"Q Transformers" Bumblebee (Daihatsu) Toy Review
Release Date: December 26, 2014
Price Point: $7.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
The "Q Transformers" toy line takes its character assortment from various "Transformers" toy lines from over the years. In the case of this Bumblebee, he takes inspiration from his "Generation One" appearance but goes in a slightly new direction with it.
The "Q Transformers" are small Transformers figures, true to the "Choro Q" toys that inspired them. Each figure is in a bubble that slides into a cardboard backing. The packaging is about 4 inches (approximately 10 centimeters) high and almost 3 inches (approximately 7.6 centimeters) wide. The cards used on the figures depend on the where the character originates from. In the case of Bumblebee the card uses artwork from the "Q Transformers" online series including Optimus Prime and Prowl.
In Generation One, Bumblebee was a Volkswagon Bug. However, over the years Volkswagon has been reluctant to allow Takara and Hasbro to use their vehicles in their products so Bumblebee has had to take on different forms over the years. For this release he transforms into a Daihatsu Copen, a small, two door Japanese car. Its compact form makes it an appropriate choice for Bumblebee, and the "super deformed" look of "Q Transformers" vehicles adds to how well the form fits the character.
Several of the details from the real life vehicle carry over to this design. These include:
- The front grille area has a distinct six sided shape that is wider on the bottom than the top.
- Above the grille is a small circular symbol, this is the company symbol of Daihatsu used on this car.
- The headlights are a distinct four sided shape that sweeps backward aggressively.
- The area under the headlights has an "L" shaped detail with the bottom section angling downward.
- The wheels have five thick "spokes" on the sides.
- The rear lights have a very stylized "P" shape with the top part being the lights leading down.
- The back has two exhaust pipes, just like the real life vehicle.
- In the center of the trunk's door is an oval symbol, another version of the symbol from the front.
It's really great how much of the Daihatsu's detail winds up being integrated into this form. I appreciate that despite it's "super deformed" shape, this vehicle mode still has some of the more aggressive looking design elements of the real life car.
Bumblebee is cast in yellow and black plastic. Most of the vehicle is yellow, which calls back to G1 Bumblebee (and several others of course). The Daihatsu Copen also comes in this color, so the vehicle form works out in both design and color. Black paint with a matte finish is used on the top of the cabin section (including on the windows) as well as outlines on the grille area and the middle of the vehicle's back section. Silver is used for the headlights, the circular symbol in the front and the sides of the wheels. A combination of red and silver is used in the back for the rear lights. Overall the colors look great on this form and even better they are very appropriate for the character.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Turn the vehicle over and swing down each robot leg and straighten out the feet.
- Split the rear section of the vehicle and swing the halves forward.
- On each of the rear vehicle halves, swing out the robot arms.
- Swing down the cabin section to reveal the robot head.
Bumblebee's robot mode integrates aspects of his new form with classic G1 elements. His torso and arms are clearly parts of the Daihatsu Copen vehicle, however his head and legs come directly from his G1 animated counterpart. The head has a central crest, horns coming out at angles and a face featuring diamond shaped eyes with a nose and mouth (the G1 toy had a mouthplate instead). His legs feature the front end of a Volkswagon bug just like he did in the animated series. Both details look good, though the size of his head's "helmet" section is a tad big for my tastes.
There are some new deco points introduced in this form. The face is silver and his eyes are painted blue, staying true to G1 colors. The edges of his feet and his hands are both painted black. Add in the colors from the vehicle mode and overall Bumblebee looks great.
In general "Q Transformers" have eleven points of articulation. Most of these are ball joints allowing for a good range of articulation...in theory. Here's where the main problem with this figure comes in. It may just be my copy of this figure, but my Bumblebee has severe structural issues. The shoulder and knee ball joints are not tight at all, so whenever you manipulate these parts they tend to fall off. This is especially bad during transformation when the arms and legs have repeatedly popped off my copy of the figure.
Unfortunately given my experience I can't really recommend this figure. I grant that it is possible I just got one bad one from the assembly line, but I have to go with what I have and unfortunately what I have is a figure that falls apart way too easily. Great detailing, great deco but unfortunately terrible quality control on this figure.