June 16th, 2009


Bee me up, Scotty!

Shortpacked!: Expectations of the Dark Knight

Revenge of the Fallen's "Cannon Bumblebee" was a crazy surprise.  I knew he had some retooling done, but I didn't realize that he was entirely new from the crotch up.  Only the legs are kept from the original Movie 1 version.  Guess Hasbro really liked those legs!

(Speaking of those legs, mine came with the "heels" assembled backwards.  They should be able to fold up against the back of his shins.  So I unscrewed his feet, flipped them front to back, and hooray.)

As far as accuracy to the live-action depiction, Cannon Bumblebee certainly is a mixed bag.  I eyed him for his better arms, plus I wanted the new, more accurate head, but the biggest selling point of the Movie 1 version, to me, was that the chest "split up."  It also had a more-accurate set of shoulders than the newer version, with the wheels mounted on the back instead of hidden inside the hood. 

But Cannon Bumblebee definitely can't split his chest into little pieces, and it's very obvious.  It's kind of a glaring visual problem.  Which is really, really too bad, because...

Oh, man, is Cannon Bumblebee easy to transform!  The Movie 1 Bumblebee was a frustrating ordeal, but Cannon Bumblebee, due to his extensive retooling from the hips up, can easily shift back into car mode.  The arms are no longer attached to pieces of the roof, but instead merely fold easily under the body of the car.  The roof instead folds up efficiently and hangs off the small of his back.  Those same car panels align back into position for vehicle mode fairly neatly and quickly.  This increases the playability of the toy significantly.

Another plus of Cannon Bumblebee is that he has an actual interior.  With seats!  And a crude dashboard!  It's formed out of the backs of his abs.  The funny thing is, his windows are so opaque (they're translucent, but fogged and shiny) you can't really tell.  You gotta open one of his doors to see the seats inside.  Of course, his arms are conspicuously stuffed in there, too, so it's not like opening his door to see the interior is likely an intended feature.  Again, I have mixed feelings.  His near-opaque windows are insanely pretty, so I'm not sure I'd trade them for the ability to see his new interior.  

So I'm really torn on which version I prefer.  Both has major flaws and advantages.  If they put out the new version with a retooled chest that split open more, it'd be an easy decision.  However, I don't think that's possible, considering how the chest is structured...