"Cyberverse" Warrior Class Bumblebee Toy Review
Release Date: July 2018
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
“Picture this: me, on Earth, still cooler than everyone this side of Optimus Prime, but I’ve got zero memories. Now I’m on a mission to recover my memories and discover all of my awesome powers. I’ll have to battle Decepticons, outrun an explosion or two, and be heroic- basically, I’m in for one epic ride across the Cyberverse.” -Bumblebee
Convert and attack with Transformers Cyberverse Action Attackers! Change figure from vehicle to robot mode in 9 steps. The last step of conversion automatically activates Bumblebee figure’s signature Sting Shot Action Attack move! Once converted, attack move can be repeated through easy reactivation steps.
Bumblebee Bumblebee runs recon missions as a courageous scout for the heroic Autobots. Convert and attack with Transformers Cyberverse Action Attackers! Change figure from vehicle to robot mode in 9 steps. The last step of conversion automatically activates Bumblebee figure’s signature Sting Shot Action Attack move! Once converted, attack move can be repeated through easy reactivation steps. Look for other Action Attackers figures, each sold separately, to discover the signature attack moves of favorite Cyberverse characters! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. Includes Bumblebee figure and instructions. Figure scale: 5.4 inches
In late 2017 it was revealed that a new Transformers cartoon would be replacing "Robots in Disguise". The series focuses on Bumblebee with partial amnesia attempting to regain his memories. A blend of G1 and modern characters combined with a more kid-friendly animation style results in a show that leans more towards a younger audience than even "Robots in Disguise", something which is reflected in the toy line. The toy line was released in countries outside the United States such as Australia around late June 2018. A few weeks later it would be released in North America.
Among the first waves of figures released were the Warrior Class figures. The Warrior Class was first introduced in "Robots in Disguise" as a sort of compromise between the more complex Deluxe Class figures from "Generations" and the simpler figures offered throughout the rest of the "Robots in Disguise" line. This "new" Warrior Class assortment however is not a continuation of that Class of figure despite sharing the same name. Instead, these figures are more akin to the "Power Attackers" from "Age of Extinction" such as Drift focusing on a single action feature or gimmick with some detail that you would have expected from a past Warrior Class figure.
Warrior Class "Cyberverse" figures are packaged on bubble cards. The cards have a new design which takes cues from more recent Transformers packaging. There is still a vertical "Transformers" logo on the right side, above it is a symbol (Autobot or Decepticon based on the character) and the character art is at the top of the packaging with the "Cyberverse" logo under it. Perhaps the most distinctive part of the packaging design are the colors, which utilize yellow and light blue helping them stand out against the black and red colors used for "Generations" packaging on shelves. The back of the packaging features the figure with its action feature called out. In Optimus' case it is the "Energon Axe Attack" feature. The packaging also calls out his cosells (Optimus Prime, Starscream and Shockwave) and his transformation is listed as having 9 steps.
The insert on the packaging notes a recommended age of "6+" which is important to keep in mind with this Class of figure. Contrast that with a "Generations" Deluxe (such as Jazz or Sunstreaker) which have recommended ages of 8+. This age recommendation is more along the lines of "Robots in Disguise" Legion Class figures such as Bisk. This (partly) explains the new play pattern being introduced here, which eschews the traditional "robot to alt mode" play pattern and instead focuses on a partial transformation with an action gimmick.
Before I get into the review of Bumblebee's robot mode, a warning: Bumblebee sits in a plastic tray inside a bubble. Unlike most other Transformers toys there are no twist ties of anything like that holding it down. Instead, the plastic tray is sculpted to hold the figure in. That's fine, until you try to remove the figure from the tray. When I did so, the tray held on to the figure so tightly that both lower legs wound up ripping off! Upon closer examination I realized this is because the lower legs are connected to the knee hinge only by small nubs on the lower legs that fit into round openings on the thighs in the knee area. Clearly this is a cost cutting move. Traditionally such a joint would be a hinge or a ball joint but not so on this figure, and that is a strike against it.
Bumblebee's "Cyberverse" appearance is a blend of various Bumblebee designs. The head design is very G1 based including a central crest and "horns" sticking out to the sides at angles. Part of the car mode's cabin section becomes the chest, another G1-esque callback. There are panels from the vehicle mode forming "wings" in the back (though technically they're attached to the back of the arms), a feature seen on the live action movie Bumblebee and the Bumblebee from "Transformers: Prime". His legs look like they are formed from the rear half of the vehicle mode, another design cue borrowed from the live action movies and "Prime". Overall Bumblebee is instantly recognizable and I like the way he borrows design elements from different eras.
That said, there is one feature on Bumblebee that I am not fond of. Ironically, it is the one associated with his "Attack" gimmick. Specifically his right arm is in its "Sting Shot" form (which you can see in action in this cartoon clip by Cartoon Network). This kind of looks like a claw hand with a small barrel/stinger in the center. Unfortunately this arm winds up being stuck in one position for the sake of the gimmick. To set up the gimmick, pull the chest piece out a bit. Then push the arm down and it should lock into place. Then push the chest piece in and it activates, causing the "Sting Shot hand" to spin around. It's an okay gimmick, but I personally would have preferred to have an arm that could transform into the weapon (as some of the Movie figures have done). However, spring loaded gimmicks are a staple of the Warrior Class in this line.
Bumblebee is cast in a very nice metallic yellow plastic along with black and silver. As you would expect, yellow makes up most of the figure with black and silver on smaller parts such as the head. The finishing touch is a large Autobot symbol on the top of the chest in red. Some black paint from the vehicle mode peeks through on the arms and "wing" panels as well. The head has two thin black stripes running from the back to the front that call back to the racing stripes on the live action movie Bumblebee design. Sadly there is a lot of sculpted detail that is not painted, so it can easily get lost in a sea of yellow plastic. For instance, he has headlight and bumper designs on the shoulders, but you could easily miss them because they are not called out by any paint. The same goes for his feet
There are six points of articulation on this figure. This includes two on each leg, two on the right arm and the head. I'm being generous and counting the ability for the left arm to swing up, but that's really pushing it. Frankly, the arm is frustrating. It's supposed to swing up and the "Stinger" at the end should spin. However, I have a hard time keeping the arm down (hence why it is up in my photos). The right hand has a 5mm port, allowing you to attach an additional weapon.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Push the "Sting Shot" arm down if it is deployed.
- Push the legs together.
- Swing the chest piece back and connect it with the back piece to form the cabin section of the vehicle mode.
- Connect the cabin section cover to the back of the legs.
- Swing each arm inward, then bring the panels from the back of the arms together.
Bumblebee's new vehicle mode is an interesting design. While it does look like a sleek sports car of some sort, it is not flat and angular like the Camaro and Camarao-esque vehicle modes from "Transformers Prime". Instead, the front has a distinct curve to it. As does the cabin section which then leads to a spoiler with two flat vertical panels on either side. The back also has a distinct curve. All these curved parts seem to be a slight nod to G1 Bumblebee's Volkswagon Beetle form and I do appreciate it. Unfortunately the aesthetics are kind of marred a bit by the hinges on the hood and over the front wheels. That said, one can easily pretend they are some type of weaponry mounted to the front of the car.
This mode mostly shows off the yellow plastic, but the wheels are black, offering some nice contrast. There is black on the grille and black racing stripes running from the front of the car to the top, evoking the live action Movie Bumblebee. The windows are painted light blue while the headlights are painted a darker shade of blue. A red Autobot symbol winds up on the top of the vehicle. Overall the deco for the vehicle mode looks good, though I personally would have liked to see the rear details painted in and maybe a spot of black or silver added to the front of the vent in the middle of the hood.
I think the best words to describe this figure are "It's okay.". There is nothing outstanding about it, really. The action feature is not particularly exciting (and does not always work) and the articulation is limited (and let's not forget the lower legs tearing off out of the package). This figure is definitely not worth the $14.99 asking price. I do think kids will enjoy this figure, but I would try to get this on sale if at all possible. Mildly recommended for younger fans at a sale price.
- Cool Bumblebee design incorporating elements from various eras.
- Very nice plastic colors (especially the metallic yellow).
- Nice vehicle mode design.
- Limited articulation.
- Action feature is not very exciting.
- Could use more paint applications.