"Robots in Disguise" (2015) One Step Changer Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Autobot, One Step Changer, Prime, Robots in Disguise (2015)

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Bumblebee General Information:
Release Date: December 2014
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
The One-Step Warriors are 2-in-1 speed-changers and your Bumblebee figure is one of them! He's the same Autobot warrior as always, but he converts in just 1 step from robot mode to speedy sports car mode and back. Can his Deception enemies keep up? Not with you in charge! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

The One Step Changers were introduced in the "Age of Extinction" toy line as a simplified alternative to larger, more complex Transformers figures. The name is a bit of a misnomer in some cases but for the most part, a majority of the transformation is accomplished in one movement. Bumblebee is one of the first entries into this sub-line of figures for "Robots in Disguise".

Packaging:
Like the "Age of Extinction" One Step Changers, these are packaged in bubbles on small cards. Artwork is on the left side and the Transformers logo is on the right. This version uses different artwork than the Warrior Class Bumblebee figure. This artwork shows Bumblebee punching whereas the Warrior Class version showed him with a sword. The back does not feature any tech specs information, instead using the space for the instructions and multi-language legal information. It's a shame but Hasbro seems to be refocusing any efforts at more traditional packaging into the "Generations" segment, which I get since I'm guessing they're assuming most of the kids getting these will wind up just throwing out the packaging.

Vehicle Mode:
While Bumblebee has retained the alt mode of a sports car, the design of this one is different than his more curved Camaro inspired form from "Transformers Prime". Instead, this vehicle has a lot of angles, with raised sections that wrap around the front of the car dramatically and then sweep back all the way to the rear where the back of the rear wheel wells point back, almost like a Batmobile from a Batman series. Other details are pointed too including the front headlights (which angle towards the middle) and the shape of his windows, which are angular in shape all around except for the back window. With Bumblebee taking a leadership role, the designers seemed to have incorporated elements of the Autobot symbol itself into this design. The hood and rear of the vehicle both sport designs reminiscent of the top part of the Autobot symbol, specifically the part with the small notches on it. The rear section also has a piece with two tubes sticking out the back. You could see these as some type of booster or exhaust pipes. It's a very dramatic vehicle mode and it looks very cool.

Bumblebee is cast in yellow and black plastic. The yellow makes up most of the vehicle form with black used for the wheels. Black paint is the most heavily used color. You'll find it on all the windows as well as the front end. The headlights are painted light blue. On top of the hood is a round section with an Autobot symbol inside. The symbol is surrounded by a circle with patterns inside. This is meant to be scanned for use with the Transformers Mobile App launched in conjunction with "Robots in Disguise". That's pretty much it for the deco. This is to be expected with one Step Changers, but I do wish a couple more details had been added in. The yellow is very monotonous since it's such a bright color. The black breaks it up a bit, but I would've liked to see the small details on the hood colored in for instance.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
The front and back ends of the vehicle both have black pieces at the ends. Hold on to them and swing them both down. The entire body of the vehicle will unfold and you can bring those two pieces together. Then swing them out to form the feet and heels of the robot mode.

Robot Mode:
In the "Robots in Disguise" cartoon, Bumblebee has taken on a leadership role, and his body looks chunkier and larger, appropriate for a leader character - but man, this figure takes it to an extreme. To accommodate the One Step gimmick, there really isn't the ability to move panels around or shift bits around to shrink some of the car mode parts. The result is that Bumblebee looks kind of chunky. His chest is very wide and the car parts that wind up on his back almost make him look like he's wearing a turtle shell on his back. It's a bit jarring at first since the proportions are so odd looking. This right here is likely to be the deal breaker for many fans. If you're into the gimmick, this own't deter you, but if the gimmick is not enough, this is the part where you would say "This isn't for me." (and there's nothing wrong with that).

Bumblebee is mostly yellow plastic in this mode with some small bits of black plastic showing. Silver is used to paint the waist, thighs and face. His eyes are light blue. The silver on the waist and thighs really helps provide the color diversity that I wanted more of in the vehicle mode. Since the front of the car mode winds up forming his chest extra colors get added from that component.

There are two points of articulation in this mode: the arms. They can move up and down. The hands are designed to accommodate weapons with 5mm pegs, so he can hold weapons from "Generations" and even older lines like "Energon". I'm glad they included this play element as I don't think the transformation gimmick alone is enough to make this a fun toy.

Final Thoughts:
One Step Changer Bumblebee is a fun toy, no doubt. His robot mode aesthetic is bound to turn some fans off, but if you want a fun toy just to mess around with and transform back and forth quickly, he fits the bill. I think for the age group he is intended for he works just fine.