I'm a big fan of the new Bot Shots figures, and it's no surprise that Hasbro would crank out a Bumblebee as soon as the line started. I'm glad they more or less kept the robot mode looking like a classic robot rather than the movie or the soon-to-be-dead Prime (call it a hunch.) The tiny figure is just under 2-inches high, and quickly converts to a car. These seem to be more kid-friendly than the kid-friendly Robot Heroes as conversion from vehicle mode is automatic and they're fun to futz with. As desk toys, they're nice and small and should be able to fit on top of a flat LCD monitor with little trouble.
Hasbro (despite what you may have heard) is no dummy, and this line was designed with rampant mold reuse in mind. Not only did Hasbro make Bumblebee, but they used most of his body to also make Mirage, Barricade, Prowl, and the obligatory Bumblebee (and presumably Goldbug) repaints. The interesting thing here is that the entire mold is reused for multiple figures except for the head/chest piece and the spoiler in vehicle mode. The rest of the car (and legs, and arms) tends to be pretty squat, and because the designs of cars are pretty samey once you squash them down it makes sense why Hasbro might want to do this. You know, aside from being incredibly cheap. In the penny-pinching days we live in now, it makes sense as it helps keep prices down. But looking at a line like Battle Beasts where they could probably have used 3-4 bodies to crank out 100 figures and people probably wouldn't have really cared, well, all I can say is I'm glad I grew up before shortcuts were necessary.
As with other figures in the line, the figure includes a rotating chest symbol which goes from fist to gun to sword, with the barely understandable fist beats gun, gun beats sword, sword beats fist. Whatever, man. Just remember it goes red -> green -> blue (RGB) and you'll be fine.
The figure converts to a car by pushing in the arms and feet, and folding down the hood. It's the same on pretty much every figure so far, and sometimes it clicks into place and on some figures, it's a little more difficult. (Each figure varies.) The robot has a lot of simple sculpted detail, while the car... well, it does too. The yellow car has black wheels and painted windows in a metallic bluish color, but the oddest feature is that the Vietnamese factory (unlike most figures made in China) stamped the product SKU on each figure. That's the number Hasbro stamps on the packaging and uses internally to track the figures in the assortments, which generally does not appear on the figure. (Mattel sometimes does this, it's seen on Masters of the Universe Classics for example.) Weird! But now you know what that number is.
Right now this figure should be easily available for about four bucks. Maybe five, maybe six. If you can get it (or any Bot Shots toy) for four bucks I give it a strong "buy" rating as, if you read and enjoy the things we cover in Figure of the Day, you probably have similar tastes to me. And since we all have excellent taste, you'll probably find that you like these, too.
Troubleshooting Note: There are two screws on each figure's chest. If you tighten these, the trigger is a little jumpier. If you loosen it, it weakens it a bit. Depending on how well the figures do (or don't) spring up, you may want to keep a screwdriver around to adjust them to your liking.
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