"Movie The Best" Laserbeak Toy Review
Price: 4300 Yen (approximately $39 USD)
Retailer: Wonderfest and TakaraTomy Mall Exclusive
Release Date: July 13, 2017 (Wonderfest), September 30, 2017 (TakaraTomy Mall)
Accessories: Gatling gun
Tech Specs translation by Doug Dlin:
The Right-Hand Bot Assassin Lurking in Everyday Life
An intel recon operative serving under intelligence officer Soundwave. Through structural change on an infinitesimal level, he has devised ingenious plans to alter from his basic avian form, camouflaging himself as all manner of familiar gadgetry, from photocopiers to audio equipment, and turning into a harmless, familiar small robot in order to approach deeply into human living spaces.
Back in June of 2017 Takara Tomy announced that they would be releasing an exclusive "Dark of the Moon" Laserbeak as part of the "Movie The Best" line. However, this unusual figure would not be a redeco of the "Dark of the Moon" Deluxe Laserbeak figure or the accessory included with the "Human Alliance" Soundwave figure. Instead, this figure would be a redeco of "Dark of the Moon" Bumblebee in pink! This odd exclusive was inspired by a scene in "Dark of the Moon" where Laserbeak transforms into a human sized robot that looked like Bumblebee. Aside from its small size, this "disguise" was notable for its color: pink! This figure was first released as a Wonderfest 2017 exclusive and then later went up on TakaraTomy Mall in September of 2017. You'll want to check out my "Dark of the Moon" Bumblebee review before this one as this review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
Laserbeak never actually transformed into a car in the film, however since he was human sized it is kind of fun to speculate that if he he had, he would have actually been a toy sized car for a kid to ride in and not an actual real life sized Camaro! That said, this vehicle mode is a carry over from the previous releases of this figure which was meant to represent a real Camaro. Given that, there are some nice details sculpted into this figure that call back to the real life car. These include the design of the front end, the air intake on the hood and the design of the rear lights. The vehicle is instantly recognizable as a Camaro and it looks great from a sculpting perspective.
This mode is mostly metallic pink plastic with some smaller parts cast in black. The pink color is really beautiful and shines brilliantly in sunlight. Paint colors on this vehicle include black, silver, pink and red. The black and silver are used for details like the racing stripes on the hood and the sides of the wheels. Pink is used to paint parts of the clear plastic that makes up the cabin section and red is found on the rear lights. Having paint on all sides of the vehicle is a pleasant surprise as this practice has fallen by the wayside over the years. The deco looks great and I'm very happy with it.
This figure was released during the "Dark of the Moon" era where the "Mech Tech" gimmick dominated. As such this figure has a 5mm port on the top of the cabin section to connect any weapon with a 5mm peg. What is nice is that the hole "auto fills in" when no weapon is connected so the figure does not look like a vehicle with a hole on top. This is done by having a small panel connected to a spring that lifts the plastic panel up to cover the hole when no weapon is attached.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the weapon if attached.
- Swing each outer half of the car's front end up.
- You'll see a dark grey piece under the center of the car's front end, swing that up.
- Open both car doors and swing up the windows.
- Raise the rear panel with the spoiler attached to it.
- Swing up the panel that forms the armor on top of the rear wheel wells.
- Pull down the robot feet to form the robot legs.
- Swing the front wheels out to the sides.
- With the bottom of the car facing up, swing the robot arms up, then out to the sides.
- Move the piece with the cabin cover and spoiler on it out a bit, tuck in the yellow piece from the hood and then push it up against the back of the figure.
- Swing the front section of the car down to form the robot chest.
- Straighten out the robot arms and hands.
- Attach the weapon to his forearm.
The robot mode breaks up the pink color by introducing several robot mode parts that are cast in a dark grey plastic. These include the inner part of the arms, mid-body and thighs. The hands are cast in black. There are not a ton of paint applications in this mode. You have carry over silver and black from the front of the car and silver on the face. The eyes have a pink light piping which gives it a dramatic effect similar to what was seen in the film. In all fairness to this figure, this is about the same amount of paint the robot mode had when this figure was released as Bumblebee. Also, the on-screen model was only shown very briefly and in shots that did not give us a really clear look at the body detailing so I am happy with this representation of what we saw in the film.
There was no retooling done to this figure for this release, though if you told me the tooling was refined a bit I would not be surprised. For a figure that comes from tooling from a decade ago the parts are all remarkably tight on this figure. The joints are solid and the construction really reminds you of how well constructed these figures were (despite plenty of criticism about the aesthetics back in the day). Parts are pinned in and all the joints are solid. Nothing goes flying off during transformation (I'm looking at you Studio Series Bumblebee). This is a nice, solid figure.
In the "Dark of the Moon" toy line the main gimmick was the use of "Mech Tech" weapons which used standard 5mm ports and could transform. There were also "C" clip weapons that attached to bars sculpted into various figures. This figure was built to accommodate both gimmicks. The weapon included with the figure is actually a Gatling gun originally included with Deluxe Class Leadfoot from "Dark of the Moon". This likely was done to save money, but it also aligns more with the machine gun style weapon Laserbeak used in the film. Specifically, each arm has a 5mm port on the forearms and there are bars for "C Clip" weapons. Between that and seventeen points of articulation this figure has plenty of play value.
The Bumblebee figure this Laserbeak toy is based on is a solid figure. It has plenty of play value and good construction. The pink color may seem odd, but given what the figure is meant to represent I think it's great. However, a pink Bumblebee redeco may not be everyone's cup of tea, and this figure can easily cost $80-100 USD on the aftermarket, so be warned. Recommended for a very specific set of collectors.
- Good sculpt.
- Solid construction, relying more on traditional pins than friction bits.
- Good deco.
- Unconventional representation of the character.
- Can attach several extra weapons in robot mode.
- Essentially a "pink Bumblebee" which some fans will not care for.
- High relative after market price.
- Does not include original Mech Tech weapon.