Release Date: December 2020
Price Point: $19.87
Retailer: Wal-Mart Exclusive
Asccessories: Skis x 2, Trunk/Rear Car Cover, Cannon halves x 2, Cannon base
Official product information in italics below copied from Walmart.com
Transformers Toys Generations War for Cybertron Trilogy Series-Inspired Deluxe Bumblebee Action Figure - Ages 8 and Up
- Series-inspired Figure: This Bumblebee figure is inspired by the character as seen in the War for Cybertron series Size: 5.5 inch
- Enhanced Battle-worn Deco: With over 40 deco ops, this series-inspired figure brings fans the most detailed and series-accurate version of one of their favorite characters from the War for Cybertron series
- Series-inspired Alt Mode And Accessories: Bumblebee toy features classic Transformers conversion from robot to licensed Volkswagon Beetle mode in 20 steps, and comes with 5 accessories
- Teletraan-1 Backdrop Piece: Deluxe Class figures come with a piece of a Teletraan-1 backdrop. Fans can collect them all to build the Teletraan-1 backdrop and pose out their figures in front of it! (Each sold separately.) Fun for kids and adults 8 and up!
- Special Packaging: When fans see the iconic red and white packaging they know they're getting a figure inspired by the War for Cybertron series (each sold separately, subject to availability) less
- Material: Plastic
The War for Cybertron trilogy was a three part Transformers show that streamed on Netflix. As part of the promotion for this series, Wal-Mart stores carried an exclusive line of action figures that focused on characters from that show. Many of these figures were simple redecos of pre-existing figures such as Hound and later Cheetor. However, a couple new figures wound up in the mix including Bumblebee. This figure represents his appearance in the show, heavily based on his G1 animated appearance. This figure was exclusive to this line and has yet to be re-released making it quite valuable on the secondary collector's market years after its original release.
Bumblebee is a redeco and retool of the sculpt that began as Earthrise Cliffjumper. This figure was also used for other figures including Generations Selects Bug Bite, Hubcap and more recently Buzzworthy Bumblebee Goldbug. Goldbug was the closest this figure came to a re-release but it of course had a different head and deco. Definitely check out my Cliffjumper and Goldbug reviews. This review will focus on the changes made to those figures for this release.
The packaging for the Netflix Wal-Mart exclusive figures was very different than the brightly colored main line boxes. In general they had the same rectangular shape with an angle on one side, but these had a white background with mostly red and black text on them. In a rare branding move, the Netflix logo is set over the plastic window that features the action figure. Other aspects including the Generations logo and vertical Transformers logo are still present. The angled side of the box shows the Bumblebee's artwork in a black and white sketched style with the Autobot symbol on top. The back of the box shows the figure in both modes calling out a 20 step transformation. I really love the look of these boxes. They're clean and eye catching while leaning towards (relative) minimalism.
Bumblebee includes the same accessories as other versions of this base design which partly makes up for the relatively small size of the figure. His main accessory is a giant cannon that features a long barrel and small fins at the back. It also features small legs to rest the front on. The cannon halves are black plastic with gunmetal grey painted on the barrel sections. The back piece is black plastic with no paint applications.
But wait, there's more! The cannon can be broken down into several components. Here's a rundown:
- The barrel of the cannon splits into two blasters, each with its own 5mm peg so Goldbug can hold them separately. Even better? These also form the boosters that appear on the sides of his vehicle mode in its "ski mode". You can attach Blast Effects to these weapons to make them look like they are firing.
- The back of the cannon forms...some type of device that can connect to the figure via a tab fitting into a slot on his arms. I say let our imagination roam on this one. This could be a weapon or maybe a "shield generator".
- The legs that the end of the cannon rest on form the skis on his front wheels in vehicle mode. These pieces are black plastic.
On top of all that, the back of of the vehicle mode detaches and can be used as a shield in robot mode. This piece is made up of yellow and translucent blue parts. Some fans have not been happy about this since this makes an already small figure a "partsformer". I think that is an exaggeration. One part detaching does not make an entire figure a "partsformer" (that distinction belongs more to figures like Weaponizers and Modulators). Also, this piece serves a function in robot mode and should the figure be given a retool (which I am guessing it totally is) this makes it much easier to create a different vehicle mode out of the basic design of the figure.
This specific combination of parts was only used once for this release. That has made this figure quite desirable on the aftermarket, especially since it transforms into a licensed Volkswagen Beetle. The designers started with the Cliffjumper figure and changed several parts for this release including the torso, the piece that attaches to the back and the feet. They are all designed to represent the curved sections of his Volswagen Beetle mode. That means unlike Cliffjumper, they are mostly rounded with distinct VW Beetle designs on them (especially the feet). The designers went all out with this figure including giving it a new head sculpt based on G1 Bumblebee's animated appearance including a wide crest in the middle and "horns" sticking out the sides. Thanks to these design changes he has a very G1 inspired appearance that also matches up well with how he looked in the Netflix series.
The rest of the parts on the figure are the same as those seen on other variations of this base sculpt (such as Cliffjumper). This includes the blocky shoulders, rectangular forearms and the elbows looking like tubes. The section in between his legs also has a distinct triangle detail and he also has etched lines on the edges of his thighs, a detail that calls back to the original G1 Bumblebee toy.
Bumblebee is made up of yellow, black and translucent blue plastic. Much of his torso is made up of the translucent plastic so a lot of yellow paint is used on this section. The designers picked a good shade of yellow that matches up fairly well with the yellow plastic found on his head, feet and forearms. There are some silver details including his face and the headlights on his feet. The eyes are painted light blue. While he has an Autobot symbol on his left foot, I really wish they had put one on his chest. The yellow on his torso looks good, but it does look a bit plain.
All the joints on my copy of this figure are fairly tight, right in line with the other versions of this figure I have including Bug Bite and Cliffjumper. The weapons also attach nice and snug without an issue. He also does not have the same issue with the torso panel as my copy of Goldbug.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Detach the "back pack" piece and set it aside for now.
- Swing the torso plate forward, swing out the panel inside then swing the torso plate back into place.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- Rotate the arms around at the elbows.
- Swing the arms up at the elbows, then swing them up at the shoulders so it looks like the arms are punching into the air.
- Swing the upper body forward.
- Swing the arms together, using the tabs on the shoulders to help clip them into place.
- Swing the back panel on each foot out.
- Rotate the panels on the feet up.
- Swing the front wheels out to the sides.
- Push in the panels from the robot feet to complete the front and sides of the vehicle. You will have to do a bit of careful adjustment to make sure all the tabs are in place and the panels line up.
- Take the "back pack" piece and swing in the black peg, then slide the yellow pegs into the robot fists to form the back of the vehicle.
Since this is a licensed Volkswagon Beetle toy, that means the vehicle mode had to pass scrutiny by Volkswagon itself, and it has been said in the past they were notoriously picky about allowing toys to be made from their designs, so this vehicle mode is an absolute treat. The vehicle has a lot of the trademark features of the Beetle including its distinct curves in front and back, the curved lights in back, the curved bumper and fender as well as the small lights over the front wheel wells. It even has the light over the license plate sculpted in the back. I absolutely love this vehicle sculpt!
The vehicle mode mostly shows off yellow colors from front to back. Some are yellow plastic pieces, others are translucent blue sections painted yellow. Silver paint is used on the headlights, the VW symbol on the hood and the sides of the wheels. They even painted the windshield wipers and door handles! This is very unusual so I was happy to see these added details. In another surprising move, the rear lights are painted red (a detail that was left off of Goldbug). Overall the vehicle mode looks fantastic!
All the accessories still attach to this figure without any issues so no worries about degradation of the tooling.
For many fans (including myself) this is the Generations style Bumblebee we have been waiting for. Not only does his robot mode take its inspiration from G1 but the vehicle mode is a licensed VW Beetle! For years rumors circulated that Volkswagen was reluctant to license out their vehicles to Hasbro for the Transformers toy line so this was quite a treat. Aside from needing some detail on the torso in robot mode, this figure is spot on. Highly recommended!
- Excellent sculpt.
- Licensed vehicle mode.
- Intuitive transformation and good play value.
- Needs some detailing like an Autobot symbol on his chest.