"Transformers: BotBots" Bonz-Eye Toy Review
Release Date: November 2018
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer, packaged with four other BotBots figures)
Retailer: General (Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
The initial launch of Transformers: BotBots featured a total of 61 individual figures. They were released in both multi-packs and individual blind bags. One such release was the "Techie Team", released across a series of three carded sets featuring members of the Techie Team mixed in with other team members and a blind packaged member of the "Lost Bots" team. In the promotional images I received from Hasbro this specific pack is listed as #2.
Bonz-Eye is the "blind packaged" figure in this pack and he is also one of "The Lost Bots", a possible reference to the Peter Pan (and possibly a reference to the 1980's movie. It is quite appropriate since it refers to a group of BotBots who seem to be orphaned from other groups, forming a rather ecclectic group.
Taking a cue from brands like Shopkins and The Grossery Gang, the packaging for the Transformers: BotBots features bright colors and a whimsical "BotBots" logo (with the "Transformers" logo de-emphasized above it). Slappyhappy is packaged in a "Techie Team" pack that also included Chilla Gorilla, Raddhaxx, Slappyhappy and Pucksie. Cute artwork for the characters is is found on both the card and on the insert. Each package includes a red plastic bubble that hides the "blind packed" figure in each set. In this set Bonz-Eye is the "blind packaged" figure (and part of the "Lost Bots" tribe).
The back of the packaging features the Techie Team's group artwork. The back also has a section you peel off before opening up the bubble to reveal the blind figure. There is a ton of legal information that fills up the card, so instructions and brief bios are printed on a full color set of instructions in the packaging. The other side of the instructions reveals a giant group scene of the BotBots inside an Autobot symbol shaped mall (presumably the one where they came to life). It also serves as a checklist, with check boxes next to each character (61 in total).
Bonsai Tree Mode
In all honesty, if his name was not "Bonz-Eye" I would swear this alt-mode was meant to be a giant bush sitting in a large planter like you would see in an office building or something. That said, I can see this being a very stylized tree that simply has so much foliage you cannot see the trunk underneath. The part of the design that interests me the most are the "leaves". Instead of making them round or oval shapes, they are sculpted in very blocky shapes which makes this a highly stylized example of a bonsai tree.
The planter that the "tree" part of the figure sits in is a rectangular one with a "leg" on each corner leading down to a base "foot" piece.
Bonz-Eye is cast in brown plastic. The foliage section is painted green while the planter is painted grey.
Transformation to Robot Mode
- Pull up the "foliage" section on top to reveal the robot head.
- Swing the feet down from the back.
- Pull the arms out to the sides and swing them down.
Bonz-Eye's robot mode is really fun. The planter becomes the body, and there is a distinctive "Y" shaped design on it that is based on the design of a Japanese Kimono. To go with the "Kimono" are the feet which are sculpted to look like Japanese Geta, a form of clogs or flip flops traditionally worn with a Kimono. I love these combined Japanese references which work together to make the figure look unique and fun.
The deco adds to a bit of the fun. This mode reveals the brown plastic (which was mostly hidden in the alt-mode) so this really helps drive home the wood aspect of a bonsai tree using color. The face has a grim expression on it with one eye painted blue while the other is seemingly scarred. This too is a bit of a reference to Anime tropes (think characters like Jigumo from "Naruto" and Andrew Waltfeld from "Gundam SEED"). Parts of the arms are painted grey while the hands are left unpainted. Overall I really dig the deco on this figure.
Bonz-Eye's feet can swing back and forward as part of his transformation while the arms can move up and down.
Bonz-Eye is one of my favorite BotBots in this pack. He looks tough and I love the play on words and theme with the sculpt and deco. If you're collecting BotBots you definitely want this little guy in your collection!