Hasbro Transformers Studio Series Bumblebee Hasbro, 2018
Day #2,030: October 11, 2018
Bumblebee Transformers - Studio Series #19
Transformers Studio Series San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Gift Set
Item No.: Asst. E0701 No. E0739 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Cannon arm, Uruaz, Dairu, 4 chrome weapons Action Feature:Transforms from 1976 Chevrolet Camaro to robot, tapes to dinosaurs Retail:$59.99 Availability: July 2018 Other: Weird Combo Platterama
The Bumblebee Vol. 1 Retro Rock Garage Action Figures is an ornate set sized similarly to a Voyager-class toy, but it's a lot like a cereal box. There's something you have to choke down to get to the prize inside. Completists are tested with this odd set - movie fans have to buy a mold they probably got with two super-rare molds that seem to be new versions of Japan-only cassette dinosaurs. It was $60, so you got a $20 Deluxe with two very expensive reissue tapes.
You get three figures in the set and I can't say it's a joyful thing - great packaging, good deco, but the parts don't go together as well as I would like. That might be part of the original merged cassettebot Legout just being less than exceptional, but it's a bit soft, a bit odd, and the gold Bumblebee seems to pop apart easier than the yellow version I got a few months ago.
Bumblebee is a bit more than just a palette swap. The car detailing is noticeably different, with added details and words painted on the car that you don't normally see on the yellow version."Z28" and "Bumblebee"'s movie logo with a stinger appear on the body of the vehicle, but are generally hidden in the golden robot mode. The toy is slathered in paint, but the unpainted gold bits look good too. There's a lot more bright silver rather than just dull grey, offering a nice contrast to the first release of the mold [FOTD #1,947]. I find the figure pops apart a lot more easily and is more finicky, but perhaps yours will be less of a pain in the neck. The gold and silver go together nicely and in person it's quite gorgeous - but it's thoroughly inessential to having a complete Studio Series scale collection since so many versions of this Bumblebee exist. Heck, the Autobot makes up about 1/3 of the line so far.
The increased amount of paint and the fact that it's not a movie deco sort of makes it the perfect exclusive - because you don't need it. It's a neat optional item, a sidequest for your collection. I got it because I had to have the tapes - or so I thought. It's fine. It's not as good as some other items, and since it popped apart a lot during its complicated transformation I can't say it was particularly fun.
The tapes are the selling point for a lot of fans, given the original molds for Uruaz and Dairu were never sold in the USA. Also, it looks like these aren't the original molds - some details are a little different, the toes don't quite fold down for the combined mode. Each cassette is just fine though, and the individual dinosaur modes work fine with their accessories. The combined head looks off as some have pointed out, and of course Uruaz is a Decepticon orange recolor that doesn't look like the original Saur/Zauru. It's different. It's also worth noticing that Dairu has very different rivets and even some altered sculpted details from the original Dile toy. I don't think people with the genuine article are going to be too concerned about someone confusing the reissues for the originals.
As a set with excellent packaging, boxed fans should love the faux-shelf wear on the outer sleeve and the inner cassette tape box, complete with opening drawer. None of the molds seem to be at their best, and I can't say I'm sure all the parts have the best possible tolerances. For those wanting the super-rare Headmasters-era dinosaur cassettes, this is a reasonable substitute for the real thing. I get the feeling the original toys were better, though, at least as far as quality control and parts tolerances go. Given the price, I'd say get this at the regular retail - but don't pay a premium for it.
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