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Prelude: There is a Bumblebee moving coming out this Christmas, maybe you’ve heard of it. Starring everyone’s favorite kid-appeal, spine-tearing, head-impaling, evil-Arab-killing yellow Autobot hero. And in order to capture the nostalgia crowd, he becomes a Volkswagen Beetle again. Yeah, kids, Bumblebee was originally a Volkswagen Beetle, not a Camaro or some other sports car. But hey, that was 34 years ago, so it’s been a while. But now Bee is back as a Beetle on the big screen and in the Studio Series. Here we go!
Robot Mode: First thing you need to know about this robot is that he is mostly a so-called shell-former. The largest part of the chassis of his car mode is folded together on his back. Only parts of his chest and the back of his legs are actually part of the car. He is actually quite similar in engineering to the first Studio Series Bumblebee, despite being an entirely new mold. So Bumblebee is a shell-former. If that is not your cup of tea, this might not be the figure for you.
Anyway, the figure is highly detailed and very nicely articulated, but a good deal smaller than other Deluxe class figures (such as the aforementioned Camaro Bee). This fits with his appearance in the movie trailers, actually, so no complaints here, just mentioning it. He also comes with a number of accessories. Like Camaro Bee he can switch out his right lower arm for a blaster. He also carries a blade that can attach to either forearm. Finally he has a battle mask, which he can switch out with his regular face. Cue an appearance from Optimus Prime, saying “give me your face!”. Sorry, that’s one of those jokes you just have to make. Anyway, both the battle mask and the blaster can be stored on Bee’s back. Not the blade, though.
Overall I must say that I like this robot mode. He doesn’t look at all like G1 Bumblebee despite the similar vehicle mode, but that isn’t really a requirement. So bottom line, a nice robot mode and looking sufficiently different from the endless parade of Movie Bumblebees we’ve had over the last decade to be interesting.
Alternate Mode: There was never really a question for me about getting this figure, mostly due to its alternate mode. And no, not because it’s the same alternate mode G1 Bumblebee had, but rather because both my father and my mother-in-law used to drive a Beetle themselves (though my dad’s was green). So yeah, Bumblebee transformers into a Volkswagen Beetle. Given that he is a shell former, this is mostly him curling up and unfolding his backpack.
Now I have heard from multiple sources that a lot of Bumblebees have some QC problems here, making it difficult (if not impossible) to properly tab the shell together. Luckily my Bee seems to have been spared these problems (not everything connects perfectly, but well enough), but it’s still not an easy feat to get everything lined up and tabbed in correctly. Once you have done it, though, you get a nice little Volkswagen Beetle. Both of Bee’s weapons and his battle mask can be stored underneath the car and you even get the fully screen-accurate visible robot head there. So bottom line, a very nice car mode.
Remarks: The Bumblebee Movie isn’t out yet, so we only know what we’ve seen in the trailers so far. It’s a prequel to the 2007 movie (or possibly a reboot, we’ll see) and shows Bumblebee hiding out on Earth and making friends with a human girl, all the while being hunted by Decepticons and WWE wrestler John Cena. The fact that this plot summary sounds really mundane when compared with other Transformers movies gives me hope.
As for the figure itself, I like it. It’s not perfect and apparently quite a few of him have quality control problems, but speaking solely for myself, this is my favorite Movie-style Bumblebee so far. The fact that it’s a Volkswagen Beetle plays a big part here, granted, but even disregarding that, I still like him. So if you are tired of Movie-style Bumblebees that all more or less look alike, here is finally something (semi-)new for you. Recommended to everyone who isn’t completely sick of Movie-style Bee yet.
You own this figure? Rate it on TFU!
Phil's review of Studio Series Bumblebee (VW Beetle)
Posted 10 November 2018 - 12:40 PM
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