"Age of Extinction" One Step Changer High Octane Bumblebee Toy Review
Release Date: May 12, 2014 (Online); May 17, 2014 (Stores)
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
Bumblebee is back, and he's tougher than ever! This High Octane Bumblebee changer fights his Decepticon enemies every time he can, and he converts so fast they'll never be able to keep up. Flip him to convert him from mighty robot mode to sports car mode in just 1 step, then convert him back again when the battle calls for it! The Decepticons will never be able to handle your fast-changing High Octane Bumblebee figure! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
As part of its drive to appeal to different segments of the toy buying audience, Hasbro has introduced different sub-lines of "Transformers" figures for the "Age of Extinction" toy line. One of these are the "One Step Changers". As the name suggests, the idea behind these figures is the ability to transform the figure in one step, keeping them in spirit with G1 toys like Jumpstarters and Battlechargers.
Surprisingly, the "Age of Extinction" toy line was not piled high with Bumblebee figures. Indeed, this is only the second figure representing High Octane Bumblebee.
Bumblebee transforms into a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro in vehicle form. He has some classic lines including a curved front end that ends in a flat grille section. The lines are rather aggressive and he looks like a cool muscle car. It has many of the real life vehicle's features including exhaust pipes under each door, an "SS" logo (for "Super Speed") on the back and support cage details on the back window. However, unlike the Deluxe version of the character his proportions are a bit thick and chunky. I speculate this is in part to aid with the ability to hold him and utilize his "one step" changing feature.
Bumblebee is cast in black plastic in this mode. A dark yellow color is used on the edges of the vehicle's front end and the back. The yellow is also used to paint the "SS" letters near the front wheel wells as well as a large Autobot symbol on the right side door. The windows are painted metallic blue, though he doesn't have windows on the sides.
Bumblebee rolls on all four wheels. Unlike my copy of the One Step Changer Drift toy there are no issues with the wheels popping off.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
While it is advertised as "one step", really there's sort of a mini-step before transforming the figure: separating the halves of the vehicle's rear section. Not fully, just make sure they're not pegged together. Then hold one half of the rear section and swing it quickly out (like a butterfly knife) and the robot mode will quickly unfold.
In sharp contrast to the smooth panels from the vehicle mode, Bumblebee's robot mode is full of mechanical details. There is his insect-inspired head complete with his "ears/antennae" sticking out a bit on top and the round piece on his mouth that looks like a rebreather. The chest has sculpted details resembling the front of the car mode and his mid-body carries over details that have been part of Movie Bumblebee's form since the first movie including a "bent" license plate. Each arm has armor panels on the outside and the right arm is sculpted to be in "blaster mode". His left arm has an axe blade sculpted into the wrist area next to the fist. All this means Bumblebee looks like he's ready for some serious battling!
This mode shows off some gunmetal grey plastic on the arms while the rest is still black. However, yellow and gunmetal are used very nicely on the torso and head to give him extra colors. His eyes and axe blade are painted metallic blue and there's an Autobot symbol on the right side of the chest. His feet are painted yellow. For a One Step Changer, I'm actually very impressed with this deco. There's definitely more to it than I expected.
Bumblebee has four points of articulation in this mode, all centered around the shoulders. They can move up and down and swivel out to the sides. Sadly he does not have a 5mm peg in his left fist, which would've been neat to allow him to hold extra weaponry, but since his right arm is in "blaster mode" it kind of makes up for that.
One Step Changer High Octane Bumblebee looks great in both modes and he's fun to play with. I am glad the One Step gimmick works nicely in this figure. If you're into the One Step Changers from "Age of Extinction" at all, this one is definitely worth adding to your collection.