Transformers Bumblebee
Transformers Bumblebee
Transformers Bumblebee
Transformers Bumblebee

Transformers Bumblebee
Transformers Bumblebee
Transformers Bumblebee
Transformers Bumblebee

As the star robot of the live action franchise Bumblebee has had myriad toys made, most concentrating on his upgraded body (though there were Legends and Deluxe versions of the 'classic' Camaro model). The problem tends to be that while between them they cover every feature of the Bumblebee CGI model, most of them miss one bit or another - occasionally important ones.

I bought the Deluxe '08 Concept figure around when the first film came out, and then moved it on about a year or so later - not so much because it was bad, but because it was the only Movie figure I had. More than any other Transformers line, the Movie stuff benefits from having a squad of figures to interact. I got something like £35 for him, and therefore was glad when Hasbro retooled the Deluxe mould for Revenge of the Fallen as it meant I could repurchase without spending a fortune. I then spend a fortune on the 2007 Premium version of the mould anyway.


For Revenge of the Fallen Bumblebee's Concept Camaro alt mode was modified slightly in line with updates made to the Movie prop, mainly around the front lights and grille. To be honest, you'd have to be looking to spot the modifications and they make little difference to the mode itself. The car itself is rather bland either way. The black stripe is nicely done, the yellow isn't too vulgar and the blue windows go nicely, but it's just not a very nice shape.

It's not necessarily a bad shape, it's just that the vehicle has no personality. It's the sort of car that's designed by computers, with very few distinguishing features. Bumblebee's also covered in join lines - all over the bonnet, right down the middle of the roof, big hinges on the doors and so on. The doors can actually open realistically, but just reveal and interior packed with robot parts, so it's not a useful feature. Also the back end is prone to collapsing in on itself if you put any pressure on it - Bumblebee can be a real pain to get back into car mode correctly. The Premium greatly improves the car mode due to a nice thick deep yellow colour and some tremendous detail.


Transforming Bumblebee is rather a complex sequence for a toy of this size and is a tale of two halves. Car to robot is nicely done and remains straightforward even if there's a lot going on. The other way around is very annoying, especially the rear end of the car. Anyway, the robot mode is quite accurate to the CGI model, the only real discrepancy being the chest - the front corners of the Camaro do fold away from the main torso, but sadly don't tilt in at an angle. The Revenge of the Fallen version of the mould has more noticeable changes in this mode. The black robot mode parts have been replaced with a more accurate grey - while this doesn't contrast with the yellow quite as sharply it does allow the sculpted detail to stand out that bit more (this change from the original is also present on the Premium). The head cast is much more accurate than that on the first version too, which is a good move. It's rather cute on this version even if - sadly - there's no way to flip down the battle mask seen in the films. The Premium comes with a tiny head sculpted with the mask permanently down, and despite the size discrepancy I find them easy enough to switch around.

The other change for the 2009 version is that there's a gun in the place of Bumblebee's right hand. This does make the figure look more like Bumblebee when he's actually brandishing a gun (unlike hand cannon the first version of this mould had) it gets in the way when you want to do much else. It is meant to have a big missile sculpted like a jet of flame, but this looks ridiculous so I leave it off and may well have actually lost the thing. The modified part also makes the transformation to car mode that little bit trickier than it has to be. Bumblebee does have decent articulation and actually has the poise to make use of most of it. The waist joint does seem rather loose however and when posing the arms they have a habit of pulling the parts mounted on them out of place as well, but there's nothing critical. Apart from this Bumblebee's kibble isn't that intrusive (and indeed is fairly film accurate), though the roof panels under the forearm can get in the way a bit.


Overall, despite some annoying niggles, Bumblebee has one of the best transformations (and one of the most accurate, cute and dynamic robot modes) in the line and is good value for his price point. While Bumblebee having such a generic alternate mode is perhaps unavoidable it's still quite unpalatable, and it'd be nice if he could at least transform into it without trouble. It's odd that the Deluxe most kids are likely to want should be among the trickier examples (cf. Skids and Mudflap). Still, a good figure, and despite being handicapped the Revenge of the Fallen Deluxe is worth getting. The Premium costs more but does the job even better providing you have a version with the regular head that can be swapped in and out.