"Bumblebee" Power Charge Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Bumblebee Movie

Bumblebee

General Information:
Release Date: September 2018
Price Point: $49.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
Accessories: None

Bumblebee

Special thanks to the kind folks at Hasbro and Rogers & Cowan for providing Ben's World of Transformers with this action figure for review.

*Official images above and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Transformers: Bumblebee Movie Toys, Power Charge Bumblebee Action Figure
Activate the ultimate battle mode by lowering the figure’s battle mask and then reveal the signature Stinger Sword! With battle gear inspired by Transformers: Bumblebee, this Bumblebee figure looks like he’s ready for an epic battle against the Decepticons!

Exciting Features
Within each Transformers robot rests a powerful core made of Energon. With the Power Charge Bumblebee toy, kids can imagine charging up the core and charging into battle! Give this Bumblebee figure a boost in his robot mode by spinning the core in his chest to power him up! Then amp up the power in the Volkswagen Beetle vehicle mode by revving the car back and forth! Spinning the Power Charge core activates epic lights, sounds, & phrases! Keep Power Charge core revved up or Bumblebee will lose his charge and power down. Activate the ultimate battle mode by lowering figure’s battle mask and revealing the signature Stinger Sword! Battle gear inspired by the Transformers: Bumblebee movie! This converting toy robot changes into the classic yellow Volkswagen Beetle toy car mode in 17 steps.

Within each Transformers robot rests a powerful core made of Energon. With the Power Charge Bumblebee toy, kids can imagine charging up that core and charging into battle!

Imagine giving Bumblebee a boost in his robot mode by spinning the core in the action figure’s chest to amp up lights and phrases. Then convert to classic yellow Volkswagen Beetle toy car mode in 17 steps and rev the car to hear awesome sound effects. The power-up activates over 25 sounds and phrases! Keep the Power Charge core revved up or Bumblebee will lose his charge and power down. Activate the ultimate battle mode by lowering the figure’s battle mask and then reveal the signature Stinger Sword! With battle gear inspired by Transformers: Bumblebee, this Bumblebee figure looks like he’s ready for an epic battle against the Decepticons!

Makes a great birthday or holiday gift for kids ages 6 years old and up! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

With over a decade of Transformers live action movie toys in the proverbial rear view mirror, it has become something of a tradition for each line to offer large scale figures with electronic features as part of each live action movie toy line. For the "Bumblebee" Movie the figure filling this slot is the "Power Charge" Bumblebee figure.

Packaging:
Power Charge Bumblebee is packaged in a large, open box. The box features the black and yellow colors of the rest of the line. There is a large "Transformers" logo on the right side with distinctive lines above and blow it. Below that is the "Bumblebee" movie log. The figure itself is in robot mode. Below that is artwork for the character and a heavily Photoshopped photo of the vehicle form on dirt terrain. The box indicates that you can "Charge up Bumblebee" to activate "25+ Sounds and Phrases". The back, of course shows thefigure in both modes indicating a 17 step transformation. The box has a large opening where the figure is located so you can spin the "Power Charge" gimmick in its chest to activate various sounds.

Robot Mode:
Power Charge Bumblebee does not have any specific size class such as "Ultra" or "Deluxe", but if you were to pick one that is close I would say he hovers in size between a Leader and a Supreme Class figure. The figure stands at about 10 inches (about 24.4 cm) tall and 7.25 inches (about 18.4 cm) wide (from "wing door" to "wing door"). The figure has a very chunky build, with some significant heft compared to most figures nowadays.

From a sculpting perspective there are a lot of details carried over from the film's CG model to this figure. These include:

  • The head sculpt looks just like the one from the film, including being rather round with the "antennae" on top. It also has the "Y" shaped battle mask.
  • The chest features the front end of the Volkswagon Beetle vehicle mode forming panels on the left and right.
  • The arms are designed with armor panels on the outside and more mechanical bits on the inner arms.
  • The middle of the body features several mechanical bits including a belt connected to a cylinder and springs.
  • The feet have thick layers at the bottom (the equivalent of the "soles" and "heels" on a shoe) with a curved shape.

All that said, there are some significant differences between this figure and its on-screen counterpart. There are huge "door wings" on the back, which is consistent with his look in previous films, but not this one. It has been rumored that early models of Bumblebee did feature the doors like this, so it is possible that is what Hasbro based the design on. The chest is "open" with the "Power Charge" mechanism inside of it. In the film, this section is covered with an armor panel. Also, the legs are a different shape than the ones used in the CG model. The lower legs especially are thicker with different shapes than the on-screen Bumblebee. This is mostly due to the way the figure transforms.

Bumblebee is cast in yellow, silver, dark brown, translucent blue and black plastic. These colors are distributed nicely, with yellow forming a bulk of the armor and head while silver and brown are used for his limbs and inner machinery. Black peeks out behind his shoulders via the wheels. There are some nice paint applications on this figure. The head has silver on it while the "Battle Mask" uses yellow paint. The legs have yellow painted on them while the windows all have a metallic dark grey color on them (under some lighting it looks like a dark blue). That said, he could have definitely used some more paint. Specifically the lights above the headlights, the legs and a lot of the mechanical details on the torso could have used some paint.

There are seventeen points of articulation on this figure. This includes four in each arm leg. While the articulation mostly has a good range, there was one construction choice that hampers how much you can pose the figure out: the hips. These joints are simple friction joints instead of being ratchet joints. Due to the weight of the figure's top half, it makes certain poses impossible because the figure winds up flopping over due to the pressure put on the hip joints. With a figure this size, there are some other features, of course. These include:

  • The fists each have a 5mm port, allowing the figure to use weapons from other Transformers figures.
  • Pull on the helmet sections on either side of the head and this will cause Bumblebee's Battle Mask to slide up over his face.
  • The left arm has a blade built into it. Push the tab on the side down and the blade slides out.
  • Spin the ball in his chest and a variety of sounds are activated. These include the sound of a car engine idling, Bumblebee talking and an engine reving up. This will also light up the headlights. That said, I cannot figure out how to get 25+ sounds out of this as the packaging claims. At most I figured out around six between the two modes. This was very disappointing.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Swing out the inner halves of the doors.
  3. Swing up the sections with the rear windows.
  4. Swing out the inner panel from the back panel to form the top of the vehicle mode.
  5. On each chest panel, swing up the front bumper halves.
  6. Swing the panels on the front of the lower legs inward, then down.
  7. Swing each foot up a bit so the "toes" are pointing up.
  8. Swing the panels on the lower legs out.
  9. Rotate and swing each foot up, and swing the feet inward. Line up the panels that form the rear of the vehicle.
  10. Push the rear panels together to form the rear of the vehicle.
  11. Point the "Door wings" back, then swing them down.
  12. Swing the top and hood panel forward and down, tabbing the doors into the top and hood panels.
  13. Rotate the arms back.
  14. Swing the arms in and push them up against the bottom of the vehicle.

Be warned, the "panel forming" nature of this figure can be a bit frustrating. Fortunately the plastic is flexible enough to give you slack when trying to insert all the tabs into their corresponding slots. That said, kids may need some assistance with this figure

Vehicle Mode:
There are a lot of Volkswagon Beetles in the "Bumblebee" Movie toy line, but this is probably the biggest! This vehicle is about 10.4 inches (around 26.4 cm) long from front to back. This design is a licensed Volkswagon Beetle so it has a lot of details that match up to the real life vehicle. These details include:

  • From front to back the vehicle is round and curved. This includes the hood pieces which curves down to the front where it is flanked by two round armor panels with the headlights on them.
  • The front and back have curved bumpers on them.
  • There is a handle sculpted into the front of the hood and the Volkswagon logo near the windshield.
  • There is only one side view mirror on the driver's side.
  • Each wheel has a Volkswagon logo in the middle.
  • The rear section has distinct details including series of vertical lines, oval shaped rear lights and the license plate light.

Overall the sculpt looks great and it offers up yet another realistic Volkswagon Beetle for fans to own.

This mode mostly shows off yellow plastic. The wheels are black and silver while the front and back bumpers are silver. Most of the paint applications in this mode wind up on the windows. The rear lights are painted red and...that's it. At a $50 USD price point it really is unfortunate that there are not more paint applications on this figure. In the film, Bumblebee is a run down Volkswagon Beetle in vehicle mode, but here he looks absolutely pristine. A layer of "wear" detail would have been nice to have.

You can utilize the "Power Charge" feature in this form by rolling the figure back and forth. This causes the same sound effects as the robot mode to kick in, but again I cannot figure out how to get "25+" different sound effects to activate.

Final Thoughts:
Power Charge Bumblebee is a fun toy and it looks good in both modes, but it is not worth the $50 asking price. This is partly because it lacks one of the very features advertised on the box: the 25+ sounds. It also needed stronger leg joints and deco to really make it worth it.

Pros:

  • Good sculpt in both modes.
  • Nice, large size with some bulk.
  • Some fun play features (including the Battle Helmet and blade).

Cons:

  • Transformation can be a bit too fiddly, especially with the various panels that need to be tabbed in.
  • Needs more deco in both modes.
  • Despite what the packaging says, I could not figure out a way to unlock "25+" sounds.