- Poseability and articulation
- Accurate alt modes
- Accurate robot modes
- Complex transformations
- Transformations similar to the show transformations
- Accessories that are integral in both modes
- Show accurate accessories
And while there’s certainly been a lot of crap released in recent years (stand up Classics Minicons, we’re looking at you), we’ve had some pretty awesome figures too, like Classics Hot Rod, with his real world/animated movie accurate alt mode, and gone-the-extra-mile accessories like his buzzsaw hand.
But prepare yourselves for the bar to be raised to a new high. In ’08 Bumblebee, we have what is quite possibly the finest all round Transformers figure ever made. It sets new standards in accuracy, sculpt, accessories and articulation. This is the figure that today’s kids will remember seeking high and low for, that they will take with them on every family outing for protection, that they will keep in their 20s after they decided to sell the rest of their collection to fund their college education. Even if you’re a movie hater, you must get this figure to show your support for high quality, attention to detail and to send a message to Hasbro that we must have more figures like this.
The transformation itself takes the Automorph concept further than any of the other figures in this line. Strictly speaking, there’s only 3 things one has to do to transform Bumblebee, but it feels like Alternator level complexity because there’s so much going on. Folding the hood will put the shoulders, head and doors into their correct position. Tugging on the feet is all that’s required to transform the rear of the car, but the knees, shins, calves and rear windows all play a part.
Bumblebee’s accessory hides inside the alt mode between his knees, serving no purpose except to give some structural strength. But in robot mode, the accessory itself is a transformer, clipping into his hand seamlessly giving the impression of his whole arm becoming his plasma cannon, and then opening up to reveal his other weapon documented in the movie concept art, of a glowing blue energon dagger!
For a figure that delivers so much, I almost feel guilty to suggest improvements, but this figure could have scored 11 out of 10 if only it had a working battle mode visor, and if the windshield and roof had been tweaked ever so slightly so that the figure had the now readily recognisable elbows and the second, smaller set of ‘wings’. Or if the front tires extended into shoulder mounted grenade launchers. But really what’s here is more than good enough.
Forget the Ultimate version of Bumblebee, and embrace the existence of the ’76 Bumblebee that allowed the designers a warm up that enabled them to make this, because this is the real ultimate version of Bumblebee.