Bot Shots "Battle Mask" Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Bot Shots, Generation One

Bot Shots

General Information:
Release Date: September 2012
fPrice Point: $3.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images with asterisks and text below in italics are from the Official Transformers web site:
Crash and bash your way to victory in the TRANSFORMERS BOT SHOTS Battle Game! Will your BUMBLEBEE vehicle convert to robot mode and make you the winner? Find out when you crash your vehicles together! Crash and bash your way to BOT SHOTS victory!

Choose your BUMBLEBEE vehicle’s power, then crash into battle with your opponent. Two ways to win when you crash your vehicles together! If your vehicle converts to robot mode when your opponent’s doesn’t, you’re the winner! If both of your vehicles convert, the vehicle with the highest power wins! Blaster beats Fist, Fist beats Sword and Sword beats Blaster. If neither vehicle converts, crash them all over again!

Includes vehicle. Series 1 B019 BUMBLEBEE. Ages 5 and up.

BumblebeeBot Shots are a game based expression of the Transformers brand that focuses on interactive game play between figures. Previous attempts at this such as "Attacktix" had relied on missile firing mechanisms and point systems as the primary elements of the gaming system. Bot Shots are much more action oriented and factor the transformation of the toy into the play pattern (which Attacktix did not).

In general, all Bot Shots figures have a vehicle mode and robot mode. The transformation is triggered by "bashing" the front of the vehicle into another Bash Bot (or a wall, book...any solid surface really) causing a spring loaded feature to activate and transform the figure. This generally means revealing the robot head, arms angled out to the sides and feet along with robot mode details.

The key to the game system is a three sided hinged mechanism built into the chest. On each side is a sticker with one of three icons: a fist, a sword and a blaster - each representing a different type of combat. Presumably without your opponent seeing your selection, you turn the panel on the chest and then crash the two Bot Shots together and when the robot mode is revealed each player will know what "weapon" the other chose. The way the game works:

  • Blaster beats fist
  • Fist beats sword
  • Sword beats blaster

In the case of two Bot Shots getting the same icon each icon has a number on it indicating that character's level of that skill. Whoever has the higher number wins. It's a simple and fun system clearly developed for kids who enjoy a game element to their action figures (such as lines like Bakugan).

If there's one figure that you can claim has been ubiquitous in the Bot Shots game, it's Bumblebee. I mean geez, at the moment you could literally own this guy five times over between his individual and multi pack releases. This version of the character uses the same basic sculpt as the first release, the Super Bot and the Prowl/Bumblebee/Sentinel Prime three pack (and that doesn't include the "Battle for the Matrix" five pack version). I think it goes without saying that you can refer to the other reviews for a bulk of my thoughts on the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Robot Mode:
Unlike the previous releases of this figure, there is an actual retool this time out! Truth be told, if this Bumblebee had been just another one using the exact same sculpt as the previous ones, I may have skipped it. However, the retool is a significant one: the head. While his helmet section is pretty much the same with a crest in the center and horns on the side, the face itself is completely different. Looking like a "Battle Mask" of sorts, this face is actually based on Generation One Bumblebee's toy head, which was a completely different design than what ultimately made it on television. This face has angled visor eyes and a layered mouthplate with a beveled section in the center. It's instantly recognizable to any G1 fan "in the know" but to kids who may not realize its source, it's very different and is slightly reminscent of hiw "Battle Mask" from the movies. Either way, it's a win/win!

Bumblebee is cast in yellow and black plastic. The yellow used this time is a rather light shade, more akin to what was used on G1 Bumblebee. The paint job is fairly extensive on this figure (as extensive as you can get on a Bot Shot figure). His mouthplate, upper arms and legs are all colored silver. This is significant as not many Bot Shots have their arms and legs painted. The eyes are painted light blue, following the convention of Autobots having blue eyes while Decepticons have red ones. It's a strong redeco for sure and looks great.

There is no articulation to really discuss and Bot Shots don't come with any accessories. The main fun in this figure is in the "crashing" play pattern and seeing how many of your friends you can defeat! For those curious, Starscream's scores break down as follows:

  • Blaster: 390
  • Fist: 610
  • Sword: 620

Given that Bumblebee (this time out) is not a Super Bot, I was quite impressed with these numbers. Usually one number winds up being wildly low while the others are higher. This time out, the "Fist" and "Sword" ratings balance out nicely and the "Blaster" score isn't bad either. This is definitely not a piece you should be shy about having in your Bot Shots arsenal when playing the game.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the car hood on the back over the robot head, this will also cause the arms to swing in.
  2. Swing the robot feet up against the underside of the car.

I had no issues with the transformation, though the front end of this version of Bumblebee is a tad more sensitive than the previous versions.

Vehicle Mode:
There's no retooling of the sculpt in vehicle mode, however like the robot mode this time out we get a lot more bang for our buck in terms of paint deco. Black paint is used on all the windows and the front grille section. The spoiler has a strip of silver paint on the top. Relatively speaking, this is a lot of deco for a Bot Shots vehicle mode, and my guess is that after using this sculpt so many times over in rapid succession, the designers felt they had to step things up to justify a potential fifth purchase of this sculpt!

Final Thoughts:
On its own merits, this is a spectacular Bot Shots version of Bumblebee. I love that he borrows the head design from the G1 version of the character (a design that isn't often used) and the extra deco really looks great. The only problem is, if you've been buying Bot Shots, you probably own this basic sculpt at least two times already, so you're going to have to consider how many 'bees you want floating around your Bot Shots army before purchasing.