Transformers Prime Shadow Strike Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Deluxe, Prime, Robots in Disguise

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: June 2012
Price Point: $12.99
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Dual barreled blaster x 2


*Images with asterisks above are from the Official Transformers Web Site

BumblebeeI'm certain there's no small degree of eye rolling among fans looking at this review. I mean, by Primus aren't there enough Bumblebees out there? The "Dark of the Moon" toy line along produced about a dozen Bumblebees in various scales and he's been in almost every major Transformers sub-line since 2007. To be fair however, with "Transformers Prime", the "Robots in Disguise" segment actually waited until its fourth wave of figures before tossing another Bumblebee redeco at us in mass release. Yes, there was the previous "Hot Shot" release, but that actually had a new head so I'm not counting that as a "Bumblebee". I was kind of relieved that Hasbro did wait this long to release a Bumblebee redeco based on the "Robots in Disguise" version of the character. In the past the second or third wave would have seen one or two more Bumblebees already!

As mentioned above, this Bumblebee is a redeco of "Robots in Disguise" Bumblebee. Check out that review for more analysis of the sculpt itself. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
If you're going to recdeco a highly recognizable character like Bumblebee, sometimes the best way to go is use a color that's generally not associated with him. That's the way the designers decided to go with this version of Bumblebee. The base color replacing Bumblebee's well known yellow is a dark shade of silver, which really does almost make him look like a completely different character in vehicle mode. His windows are cast in a green tinged translucent plastic and the wheels are black. Interestingly enough, his headlights are cast in translucent blue instead of green. It's unusual for translucent parts on Transformers to differ in color from section to section so I found this quite interesting. A hint of Bumblebee appears in the form of his weapons, which are both cast in yellow. By themselves, you could almost make a new character out of these colors alone, however the paint deco on this figure firmly places him as Bumblebee.

The paint colors on this figure are yellow, black and silver. The yellow is heavily used on the front end of the car, which combined with the black on the front grille really drives home the Bumblebee connection. Yellow is also used for line patterns that run along the hood, the sides, top and back of the vehicle. The pattern is completely different than the black stripe pattern from previous Bumblebee figures in this line. I like the way the pattern starts with solid lines, but then ends with the lines having gaps in them at the ends. You'll find this on the top and sides of the vehicle. Finally, the engine sticking out from the hood is painted silver.

The two weapons included with this figure still attach without a problem and the yellow color works nicely against the dark silver backdrop that makes up most of the vehicle.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Lift the cabin section.
  3. Swing the back section of the vehicle down.
  4. Separate the halves of the rear section from each other to begin forming the robot legs.
  5. Swing the robot feet down.
  6. Swing the car doors out.
  7. Swing the robot arms down.
  8. Swing the rear window in.
  9. Pull the cabin cover piece back and down.
  10. Now, holding onto the shoulder pieces (made up of the front wheel wells), pull those sections out which will cause an auto-transform feature that reveals the robot head and forms the chest.
  11. Attach the weapons to the holes on either forearm.

Robot Mode:
In this form, there's no doubt just who this character is. Here, yellow plastic parts are distributed throughout Bumblebee's body including his upper arms, waist area and thighs. It's also here that the strong yellow deco on the front end of the car makes more sense as it makes up most of his chest. However, since the center of the chest piece is exposed here, there is some silver to balance it out. Several black plastic pieces are used in this mode as well to offer some darker contrast. This includes his fists and feet. Attach the weapons to his forearms, and you get a nice set of alternating dark and light colors.

The same shade of yellow paint from the vehicle mode is used on several parts of the robot mode. This includes his knee armor and the pointed details on his lower legs. Perhaps my favorite section is the center of the chest, where designs behind the chest panels with the headlights have lines painted in them. The robot head has translucent blue light piping eyes, matching his headlights with the top of the head painted yellow and his face painted silver.

All of Bumblebee's joints are nice and tight and the holes on his forearms hold his weapons nice and snug. None of this is surprising given that it's only the third time this sculpt has been put out, but stranger things have been known to happen.

Final Thoughts:
Many fans have complained of "Bumblebee fatigue" and believe me, I can sympathize. This is a perfectly good redeco, but if you're not a completist and already own another version of 'bee from "Transformers Prime" in this scale I'd say you can skip it. Otherwise it is definitely recommended!