Hasbro Transformers Studio Series Bumblebee Hasbro, 2018
Day #1,947: April 20, 2018
Bumblebee Transformers - Studio Series #01
Transformers Studio Series Deluxe Class Toy
Item No.: Asst. E0701 No. E0739 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Cannon arm, Display Backdrop Action Feature:Transforms from 1976 Chevrolet Camaro to robot Retail:$19.99 Availability: April 2018 (preview launch in February) Other: Small car, decent robot based on the first movie
While I love Transformers, every few generations I take a break - the movie series was one such break. While a "classic Camaro" Bumblebee was sold in 2007, I skipped it until this new release because I wasn't crazy about the automorphing stuff (springs can go wrong pretty easy) and the new aesthetic wasn't quite what I wanted. Since I waited I'm pretty happy that figures like this are mostly new to me - I don't have another similar Bumblebee, although he does share transformation with the infuriating The Last Knight Premiere Deluxe Bumblebee [FOTD #1,816] which people snapped up like nobody's business. This new one has a much smaller car mode, and also lacks the launchers of the original toy. It's a decent looking robot and is part of Hasbro's new initiative to deliver in-scale robot modes across the entire line to varying degrees of success.
Based on Transformers, Bumblebee has a swappable blaster arm and 5mm-compatible hands. The figure can hold your other weapons, and I like the headlights on his chest. It's not bad - it may not be perfect, but these aren't $100 Masterpiece toys. For $20 with a backdrop, it's not going to feel like a bargain but people who just want a decent old-school Bumblebee will probably enjoy this.
Comparing him to his ancestors, the new one is pretty good. He has about 18 meaningful points of articulation and a lot of sculpted detail, thanks in part to being made after the movie this time. The folded-up headlight chest is here, the kibble looks closer to how it appears on the screen, and the face is colored nicely with a very small finely-printed Autobot symbol on his forehead. This is a figure made to work for collectors, and kids might find it frustrating as it's easy to pop parts off during transformation.
He's a lot shorter than current Power of the Primes Deluxe toys, but the sheer number of parts may explain why. There are so many frustrating pieces to move in the legs to go from car to robot that you can see where the money went - there's a lot of paint here, even if none of it was used to make the rusty beater from the films. I wouldn't say this is the only Bumblebee you'd ever need, but it's certainly making me reconsider holding on to any of my other movie Bees.
The first time I transformed this one it was easy. The second time it was infuriating. The legs are a hassle and the hood has to snap over the car just-so, and I find it to be frustrating. I don't know that kids or people without patience would enjoy this, as it is I could see wanting to buy two and never ever transforming either.
The car is great! It has stripes, lights, and a lot of painted detail - just not everything. It's $20, after all. The wheels turn, and don't need paint since they're molded in two different colors. The yellows match pretty well, and the panels fit together nicely if you didn't accidentally and easily pop the car hood off. It takes some getting used to, and it's admittedly imperfect. I still like it.
The quality of the figure is there, but timing and price may be more of a problem - after dozens of deluxe Bumblebees, who wants one more? Certainly not collectors, so with any luck there are kids that will snap this up just because there's an unending supply of youngsters that might want Bumblebee. It's a perfectly lovely toy for older children, but younger kids are going to find this frustrating. So will adults. It looks good and if that's what you need, go ahead and treat yourself to yet another yellow Camaro robot.
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