"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Battle Pack Bumblebee versus Major Mayhem Toy Review

in 2016, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Battle Pack, Mini-Con, Prime, Robots in Disguise (2015)

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Bumblebee General Information:
Release Date: January 2016
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Helmet/Chest Armor, Shoulder armor x 2; Leg armor x 2; Rifle

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Bring home the chase and capture excitement of the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons with this battle pack. It contains 1 Autobot Bumblebee figure, 1 Decepticon Major Mayhem Mini-Con Cyclone figure, and 6 accessories. The accessories can be used to customize the Bumblebee figure with weapons and armor. Or, assemble them into a Decepticon-catching capture weapon! The Bumblebee figure changes from robot to vehicle and back in 7 steps. The Major Mayhem figure changes from robot to cyclone weapon and back in 1 easy step.

"Robots in Disguise" continued in 2016 with the introduction of "Battle Packs". These each featured an Autobot paired up with a Decepticon Mini-con. The Autobots were generally about the size of a Commander Class figure (examples of a Commander Class figure include "Prime" Ironhide and "Dark of the Moon" Guzzle). The Mini-Cons in the first wave were of the "Cyclone" kind, intended to interact with figures like Overload. Added play value is integrated into the set by adding on armor pieces that could be combined into one large "super weapon".

Packaging:
The "Robots in Disguise" Battle Packs are blister carded. If you are facing the card the left side has the Commander Class figure while the right has the Mini-Con. In between are the armor pieces and weapons. The backing card has artwork of Bumblebee wearing his armor on it. The Transformers logo is on the right. On the bottom is an insert with the names of the characters. The back of the packaging shows both toys in both forms. There are no tech specs, just legal information in several languages and a promotion for the mobile app.

Accessories:
One of the main selling points of this figure are the accessories. These represent "battle armor" that appear on the character such as the armor seen in the "Robots in Disguise" episode "Decepticon Island" Part 2. Bumblebee includes the following pieces:

  • Rifle
  • Helmet/chest armor
  • Shoulder armor
  • Leg armor

These armor pieces are cast in translucent blue plastic, reminiscent of the blue energy color used on the TV show for Bumblebee's armor. The design of these armor pieces seem to have an aerial theme. The helmet has triangular sections on the sides pointing up, the shoulder armor looks like small wings and the leg armor looks like it has two large claws at the knees. The head design is a bit of a G1 homage. It features a thin, angled visor eye with a V shaped mouthplate. This calls back to the design of the G1 Bumblebee toy's head, which differed quite a bit from his animation model. Very cool.

All the weapons can be assembed to form a "super weapon". The leg armor attaches to the front of the weapon barrel, the shoulder armor attaches to the back and the head/chest armor goes on top. This winds up forming a weapon that looks like it has a huge claw in the front and wings in the back. It's a stylish looking weapon and Bumblebee can hold it in his hand the same way he holds the rifle.

I really dig the design of these individual parts and the combined weapon. It adds to both the aesthetic and play value of the figure.

Major Mayhem Review

Major Mayhem appeared in the animated series alongside the Decepticon Stockade. The name "Major Mayhem" works on two levels. The Mini-Cons using this identity are all trained with military like discipline by Stockade, and in the process they cause mayhem that is...well...major. How much amusement you get out of this pun will vary. I'm a Geek who loves this type of humor (however groan worthy) so I think it's funny.

Like many Mini-Cons in "robots in Disguise", Major Mayhem's body is ab it out of proportion. His head, shoulder armor and arms are huge, then his torso is a bit smaller than you'd expect leading to short legs. This gives them a cute appearance, but it is also clever because it makes you underestimate them until they attack and cause all sorts of ruckus. Like his animation model, Major Mayhem has a head design reminiscent of the Decepticon symbol including a crest that comes up to a point on top and a helmet section with parts that come out at angles on top. His shoulder armor has crooves on it that make it look like he has layers of armor. His chest has a panel sculpted into it resembling a windshield on a car. He has an interesting leg design that includes two pointed toes on each foot. Adding to this animal-like design is a tail with ridges on top. Overall this is a rather unique design for a Transformer and it fits the style of "Robots in Disguise" Mini-Cons very well.

Major Mayhem is cast in a really nice metallic green plastic, reflecting his "military" theme. At the same time the green coupled with the tail and feet make him look like a lizard of some sort. His face is painted silver with red eyes. The chest and hands are painted light brown (reflecting a color I've seen shades of on camouflage) continuing to reflect the "military" theme of the character. On the top of the figure is a scannable Decepticon symbol you can use with the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app. What he lacks are the purple details seen on the animation model.

Major Mayhem three points of articulation. Two are the arms and one is a hinge that the head is connected to. Now, this means you can swing the head up but you have to shove the section with the Decepticon symbol on it aside, and it doesn't really seem like it's supposed to do that so I'm guessing there is some type of early design element here that wound up getting dropped. He also has several ports for Mini-Con armor, though he does not include any. I speculate that this is to allow for the figure to be given a new deco later on with armor pieces.

To transform the figure, swing the arms and tail up. Then push the shoulder/arm sections in and the legs with auto-transform by swinging up.

The weapon mode is a "Cyclone" based one which essentially amounts to being a Cybertronian cannonball. There are no spikes or anything on this mode. There are raised details on the back that could be interpreted as thrusters. He can be used with figures like Overload as a projectile.

Bumblebee Review

Robot Mode:
This figure is a simplified version of Bumblebee compared to say, the Warrior Class figure but it manages to do a nice job of recreating several key design elements of the animation model. This includes his head design with a high crest and thin face, his large shoulders that rise above the head on the sides, his chest with panels that look like they're formed from the car mode and distinctive line details on front of the lower legs. Sure there are a couple details missing like his knee armor but really it's not a big deal at all in my opinion.

Bumblebee is cast in yellow and black plastic. Yellow makes up most of the robot mode. Black is used on parts like his forearms, waist/hips and thighs. Silver paint is used on the face, with blue on the eyes and crest. Black paint is used to fill in the center of the chest and the angled lines on his lower legs. His feet are also painted black. The center of the chest has a scannable Autobot symbol on it. You can use this with the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app to unlock the character. The deco is relatively simple, but for a smaller figure of this scale that's hardly shocking. There are plenty of details I could say I wish the figure had, but those most likely would have come with a more expensive price point.

There are fourteen points of articulation on this figure including three on each arm and leg. The hands are able to hold accessories with 5mm pegs including the rifle included with the figure.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  • Detach all armor pieces if attached.
  • Straighten out the arms and legs.
  • Swing the feet back and connect the two lower legs together.
  • Rotate the aaround.
  • Swing the rear vehicle mode cover over the robot head.
  • Push the arms down, connecting the rear vehicle mode cover's tabs into the corresponding slots on the robot shoulders.
  • Swing the cabin section of the car forward, then rotate the doors back.

Vehicle Mode:
Like the robot mode this figure manages to recreate the animation model very well. This includes the long front end of the car with vents on the hood, angled headlights and the back coming to points near the rear wheel wells.

Black paint is used on the hood and all the windows (including, surprisingly, the rear window). Light blue is used on the headlights. that's really it for the deco but it looks good and clean. You can combine all the accessories together then attach the weapon to the top of the vehicle.

Final Thoughts:
This set is a fun one. I'd say the $14.99 price tag skirts the edge of being a bit high (shave off $2 and it would be perfectly priced in my opinion). If you want a fun little two pack this is a good set with a beloved character. Recommended (but get it at a discount if you can).