Robot Powered Machines Lights & Sounds Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2010, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Revenge of the Fallen, Robot Powered Machines

Robot Powered Machines

General Information:
Release Date: January 2010
Price Point: $9.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None


The Robot Powered Machines is a line based on vehicular play, and the "Lights and Sounds" iteration of the line takes the basic concept from the smaller "Hot Wheels" sized vehicles but adds in a different design aesthetic along with lights and sounds in a much larger size. One of the first "Lights and Sounds" Transformers released is Bumblebee based on his movie form.

Vehicle Mode:
While many of the smaller RPM figures are straightforward vehicles with robot forms sculpted into the bottom of the vehicle, Lights and Sounds Bumblebee has a much more exaggerated aesthetic. The long lines of the Camaro from the movie have been shrunken down into a chunky, compact form. The major features are still there including the unique front grille, the Chevrolet logo in the center with the back end raised with a slight line showing where a spoiler would be connected. The wheels are huge on this vehicle in proportion to the rest of the car. The rear wheels are larger than the front ones, giving the entire car a slant that leans towards the front.

Most of the details on this figure come straight from the real life car including the raised air intake on the hood, door handles, the grille designs on the front and even the designs on the rear of the car. Perhaps my favorite detail are the words "Bumblebee" and "Transformers" sculpted on the sides of the wheels. I was surprised by this detail since it's not a part of the real life vehicle's details. I also appreciate the ability to keep the basic integrity of the real life vehicle's design while exaggerating so many details.

Bumblebee is cast in yellow plastic, almost matching the yellow used on other versions including the deluxe and ultimate versions of the figure. The wheels are cast in black while the bottom of the vehicle is cast in grey. The headlights are cast in amber plastic. Paint applications are done in red, black, metallic blue, gold and silver. Just in sheer numbers I was surprised to see how many colors were used on this figure. It's so easy to think that toys means for younger kids may get less detailing or less paint apps, but this definitely proves that wrong. The black is the most heavily used color, found on the front grille and the stripes running from the front to the back of the figure. The red paint is used for a large Autobot symbol on the hood along with an outline on the Chevrolet logo on the front. The windows are painted metallic blue, running with the theme of Bumblebee having blue windows in his toy form. Silver paint is found on the wheels while gold is used for the Chevrolet logo on the back.

The Autobot symbol on the hood is also a button that activates the lights and sounds on this figure. Whenever you activate the sounds, the headlights light up and blink.

You can also activate a sound by rolling the car along a flat surface. This activates a sound that sounds like a car engine followed by the squeal of brakes. These are cute sound effects, but nothing earth-shattering. It is cool how you can get an "electronic" Bumblebee at a fairly cheap price for younger audiences. I'm also always a fan of having the transformation sound from G1 built into a Transformers toy.

Robot Mode:
There really is no transformation for this figure since the "robot mode" is just a sculpture of the robot mode built into the underside of the figure. Like the vehicle mode, this take on Bumblebee is an exaggerated version of the movie version. It's rather funny looking. Bumblebee's head is huge, his shoulders and upper arms are non-existent. It looks like his forearms are sticking out of his chest. His waist is there however, leading to tiny thighs and huge lower legs and feet. He really does look like a super-deformed character right out of an Anime cartoon.

The details on the sculpt are good however. His head has the central crest, round mouthpiece and tubes coming out from his head to his chest. The layers of the chest details are sculpted on top of each other and each digit of his fingers are sculpted as well. The waist has the requisite "bent" license plate and the circular light in the center. The legs are curved with some of layered design aesthetic you would expect from a movie based figure.

The bottom layer of the figure is cast in grey, so that makes up most of the details on Bumblebee's robot mode. His eyes are painted light blue while several other parts (including the head, chest and lower legs) are painted yellow. It's a very simple take on the character but it works to help give the feel of a Transformers figure without the need for a transformation pattern.

Final Thoughts:
This is a very different type of Transformers toy than most fans expect. It has a very defined audience and I believe that it fulfills that purpose. Young kids who are not quite ready for the complex pattern of transformation play or those who want a curiosity on their desk at work will dig this figure. Recommended for a limited audience.