27
Jun
09

Toy Stories: The Many Faces of Bumblebee

I am an old-school TransFormers fan, and I’ve been mostly satisfied with the Michael Bay revamp of the franchise, so it was only a matter of time before I took at look at the toys from that line. Optimus Prime, naturally, has always been my favorite character, but a close second is the ever-popular ex-VW Beetle, Bumblebee, and it’s him that we’re going to look at today.

Gentlemen, start your engines!

Gentlemen, start your engines!

I’ve got three different Bumblebees I’m going to show you today. The first two are from the current film, TransFormers: Revenge of the Fallen, and the third is a retro toy that I got a couple of years ago. The current movie line has several levels of TransFormers based on the size and complexity. The largest toys are “Leader” figures, next largest are “Voyager Class,” third is the “Deluxe Class” — the larger car here is part of that line — then “Scout Class,” and finally “Legend Class,” which is the smaller Camero. Why the “Legends” are the smallest toys, I don’t know. But let’s start with old-school Bumblebee.

Stick me in your pocket

Stick me in your pocket

This chain hurts my shoulder...

This chain hurts my shoulder...

The original Bumblebee was a Volkswagon Beetle, and this clearly isn’t the original toy. This is a keychain replica that I got a few years ago. I think it’s a little smaller than the original toy, but functionally, it’s exactly the same. Transforming this figure was remarkably simple — the hood pulled out into legs, the tires pulled out into arms, and the head just popped right out of the top. Classic. Old-school. I’ve never put him on my keychain because I know it’d get destroyed in my pocket, and I couldn’t live with that.

New School

New School

I talk through the radio

I talk through the radio

The “Legends-Class” Bumblebee is a pretty simple transformation as well. This time, you pull out the back of the car to form the legs, the tires out for the arms, and the hood swivels down to form the chestplate. The head stays in place. TransFormers toys, these days, are ranked on a scale of 1 to 4 in complexity of transformation. This is a level two. It took me about 12 seconds.

Transformed to roll out!

Transformed to roll out!

Bumblebee the guardian

Bumblebee the guardian

The Deluxe-class Bumblebee is a level 3 transformation. He took me about 20 minutes. When I was a kid I could switch these things around in no time flat, but this nearly drove me insane. While the others transform just by pulling out a couple of pieces and snapping another part over, this one is transformed by traveling across the brutal pits of despair through the depths of Mount Doom and sacrificing a wild mountain goat to the demon-god Set. Heh — I’m just kidding. That would have been far simpler. Considering how vast the gap is between levels 2 and 3, I can only assume that any attempt to transform a level 4 toy would take me the better part of a week, while a level 1 would actually cause me to travel backwards in time.

We are family! Ive got my transistors and me!

We are family! I've got my transistors and me!

There have been many, many other Bumblebee toys over the years, of course. There are, in fact, several others available right now, and part of me wants to go out and get them all. Then the smart part of me smacks the stupid part and reminds me not to go overboard with this thing.


2 Responses to “Toy Stories: The Many Faces of Bumblebee”


  1. 1 Jason
    June 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    The Ultimate Bumblebee took me the better part of two hours to figure out. But damn, it was so worth it.

  2. 2 Jose
    September 26, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    please tell me the best way to showcase my personnel collection not potential buyers, but to those who would appreciate the wide spectrum of loose and packaged toys that put a smile on my face everytime I recall buying, finding ,or being given heartfelt gifts by those who even fractionally understand my love affair with action figures and such.


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