward slightly. Along with the red on his Autobot logo, the transparent red taillights are visible on his shoulders. The brighter yellow isn't as noticeable now since the addition of gunmetal and more black cements this as Bumblebee.
Bumblebee has a odd shape overall. He's squat and wide and the torso protrudes quite a bit, and while this is no different to the original, it's unusual for a modern toy of this complexity so it's more prominent. The hood as a groin looks weird since it looks something like a skirt, and robs him of a waist - so he has a potbelly. The feet are short - they don't stick out past the bulky shins at all, so he's all belly and no feet. I can understand why promo photos all have Bumblebee (and Cliffjumper, who shares the mould) with their legs splayed - it lessens the visual impact of the waist being too wide and also diverts attention from the feet. I've taken photos of Cliffjumper standing normally and Bumblebee with his feet apart, so you can compare.
The poseability is about what you'd expect of this sort of toy, although there's no waist so no articulation there. The head is on a ball joint, the shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows are hinged with rotators. The wrists rotate _and_ have hinges, allowing for a wide range of gun poses - I guess this makes up for the lack of waist movement. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged and supported by rotators in the thighs. The feet are on hinges but only move a little. The heelspurs are short but useful enough to allow for a few dynamic poses.
While the shape is a little weird in a movie-twins kinda way, the basic layout is still Bumblebee and unlike most G1 Bumblebee toys he has handheld weapons. The colours work well and while we'll probably never see him as a licensed VW, this subcompact still does the trick. I'll admit the shape really bugs me, but the poseability is great so he's still got loads of display potential.
None that I'm aware of. Cliffjumper shares the mould (with a different head), and was released concurrently.
A great car mode with a distinctly bright yellow shade and excellent detailing becomes a pot bellied robot, but this yellow fits the car chosen and works well in robot mode. The colour scheme is good in both modes, the play value in both modes is fantastic and the transformation is involved without being frustrating. I'd recommend Cliffjumper over Bumblebee on the strength of the red masking seams in vehicle mode better, but they work well together anyway. I don't like the robot shape, and I can see this annoying others (especially those who disliked the movie twins), but overall this is a very good toy - 8/10