Release Date: 2007
Price Point: $4.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Towards the end of the Classics line in 2007 there was a small line of Legends Class redecos released in very limited quantities. While I have them listed in my Classics section, I honestly had never hoped to own any of them. Imagine my surprise when I saw Bumblebee from this assortment loose but in pristine shape at Botcon! I was shocked. While many stores will ask anywhere from $30-50 for this figure, I managed to snag this loose one for $9 and I am happy to be writing a review that I never thought I would get to write.
Bumblebee is a redeco of Cybertron Legends Hot Shot, and more recently this sculpt was used to create Universe 2.0 Red Alert. Check those reviews out to get my impressions of the sculpt itself. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
With Legends figures, there are generally only about two plastic colors used, so when colors are changed the result can be very dramatic. This is definitely the case with Bumblebee. All the parts that are blue on Hot Shot have been swapped out for a bright, almost neon yellow and the red plastic has been swapped out for black. Anyone who has seen an incarnation of Bumblebee knows that these are his two primary colors, so they make perfect sense. I was a bit surprised by how bright the yellow color is since Hasbro tends to shy away from such bright colors in their current toy lines. I like it and think it makes the figure pop visually, as if it jumped out of a cartoon.
Paint applications are done in black, red, blue and silver. The black is used in this mode on his fists and the middle of his body, giving some nice separation points between one part of the yellow plastic and another. Without this break, he would look too bright in my opinion. The face is painted silver, true to traditional Bumblebee color schemes. On his chest are two blue patterns coming down at angles, quite different in pattern than Hot Shot. This gives almost the illusion of car windows on his chest, similar to those on G1 Bumblebee's chest. This detail is really nicely done and unexpected. Under that is a red trapezoid on his waist that resmebles a red detail. Overall it's a great looking take on the character and I appreciate the use of a color pattern that differs from its source figure.
Back then, this figure had only been released twice, so the joints are still tight and the spoiler "wings" on his back hold up without any problem.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Swing the spoiler pieces in and rotate the backpack piece around.
- Swing the shoulder pieces up over the head and connect them.
- Swing down the robot arms.
- Push the two legs together.
- Push the legs up.
Bumblebee's vehicle mode is almost all yellow plastic. The spoiler ends however are black, breaking some of the potential monotony in the colors. On the top of the car is a tampographed Autobot symbol and the windows are painted black. His headlights are painted silver, establishing color continuity between the robot and vehicle modes. While simple, this color scheme is very effective. Not only does it evoke G1 Bumblebee, but the black stands out in a very dramatic fashion against the yellow and of course both colors allude to the creature he is named after.
I'm a big Bumblebee fan so I am ecstatic to own this figure partly out of wanting to have different incarnations of the character and partly because it really is a nicely deco'd figure. The sports car mode also evokes Bumblebee's Generation 2 "Gobots" sculpt, a toy I always liked. I do recommend this toy, but with the caveat that at this point on the secondary market he goes for around $30-40, so this one's only going to be for hardcore completists. If you see it cheap at a flea market or something however, snatch it up!