Transformers: Prime toys are yet to debut in stores, but between SDCC and NYCC, I own five of its characters already. Hasbro should really get on that "TF:Prime in stores" thing. Unlike SDCC's Optimus Prime, whose biggest deal was the fancy packaging he came in, this box set of toys sold at New York Comic-Con is actually redecoed for the occasion! They come in a packaged diarama that's done up to look like a New York city street, there's Bumblebee as a New York taxi, there's Jack Darby and Raf Esquivel wearing New York t-shirts, and... Arcee's pink. ...yeah. She must have missed a memo.
From that set, today I'm talking about Bumblebee. There's a bit of deja vu about him. I am going to blow your mind by reporting that he's basically Yet Another Movie Bumblebee toy. I've been here before, with the hood chest that splinters apart, the arms that tuck in somewhere/anywhere/pleasegodplease, the door wings, and the rear of the car hanging off the calves at at angle. If you've ever transformed a Movie Bumblebee toy, this will be a very familiar experience.
There are some cosmetic and engineering differences, of course. I particularly like the way his hood balls up, starting as a wide block and squishing in on itself to more approximate the big sphere that is Prime Bumblebee's chest. There is a lot of hidden jointing in that torso. Don't forget to fold the corners of his bumper down into his ribcage!
His shoulders are weird yet interesting. The fronts of them fold off and his arms hide away under the car in layers. The upper arm splits in two and runs along just inside the doors, while the forearms tuck up and over the pelvis just under the roof. The way they hang in robot mode is not ideal. They feel at little unstable when they're pulled all the way out, as you'd expect them to. The instructions ask you to keep them mostly inside the hood, just sort of poking out sideways, in a way that does not resemble his appearances in the cartoon. I've decided to compromise, and have them stick halfway out of the car at an angle. This is more stable, but not terribly screen-accurate. (Group picture shows them all-the-way-out and the solo robot mode picture shows my chosen configuration.)
If you like Movie Bumblebees, you'll like this guy. Thanks to Letao for picking up this set for me! He also printed out a huge image of Catman to carry around NYCC, Robin Desanto-style. Because he's awesome.