Release Year: September 2008
Retailer: Wal-Mart Exclusive
Animated Bumblebee Accessories: Rockets x 2
Classics Bumblebee Accessories: Wave Crusher jetski/back pack
Premium Bumblebee Accessories: Cannon/Blade weapon
It's no surprise that Bumblebee was a character whose prominance grew to epic proportions after being made a feature character in the first live action Transformers film. There is no doubt the character was an integral part of the G1 canon, having been featured prominantly in both the G1 cartoon and comic book. In 2008, a three pack of figures was released as a Wal-Mart exclusive centering on different incarnations of Bumblebee. This "Legacy of Bumblebee" three pack repackages two previous releases of the character, namely Premium Bumblebee and Animated Bumblebee. Those two figures are unchanged from their previous releases. Classics Bumblebee however was altered, and despite the box packaging being designed with graphics from those of the first movie, this primarily led to my decision to place this review primarily in the "Classics" section. This review will focus on the changes made to Classics Bumblebee for this release.
The packaging of the figure is a bit misleading as the Classics Bumblebee shown on the back is just the first release of the figure with some Photoshopped details changed, specifically the black line designs. However, certain parts still show as silver such as his forearms, but the colors are not the same on the final product - and for that I'm thankful. The final product has more plastic color changes than the photography would indicate.
The plastic color replacement is pretty simple on this figure. The clear translucent pieces on the first Classics Bumblebee have been replaced with a deep, translucent blue plastic. The black parts all remain black but the yellow and silver parts have been replaced with a deep yellow color that is more in line with the yellow seen on the figures representing the Movie Bumblebee. One of the benefits of this plastic color replacement is the look of the head, which is now cast in yellow instead of being painted yellow. The color is simply bolder and looks great. The first Classics Bumblebee definitely has a lighter and dare I say, "animated" tone. The paint applications on this figure are the same pattern as those found on the first release, but instead of white stripes and designs, these are black - again tying the look of this figure to the look of the Bumblebee from the movie. Silver paint is found on his legs and face, the same places as the previous version. Some dark blue paint apps show up on his shoulders and his crest, contrasting nicely against the yellow plastic. Keeping Bumblebee grounded in the first set of Classics figures, he has a heat sensitive rub symbol on his chest.
With the silver plastic replaced with yellow, Wave Crusher winds up being mostly yellow. The joints and wheels on him are black and the translucent parts are the same deep blue as that on Bumblebee himself. The seat and the edges of the windshield are painted black. This goes well with the Bumblebee figure as the colors wind up looking very uniform.
All of Bumblebee's joints are tight and Wave Crusher clips on as the flight pack nicely.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Transform Wave Crusher by swinging the wings in and connecting them together. Rotate the seat so it points the same way as the point on the front of the jetski mount.
- Swing the robot feet down and connect them together.
- Swing the robot head and the chest piece back.
- Lift the panels on the upper legs to form the back of Bumblebee's seats.
- Swing the rear section of the vehicle down and connect it to the front.
- Pull the door panels on his arms out and rotate them around.
- Swing the robot arms in to reveal the vehicle mode's rear wheels.
- Push in the door panels to form the sides of the vehicle.
All of Bumblebee's parts come together in this form, showing a much more unified yellow color, with black designs contrasting boldly against it. The way the stripes on his hood run up to the windshield, he definitely has a visual callback to the racing stripes on Movie Bumblebee. Having the back section painted mostly black helps keep the yellow color from overwhelming the figurei n any way. In this form we get one more color, a dark red used for the rear lights (another detail carried over from the previous release). The translucent blue on the headlights looks fantastic, reminding me a bit of how dark blue was used for G1 Goldbug. Silver paint is found on the grille and the sides of the wheels, another detail carried over from the first release of this figure. Wave Crusher's mostly yellow color helps the uniform look of the figure when he's attached.
Normally I'm not a big fan of figures that are redecos but don't change the deco pattern. In this case however, I think the deco looks great. However, I do have to note that it really isn't all that different in pattern from the original. Whether or not this three pack is worth picking up largely depends on whether you have the previous releases of the other two figures. If not, then this is totally worth it. If you're a super huge Bumblebee fan, again this is worth it. However, I think to make this a true "must have" something should have been changed on the other two figures, even if only minor changes. Recommended given the notes mentioned above.