Series: Generation 1
Alternate Mode: Hoverjet
Thanks to Sofaman for loaning me Bugly, making this review possible (I have since acquired Bugly).
Height: 6cm Length: 8.5cm Width: 11cm
A lilac and purple hoverjet with a mint green canopy and some grey around the back. The purple itself is a fairly standard "Decepticon" purple and the lilac isn't anything unusual, but together they make Bugly rather unrealistic. These colours belong on grape flavoured gum, not a Transformer. They do work well together, just not here. To make matters worse, this is a very disjointed jet.
The purple sides are clearly detachable guns, since the posts for his Pretender shell are clearly visible, with a huge gap between the main fuselage and the gun barrel. At any rate, there are winglets on the outsides of these guns. There are small tailfins on top, sticking out of the (rather obvious) robot arms. This is probably the least convincing vehicle mode amongst the 1988 Pretenders, and like Gunrunner and Iguanus, Bugly is heavily reliant on the add on pieces to make his vehicle mode work. Except that he's less convincing than either of those two. The fuselage is quite obviously a folded up robot - and not really much of a fuselage in truth. Bugly looks like a dude trying to curl himself into a ball.
It should come as no surprise that there's no play value here. Seriously, all Bugly does is sit on the table looking like a three year old has tried to transform him. OK, you can position the guns up and down, but they take the wings with them, destroying any aerodynamics. I doubt this thing would fly anyway, so you might as well position the guns.
A spectacular failure of a hoverjet, Bugly doesn't really manage to look much like anything. The colours aren't much good either, since they're a bit too grape to work on a Transformer. You'd think the designer would have chosen a neutral colour for the canopy, to offset the bright shades of plastic - but no, he went for spearmint. There is one upside to this vehicle mode - it can be hidden inside Bugly's shell!
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Remove the guns, push in the tailfins. Swing the arms down to the sides, rotate into position. Fold out the legs, flip up the feet, give Bugly his guns.
Height: 10.5cm Width: 6.5cm
Again a mix of purple and lilac, Bugly's torso and head are purple while the limbs are lilac. His breastplates and feet are grey while the low detail face is painted yellow. The colours come out slightly better here, since the grey is more prominent. I wouldn't say they're great colours, but they're certainly nicer than in vehicle mode.
This is a fairly generic robot mode - as most of the 1988 Pretenders were. The colours are at least distinctive, I guess. Bugly's legs are spread, putting him in a relaxed stance. There's no real hint of the alt mode here, but then there's hardly any alt mode in the vehicle mode.
The poseability is pretty standard. The arms swing, the hips swing and the feet fold back, allowing for limited posing. In reality, this means Bugly can raise his arms to fire and can sit down. It's not exactly exciting, but he's far more displayable now than in hoverjet mode.
Easily Bugly's better mode. Okay, so it achieves this by default, since the vehicle mode is a write-off, but there is some merit here. The colours work reasonably well, the natural stance is kinda nice. The generic form and uninspired poseability, along with the low detail yellow face, bring this robot mode down significantly.
The Pretender Shell
A black insect-themed shell (hence the name) with purple chest, teal hands and green bug eyes & mouthparts. There are grey antennae sticking up from the back of his head and grey wings hanging off hus back, which are distinct pieces of plastic. The right hand is a clab-like claw, which doesn't really fit this fly theme, but looks cool all the same.
There are various spines on this figure, and the lines are curved and look like an arthropod skeleton should. The antennae are detachable, along with the grey belt. The guns can fit into either hand, although unlike most of the 1988 Decepticon Pretenders, they don't form a compound gun. Instead one plugs into the left hand using the large post and the other plugs into the claw using the smaller post. The guns look pretty good in his hands, that the claw holds a gun so well is worth noting. As you might expect, the only poseability here is swinging arms, but there is one piece of play value I really like about this shell - it allows you to hide the crappy inner robot!
Quite a nice shell, better than many of the shells we saw in 1988. The insect theme not only gives Bugly his name but has a purpose many Pretender shells lack (especially the Autobots of the same year). The dark colour scheme is really quite nice, and makes much better use of purple and mint than the vehicle mode does.
None I'm aware of.
A tale of two figures really. On the one hand we have a focused, interesting Pretender shell with great colours and a cool theme. On the other hand the robot that hides inside is pretty mediocre with an amazing crappy vehicle mode. Quite frankly, the vehicle mode is a joke, which is a shame since the Pretender shell deserves something better to stow inside. On the whole I can't really recommend this set, simply because the Transformer itself is so bad - but if you come across the shell I'd recommend that - 4/10