Transformers Movie Premium Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2008, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Movie (2007), Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action Movie

General Information:
Release Date: April 2008
Price Point: $9.99
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blade/Cannon weapon

Images:

*Images and text from transformers.com
Ever since the final battle against the DECEPTICONS, BUMBLEBEE has been meticulous about his appearance. With Sams help, he immediately buffs out every scratch he gets in his finish, and he gets detailed once a month. Hes even convinced AUTOBOT RATCHET to learn a little bit more about cosmetic upgrades to AUTOBOT systems, so that he comes out of any post-battle repair looking just as good as he did before.

The premium line of Transformers figures was released as a way to utilize the movie figure sculpts another time and to create decos that are a cut above the level of detailing used on the other releases of the same sculpts. The sculpt used for Premium Bumblebee is the same sculpt used for Stealth Bumblebee, check out that review for details on the figure including its sculpt changes from the previous release. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
Bumblebee is cast in the same primary colors as the Concept Camaro, with yellow making up most of the body of the vehicle, translucent blue on the windows and black on the wheels. The yellow plastic has been used as the primary color for the Bumblebee figure in previous incarnations. However, that plastic was generally flat in color and while it worked, it did not reflect the pearlescent color of the real life Camaro. On this version of the figure, the designers used a layer of paint over the yellow plastic of a metallic yellow color. To match this, metallic yellow is also used on the parts cast in translucent blue to match up to the armor panels. The metallic yellow is a really beautiful color and it looks fantastic. Black paint is still found on the figure on the aprts you'd expect including the front grille and the racing stripes going from the front to the back of the figure. However, unlike previous versions, these stripes are not solid black lines but instead they are thick in the middle with black outlines around the thicker lines. This is more accurate to the actual vehicle used in the movie which had the same type of trim around the thicker lines.

Silver paint is used on smaller details including the headlights and the tail lights. It can also be found on the sides of the wheels. While these details may be of no surprise, it is nice to see that in addition, the door handles, gas tank cap and the word "Camaro" on the sides are all painted silver as well. On the back of the vehicle you'll find additional details such as orange painted on the tail lights and a fully painted license plate. The Chevrolet logo on the back is painted gold as well. Another tiny detail is a small strip on the sides of the vehicle towards the back, both painted the same orange as the tail lights.

The sheer amount of detail in this paint scheme is amazing. Often time it is easy to overlook the amount of sculpted etail on a figure because it isn't emphasized with a coat of paint. Also, sometimes you can look at a figure, see a great detail and feel that it is "unifinished" if not painted. Neither of those situations apply here with this figure. Quite simply, he looks fantastic.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing each door open.
  2. Split the rear section in half and remove the weapon, set it aside for now.
  3. Rotate the panel with the vent lines on it up on each side.
  4. Pull down the robot feet and the lower legs will automorph.
  5. Split the roof section in half.
  6. Pull each front wheels out to the sides.
  7. Swing the front of the car down. This will automorph the car doors back and the arms up.
  8. Swing the car doors all the way back.
  9. Rotate the arms and straighten them out.
  10. Rotate the roof panels on each arm around.
  11. Swing each side portion of his chest section up.
  12. Attach the weapon to one of his fists.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, you'll find much of the gunmetal grey parts from Stealth Bumblebee have been replaced with a metallic grey color that isn't quite as shiny, but still gives the feel of machinery. The yellow parts from the previous versions of this figure are still yellow including the armor paensl on his shoulders, the knees and lower sections of his legs and the front halves of his feet.

The metallic yellow color from the vehicle mode is used on this mode as well. His head, arms and waist all have key parts painted in yellow, mostly matching the same parts on Stealth Bumblebee. His license plate is replicated in the middle of his body but with an angle/bend in the middle. A tiny Autobot symbol is painted onto the crest on his head, which impresses me quite a bit as it's a super tiny detail. Another Autobot symbol is painted silver on his chest. Another color used is grey, matching the grey plastic that makes up his arms and legs. This grey is found on the yellow panels on his shoulders and on the tips of his feet. The details on his feet are especially cool since the other versions of this figure don't have that detail, but it is found on the CGI model.

All of Bumblebee's joints are still tight, which is great to see considering how many iterations of this sculpt there are. His weapon also still works well and there don't appear to be any bits of flash or mold degradation on the plastic parts.

Final Thoughts:
Premium Bumblebee is a spectacular example of how to create a movie accurate deco on a figure. Seeing all the tiny details filled in is awesome and I think one has to take into acccount that every extra detail costs additional money, yet this figure cost the same at retail as its predecessors. If you're not already overloaded with Bumblebee figures and want a movie accurate figure at a good price, this is your best bet. Highly recommended!