"Robots in Disguise (2015)" Warrior Class Night Ops Bumblebee Toy Review
Release Date: August 2015
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Decepticons beware, because this Warrior Class Night Ops Bumblebee figure has special black armor for undercover missions! He converts in a heartbeat from robot mode to sports car mode, and he’s got a huge sword to slash his foes into scrap! Convert him in 7 steps to either mode, and keep converting him back and forth so his Decepticon enemies can’t keep up! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
Bumblebee redecos have been a staple of the "Transformers" toy line for years now. Often time Bumblebee is given a "dark" deco that basically inverts the classic yellow/black color scheme. Examples include 2008's Stealth Bumblebee, "Revenge of the Fallen' Stealth Bumblebee and High Octane Bumblebee.
Night Ops Bumblebee carries over that tradition into the "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Class figure line with a redeco of the original Bumblebee figure released earlier this year. Check out that review for a detailed look at the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
Night Ops Bumblebee is packaged on a blister card in robot mode. You can see both the figure and sword in the packaging. The card has artwork for Bumblebee (different than the previous release) but he's in his regular yellow color instead of the colors of this figure, which is an odd choice.
The back features the toy and the transformation instructions on top. The bottom focuses on legal information in several languages along with information on scanning the toy into the mobile game. There are no traditional tech specs (or even a truncated write up) to speak of, which is unfortunate. Even a small tech spec or paragraph would have been nice to see on the packaging. Of course, most folks buying this figure will just toss the packaging anyhow so how much of an issue this is largely depends on your perspective.
For this release there has been no retooling on this figure. Even the head sculpt has the same smile on it as the original release. The same goes for the weapon included with the figure which is the same translucent blue sword the first version of the figure came with.
This figure takes the basic Bumblebee colors and inverts them. Black is now the primary plastic color with other parts cast in silver and yellow. Black makes up most of the arms, torso and parts of the lower legs. There is some yellow plastic. For instance the wheels from the vehicle mode (all visible here) are yellow and the front panels of his lower legs are also yellow. Silver fills in other parts including the hips/waist area and the thighs. While it has been used many times on other Bumblebee figures, making black the primary color and yellow the secondary never fails to look striking.
Bumblebee's paint colors are nicely coordinated with the plastic colors. Yellow paint is used on the upper arms, forearms, chest and the crest on his head. Silver paint is used on the face while the eyes are translucent blue plastic with light piping. A bit of black paint is used on the lower legs. The center of the chest has a scannable Autobot symbol intended to go with the official "Robots in Disguise" mobile app.
All the joints on this figure are nice and tight. Bumblebee holds his sword just fine in the hands. There is no mold degradation that I can find.
Overall the robot mode looks good. There is a good amount of paint used, mostly to color in the arms. Given the clean look of the Autobots in the cartoon it's no shock that Bumblebee's deco isn't full of tiny details. The translucent color of the sword looks great against the darker colors on the body.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the sword and set it aside for now.
- Push the robot feet up against the lower legs.
- Connect the two lower legs and the panels from the top of the vehicle mode together.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- Straighten out each of the arms.
- Push each arm down and into the sides.
- Swing the door panels down then up to cover the arms.
- Swing the panel from the back over the head and push it into place.
- Swing the section with the windows up and push it into place.
- The sword can be stored on the bottom of the vehicle using the raised "V" shape tabs.
Bumblebee looks dramatically different in vehicle mode than the previous version. The primary plastic colori s now black and he has yellow lines painted in the front. The headlights are painted light blue. This mode also gives you a good look at the translucent blue windows.
Unfortunately the deco has one big flaw. Considering the conceit of the figure is that the "armor" allows him to operate at night, the super bright yellow wheels are sort of a big give away. Now, I get that these parts are most likely molded in the same place as the yellow panels for the legs, so the base color can't be helped. But they could have given them some black or maybe even blue rings on the edges (like the TV show). Yellow is a tricky color with toys because if not used correctly, it winds up looking cheap - and these wheels do just that.
Given that this is the second redeco of this figure coming out at the same time (the other is the "Clash of the Transformers" Toys R Us exclusive) and that there is no retooling on the figure, I would have hoped that the minimal cost to add deco to the wheels would have been spent to make the figure look better.
While I'm not happy about the wheels (could you tell?) I have to admit that overall as a toy this is a fun piece. It's a nice design and I dig the inversion of the classic Bumblebee colors. I just feel more could have been done with the deco. If you missed out on the first version of the figure this is a good substitute. Otherwise you can skip it.