"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Warrior Class Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Prime, Robots in Disguise (2015), Warrior Class

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Bumblebee General Information:
Release Date: December 2014
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Sword

Images:

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
Deceptions beware, because this Warrior Class Bumblebee figure converts fast from robot mode to sports car mode and he's armed with a massive sword for hard-core combat! Convert him in 7 steps to either mode and keep converting him back and forth so his Deception enemies can't keep up with his slashing attack! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

By the end of the "Transformers Prime" series, the character of Bumblebee had grown from the plucky warrior without a voice to a prominent, speaking Autobot who led the Autobots on missions when Optimus Prime was not around. Now his role elevates again as he becomes team leader to a group of inexperienced warriors in a quest to take down escaped Decepticon criminals. This figure represents his new appearance from the "Robots in Disguise" series. It is a brand new sculpt, not a redeco or retool of any previous figure.

The "Warrior" Class is a new class created to take the role that the "Deluxe" Class once held but only in the "Robots in Disguise" line (so far). The "Deluxe" Class lives on in name via the "Generations" segment (making it the last class of figure to survive from the era of "Beast Wars" to now).

Packaging:
Bumblebee is packaged in a bubble that is both glued and taped to a card. Similar to many Japanese Deluxe Class figure releases, the bubble is glued onto the card except one side that overlaps onto the back. That section is taped on. Bumblebee is packaged in robot mode. The card design feels like a descendent of the "Age of Extinction" packaging, with a white background and the "Robots in Disguise" logo on the upper right hand side. The package art mirrors the style of the TV show animation and I was happy to see just how prominent the art is. Not only does it appear on the card, but it is also on the insert. Also worth noting is that the package art is (thus far) unique to this Bumblebee figure, featuring him holding a sword whereas the One Step Changer and Legion Class figures feature different art.

The back of the packaging has no tech specs information at all. The instructions are printed there and below that are disclaimers in multiple languages with a blurb for the "Robots in Disguise" app in the center. As packaging goes it's rather dull on the back, but looks great from the front. As a long time fan this bugs me, but honestly most kids are just going to toss away the packaging so I get the desire to not invest tons of money into the back of the card.

Robot Mode:
In "Transformers Prime", Bumblebee had a very traditional Autobot body type. The front of his vehicle mode became the chest, he had door "wings" on his back and the rear of the vehicle became his feet. Throughout the animated series he retained this form, but now in "Robots in Disguise" he's changed up for a new, sleeker looking body. Gone is the front end of the car sticking out on his torso and instead of slightly thick feet, his legs are longer and look more sleek. His shoulder armor raises higher than his head making him about 5.25 inches tall (roughly 13.3 centimeters). There are shades of a "Rodimus Prime" style design here and there. The shoulder armor is one, the shape of his head with a long central crest, the back of the vehicle mode on his back, sort of like Rodimus' spoiler and the chest has a V shape on it that looks like you could put Rodimus' flame detail right onto it (this has actually inspired a fan digibash of a Rodimus redeco already). One detail that seems borrowed from Optimus Prime are vent like structures on his lower legs, one of the signature design elements on G1 Optimus Prime.

Bumblebee may be different in appearance from his previous incarnation, but there are some similarities. The head sculpt still carries over some of the helmet design from his "Prime" appearance, but now the face is longer and he has a mouth. Despite its appearance, the chest is meant to be the front of the car mode. Look carefully and you'll see details like the car headlights compressed and folded in, similar to the live action movie aesthetic. The way the panels are sculpted, they look very sleek and layered. There's at least four distinct layers of armor on the chest. I like that kind of attention to detail and it helps "bulk" him up a bit. Other parts that recall his previous form are the car doors on his back, forming wing-like structures and the shape of the feet, which have a raised section on top similar to the ones from his "Transformers Prime" model. Overall, I really like this design. It shows a move forward to a more sleek and futuristic looking form for the character. If we were to draw parallels between him and Rodimus Prime, the look befits the leader of the Autobots in the series.

Bumblebee is cast in yellow, silver, black and translucent blue plastic - all very standard colors for the character. Most of his armor is yellow of course, including the shoulder armor, the armor on his forearms, his chest, head and most of the lower legs and feet. Silver is used for the waist, thighs, elbow joints and back. Black makes up remaining sections like the front panels on his lower legs. The translucent blue is used for light piping on his head and eyes. The main paint colors used in this form are silver, black and yellow. The face is painted silver, contrasting nicely against the yellow "helmet" section. Black is used on the inside of the forearms and the hands. His chest also has black on in a "V" shape. The yellow is used on the "vent" sections on his lower legs.

The center of his chest has the same round Autobot symbol with a circle around it found on other Warrior Class Autobots. The symbol is actually a code that you can scan into the upcoming "Robots in Disguise" app for use with its mobile game. The background is white with red detailing in the foreground.

Overall, if the design of the figure didn't look recognizable, the colors on this figure most certainly give away that you're looking at an incarnation of Bumblebee.

There are twenty points of articulation in this mode. This includes five in each arm and four in each leg. He also has waist articulation, which is always a welcome addition. Bumblebee comes with a large sword, cast in translucent blue plastic. The sword appears to be of a new design and may be one that Fixit provides to Bumblebee. It is not the same design as the Star Saber sword seen in the TV show (which is okay by me, I welcome new designs). The sword has a 5mm handle, so it fits right into either hand.

While I do like this mode a lot, two things would have improved it a lot for me. One, I would have liked some type of weapon storage. You can sort of slide it behind him so the back of the car mode holds it in place, but it looks odd and is rather makeshift. The other addition this figure needed were heel pieces. You can stand the figure after some fiddling, but he'd be a lot more stable with heels at the back of his legs. There are small pieces which I thought were heel pieces, but they don't swing out, they just pop off - so be warned.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the sword and set it aside for now.
  2. Push the robot feet up against the lower legs.
  3. Connect the two lower legs and the panels from the top of the vehicle mode together.
  4. Rotate the lower body around.
  5. Straighten out each of the arms.
  6. Push each arm down and into the sides.
  7. Swing the door panels down then up to cover the arms.
  8. Swing the panel from the back over the head and push it into place.
  9. Swing the section with the windows up and push it into place.
  10. The sword can be stored on the bottom of the vehicle using the raised "V" shape tabs.

Vehicle Mode:
For his new vehicle mode, Bumblebee has gone from the rounded, Camaro inspired form he had in "Transformers Prime" to a more angular and thin vehicle form. In many ways, the design of this vehicle looks like the Vehicon vehicle mode from "Prime". The front end angles downward and the lines go straight back towards the rear wheel well. The top of the cabin section is slightly angled and the rear section of the vehicle comes to points at the back. After seeing Bumblebee with pretty much the same form in both movies and cartoons for the past few years, something this different is really surprising, but in a pleasant way. If his robot mode is going to differ greatly form his previous form, so should the vehicle mode.

In terms of color most of the vehicle is yellow plastic, with black used on the wheels. The entire cabin cover section is translucent blue plastic with yellow painted on top. The front end has black painted stripes from the windshield to the headlights, emulating his previous color schemes. The headlights are painted light blue. Unfortunately, the sides of the vehicle and the wheels are unpainted, making him look a bit unfinished in this form. The rear section also has sculpted details that aren't painted. I suspect there's going to be a redeco down the line with more deco but I was disappointed by this.

Final Thoughts:
I really like this new design for Bumblebee. It echoes other "Primes" and it distinguishes him from the previous versions of the character. He looks great in robot mode, but the vehicle mode definitely needs more deco. I also maintain he needs heel pieces in robot mode to add stability. If you can look beyond these two items, then this figure definitely deserves a place in your collection. Personally I'm happy to have him as part of my Autobot team.