Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Display Case: Transformers Reveal the Shield Bumblebee

So to start this site off, why not do a review. As I mentioned, I collect a ton of stuff. One of my more prominant collections consist of those popular robots that turn into cars and trucks and planes and tanks and guns and cassette players and toasters and microscopes and whatever else you could think of. Yes, of course I'm talking about Transformers.
 I've been a fan since the mid-90s during the popularity of Beast Wars, dropped off not long after Transformers: Armada (*shudder*) and hoped back on a few months before the release of the first Michael Bay movie. Since then I've been mostly going after Hasbro's newest renditions of some of the classic 80's character designs. Today we'll be looking at one of those reimaginings in the form of Reveal the Shield, or RtS for short, deluxe Bumblebee.

Vehicle Mode:

This isn't actually the first time we've seen this version Bumblebee. Back around the tailend of 2006 Hasbro released a very short filler line called "Transformers Classics", which gave us new versions of some of the TF characters inspired by their 1980s designs. "Bee here was one of the first to be seen and released alongside mainstays such as Optimus Prime and Starscream. Since then the mold has been released four more times, including this version. Twice in the US and twice in Japan. Bumblebee here transforms into a fictional little hatchback since Volkswagen wants nothing to do with "War Toys".....cowards. Even though it's not a Beetle it's the next best thing and, in my opinion, way more stylish and sporty. His sculpting here really gets the job done with details such as rearview mirrors, a raised hood, clear-plastic headlights, a spoiler and a hitch on the back. They even managed to fit in two little seats inside, which you don't normally see in most TFs.

His paintjob is similar to his movie counterpart. A rich shade of yellow with dual black stripes stretching from the car's hood to it's back window. I love this color scheme. It just seems to pop really well and when combined with the blue plastic that makes up the headlights, front and back windows, makes for a very striking vehicle mode. This is a car I would not mind owning.

Size-wise he actually isn't all that small when compared to someone like RtS Jazz here. When side by size he's only about a half an inch shorter then most other deluxe-class vehicles yet just as tall height-wise. Unlike his very first toy, whose vehicle mode was twice as small as everyone else, even in the cartoon, here 'Bee is in a very good scale.

Robot Mode:

In robot mode, 'Bee comes off looking very wide and stocky. The designers at Hasbro have stated that when coming up with this mode they designed him after a typical teenager, wearing a hoodie with a bunch of pockets and some big sneakers. This fits Bumblebee to a tee. In the original 'toon he was pretty much the kid of the group, so modeling this new toy after a kid was a smart choice. The way his roof and back end come together give him a very solid look. The front of the car forms his feet, which is a design detail from his original design, along with some added leg armor and his seats becoming knee pads.

Even though he comes off as chunky, his articulation is actually perfectly fine and not hindered at all. He possesses a ball-jointed neck that allows him to look up and down as well as side to side. His arms are also balljointed with one in the shoulder and the other in the elbow, thus eliminating the need of any cut or peg joints. Leg-wise he has balljointed hips, single hinged knees and even articulated feet, but that's moreso due to his transformation. While his articulation of pretty on par I would have liked a waist joint as well as some ankle tilts, but due to the time this mold was created as well as it's design prevents that. It's no real loss though.

Height-wise he actually ends up a good amount shorter then his other Autobot friends considering how in scale his vehicle mode is. This isn't a bad thing, though. Because of his his height in the original cartoon, comics and other media, this is a perfect size for him without having to resort to making him a Scout or Legend class TF. You may have noticed that thing on Bumblebee's back. What is it? Well I'll tell you in our last category.....


Say hello to the Wave Crusher. As you can see it's a little jetski on a trailer that you can hitch onto Bumblebee in vehicle mode, like so.....

But this only serves as a disguise. Just like Bumblebee it, too, transforms. If 'Bee ever needs a boost in robot mode or needs to reach new heights, that's when the Wave Crusher reveals it's true mode: a twin-turbine jetpack!

The jetpack clips firmly onto Bumblebee's backpack, via the jetski itself, while the trailer unfolds to become a pair of wings with a turbine on each. Since it shares the same color scheme as 'Bee, when combined it blends almost seamlessly and actually looks pretty good. With the jetpack you now have more ways to display the figure then before, such as hovering above the ground.


So what's the bottom line? Well, if you don't own any of the previous incarnations of the Classics Bumblebee mold then this is the perfect time to get one since he's still just hitting stores. If you already own the mold then there's no real reason to pick this guy up unless your current Bumblebee is a junker or has seen better days. Either way, he'll make a great addition to any TF collection.

Huh.....that wasn't so bad......I think I'll do more of these reviews.....

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