Posts tagged with "bumblebee" - 1
Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:20 pm

I remember a time that everyone in the fandom said they were sick of Bumblebees.  In those early live-action movie years, half of all toys were seemingly Bumblebee.  And, honestly, for good reason.  Bumblebee was incredibly popular.  But fans claimed oversaturation, which was probably true at times.  Then the Prime Wars Trilogy and subsequently the War for Cybertron trilogy hit, and... there was not much Bumblebee.  Just one regular-ass Bumblebee across that six year span, to my recollection, in Titans Return.  Just a Bumblebee drought.  

Now, Hasbro is giving you the Bumblebee you probably wanted.  A to-scale licensed Volkswagen G1-style Bumblebee.  Huzzah!  The one actual Bumblebee you probably want and then afterwards give up Bumblebees forever.

And it's a Walmart exclusive.  The folks who sort-of put up preorders, but just cancel them on you for fun because they misjudged their stock, then three hours later put them up for preorder again, and then cancel them on you for fun because they misjudged their stock, then... you get it.  

Anyway, Walmart toy preorders suck.  They don't care, because they don't have to.  They're Walmart.

What I'm trying to say is: it's hilarious that this Bumblebee toy is panning out this way, given Bumblebee's toy distribution history.  

The toy itself is pretty familiar if you've picked up Earthrise Cliffjumper, or Hubcap, or Bugbite.  He's that toy reshelled, keeping the robot parts but getting a new altmode (and head).  He transforms exactly the same, but into a different model of car.  There are parts that fit a bit more tightly than on the other three uses of the engineering -- his fists grip onto the 5mm pegs inside his rear car kibble in vehicle mode much more tightly, and it's a shove to get the front of his roof plugged into his hood during transformation.  

He comes with the same giant bazooka as the other guys, too, so this'll be some folks' fourth bazooka.  Giant weaponry seems like an odd mismatch with G1 Bumblebee, though if you bought Centurion Drone and his massive accessory box, there's a tiny Bumblebee pistol in there you can give him.  Really, Bumblebee with any gun seems weird to me.  I remember when Bumblebee was reintroduced into the original Marvel comics as a Pretender, and he just whipped out this gun and blasted Megatron a bunch, and I was like DANG, what.  

Bumblebee's your little friendly buddy, and he should have a little bit of a tummy.  He's a chub.  He should be a chub!  They gotta stop making him this badass muscle car, I tell ya.  

I am happy to inform you that this toy is a chub.

Posted December 1, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Pardon my appropriating of Lindsay Ellis's lexicon, but dang.  

I spent nine full days trying to get Masterpiece Bumblebee Movie Bumblebee from robot (how he's packaged) into Volkswagen Beetle mode.  Nine days!  Several attempts!  Each time, I'd end up with this gross, annoying mess.  And the instructions are zero help.  They obfuscate more than they illuminate.  They're terrible.  The whole process is not fun!   Thanks, I hate it!

Do not recommend.

I mean, MP Bee Movie Bee is probably fine if you're cool with a very okay robot mode action figure that's based on a prototyptical version of Bumblebee as seen in the finished film.  That's, you know, the problem with making a Masterpiece toy based on a movie that isn't out yet.  The designs aren't finished.  That's why the current Masterpieces (and Studio Series toys) are so much more accurate than the original toys based on those designs -- the toy designers had a chance to actually see finished footage of the characters.  Making a Masterpiece simultaneous to the source material's release is... a gamble. 

For example, you end up with this MP B Movie B with giant door wings.  Bumblebee in the film doesn't have the door wings!  They decided to flatten them down against his back.  This toy can't do that.  The door wings are jointed to be exactly the same as basically every Movie Bumblebee toy until this one.  

I mean, okay, I might be getting a little petty.  But I hated transforming this guy.  Hated it.  And it hated me.  And the instructions threw some hate both our directions.  It was a hate three-way.  A big ol' orgy of hate.

Anyway, MPBMB comes with an alternate armored faceplate, a stinger sword and a stinger blaster.  They all can peg into his back if you want to store them there rather than in the box.  Also his chest halves flip up to reveal missile racks or whatever.  *shrug*

At least he's shorter and rounder and cuddlier than his hulked-out steroided-up future self.  

Posted August 28, 2017 at 2:01 am

I mentioned how Masterpiece Movie Optimus Prime was a situation of deja vu, sharing a lot of transformation ideas (and scale) with an older toy of him.  This is not the case for Masterpiece Movie Bumblebee.  Bumblebees tend to be Deluxe Class (and thus smaller), and so the only comparatively-sized toy to the new Masterpiece is the old Human Alliance toy.  And that figure prioritized having a hollow drivers compartment inside so it could be driven by a Sam Witwicky figure, so it had to take a few liberties with robot mode accuracy.

And so MP Movie Bumblebee feels like a whole new animal, one that he will undoubtedly rip the spine out of.

There's lots of little things here and there that no Movie Bumblebee toy has attempted to replicate before.  Bumblebee has his little collar pointy things, for example.  And it's kind of amazing that it's taken this long to get a Bumblebee toy that gives him both sets of robot mode wings.  Yeah, in the movies, he doesn't just have only the doors for wings.  There's a second set of smaller wings made out of car parts underneath those doors, because insects (aka bumblebees) have two sets of wings.  Stuff like this is possible when you're working with a larger toy than usual, apparently.  

Another visual departure from earlier Movie Bumblebees is the robot mode proportions.  Deluxe Bumblebees tend to have some abbreviated lengths here and there in order to be able to fit everything inside the car mode.  The Masterpiece does its best to give the robot mode the proper room to breathe.  The thighs are the usual culprit, and here they are a comparatively luxurious length.  

Be warned, because there is a lot of shit going on in transformation, mostly in the back half.  In order to get those luxuriously-lengthened legs, everything basically explodes and then tabs back together differently.  This is another departure from the usual Deluxe Class Bumblebees, which accordioned its legs in a simple, graceful manner.  These legs do not accordion, they disassemble centimeter by centimeter.  The instructions are of no help while transforming the robot mode back to vehicle mode.  They don't show you how to put everything back.

The front half is relatively easy.  Often getting the arms shoved back under the hood of the car on the way back to vehicle mode is an annoying ordeal.  Here, so long as the hands are tucked inside the forearms, it's very straightforward.  You merely lay the arms lengthwise underneath the hood, and nothing's there to get in the way of you doing this.  

Like Prime, Bumblebee's head can swap back and forth between normal and armored faces.  Also like Prime, Bumblebee comes with a weapon, though his is a cannon tip which you plug in over his wrist stump.  This cannon tip can stow on his back in robot mode or splay open and plug underneath the vehicle mode.  

MP Movie Bumblebee's biggest fault is his ankles and heels.  Unlike MP Movie Prime, Bumblebee does not stand very well.  Only his toes are metal, and there's no ratcheting joints to prevent unwanted movement.  Standing him up is often a balancing game, and it's kind of annoying.

Posted June 16, 2016 at 8:01 am

Transformers Asia Kids Day Platinum Edition Robots in Disguise Premium Grimlock and Bumblebee 2-Pack – Exclusive

You probably haven't seen me talk about many Robots in Disguise toys here, and for a pretty good reason -- I don't really buy many!   I mean, the cartoon's okay, and the toys look okay, but early on, before the toyline hit, it became apparent that I would be more frustrated with the toyline than I would find enjoyment out of it, due to my particular eccentricities.  

You see, it was going to be a pretty small line, as far as "real" toys go (the non one-step or two-step guys), and they were all going to be Deluxe Class-sized.  So I'm sitting there, looking at this coming line-up, realizing that if I was going to start collecting these guys, I was going to have to get used to having a Grimlock (who is very large in the cartoon) who was the same size as every other toy.  And that chafed my bum, I realized I could save myself a lot of storage space and money, and decided that I was cool skipping on it all.  I mean, minus Strongarm, of course, OBVIOUSLY.  Strongarm is great.

But at some point last year, Japan's version of the toyline decided to go balls-out and make everyone a properly-transforming larger Grimlock that's not a one- or two-step toy.   They grabbed Fall of Cybertron Grimlock (who may or may not be the same character depending on who you ask and how you look at things) and then retooled the crap out of it.  New torsos, new robot legs, new shoulders, new fists, new heads -- there was a lot of new stuff to make him look like Robots in Disguise Grimlock instead of "basically G1-style Grimlock" -- and kazam you have a Grimlock who technically solves my Grimlock Problem or, perhaps, my RID collection problem.  

And then Hasbro brought him over, put him in a Platinum Edition set with a redecoed RID Bumblebee, and now Entertainment Earth has him as an exclusive in the United States.  Entertainment Earth also sent me these two to review!  So here I go.

Let's talk about Bumblebee.  If you have a Transformers Prime Vehicon toy (from the RID subline, not the First Edition) then this Bumblebee's going to feel very similar as far as transformation processes go.  The roof folds up on the back of the robot legs, the arms pull out from the sides, and the rear bumper hangs off the back of the head.  There's a sword that stores underneath the car mode.  I got one the regular retail version in the take-home bag for Toy Fair 2015, but this is the PREMIUM EDITION!  Mostly that means he's in a more metallic gold-ish color instead of canary yellow and he has a handful of new paint operations.  There's black on his feet, there's red on his headlights, there's some silver on his sword... it's not a lot added here.  But he's not really the main attraction; Grimlock is.

Fall of Cybertron Grimlock was not a well-received toy, and the retooling present in this version sort of addresses the perceived problems.  His dino hips/robot shoulders accordion out during transformation, and it's incredibly easy to get them so untransformed that you can't remember how to inch them back turn by turn into the way they're supposed to go.  It's one of those things where you wish you could leave a trail of breadcrumbs for yourself to find your way back home, but this is a plastic robot toy's shoulder apparatus, so that's not really possible.  However, the retooling done to make Grimlock into another Grimlock removes the need to untransform the shoulders so much to get him back and forth between robot and dinosaur modes.  All the possibility for over-accordioning his shoulders is there, but so long as you temper yourself, you can probably avoid getting lost in the woods.  

The other thing people didn't like about the toy was how empty he is if you look at him from the bottom in dinosaur mode.  You know that scene in Pete's Dragon where they put a big sheet over the dragon and he runs around and you can see a dragon-shaped sheet and there's nothing underneath it?  No, you don't know that scene, because I'm really old and nobody has watched Pete's Dragon in thirty years.  But the toy is kind of like that, trust me. 

Honestly, that part I don't mind too much.  Like, I'm not gonna be shoving my eyeballs in this toy's underside anyway.  He's gonna stand upright on the shelf, not hanging around lying around on his back, exposing how little robot he has under there.  If you have a bunch of RID Mini-Cons, though, this problem is partly addressed.  There's ports tooled in there for you to fill him up with specific Mini-Cons.  I don't know what they are because, again, I haven't collected much RID.  But it's nice that you can do this if you have the toys available to you.  

The original FOC Grimlock also had electronic lights for when you open up his jaw with a lever behind his head.  This RID retooling has neither the electronics nor the lever to open his jaw, which is sad.  The new dinosaur head does have an opening jaw, however, with both the top of the skull rising a little and the jaw itself hinging down more.  You have to -- gasp -- use your finger, though.

Grimlock still comes with Grimlock's sword and shield.  They don't suit this version of the character very well, but you can pretty easily forget you own them.  I'm sure some other toy could borrow 'em.  

Unlike Platinum Bumblebee's seemingly scant bit of paint, Platinum Grimlock feels covered with it.  Lots of details here and there, from silver and green and charcoal to yellow.  That and the retooling is where all the money went, and it's all very pleasing.  He doesn't look unfinished, and I don't think I see any deco that my mind thinks is missing.  

If Platinum Edition Grimlock/Bumblebee pleases your noodle, you can find him on Entertainment Earth's website for sale!  

Posted June 15, 2016 at 12:01 am

Hey, you guys!  Entertainment Earth has a fancy new exclusive toy set It’s one of those Platinum dealies where you get all the paint and whatnot, so if you saw Deluxe Bumblebee in stores last year and were like, okay, but what if this thing were painted, or if you saw Deluxe Grimlock and were like, okay, but what if this were scaled to Bumblebee correctly – these are your guys.

I will have one soon!  And I will talk about it too much then, I’m pretty sure.  You know how I am.

Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:01 pm

In Bumblebee and his redeco/retool Goldfire we've got a little microcosm of toy-pushed fiction.  The Bumblebee toy was designed to mimick a comics-only design that appeared years back.  Later in the comics, he'd be rebuilt into a "Goldfire" version of that same body because the comic had to advertise the redeco/retool.  As I type this, I realize no one else is going to care.  BUT TOO LATE, YOU READ IT.

The toy is simple enough, and for that it's a fun buy.  Back of the car becomes the legs, the sides become the arms and the hood becomes the shoulders.  The torso untelescopes to reveal the head, and everything else piles up on his back.  It works better as Bumblebee -- my Goldfire has trouble keeping the torso locked together in robot mode.  

That's about it.

Posted January 7, 2013 at 2:15 am
Can't find my Frenzy! So pushing back talking about the Data Disk guys once again.

Here's Beast Hunters Bumblebee. I found him and nobody but him when I was out looking for his wave, and as I am weak, I snatched him up. He wasn't on my list or anything, since my place is kind of lousy with Bumblebees already, but after seeing some photos of him in-hand on the Internet, I saw that he was pretty neat-looking. And, hey, Bumblebee with spikes all over him. He reminds me of Johnny Five at the end of Short Circuit 2 where he covers himself in random spikey punk rock shit and then uses his last five minutes alive for spiteful vengeance, as you do.

As you might notice, he is heavily retooled! Not much of the original toy survives, though the engineering and transformation is the same. Let's see, the middle of his upper torso, all of the gray of his middle torso and thighs, and the non-vehicle-y parts of his lower legs, plus his arms from the biceps on down... those are all old parts. The head and pretty much the entirety of the vehicle mode (other than that middle hood section) are new.

He still comes with the two arm-mounted blasters of the original tooling, plus a crossbow-like weapon that mounts on his hood or his arm or in his hand. He comes with a whoppin' six dang missiles, which the crossbow-thing can fire with a spring-loaded mechanism. This dude is armed. He will murder you. If you're a beast, anyway. Or so I think the story goes.

He's pretty hard core.
Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:05 am
Apparently Canada is lousy with the "Bumblebee vs. Starscream" entertainment pack.  Which is too bad, 'cuz the United States sure could use some!  Adekii heard my pleas and graciously grabbed me one from the plethora in his neck of the woods, and now I have one and his stores have one fewer.

The set is called "Bumblebee vs. Starscream," and it does come with both a Bumblebee and a Starscream, but screw those toys.  It's the humans I'm after.  Silas, the commander of the terrorist organization MECH, plus a MECH trooper are included in this set, and this is the only way to get 'em.

Unlike the Miko/Jack/Raf figurines, Silas and his buddy are all one molded piece.  Their stands aren't removable, nor are their heads articulated.  Dang!  But at least they exist.  Human villain figures are among my favorite Transformers things.

Yeah, there's a slightly-redecoed Bumblebee and Starscream.  Whee, I guess.  They can go in the pile.  ...along with the DVD that also comes in the set, once/if I remove it from the packaging.  I have this series on blu-ray!
Posted November 22, 2011 at 2:05 am
Bumblebee comes in both regular and "John Boehner" editions.


LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT IMPULSE-BUY-WEAKNESS CAST THE FIRST STONE.

Look!  You can't judge me!  Why?  THE BIBLE.  Sure, okay, most scholars doubt that passage's authenticity, but BIBLICAL dammit BIBLICAL.

Anyway, this is "First Edition" Bumblebee.  He's starting to show up at Toys"R"Uses.  Arcee and Starscream are also showing up there, but they tend to get grabbed up before you arrive.  This is the version of this Bumblebee mold that's not a taxi.  And, man, does he make the taxi version look orange!

G1 fans rejoice! Bumblebee is no longer a Camaro!


He also makes the taxi version look kind of devoid of paint, relatively.  It's weird.  You'd expect the exclusive version, the version they can charge anything for, to have more.  Yet counter to my expectations, the retail version seems covered in more paint operations.  Lots of small things I would have to otherwise paint myself, were I to attempt show-accuracy, are already done for me, like the swabs of black on his hips and gray on his crotch.

Comes with the stand, but not the extra gun.


(Though it looks like I may have to add some silver to his inside ankles.  Silver Sharpie here we come!  Matching the gunmetal gray for his wrists may be tougher.)

Speaking of matching colors, the gunmetal gray on both versions of Bumblebee seems identical to me.  That means you can steal Taxibee's weapon with impunity!  "First Edition" Bumblebee can now rock guns on both his forearms just like in the cartoon.

All of the "First Edition" guys come with cardboard stands which are fit into the bottom of the packaging.  I will not be using these.  Nice thought, though.
Posted October 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm
One of these things is not like the other...


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.

He's a cheerful, boyish Snake-Eyes.


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!

A taxi! Well, close enough for government work.


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.
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