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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
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Blackjack's review: Legends Animated Bumblebee

Name: Bumblebee
Allegiance: Autobot
Series: Animated (via Universe)

Bumblebee has always been one of my favourite characters, by virtue of being one of the first Transformers characters I’m introduced to. And after the success of the Bay movies, the new series of cartoon to follow, Transformers Animated, heralds a new version of the character. Taking visual cues from the original G1 Bumblebee with some racing stripes courtesy of the Movie version, as well as borrowing some aspects of Hot Shot’s reckless-idiot personality, a more interesting (albeit also more irritating) version of the character was born. Bumblebee is one of the main five Autobots featured in the Animated series, filling the role of the young, brash robot partnered with a human.

Back when Animated ran alongside the second Universe line, Hasbro ended up releasing four Legends class moulds for Animated characters in Universe packaging, possibly due to the fact that the Animated line doesn’t have any Legends class pricepoint and making one for four toys would’ve probably been impractical. Hence, shunting them over to the Universe line.

Alternate Mode:
Bumblebee transforms into a generic compact car that has the general shape resembling the Volkswagen of the original G1 Bumblebee. It’s got the general chunky shape which seems to be the norm for cars and vehicles in Animated’s art style, and is generally a fairly well representation of the show’s model for Bumblebee’s alternate mode. Bumblebee is mainly bright yellow, with glossy metal blue windows. A lone black stripe runs down the left side, and a small police light (in the show itself, the vehicle Bumblebee scanned belonged to police captain Fanzone) is on top of the left side of the roof. Bumblebee’s wheels are black.

The Bumblebee I own has several very visible join lines on the windshield, and the yellow plastic below it are blatantly visible. There are also visible gaps, especially on the front bumper where the upper legs will slot in robot mode. There is also a screw-hole on the rear portion of the roof, which also looks unsightly. While Bumblebee has a show-accurate and generally inoffensive alternate mode, it is far from perfect either.

Robot Mode:
Bumblebee’s transformation into robot mode is relatively simple, although it leaves him with a bit of a backpack formed out of the car’s roof. It’s a simplified transformation of the deluxe class toy, which also features a fake roof-chest. Bumblebee’s robot mode, again, is fairly show-accurate. Possibly partly because of Animated’s simpler art-style, Bumblebee’s Legends class toy looks extremely good and doesn’t look as squashed or over-simplified like many of the Movie and Cybertron Legends class toys.

Bumblebee’s arms are huge chunks of his car’s sides with arm details moulded in, although it’s a fairly common way of cheating with smaller toys. The end result is still generally nice-looking and inoffensive. Bumblebee is ball-jointed in both the shoulders and the thighs, and the hips are hinged. The head can also hinge up and down. He’s got a fair amount of articulation for a Legends class toy, and the Legends class toy of the Universe toy generally raised the bar for toys of that size class.

There’s not really much to say about this toy. It’s a simplified, smaller version of Animated Bumblebee that isn’t terrible.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 9/10 It’s easy and simple, achieving the desired robot and vehicle modes without too much headache. Granted, they cheated a little with the hood but it doesn’t really matter.

Durability: 10/10 Durability wise Bumblebee is an extremely solid toy, and even after a couple of years none of the joints have shown any sign of loosening. Due to dropping him in a shopping mall, I have discovered that Bumblebee could survive a two-storey fall without even getting a dent or a scratch anywhere on him.

Articulation: 9/10 Bumblebee’s got pretty great articulation for a toy of his size.

Aesthetics: 9/10 He’s got a fairly great resemblance to the show’s design, and I do like Animated’s art style. So it all really comes down to whether you like Animated’s design or not.

Fun: 7/10 There’s not much you can do but transform him, but he’s still a fun little bugger in that aspect.

Price/Value: 8/10 A bit hard to say, really. I got him at clearance, and he’s certainly a great legends class toy, but there are many other versions of Bumblebee out there. I’m pretty sure if you’re keen to find him you’ll be able to get him at a below-average price.

Overall: 8/10 It’s really a toss-up. Bumblebee is a solid little toy in every aspect, and there’s really nothing really wrong with him. It probably won’t fit well if you’re planning on a massive Animated collection – legends class Bumblebee is way out of scale compared to everyone – but if you want a simple little cute toy you won’t be disappointed by it. It’s all this toy has going on for it, though – it’s simple, it’s little and it’s cute.
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