Transformers Animated Activators Patrol Bumblebee Review

in 2008, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: September 2008
Price Point: $6.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Image from Hasbrotoyshop.com

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
BUMBLEBEE specializes in speed! With the help of his teammate PROWL, however, he's learning important lessons about stealth as well. With his new skills he's got the choice of racing headlong into trouble, or sneaking up from behind.

Spring into action with this quick-conversion, vehicle-to-robot justice seeker! With the press of a button, this AUTOBOT ally changes from Patrol mode to robot mode!

Patrol Bumblebee is a redeco of the first Activators Bumblebee. You may want to check out that review before reading this one as it covers some of the finer points including the sculpt, design and transformation of that figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Robot Mode:
Bumblebee's new deco is interesting as it takes influences from one character and transplants them to another. There's sort of an interesting G1 tie in here that was most likely unintentional. In G1 Bumblebee's tech specs, it mentions that he idolizes older Transformers such as Prowl. While this new black/white deco has nothing to do with Prowl in this series (who is black and gold), it is a nod to G1 Prowl whose primary colors were those of a police car, black and white.

Activators Bumblebee was mostly yellow and black, in keeping with the colors of the character on the television show. In this version, Bumblebee is mostly cast in white plastic which you'll find on his upper body, the panels on his arms and his lower legs and feet. To keep the essential yellow Bumblebee colors intact, a combination of black and yellow plastic has been used for his shoulder joints, arms, hips and upper legs. It's an interesting design choice as I do not recall seeing this particular color combination in any other recent Transformer. With the yellow, Bumblebee truly is a blending of two different character influences into one.

Paint decos are done in several colors including yellow, light blue, black and silver. The head is painted yellow with light blue eyes and a silver face. A black outline runs around the edge of the face and eyes. This is basically the same deco from the first Activators Bumblebee. On the chest is a black Autobot symbol and the siren is still painted red. There are broken up designs on his feet and arm panels that form details in the vehicle mode including the word "Patrol" in huge letters.

Bumblebee looks really interesting with this color combination. As odd as it may sound, he looks more to me like Bumblebee strapped on some G1 Prowl armor instead of repainting his own armor. This is mostly due to the yellow parts, which look like his "true" parts which contrast greatly with the white parts.

Vehicle Mode:
The nice thing about the vehicle mode for Patrol Bumblebee is that we get to see several of the black/white details come together (literally). Most of the vehicle is white, but now the black painted parts all form coherent details. In the front, the black covers the front end including his grille. The headlights are painted a light yellow color. On the sides, the black lines run along the bottom of the doors and then angle up over the rear wheels. The word "Patrol" is prominantly painted in black on each door, a detail homage to G1 Prowl. The back section is where we see more Bumblebee influence. Activator Bumblebee has a stripe running down the left side of the vehicle, so to keep a similar detail intact the designers put a bold stripe flanked by two thin stripes in the center on the top of the rear section of the canopy leading down the back. Overall he looks really good in this form, and despite the yellow hinges on the back sticking out, he really does look more uniform with the black details put together and the white panels forming a more cohesive appearance.

Final Thoughts:
While I appreciate the homage elements, if you have Activators Bumblebee you already own the more "show accurate" version of this figure. However, if you're really into redecos or you like G1 homages a lot, this is a good figure to have. Recommended, but the original is better.