Release Date: April 2013
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Amazon, Target etc.)
Accessories: Blazemaster figure/weapon
*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Most Autobots are surprised by the partnership between Bumblebee and Blazemaster. Two warriors have never been less alike. Bumblebee prefers the discreet approach, while Blazemaster likes to be seen – especially by the enemy. It’s only when you watch them together in the field that the partnership makes sense. Because while one distracts the enemy, the other takes quiet aim.
This Autobot duo is just what you need to jump-start your Transformers adventures! Your Bumblebee figure is a recon warrior, and he converts easily from robot mode to sports car mode and back. But your Blazemaster figure is Bumblebee’s powerful ally. He converts from robot to vehicle mode and back, and he also pops into weapon mode! Keep converting them both from one mode to another so their Decepticon enemies can’t keep up! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
Bumblebee has been a key part of the "Transformers" series since Generation One. For years, the character took a bit of a break around the "Beast" era and into the "Unicron Trilogy", but being a major character in the film series put the spotlight back on him. In the recent "Fall of Cybertron" game, Bumblebee got to take center stage once again as a playable character. His design from the video game universe eventually translated into an action figure and most recently several appearances in the "Robots in Disguise" comic book series by IDW Publishing. This version of the character is basically a smaller version of the larger Deluxe version of the character.
Unlike previous "Legends" Class toys, the term has been redefined to refer to a figure that is roughly the size of a Commander Class figure. I say "roughly" because a smaller figure is included with it! In Bumblebee's case, he comes with a "Blazemaster", a figure based on the Generation One Micromaster character of the same name. More recently the "Revenge of the Fallen" toy line also came up with its own version of the character.
As I looked at the design of Blazemaster, there were definite pangs of familiarity. I had to go back and look at pictures of the original figure but once I did the callbacks became erm, blazingly obvious. Design elements borrowed from the original G1 character include:
The shape of his arms are similar to those of G1 Blazemaster, including rounded parts on the shoulders leading to rectangular forearms.
The torso design includes a large circle in the center with two indentations on either side, similar toa pattern found on G1 Blazemaster's chest.
The waist section includes an indentation in the middle, recalling a similar detail on G1 Blazemaster's waist.
What surprised me is that Blzemaster's design also incorporates elements of his "Revenge of the Fallen" counterpart! If you look at the legs they have a thin design that end on feet with three "toes". That comes directly from "Revenge of the Fallen" Blazemaster's design. This is a fun and unexpected treat in the design. His head design appears to be partly influenced by this version as well, but it's a lot flatter with visor eyes and a mouthplate.
Blzemaster is cast in blue plastic with small hinge pieces cast in black. The middle section of the figure is painted gold with orange eyes. The proportion of gold to blue colors are the reverse of those on G1 Blazemaster, but the colors still properly evoke the character in both his forms.
Blazemaster has limited articulation (he's basically an accessory so this isn't surprising). His arms can move up and down, but in a nice bit of design his hands each have 3mm holes in them, allowing him to hold Cyberverse weapons!
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Swing the arms down to his sides.
- Under the feet, swing out the cannon barrel.
- Swing the head piece down to reveal the rear of the helicopter mode.
- Attach the rotors to the top.
Like his G1 and "Revenge of the Fallen" counterparts Blazemaster is a helicopter in vehicle mode. He's not the same kind of 'copter, but the spirit of theprevious versions of the character remains. This helicopter seems more military in design, with a somewhat boxy design that includes vents/turbines on the sides, a large machine gun cannon in front and an armored section in back. It's definitely a substantial and formidable looking vehicle!
Blazemaster winds up being almost all blue in this form with the windows painted black. His helicopter rotors are cast in black. The rotor is set on a central peg that allows it to rotate if you push it. The central peg is a 5mm peg, allowing larger figures to use it as a weapon if you wish.
Transformation to Weapon Mode (from Vehicle Mode):
- Detach the rotor blades.
- Swing the machine gun in front down.
- Swing the tail rotor section up.
- Holding the top and bottom halves of the vehicle swing the top piece over towards the front.
Blazemaster's weapon form exposes two main new details including a cannon barrel in front and a targeting scope above it. The rest of the form is largely carry over detailing from the vehicle form, which gives the base of the weapon a substantial bulk that gives the weapon a powerful appearance. The peg is a 5mm peg so any larger Transformer can hold it. Even better? The top has a hole where the rotors were, allowing you to attach another weapon. Swing the arms forward and you can use those holes to attach Cyberverse weapons! I really dig the additional functionality of this little figure.
First thing's first, I think a lot of folks are concerned about the size of this figure. It's being called a "Legends" Class, but it's bigger than a Legion/Legends Class figure from years past. Instead, he's an interim size between a Legion and a Commander. Standing next to say, "Beast Hunters" Commander Class Optimus Prime he's about a head shorter, but he has width to make up for it and you need to take into account Blazemaster's presence, which adds to the total amount of plastic in this package.
This design is largely based on the "Fall of Cybertron" version that is currently being seen in the IDW Comic Books. Bumblebee's robot mode has some familiar elements borrowed from other Bumblebee figures. This includes:
The head design has Bumblebee's trademark crest and horns on the helmet with a face that has beveled edges.
The arms wind up with all four wheels on them (two each), evoking G1 Bumblebee's design.
The torso section forms the back of the vehicle, but its round shape calls back to G1 Bumblebee's torso being formed from the cabin section of his vehicle form.
Other aspects come more from the comic book interpretation including the very rounded shape of his shoulders and forearms, the curved shape of his lower legs and the "collar" around his neck. The major difference between the comic book/"Fall of Cybertron" version and this one are the wheels, which are not glowing, futuristic wheel wells but instead more "Earth like" wheels that show prominently. Another difference is his "back pack", which is clearly visible behind his head instead of folding into a neat back pack. Given the scale of the figure, this is understandable and indeed with the spoiler on his back, he has a bit of a "Hot Rod" type look to him as a result.
Bumblebee is cast in a rather light shade of yellow plastic. Smaller parts such as his fists and thighs are black. The yellow looks nice, but since so much of the figure is yellow he winds up looking a bit unfinished. He has paint applications for sure. Orange provides details on his chest and shoulders including an Autobot symbol on the chest area. His face and crest are silver with light blue eyes. Silver is also found on his knee armor and his feet are painted black. Black paint is used for the "collar" around the neck. It's not a bad color scheme, and indeed it's pretty true to the current comic book portrayal of the character minus some detailing (a few more orange and black lines basically). Given current cost constraints, I do understand the deco choices however.
There are ten points of articulation on this figure, three on each arm and two on each leg. Some of the joints including the elbows and hips are ball joints, allowing for a good range of motion. Bumblebee's hands both have 5mm holes in them, allowing you to attach standard Transformers weapons and of course Blazemaster in weapon mode. You can also take Blazemaster's rotor blades and attach them to the wheel on the side of each forearm, giving Bumblebee a melee weapon as well! You can also attach Blazemaster to the hole on Bumblebee's back for weapon storage or perhaps as a rocket pack (perhaps an callback to Bumblebee's "Action Master" incarnation who had a flight pack). Overall Bumblebee is definitely a lot of fun!
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach Blazemaster and the rotor blades if attached and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out each leg.
- Connect the robot legs together.
- Straighten out each of the arms.
- Swing the outer part of each forearm out, then swing the fist in and then the panel with the wheel out again.
- Swing the back panel up and down, collapsing the head into the chest compartment.
- Swing the arms back to align with the cabin cover.
- Swing the legs up and connect them to the front of the cabin cover.
- Push the arms in on the sides.
While his robot mode is largely based on his current form in the "Fall of Cybertron" game and comic books, the vehicle mode is not so much. Indeed, while it borrows some stylings of those representations, it is mostly a new form all its own. It's not as rounded as the "Fall of Cybertron" version, instead it is a bit flatter and more aggressive looking. The spoiler is also a detail not found on the "Fall of Cybertron" version. Add in details like defined headlights on the front, a grille in front and the aforementioned wheels and Bumblebee winds up looking like an Earth vehicle more than something from an alien world. It's a cool looking vehicle, definitely worthy of Bumblebee but quite a surprise given the robot mode.
This mode is mostly yellow with black wheels. The orange coloring continues to shine on the hood in the form of angled stripes. The headlights are a light metallic color while the grille is more gunmetal in color. The windows are all painted black. The rear of the vehicle has rear lights along with an Autobot symbol in orange. The lower part of the chest compartment is visible too, with its orange section looking almost like a booster of some sort in the back!
Bumblebee has a hole on the top of the vehicle, allowing you to attach weaponry. This is of course meant for Blazemaster, but any 5mm peg weapon will fit.
I really like this use of a Micromaster character paired with a classic G1 character. I also like the use of Bumblebee's form from the "Fall of Cybertron" game in robot mode and the vehicle mode looks cool too. Having Blazemaster server as a partner and accessory recalls lines like "Armada" in a good way. I would have liked more deco overall, but that's my biggest criticism. Recommended!