There are actually 2 versions of Transformers: Age of Extinction (AoE) Bumblebee in the movie. One being the more classic 67 SS Camaro (in toy form will be the High Octane Bumblebee), the other one which will be the sleeker 2014 Camaro concept version that will be reviewed today. This is not the first time to have 2 versions of Bumblebee in a single movie. If you still remember the first TF movie itself you have the 1974 and 2007 Camaro based Bees. To collector’s delight (and annoyance), you may need to keep both of the same character to have a complete set of Autobots.
This version of Bumblebee firstly released in a Toys“R“Us Exclusive Evolution pack (together with a legend class Bumblebee). After which the Takara version came out earlier than the Hasbro. The Hasbro one is being released in the last AoE deluxe wave alongside with Lockdown, Snarl and Hotshot. There will also be another bundle with him inside – the Autobots United Platinum Edition which has better paint job as well.
The one I have here is the Takara version which spotted with different paint job of the same mold. Sorry to say that I can’t show you how different between the two as I don’t have the Hasbro version (and I don’t keep 2 of the same mold).
(A) Alternate Mode – Camaro 2014 Concept
For the movie verse of Bumblebee, he always being tagged with Camaro sport car. For this round, there is no different but with an upgrade to the older and boring 2007 model. The new Camaro houses more sporty and intricate new front design with some noticeable resemblance from the 2007’s. Color scheme remains the same: tangy orange color (supposed to be yellow in the movie) and black dominants. The decorative black stripe has changed from 2 split pieces into a single centered stripe.
Headlights design are smaller and are painted with metallic blue color. Front bumper and grill are painted in black paints. Speaking about paint job, I am truly disappointed with their crappy job especially with the black paints (yes, even for the so called better Takara version). Paint smudges can be noticed here and there. The worst part of it is missing paint. I will come to that point later in the robot mode.
Although it is not apparent in the picture below, there are actually unpainted parts on the rear of the vehicle. In contrary, the top, front and side section of the alt mode are all being painted with glossy paints. Not really sure what’s the motive for it but it does mar the visual pleasantness of him.
You will notice there’s a small Autobot emblem sized square in the front section of the vehicle. It was being left blank as well without any logo being imprinted.
From the rear view, notice the top part (spoiler and above) is being painted while the part below is all the original plastic color. The most saddest thing is there is no other paints beside that. All remained plain-fully done with blank taillights , blank rear skirting and blank licence plate. Even the Chevrolet logo is being left out discreetly.
Fortunately enough, the decal stripe is done nicely. Then again, what could go wrong by just sticking decal on the parts.
Anyhow, I do like the details being crafted on the front bonnet cover with gill like ventilation shaft. The rests are nothing to shout about.
(B) Robot Mode
Moving on to the robot mode of AoE Bumblebee. First impression, he has greater shoulder pad design and smaller chest now.
The chest is actually a faux organic like front car design (which trying to mimic the front design of the car). In actual fact, the part is a lump of plastic being pieced together and painted. It doesn’t split and transform like his older mold does.
If you have noticed by now, my Takara AoE Bumblebee has a missing paint job on the robot left foot. Another point of disappointment over the QC on the paints. Maybe it’s a rare occurrence but I am that lucky to have the faulty one.
There is less back kibble design. The shurikens are being tugged in nicely to the “backpack” of him and doesn’t contribute much of a pulling force to the figure. The long feet base has provided a strong and sturdy stability to the figure.
The figure does come with “hand guard” design which I am not much a fan of it. From the side and rear of the robot, you can’t even notice that he has hands.
The rear is comprises of 3 big and lazy panels (actually they are the top of the vehicle) which cover entirely the rear of the figure. It is what I call it: a ‘turtle shell” design which makes a clumsy looking robot.
A close up on the torso and headpiece. You will see clearly there are very thin color smudges on the top of the chest.
The headpiece is nicely sculpted with metallic silver paint for the face plate plus milky blue for the iris. There is no light piping on him. The missing small autobot emblem from the vehicle now appears clearly on the forehead of the robot mode. That’s the ONLY emblem you will have with him.
Articulation is decent. There is a missing of waist joint which does limit some postures.
Another interesting point is that there are only one ball joint implemented (the head). The rest of the joints (limbs) goes with swivel and hinge combination.
Transformation is very simple and straightforward. In fact, you don’t really need to refer to the instruction for its over simplified and not so engaging transformation. It somehow reminds me of the RPMs (Robot Powered Machines) but with a bit more enhancement.
A very quick comparison with the different mold: Left being the Takara Bumblebee from the first movie and the High Octane Bumblebee on the right. Older deluxes usually have bigger size while it is normal to see smaller deluxes nowadays. Size is smaller but yet it’s more pricier. I still remember the Takara TFTM Bumblebee for RM59.90 (USD18). Yet, the new Takara Bumblebee costs me about RM85 (USD26).
Sizes apart, the older deluxe is also more solid and heavier.
Comparison in vehicle mode. The new AoE Bumblebee is the shiniest of all.
(F) Gallery of Goodies
It has a cool alt mode (which Camaro doesn’t?). It also has cool gimmicks. But from aspect of robot mode design, paint jobs and transformation, he suffers from some minus points. If you want to complete your Autobot team, you shouldn’t miss him out. Apart from that reason, I don’t really see any other thing else. But then again, it’s entirely up to you to decide.
My PCR for him: 6/10
What I like – Great alt mode; nice Battle Mask and hand cannon gimmick.
What I dislike?– Over simplified transformation; hand guard and turtle shell design; not-so-good paint jobs (missing and uncompleted paint?!); No waist joint.
Until then, enjoy hunting and hauling!
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