This is a pretty good one. The original Transformers line featured these characters in different forms, so the pairing of Bumblebee with Blazemaster is a nifty update that pulls from a few ideas and is, if you ask me, more or less an original take on the G1 character.
This time around, Bumblebee has a pretty great transformation and works as a pastiche of numerous other toys. The chest is sort of rounded which recalls the original 1984 toy, the head looks more than a bit like the original cartoon's design, and the proportions are sort of similar to the recent IDW comics which took its cues form War for Cybertron, the video game. As its own thing, it ain't bad. The robot has one shortcoming: a small head that isn't jointed. Other than that, it's swell. Each limb is movable in two spots, so you've got shoulders, hips, knees, and elbows. Some may say it's under-articulated, but in 1984 I got me a regular original Bumblebee. That has moving arms. And that's about it.
The other thing about the figure that's visually wonky (but works great) is his forearms. The pieces fit together so there's a visible gap, but it fits together nicely and stays in its correct form. Functionality tends to always trump aesthetics when it comes to toys, so you can enjoy this one as a fun plaything. Each 5mm-ish fist can hold a weapon like his partner, and you can plug in the helicopter rotor in the figure's back or on the wheel on his wrist.
Transformation is a snap. It has a few steps but only takes a few seconds to figure out. It's not even worth focusing on, because it's easy and it works and I love it. The vehicle mode has spinning wheels and looks OK, the red on the hood of the car is adequate and I wish the yellow lines between the black paint on the windshield weren't as visible. It's still cool, though, but it doesn't do a heck of a lot. It's a nice car. You'll like it.
Joining him is the scrappy Blazemaster, which feels like a wonderful evolution of the Mini-Con. The multi-mode sidekicks from the Power Core Combiners were cool, but I like this way more. The chopper has a spinning rotor and looks cool. He's cast in blue plastic with gold paint, and the kind of plastic just plain works well. It's a quality piece.
The robot is O.K. The face isn't much to look at, and the deco is basically the blue/gold inverse of a Micromasters toy from 1990. His head sculpt is nothing like his namesake, but it does feel a lot like an older toy with awesome 3mm-compatible hands so you can use your Cyberverse weapons. If you could buy more figures like this, do so. He makes a great gun, robot, and helicopter and for $4 or so per you'd love the snot out of it.
Ten bucks well spent! Bumblebee is ultimately a good toy, and Blazemaster is so gosh darned likable. If it was $10 for just Blazemaster, you'd pay it. You'd smile, and you'd pay it. Don't be one of the grumpy people who poo-poos a good small toy, as this is a fantastic chunk of plastic for the asking price even if it is a little smaller than a similarly priced toy from ten years ago. Get it, you're welcome.
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