"Cyberverse" Power of the Spark Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyberverse, Elite, Power of the Spark

Cyberverse

Bumblebee

General Information:
Release Date: August 2019
Price Point: $24.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Ship Tower, Ocean Storm Vehicle/Armor

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
Kids can collect other spark armor figures (each sold separately, subject to availability) to discover MORE exciting characters from the Transformers cyberverse series! All Elite class spark armor works with other elite class figures.

  • 5-Inch Bumblebee figure: Bumblebee figure is an impressive 5 inches tall.
  • Power up Bumblebee with spark armor: combine, convert, and power up! Combine the included ocean Storm spark armor vehicle with Bumblebee to convert him into his powered-up mode. When combined size increases to approximately 5.75 inches tall.
  • 3-In-1 converting toy: easy Transformers conversion for kids 6 and up! Convert Bumblebee toy from car to robot mode in 13 steps, then combine with his ocean Storm spark armor to armor-up figure. Makes a great gift for kids!
  • Transformers cyberverse character: classic black and yellow Bumblebee toy robot inspired by the Autobahn ruthless leader from the Transformers cyberverse cartoon, as seen on cartoon Network and YouTube.
  • Inspired by Cartoon Network show: in the g1-inspired cyberverse series, giant Transformers Robots from the Planet Cyber Tron engage in epic battles, harnessing the power of the all spark with their spark armor! Kids can imagine unleashing this new ability with this spark armor figure!

The Race to find the all spark is on between the heroic Autobots and evil Deceptions on the cybernetic animated series! With the all spark, both sides can harness incredible new powers, including the power to convert earth vehicles into spark armor: battle-ready gear that allows them to fight in new places and in new ways. Bots with ground-based alt modes can use spark armor to take flight, while those who soar through the skies with flying alt modes are suddenly just as formidable on the ground. With the all spark at play, see how its power will be used to defend earth… or threaten it. Bumblebee harnesses the power of the all spark to convert a battleship into powerful spark armor called ocean storm!

Packaging:
The "Power of the Spark" Spark Armor packaging is a bit of a throwback. In the "Robots in Disguise" line from a few years ago, the "Crash Combiners" featured packaging that emphasized the combination of two characters. In this case, the emphasis on the packaging is between a character and their armor. The packaging uses the same "Cyberverse" design as last year's figures including the vertical "Transformers" logo, a yellow and blue background with the "Cyberverse" logo prominent in the middle. Where this packaging borrows inspiration from the "Crash Combiners" is the character art. On the left side of the box is Bumblebee's art, then in the middle on the front is Bumblebee combined with Ocean Storm. On either side of the combined form are arrows with the names "Bumblebee" and "Ocean Storm".

The back of the box shows Bumblebee separate and combined with his armor. The transformation is called out as a 13 step transform. The cosells are the Spark Armor versions of Megatron and Optimus Prime.

Accessories:
Bumblebee comes with one primary accessory: a warship named Ocean Storm. This does not appear to be a separate, sentient being, but rather just a vehicle that forms armor for Bumblebee himself. While the resemblance is somewhat superficial, this ship reminds me of Space Battleship Yamato which was a space faring ship built from the remains of a World War II battleship. Like the Yamato this ship is curved in the front and back and has a section that looks like a scoop in the middle (though it is somewhat obscured by the claws on the armor). The top also has several cannons on it (though far more than Yamato did) with a tower in the middle.

Despite this influence, the actual details on the top of the vehicle are quite different and unique to Ocean Storm. Simply put, this thing is bristling with weaponry. From one end to the other there are twenty two cannon barrels (with some other details that could be interpreted as cannons, but I'm being conservative here). I love how totally over the top they are. They range from large cannons at the ends to smaller ones towards the middle. The back end (or front if you prefer) has an anchor piece that looks like a chain connected to an anchor. Swing this down and you can pretend the ship is beginning to deploy an anchor to dock. I say "beginning" since the anchor cannot go over the side completely.

This accessory is cast in light grey plastic. The bottom half is painted red, which may be another call back to the Yamato. While there is plenty of red paint on it, I do wish there had been some silver or black wash used on the top of the vehicle. There is a ton of detail, but without paint to help the details pop they are a bit lost visually.

Unfortunately, this is the only accessory in this set . Now, the central tower can be popped off, which may be why. Hasbro likely considered this piece an "extra" accessory thus Bumblebee does not have any kind of blaster weapon.

Robot Mode:
There have been a few Bumblebee toys already in this line based on the character's appearance in the animated series. Out of all of them, this figure may be the most streamlined looking one. He has many of the primary design elements of the animation model including the headlights of the car on the shoulder armor, the car windshield on the chest and the rear lights of the vehicle mode forming knee armor. The main detail missing are the car doors on the back positioned like "wings". This actually winds up looking really good. The animation model "cheats" a bit between vehicle and robot mode to streamline the robot, and this one looks sleek like the animation model.

This figure is cast in metallic yellow, black and grey plastic. Light blue paint is used top down on this figure. You'll find it on the eyes, the shoulders, chest and lower legs. Silver is used to paint the robot face and there is black plastic on the fists. An Autobot symbol is printed onto the center of his chest. While this looks nice and clean, Bumblebee is missing some details from the animation model. The rear lights on his knee armor should be painted red, and he is missing black stripes on sections like his torso and legs.

There are seventeen points of articulation on this figure, which makes it the most articulated Bumblebee figure in the line thus far. Each fist can hold a 5mm peg weapon.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Swing the forearms back, lining up the panels on the shoulder armor with the car door panels on the forearms.
  3. Swing the grey panels on the back of the lower legs out.
  4. Swing the feet up.
  5. Swing the back panel out and extend out the yellow panels.
  6. Swing the back panel back into place.
  7. Rotate the robot arms up and move them forward, connecting them with the middle panels of the vehicle mode's front end.
  8. Swing the lower legs up.
  9. Push the rear panels of the vehicle down.
  10. Swing the grey panels from the lower legs back into place.

Vehicle Mode:
Bumblebee's vehicle mode looks like it may have started as being based on his on-screen Chevrolet Camaro design, but elements similar to a Nissan Z look like they were added in. The front end reminds me of a Chevrolet Camaro, with an angled point in the middle, an air intake on top of the hood and an overall curved shape. Like the Nissan Z, the front end is fairly long with a shorter, curved back end. There is actually some really nice sculpted detail on this vehicle mode. This includes vents and rear lights in the back, a honeycomb pattern in the front and vents near the front wheel wells.

Unfortunately, this mode really could have used more paint on it. Most of this mode is metallic yellow plastic, with black wheels. The headlights and windows are painted light blue. Unfortunately there are no black stripes painted on it, which is one of the main details on Bumblebee in the cartoon. The yellow winds up looking rather plain as a result, and some details are kind of lost to the eye.

Spark Armor Mode

Combination with Spark Armor

  1. Start with Bumblebee in robot mode and Ocean Storm in ship mode.
  2. Open the grey panels on the back of the lower legs and swing out the heel pieces. Swing the panels back into place.
  3. Attach the two pegs on the side of Ocean Storm to the ports on Bumblebee's back.
  4. Hold on to the panel on the other side of Ocean Storm and swing it down over the robot head. This will cause the front and back of the ship to form the arms of the armor.
  5. Swing the anchor on the right arm forward.

Bumblebee's combined form with Ocean Storm is really one of the most unusual designs to come out of the Transformers toy line in a while. The new head (really a separate piece than Bumblebee's robot mode head) features his familiar design with a central crest and two horns on the side, but his face looks like it is covered with a pair of goggles and a rebreather. The chest armor has a series of dials and buttons on it, looking like a control panel from a human ship you would seen in an old movie. On top of that the armor on top of the shoulders has cannons on it, as do the arms formed from the front and back halves of Ocean Storm. The end result is a very retro, industrial looking armor. I really love the look of the armor and the ridiculous amount of firepower it adds to the character.

From a deco standpoint, the armor adds a huge splash of grey on top of Bumblebee. Silver, red and blue are used for paint detailing. This includes red on the Ocean Storm arms and silver on the head and chest. The colors offer some nice contrast against the yellow plastic on Bumblebee himself.

There are eight potential points to connect additional weapons. There is one port on each arm, two on the shoulder area and of course the fists (of which there are four, Bumblebee's and the fists formed by Ocean Storm). Each of the Ocean Storm arms can bend at the elbows and swivel in and out. My only reservation is that Bumblebee's own arms are not connected to the Ocean Storm arms at all, so instead of looking like armor it winds up looking like he sprouted two additional arms. I would have preferred his robot arms slot into the Ocean Storm arms so it looks more like he is controlling a mech suit of some sort. The toy is still fun, it just was not what I was expcting.

Final Thoughts:
Bumblebee with Ocean Storm is a weird and fun toy all at the same time. You would never think to pair Bumblbee with a warship, yet here we are. The scale is also wildly all over the place since such a ship would dwarf the Autobot but that's where you will need to use your imagination (Mass shifting anyone?). This set is not perfect, but I do recommend it

Pros:

  • Weird and unusual design pairing.
  • Bumblebee sculpt looks nice and sleek.
  • Good (not amazing) deco.
  • Fun play value.

Cons:

  • I do wish the robot was better integrated with the armor, specifically the arms.