Transformers Animated Toy Reviews: Elite Guard Bumblebee

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


Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: September 2008
Price Point: $9.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Rocket thrusters x 2

Images:

*Images from Hasbrotoyshop.com.

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
After getting up close to members of the AUTOBOT Elite Guard, BUMBLEBEE wants more than ever to be one of them. It is his personal opinion that the one thing the Elite Guard needs to be perfect is to lighten up a little bit, and he’s just the guy to put the “lite” back in “Elite.” His first step to fitting in with the Elite Guard is to look the part, so he had Sari borrow some of her dad’s auto-painting robots to help him achieve his new look.

Prepare yourself for battle with this awesome figure! Detailed robot-to-vehicle figure features flip-out stingers in robot mode and converts to an elite racer in vehicle mode with snap-on rocket thrusters for added AUTOBOT power!

Redecos have been a part of Transformers since the original toy line. Often, redecos are used in two ways. Either they are a new character (a la Prowl and Bluestreak) or it indicates some type of upgrade (such as the many "Energon" redecos in 2004-05). This is one of the few cases where a character's profile states that he wanted to look different so he repainted himself. I find it kind of amusing that Bumblebee just took it upon himself to make himself look "Elite Guard-ish" despite not being part of it! This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this review. For a detailed look at the figure, check out Bumblebee's review.

Vehicle Mode:
For his new color scheme, Bumblebee chose a much darker look, perhaps in an effort to look more "serious". What's refreshing is that this redeco does not only use new colors, but it also uses a totally different pattern than the previous release. Elita Guard Bumblebee is cast mostly in black and translucent blue plastic with a bit of yellow. The black replaces the yellow parts on the first Bumblebee and the translucent blue is a much darker blue than the previous release. Black is also used for all four wheels. Paint decos come in black, silver, gold, yellow and orange. The vehicle's primary colors of black and gold are basically split between the top and bottom halves of the car. The top half is mostly black, including black paint covering the edges and top of the translucent blue plastic. The blending of the black plastic and the black paint on the translucent plastic works much better in this case than it did with the yellow plastic and yellow paint on the first Bumblebee. Interestingly, the siren detail was painted over instead of being made yellow or orange, both colors available on the rest of the vehicle. Most likely this was to simplify the deco process. The old saying that "black goes with everything" holds true here. The gold really does look nice against the black, and it is reminscent of G1 Bumblebee's "mature" persona: Goldbug.

Smaller details are painted on using silver, yellow and orange. His headlights are silver while an Elite Guard symbol is found on each door, also in silver. The wheel covers are painted yellow, offering a visual reference to his original colors and his rear lights are painted orange. The rocket thrusters have been cast in the same translucent blue as the windows, with the tips painted gold. While this is "just" a redeco, I have to admit that I like the look of this figure a lot.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, all the same primary colors appear, but we get to see more of the yellow plastic, which was only hinted at in the vehicle mode. This ends up being an interesting mix, with his joints such as the ball joint on the feet, his neck, elbows and knees being yellow while the rest is black. Gold deco appears on his chest and stingers. An outline of the Elite Guard symbol appears on his chest in silver. A bit of yellow paint is used in this form as well, specifically for the top portion of his chest. Silver is used for his face.

Final Thoughts:
To me, this is "Transformers Animated"'s take on Goldbug, which is very cool to see. The gold, black and dark blue were all primary colors for that iteration of G1 Bumblebee, and they all figure prominantly here. If you're not into redecos, then this isn't for you since there is no retooling. If you are, then this is definately worth picking up. I actually find this color scheme stronger than the original's. Recommended!