"Bumblebee" Speed Series Bumblebee (Volkswagon Beetle) Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Bumblebee Movie, Energon Igniters, Speed Series

Energon Igniters

General Information:
Release Date: September 2018
Price Point: $5.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
Accessories: None

Bumblebee

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
The lifeblood of Transformers robots, Energon fuels the epic battles on Earth and beyond.

Now, imagine harnessing the Transformers energy source with energy igniters figures. Convert this energy igniters speed series Bumblebee figure between robot and VW Beetle modes in 6 steps. Then plug the energy igniters core (not included) into the vehicle and push down to unleash driving action. This Bumblebee figure stands at a 3-inch scale. Look for the energy igniters core sold with power plus series and nitro series figures (each sold separately).

Bumblebee blasts into action to defeat his high-charged opponents. As his buzzes per minute increase, he jams to his mix tape and overtake the evil Deceptions.

In September of 2018 Hasbro launched its "Bumblebee" toy line based on the live action movie. Much of this toy line was aimed at a younger audience, relying on the "Energon Igniter" gimmick. More complex and detailed figures for the movie would be folded into the "Studio Series" and "Masterpiece" lines instead. The "Energon Igniter" gimmick was spread across several classes of figures including the "Speed Series" which consists of smaller figures that fit into the size class known as the "Legion Class" (such as this Thunderhoof figure from "Robots in Disguise"). These figures do not include the "Energon Igniter Core" accessory and are just Legion Class sized figures.

Much ado has been made about Bumblebee transforming into a Volkswagon Beetle in this film, so it is no surprise that many figures in this line have that alternate mode. This is actually one of two "Speed Series" Bumblebee figures in the assortment with the other figure transforming into a Chevrolet Camaro as seen in the 2007 "Transformers" movie.

Packaging:
Bumblebee is packaged inside a bubble attached to a small, vertical card. The card features the standard Bumblebee artwork used across the line featuring him with his arms folded. The right side shows the "Energon Igniter" logo above the "Transformers" logo. The insert has the "Transformers Bumblebee" logo with the name "Bumblebee" below it. The packaging primarily uses a beige, yellow, black and blue color pattern, distinguishing it from other lines like "Generations" which relies mostly on black.

Robot Mode:
Legion Class (or now, Speed Series) figures are traditionally simplified figures, but their proportions can sometimes wind up looking odd (such as being too chunky) due to the compromises made for the size class. In Bumblebee's case, he oddly winds up looking more sleek and slim than his on-screen counterpart! For those insistent on perfect screen accuracy, you're not going to get it here, but as a simplified figure I actually really like the look of this robot mode! First off, it has many of the iconic design elements of the character including his "bee" like head design, round panels and hinge details on his arms and the front sections of the vehicle mode on his chest. He also has various mechanical details on his mid-body to waist area. The small details on this figure look great. These include the face details and some of the mechanical details in the neck area and mid-body.

Where he differs most from the on-screen character are the legs, which are the rear halves of the vehicle mode stretched out. That said, his feet are actually based on the CG model's featuring rounded front ends that look almost like he is wearing a pair of sneakers.

Bumblebee is cast in a rather rich yellow color and black plastic. Silver paint is used on the face, neck area and chest armor. Gunmetal grey is used on the arms. Light blue paint is used on the eyes. That is not a ton of paint but it actually looks great. Sure the mid-body and legs could use a bit more deco, but with this size class of figures that is a nit pick, really.

This figure has six points of articulation including the shoulders, hips and knees. The knee articulation is a little odd since the lower leg essentially separates (in part) from the thigh, but it still counts in my book. All the joints are nice and tight. In a very nice touch, this generation of "Legion" sized figures still includes 3mm ports on the fists, allowing Bumblebee to hold weapons from the "Prime" era Cyberverse figures.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Swing each foot back.
  3. Push the legs together.
  4. Swing the chest panel up.
  5. Push the arms into the sides.
  6. Swing the lower legs up, forming the back of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Bumblebee's vehicle mode is the iconic Volkswagon Beetle, the vehicle that he turned into in the original Transformers cartoon series. Of course, as most fans know the original G1 toy turned into a "Penny Racer" version of the Volkswagon Beetle while this figure is meant to turn into a more realistic version. By that token the figure is mostly oval in shape and the round parts extend to the back (instead of being flat in the back like the G1 toy). The vehicle features several key design elements of the real life Beetle including the curved hood cover, the round headlights and distinctive bumper in the front. Look carefully and you'll see a Volkswagon symbol in front of the windshield section. Bumblebee looks fantastic in this mode. I am very happy with the design.

This mode is mostly cast in yellow and black plastic. Silver paint is used for the headlights and front bumper. Metallic blue is used to paint the windows. While it would be awesome for the back to have some paint, with figures of this size class I do not expect it.

The vehicle freely rolls on all four wheels. The "Energon Igniter Core" comes into play by plugging the Core into the port in the back of the vehicle. Then press the button on the core and it sends the vehicle racing forward! I was a bit dubious about how the "Energon Igniter" feature would work with this figure, but I was pleased with its simplicity and effectiveness.

Final Thoughts:
I absolutely love this little figure. For a Legion Class sized figure it has a lot of personality and it approximates just enough of the on-screen CG model to make me happy. I also appreciate how relatively sleek this figure looks. The "Energon Igniter" functionality is a great bonus ability. Highly recommended.

Pros:

  • Sculpt looks fantastic in both modes.
  • Nice deco in robot mode.
  • "Energon Igniter" feature is fun.

Cons:

  • Not 100% (or even 90%) screen accurate, which may bother some fans.