This year is a year full of Transformers Masterpiece releases. From previous release of MP20 Wheeljack, now comes with the all new MP21 Bumblebee. Not to forget, the MP22 Ultra Magnus is on his way to hit the shelf really soon. Definitely a rejoice for G1 or new Transformers Fan alike as this line of Transformers toy is the helm of all, setting higher standards in every aspects, especially the gimmicks and details. It will definitely thrill fans globally as Hasbro/Takara Tomy is slowly refreshing and bringing back G1 characters in a much more polished and modern perspective.
Being one of the most favorite character in Transformers galaxy, it is not difficult to know why Bumblebee is being made into a Masterpiece. At least we have a variety of G1 characters instead of just circulating with those bigger dudes like Optimus Prime or Starscreams. So read on to find out more on what this new masterpiece is going to offer you.
(i) The box
First thing first, packaging. Similar to all other masterpiece predecessors, they all spotted with similar designs. Especially on cover with the affiliate automobile logo. For this time around, Volkswagen makes its way (who else?).
A pretty summary of gimmicks and history at the back of the packaging. All wrapped up in Japanese.
The proof of being an official and genuine licensed product from VW: a hologram with an uniquely generated running number plus a big “VALID” wording.
(ii) The exclusive coin
For those collectors who are staying in Asia countries, they will receive an exclusive collector’s coin with their purchase. Well, it is quite a norm for Asian release to have a coin bundled with the Masterpiece. All previous Masterpieces have that.
Just as what you have noticed, the new Bumblebee coin is plated in gold color and the cover itself can be folded to become as a display stand.
(iii) The exclusive G1 Battle Mask
Who would say no to extra goodies anyhow? The purchase of MP21 Bumblebee from my local shop also entitled me an Amazon Japan exclusive extra battle mask. Well, doesn’t sound like exclusive to Amazon anymore since you basically get it as a free gift as well over the local toy shop.
(iv) What’s inside?
Bumblebee figure. Checked. Exosuit, checked. Another extra faceplate (smiling face), checked. Guns, spare tyre cover, checked. And of course the typical character bio card and the instruction, double checked! Well, there’s a model kit looking part which is actually the side mirror for the MP21 Bumblebee. Seem like a trend started off with MP20 Wheeljack to include some minor “self-assemble” parts.
Anyhow, do take note that the side mirrors are both for LEFT hand side. So the extra one is just a spare in case of either missing or breakage.
(B) Alternate Mode
Classic summarizes all. For all who are die hard fan would know that the original G1 Bumblebee takes the form of an adorable and classic Volkwagen Type 1 Beetle. Now, you will know why there is only a LEFT hand side of the side mirror as the original classic Beetle only has one side of it.
Most of the orange colors are being painted to give the glossiness. So far no paint chips have been noticed. Just a minor two tones orange noticeable at both of the door.
Well, beside classic, the alt mode is actually quite small (approx. 10cm in length) and light in nature (lack of die cast part). Though being so, much details and great paint application can be noticed here and there. Let’s take the front view for example. You will spot both of the wipers being painted in silver paint; a clearly painted VW logo on the top most part of the hood (more clearer view in top view below); hood handle and both headlights frame in silver paints as well.
Wait! There’s more. The headlights actually are cased in transparent plastic. For both the small signal lights, they are painted in silver and orange paints to imitate the actual original design of the classic Beetle. And of course, the color scheme follows closely the original G1 series.
More on the details from side view. Door handles and all four rims are painted in silver. Notice that there is a VW logo being sculpted clearly on all the rims as well.
In addition, all windows are made of transparent plastic. Yes. All of it and none of them are being imitated by using ugly paints. The only complaints I have is the split line on the door which somehow spoils the visual pleasantness and the hard cast plastic tyres (instead of rubberized plastic).
Notice the 2 toning of the orange at the side door?
Another well done treatment to the rear lights using red plastic instead of ugly red paints. Minor ventilation vents can be seen sculpted clearly on the trunk. The front and back bumper is actually made of hard plastic.
From top view, you can see clear the painted VW logo in the front hood.
(C) Robot Mode
Here you go with the robot mode of MP21 Bumblebee. Truly a great representation of himself in G1 glory.
Slight back kibble but actually not as bad. The back collapsed nicely to reduce the kibble size. And there you go with the signature tummy design of Bumblebee.
A plain sight from the rear.
Sorry for the light piping lover, MP21 Bumblebee comes with painted eyes instead (as most masterpieces do). Well, there are cases of other collectors having bad paint smudges on the face which is like “crying” effect of him. Fortunately, my unit didn’t suffer the same fate.
Lots of articulations which promise flexibility in pose. Yes. It comes with a waist joint. A job well done indeed.
Transformation is quite intermediate and involving. The leg part transformation is quite straightforward. The only challenge comes from the rear part of the vehicle whereby it will be transformed into the arms of the robot. This is especially true when transforming it back to vehicle mode whereby you need to twist the shoulder pieces to fit nicely into the back compartment.
For step 5, you actually need to flip the small chest panel out to form the Autobot insignia.
(i) Comparison with the Masterpieces
The MP21 Bumblebee is actually quite in scale with his brother-in-arms. Well, for robot mode that is.
For alt mode, he does seem a bit too small as compared.
(ii) Comparison with the Bees
A quick comparison with his other forms. From left to right: The United UN07, the MP21 and the 3rd party Toyworld TW03 Bii. Both MP21 Bumblebee and TW03 Bii spotted some similarity in design. Even their size and height is almost the same but with slightly bulkier for the later.
A small note to mention here though, TW03 actually has loosen joints and weaker plastic as compared to the new MP21 which surpassed easily. Details wise Mp21 also have much more to offer. Ironically, the price for the Bii is not much further from the MP. Definitely buying a MP is a more worthy choice.
A comparison in alt mode for all Bees.
A closer comparison with its rival third party. TW03 Bii has a more casual cartoonish and cutey design. Understandable that they do not have affiliate from Volkwagen to endorse their product and thus the design has to go a bit more side swayed. MP21 Bumblebee in the other hand has definitely all the realistic design approach to give it a much more resemblance of the actual real thing, officially.
(iii) Comparison with the Exosuit
Well, a quick comparison with Spike in the Exosuit.
(G) Gallery of Goodies
Overall, he does live up the name for being a Masterpiece collection. Gimmicks, details, paint app, you name it. I couldn’t help admiring their effort in giving him so much great paint app and details to the smallest possible. Moreover, with the extra figure, it is even more worthwhile to contra off the smaller size of him being in masterpiece line. A must buy definitely!
My PCR for him: 9/10
What I like – Extra figure; great paint app; involving transformation; tons of gimmicks.
What I dislike?– No weapon storage during robot mode; line split for the door in alt mode.
Until then, enjoy hunting and hauling!
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