"Age of Extinction" Deluxe Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Deluxe, Prime

Age of Extinction

Bumblebee General Information:
Release Date: May 2014
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
He was the first Transformers robot to befriend a human. With his allies again in danger, Bumblebee drops his disguise and charges into battle! Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! This Bumblebee figure is a high-powered fighter whether he's in robot mode or 2015 Concept Camaro mode. With a throwing star in each hand, he'll be a match for any enemy in robot mode. And when he converts to super-charged 2015 Concept Camaro mode, no enemy can hope to escape him! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his foes dish out! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Bumblebee had two vehicle modes in "Age of Extinction", one retro and one modern. This figure represents the modern version of the character, who transformed into a 2014 Concept Camaro!

Packaging:
Bumblebee is inside a blister glued onto a card. The packaging has the familiar vertical Transformers logo on the bubble while above that section on the card is the "Age of Extinction" "4" symbol. The card has artwork of Bumblebee with battle mask down running forward. The figure itself is packaged in robot mode.

Robot Mode:
When Bumblebee took on a new form in "Age of Extinction" it was a lot less like the more conventional G1-inspired form from earlier movies and more alien. Instead of having very recognizable car parts all over his body such as the car hood on the chest, this form relies much more on thin, curved and pointed shapes, giving him an almost insect-like appearance. These designs are then balanced out with a bunch of mechanical details including six piston like designs on his torso and some car panels on his chest. This figure does a great job of showing off a lot of these features. The chest has the distinct, oval shapes of the CG model. This even extends down the legs, which are much more curved like a human's legs instead of more blocky, robotic legs. Of course, there are some design compromises to make this figure transformable. For instance, the arms do not feature quite as many intricate details as the CG model. Still, the figure looks fantastic. It's a really unique looking Transformers sculpt and I like it quite a bit.

Bumblebee is cast in black, silver and yellow plastic. The yellow is a nice, deep color and I really like how rich it looks. Surprisingly, the black and silver make up most of the figure, with yellow only making up smaller parts like the shoulder armor and forearms. There is some translucent plastic with a blue tinge on it used for the vehicle mode, but they do appear here on the back and the forearms. Black and yellow paint are used to provide additional detailing. The yellow is used on parts like the shoulder armor, head, chest, waist area and legs. The interesting thing is that this design emphasizes the black color a lot more than past Bumblebee figures. I would dare say there is a fairly even distribution of yellow and black and it looks good. There is a tiny, light grey Autobot symbol on the top of the head. Overall the colors look good though I do wish the forearms had a bit of silver on them to break up the yellow color.

There are twenty one points of articulation on this figure. This includes four in each arm and six in each leg. The top of the head can slide down over the face to create a "battle mask". Another fun feature is located in the right forearm. If you push the fist inward it reveals a cannon barrel (painted silver). On top of this, Bumblebee includes two "ninja stars". These stars have circles at the edges and 5mm pegs. Bumblebee can hold these in his fists or they can be stored on the back of the figure. Taken as a whole there is quite a bit of play value in this figure.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  • Straighten out the arms and legs.
  • On each forearm, swing the car windows out.
  • Swing the chest panel out, then swing the front end of the car up. Push the chest panel back into place.
  • Swing each shoulder armor piece back.
  • Rotate each leg around.
  • Swing the back of each lower leg up, revealing the vehicle mode's rear wheel wells.
  • On the top of each heel, swing up the yellow pieces.
  • Swing the robot feet into the back of the rear, lower legs.
  • On the rear wheel well parts, rotate the rear panels of the vehicle form down and push them together.
  • Swing the panels on the back towards the back, and use the rear window panel to hold the two legs together.
  • Swing the arms forward to finish forming the sides of the vehicle.
  • The "ninja stars" can be stored on the underside of the vehicle.

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Vehicle Mode:
Bumblebee has been a Camaro of one kind or another since the first Transformers live action film. In "Age of Extinction" he took on the form of a 2014 Concept Camaro. The figure has the same general curved shape of the real life car, but it also has a lot of the smaller details as well. This includes:

  • The headlights on this Camaro are very thin and angled.
  • The front grille is a thin series of horizontal lines that stretch almost entirely across the front of the car.
  • The hood has a series of angled indentations on both sides.
  • There is an Autobot symbol right behind the front wheel wells.
  • The wheel covers all feature "V" shaped "spokes" that are based on the ones used on the real life vehicle.
  • The back has a Chevrolet symbol above the section with the license plate.
  • There are four exhaust pipes, two on each side in the back.

The vehicle is mostly yellow plastic with translucent plastic on the windows. The wheels are all black. Black paint is used on the front end for details like the grille. Black is also used for a bold stripe that runs from the hood all the way to the section right before the rear window. This stripe is outlined with thinner black lines. The headlights are metallic blue. It is not immediately obvious (depending on lighting) but there is a lot of yellow paint used on the vehicle. This is mostly due to the middle of the hood, the cabin cover and part of the doors being formed from translucent plastic. The yellow does not match exactly to the yellow plastic, but it is good enough that it does not look bad. Unfortunately the rear of the vehicle is unpainted. I would have liked to have seen some silver on the exhaust pipes and red on the rear lights.

Final Thoughts:
This is a fun Bumblebee figure that looks good. Granted it isn't perfect. It could use a bit more deco and some details from the CG model could have been sculpted into the figure but were not. Recommended if you want a good representation of the character from the film without tons of special gimmicks like the Power Attackers.

Pros:

  • Good sculpt.
  • Good deco.
  • Fun play factor.
  • Intuitive transformation.
Cons:
  • Needs more deco in the back section.
  • The arms need a bit more sculpted detail.