Cybertronian Optimus Prime was the talk of Friday, and here’s his wavemate Cybertronian Bumblebee. Unlike Optimus Prime, who’s had four “pre-Earth” toys to his name, this is Bumblebee’s first! There was going to be one in Titanium Series based on his War Within design, but like the rest of that batch of guys, he was dropped. And I’m fine with that, because Titanium Series toys weren’t terribly great in general.
Cybertronian Bumblebee transforms into a car that looks like a four-wheeled TRON lightcycle. This results in a pretty slick-looking vehicle. It’s also very broad, using its Deluxe Class mass to be nearly as wide as it is long. Classics Bumblebee included a sizable accessory to keep Bumblebee himself relatively small while still being worth Deluxe Class dollars, but Cybertronian Bumblebee does no such thing. He’s a big Bee, and he looks bigger than Prime even though they are at the same height. He’s squat and round, but at a different scale, so a lot of his features are bigger relative to Prime’s. Bumblebee’s shouldn’t be the same size as Prime! But all of the Generations toyline are Deluxe Class, so this sort of thing’s going to be hard to avoid. Regrettable, regardless.
Like Prime, Bumblebee comes packaged in robot mode. I thought Prime’s transformation to vehicle was rough until I attempted Bumblebee. It took 15 minutes to get him roughly into vehicle mode, and then another 30 minutes were spent trying to get all his various panels aligned. Locking one side into place would spring open the other side, and vice versa, rinse/wash/repeat for thirty whole minutes until I gave up. Man, I wanted to throw him into a wall. I did not encounter this problem on the second attempt. I think something very minor inside him, like maybe the wrist orientation, was fudging things up. But, jeez, I hate Transformers like these. I just want everything to lock together easily, not a back-and-forth game of fuss.
Bumblebee’s sorta a pearlescent gold instead of the usual yellow. It calls to mind the 1986 Goldbug toy. Like Cybertronian Optimus Prime’s pink accents, the gold color helps distinguish Bumblebee from previous Bumblebee toys. Oh, and, hey, surprise, 80% of the vehicle mode ends up folded up and stowed on his robot mode back. It’s generally out of the way, though.
His handgun, when not in use, can be stored behind his bumper in either robot or vehicle mode. The instructions tell you this can only be done in robot mode, but they lie. So long as you insert the gun halfway through transformation, before the arduous task of getting the legs crammed in there, the gun stows in that same spot easy-as-you-please. Bumblebee also features a translucent red blade on each wrist that can be ratcheted manually in and out of battle-readiness.
Speaking of Bumblebee’s instructions, the art within erroneously depicts Bumblebee with Cliffjumper’s head. Seems we’re getting a retool further down the line.