Bumblebee (1974) (Deluxe Class) Review
According to his tech spec, Bumblebee was among the first Autobots sent to earth by Optimus Prime. Fitting then, that he be among the first to get a review here at The Allspark. This version of Bumblebee is the 1974 Chevrolet Camaro as seen in astf and is a Deluxe class figure that retails for around $9.95 US. Like previous incarnations of the character from other series, his primary colors are yellow and black. The yellow in this case is a very subdued real world shade that is close to the original colors available on the 1974 Camaro.
Robot Mode: Like most movie figures, the translation from the on screen character to the real world toy is sometimes ambiguous. In this case, Bumblebee does a fair job of living up to his likeness. The detailed limbs to the mock car parts on his abdomen all serve to make sure the toy is recognizable as the character, as well as the very detailed face and head sculpt. Standing at 5.5 inches tall (14 cm), Bumblebee is pretty close to being in scale with the Leader Class Optimus Prime figure.
He has the level of articulation you'd expect from a deluxe, including ball joints in the shoulders, elbows and thighs, hinge joints on the knees and ankles and wrists that rotate 360 degrees. This allows for some degree of action posability, but the car parts on his legs do somewhat limit his movement there.
For added play value, Bumblebee includes two rocket launchers with projectiles. These can be held in his hands or mounted on his shoulders.
Transformation: Like most movie figures, Bumblebee sports "Automorph" technology which is designed to assist in the transformation. In this case, it is in the form of a button you push on his hood that causes his front end to flip down revealing his head. From there, his arms swing out from the sides and the rear of his car splits to form his legs. In the spirit of the other movie characters, there's the feel of panels sliding and parts reconfiguring, partictuarly in his legs and chest detail.
Car Mode: Bumblebee, in this version, is a 1974 Camaro, complete with rally wheels and racing stripes. The sculpted detail is very accurate and there's no question about what kind of car this is. The only thing keeping it from being less toylike and more like a replica are the painted tail lights, painted windows* and plastic wheels. His car mode is also 5.5 inches (14cm) in length.
In addition to the visual aspects of this car mode, it also includes the functional aspect of being able to store both weapons
Overall: For the most part, this deluxe is on par with what is expected of its class. Its nothing that stands out above and beyond expectations, but as a key character in the upcoming astf, it is worth picking up.
Overall Score: 6.5
* Early test shot images, including those pictured on the packaging show that the original design called for certain molded parts to be translucent blue instead of a solid color. This would have allowed for the windows to be clear, as well as his eyes and projectiles. It is unknown why this was changed prior to production. While in most cases, whether the windows are clear or painted is a matter of personal preference, the result was more detrimental to the robot mode. Without the clear blue to break up the solid yellow parts hanging from his limbs and back, or the yellow color of his projectiles, the toy looks more bland than it previously did. The use of paint on the windows and eyes to make them blue also seems to have cost the figure additional paint on the face that brought out the detail of the face sculpt.
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