"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Night Strike Bumblebee Toy Review
Release Date: January 2016
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, HasbroToyShop, Amazon etc.)
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Decepticons beware, because this Warrior Class Bumblebee figure converts in a heartbeat from robot mode to sports car mode, and he’s got a mighty sword that will make his foes think twice about taking him on! He converts in 7 steps to either mode, and kids can keep converting him back and forth to keep the adventure going. When the battle is over for the day, scan the figure’s badge into the Transformers Robots in Disguise app (device not included) to unlock the characters for awesome virtual combat. Transformers adventures will be off the hook with this Night Strike Bumblebee figure! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
It's been said before that marketers and buyers often don't know many Transformers characters beyond a select few. One of these is Bumblebee. As the "Robots in Disguise" line has progressed almost every significant wave of Warrior Class figures has mixed in a Bumblebee somewhere. First you had the basic Warrior Class figure then Night Ops Bumblebee and more recently "Clash of the Transformers" Bumblebee. More recently this base sculpt underwent a heavy retool and redeco as Supreme Bumblebee. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release, but you'll definitely want to check out the other reviews for more details on the base sculpt.
Night Strike Bumblebee is packaged on a blister card. He features the same package art as the first Warrior Class figure with slightly different colors. The back of the packaging shows the figure in both modes with the instructions. The bottom of the card has legal information in multiple languages.
This version of Bumblebee seems to take quite a bit of inspiration from the "Clash of the Transformers" Bumblebee figure. This time out Bumblebee is cast in a light, metallic flake yellow color. It really shines nicely and it's one of the nicest parts of the deco. Smaller parts including the hips and thighs are cast in light blue. This is reminiscent of the blue used on "Clash of the Transformers" Bumblebee calling back to his energy glow as seen on the series. Black plastic is used for the front panels on his lower legs and the wheels on his shoulders and legs. You'll see translucent black plastic on the back of his legs and the sword.
Bumblebee's paint applications are different than previous releases. The chest has a distinct stripe pattern on the sides of the chest with a black "V" shaped section in the middle. Black is also used on his crest. The face is painted silver. Light blue paint is found on the eyes, forearms and the vents on his legs. The center of his chest has an scannable Autobot symbol for use with the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app. Overall the deco looks good but it's not much better (or worse) than previous decos on this sculpt.
There have been no tooling changes made to this figure. Now, Hasbro has been rather crafty with this figure knowing there are three other versions out in the U.S. market already. When the figure was packaged the designers swung the door panels on the back down to the hips to make them "hip guards". This is also how he appears in official photography. While this looks perfectly fine it suggests a retool that doesn't exist. I kind of wished some type of real retool had been done (like a new face perhaps).
All the articulation points on this figure are nice and tight. Indeed they're actually slightly tighter than the joints on my "Clash of the Transformers" Bumblebee. The sword still fits in either fist perfectly and holds firm.
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's vehicle mode shows off a lot of the metallic yellow plastic (and black on the wheels of course). However the unfortunate choice was made to use a rather flat yellow paint on the translucent plastic on the cabin section. Unfortunately the difference between the two yellow colors is very obvious which winds up looking pretty bad. I'm really surprised the designers didn't try to use a metallic yellow paint.
Unlike the other versions of this figure, this vehicle mode has one solid stripe running down the left side of the vehicle. This is a callback to "Animated" Bumblebee. The doors have black flame patterns on them. The headlights are painted light blue. Unfortunately that's it for the deco and that's really disappointing. Given that this is the fourth use of the sculpt I had hoped for more. Perhaps blue around the sides of the wheels or paint on the back of the vehicle.
While I do like the original version of this sculpt and it's not a bad toy. If you missed out on all the previous versions this is a perfectly good toy to lead your Autobot team. However as a redeco it's really uninspired.