Hunt for the Decepticons Battle Blade Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2010, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Hunt for the Decepticons, Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: July 2010
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
BUMBLEBEE is used to the odds being against him. This time is no different than any of dozens of other fights he’s been in. As RAVAGE and INSECTICON circle him in the gloom, he focuses all his energy on being ready for the attack he knows is coming.

Gear up for an intense robot battle with this BATTLE BLADE BUMBLEBEE figure! This warrior is ready to face down his toughest opponents when you flip down his battle “mask” and make him wield his converting battle-axe accessory. Convert him to Camaro concept car vehicle mode so he can tear down the streets in hot pursuit of any fleeing adversaries! Awesome robot-to-vehicle warrior converts from robot mode to Camaro concept car vehicle mode — and back again! Ages 5 and up.

I'm sure somewhere buried in a memo at Hasbro or Tomy is some type of suggestion that every major launch of a movie related line must have a Bumblebee figure in it somewhere. The "Revenge of the Fallen" line has already had several different versions of Bumblebee released and now as part of the "Hunt for the Decepticons" sub-line, a newer version has been released. However, unlike previous Deluxe versions, Battle Blade Bumblebee is a completely new sculpt!

Robot Mode:
When I first cracked open this figure and took it out of the packaging, something struck me about it instantly: it looked bigger than the other Deluxe Bumblebee figures. Grabbing my nearby Cannon Bumblebee for comparison, I discovered that yes, indeed this Bumblebee is larger than its predecessors! By designing the figure so its legs extend in robot mode, some height is added and as the other parts were made in proportion to each other, the rest of him winds up being slightly larger than the other Deluxe Bumblebees overall.

I was also struck by the high level of detail on this figure. Not that previous Bumblebees didn't have good sculpting, but there was an extra effort made here to offer updetailing such as indented sections on his upper arms, tubes in the middle of his body and gears on the underside of the forearms. Most notably his head sculpt is a bit less "cute" looking in this incarnation and a bit more akin to the more gritty, realistic looking CGI model. While still round, his eyes are nowhere near as large as the other Deluxe versions and the lines of his cheeks and the shape of his jawline is much more pronounced here. He also has the details of both the regular head (including vertical lines on his mouth/voicebox) and the "Battle Mask". The reason for this is that unlike previous Deluxe scale Bumblebees that only had a "Battle Mask" head or a regular head, Battle Blade Bumblebee has both, allowing you to slide the Battle Mask down over his face. This alone should really impress upon you how the designers were trying to take this figure to another level.

Head sculpt aside, I would be remiss if I did not mention other really nicely done details such as each finger's segments being sculpted on his hands, the fact that his vehicle mode grill actually breaks up into three pieces in this mode or the chain and gear details that appear on his back where the front wheels are attached. I have to admit by being wowed at the sheer level of effort put into the sculpt of this figure considering how easy it is for Hasbro to simply redeco a Bumblebee, throw it into a toy line and call it a day.

Color wise this figure has everything you'd expect. The four primary plastic colors are yellow, silver blue, black and translucent blue. The yellow of course makes up most of the parts that become vehicle mode bits such as his chest and the dloors hanging off his back. Some bits of yellow are used for robot mode exclusive parts as well including his front foot piece, his shoulder armor, the "helmet" section of the head and the weapon pods on the sides of his forearms (more on those in a bit). The silver blue makes up a lot of the robot mode exclusive mechanical parts including the arms, the waist, thighs and parts of the lower leg and foot. It's also found on his face, neck and the section that connects the neck to the main body. Black is used on much smaller parts including his hands, the wheels on his legs and back and the outer heel pieces on the back of each foot. As you probably already figured, the translucent blue plastic is used for the windows of the vehicle mode and the robot eyes, but on this figure it's also used for the axe weapon built into his left arm and I have to say it really looks brilliant and striking against the darker toned colors that make up so much of his body.

Paint applications on this figure are fairly minimal, but where used they work very well. Silver, yellow, black and red are all distributed throughout the robot form. Silver is found on the chest, where it paints a tiny Autobot symbol near the head. It is also used for detailing on his forearms and waist. Yellow paint is used on the chest (right in the center where the Chevrolet logo is found), the sides of the waist and to outline armor segments on the lower legs. Black paint is used on various parts of the body including the front grille on the chest and the area round the fog lights. You'll also find it used to paint the angled lines on his "Battle Mask". Red is the most sparingly used in this mode. You'll find it on his chest, painting the outline of the Chevrolet symbol. I do confess to being a little surprised that there was no Autobot symbol printed onto the crest on his head. It's a detail that's been done in other Deluxe scale Bumblebees and in a figure that is so "complete", it seems an odd detail to leave out. That said, the paint scheme and colors on this figure look fantastic overall.

Bumblebee has twenty two points of articulation in this form. What I really like is that all these are functional, meaningful points of articulation. This includes ball jointed shoulders and hips as well as waist articulation. I stress that because I've noticed a trend recently where innovative transformations have led to sacrificing waist articulation on many figures so it's nice when you do see it. I was also impressed to find his open palmed hands have articulation on the thumbs! Kudos to some non-articulation related bits including the aforementioned grille being broken up into three pieces and his feet having two distinct heel pieces, which line up more in appearance with the CGI model but also offer better stability to stand the figure.

Bumblebee has three primary action/battle functions in this mode which says a lot as many figures nowadays are lucky to have two. First is his aforementioned "Battle Mask". It slides down easily over the face and looks great! Next up is his famous cannon on his right arm. In the movies, his arm does a neat trick where it transforms into the cannon (something the "War for Cybertron" video game has taken on as canon for G1-esque Transformers now as well). In this version, you fold the hand in against the forearm, rotate the outer yellow armor around, the split it open and pull the cannon barrel forward, then close up the armor halves again. Effectively, you have transformed his arm into the cannon, just like the movie! It's a simple, but spectacular addition to the figure and I am both impressed and amused all at the same time. But a cannon isn't enough for ol' Bumblebee, nope. He's also armed with an axe this time! Press the silver button on his left forearm and a spring loaded axe deploys. Fold out the blade and tuck the hand back and now his arm has "transformed" into a melee weapon. I'm really happy with this not only because it adds functionality to the figure, but it also echoes some of the Generation One Autobots, who (early on in the G1 series) were shown to have specialized implements coming out of their hands. Jazz had a grappling hook, Optimus Prime had an axe, Sideswipe had piledrivers and so on. This echoes that era of Transformers so it gets nothing but praise from me!

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Make sure that both weapons are tucked away.
  2. Push the middle grille halves down so they align with the center piece.
  3. Push the two headlight panels on the chest down.
  4. Fold each hand in against the inner forearms.
  5. Push the heel pieces on each foot together.
  6. Swing the front part of each foot up against the lower leg, this will "auto transform" the rear panels of the vehicle mode to shift down.
  7. Push each lower leg up at the knee joint, then connect the car panel on the thighs to the rear halves of the vehicle.
  8. Connect the rear halves of the vehicle mode together.
  9. Swing the middle section of the car hood up (it is tucked into the back in robot mode).
  10. Swing the chest up half way, then push down the small panel with the Autobot symbol on it, then slowly lift the panel the rest of the way. If you do this too quickly without the adjustment, there is a tendency for the head to pop off (though it is easily reattached).
  11. Swing the waist piece under the front section of the car.
  12. Swing the robot arms under the car. Make sure the shoulder armor is facing up and rotate the forearms so the yellow armor tucks under the car.
  13. Swing the panels with the front wheels on them forward, connecting them to the small pegs on the upper arms. You may have to do some adjustment to the hinge where the legs and hip section meet.
  14. Swing out the windshield and rear window panels, then swing that entire section back to complete the vehicle mode.

    Vehicle Mode:
    While a lot of liberties were taken with the robot mode in this figure (for the better), the vehicle mode is a bit more difficult to distinguish from its predecessors. All the requisite design elements of the Camaro are present including:

    • The Chevrolet logo prominantly featured in the front.
    • The headlight design where they are inset on the top with the fog lights underneath them in a separate compartment.
    • The word "Camaro" sculpted right behind the front wheel wells.
    • Three curved lines right in front of the rear wheel well.
    • The raised air intake on the center of the hood.
    • The gas cap on the left side towards the back.
    • Twin exhaust pipes in the back.
    • A raised Chevrolet logo on the back.
    • The distinctive rectangular rear lights, two on each side in the back.

    There are some very super, subtle differences between this version of the Camaro and say, the Cannon Bumblebee iteration. Most notable are the lines where different panels meet. The Cannon Bumblebee figure had less ability to break panels apart on the front of the car into robot mode, so it looked smoother. Here yuo see the dividing lines on either side of the Chevrolet symbol. Another difference is how pronounced certain details are. On this version the air intake vent on the hood is shaped with a point towards the front instead of just being a totally horizontal front end. The openings at the top of his front wheel wells also flare out a lot more than the Cannon Bumblebee version and the indented detail on the top of the vehicle is slightly more narrow than the one on Cannon Bumblebee. As you can tell, these are very minor nitpicks and really don't change the appearance of the vehicle much overall.

    This mode shows off mostly yellow and translucent blue plastic. The wheels are cast in black. Black, silver and red paint is used for detailing on the figure. Of course he has his requisite black stripes (which are bit more sharply angled on this version than previous ones) and the front grille sections are painted black as well. The red is used on the Chevrolet logo in the front as well as the lights in the back. Silver is used on the sides of the wheels and the headlights, but oddly enough not on the fog lights or the "Camaro" detail on the sides. I really wish those had been painted in as they would have "completed" the look of the vehicle. Still, in the overall scheme of things, this is a very minor complaint.

    Final Thoughts:
    There have been so many iterations of Bumblebee in the Deluxe class he could compete with Wolverine for the number of variants created. Many have tried to create aspects of the character, but Battle Blade Bumblebee is the first to truly succeed in integrating functional aspects of the character as they appeared on screen while creating a new sculpt and giving him a new melee weapon. In my opinion, this is the most "complete package" representing Bumblebee on the Deluxe scale to date, and it is highly recommended!