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First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 1, September 1984 / Issue 77, April 1991
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 13, March 9th 1985 / Issue 289, September 29th, 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 1 (Season 1 #1), September 17th 1984 / Episode 94 (Season 3 #29), February 24th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1984
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Classics
- Added an Autobot symbol to the chest to cover the rubsign
- Added some Reprolabels
- Added the FansProject G3 Trailer weapon
The modern Bumblebee is both loved and derided in equal measure. OK, that is not strictly true - most people have had quite enough of him and his seemingly endless toys, which have grown exponentially with his awful characterisation in the movie, where the power of speech was deemed too good for him. I love the way that the Transformers are this alien race who have existed for millennia, they have achieved interstellar flight, shape-shifting and the space bridge amongst other technological marvels, but they cannot fix Bumblebee's voicebox. Another reason to dislike the movies, I guess. Anyway, the Bumblebee of old was a plucky wee robot, lacking the strength, firepower and even guile of his team mates. But he had courage in spades. But not Cliffjumper-esque bravado, for Bumblebee had no unfeasably-sized guns to bring to the battle. Despite this, he was an endearing little robot, well-respected by Optimus Prime and his comrades. And no collection of Autobots would be complete without Bumblebee, that is for sure.
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
Bumblebee really suits this mould, looking somewhat like a teenager (albeit a happy one - is that an oxymoron?) in this incarnation thanks to his chunky feet which remind me of trainers and the fact that he is pretty short for a deluxe class. There are various paint schemes available for Bumblebee, with this one being the original Classics release in light yellow, white and grey, which I prefer to the later colour schemes. I would really like an all-yellow Bee, but this is nice enough for now at least. The mould also seems to be wearing a vest, and his slightly stunted proportions mirror the character nicely. I do, however, think that the world has changed a lot since 1984, which is why I have equipped Bumblebee with his FansProject G3 trailer pistol. I'd be too worried about him otherwise.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 7/10
A neat little compact car mode suits the 'choro q' aesthetic of the original G1 toy down to the ground. The 'wavecrusher' trailer is OK I suppose, but I can imagine it hindering speedy getaways, which is why I tend to not use it. I find myself sometimes really liking the colour scheme, and sometimes wishing for a simpler palette. It is superior to Cliffjumper's paint though, because at least the design is kept pretty simple and isn't as jarring as the red mentalist.
An unusual but fun transformation sequence. The roof folds forward to form the 'vest', which I think looks great. The arms tuck under the legs, which form the seats in car mode. The door kibble which is visible in robot mode swivels around the forearm depending on what mode the car is in. The bonnet splits and pops up to form the lower legs.
Not bad, but the mould betrays its age when compared with more recent 'classicsverse' deluxes. Big feet allow for a variety of stable poses though. Bumblebee has a ball-jointed head, with the movement slightly impeded by the new headsculpt. He also has waist swivel, ball-jointed shoulders and hips, and ball-jointed elbows. No wrist swivel though. Also, there is no thigh swivel but curiously swivel beneath the jointed knee, which is quite odd. This impedes things somewhat. There is also limited ankle tilt.
I do tend to worry when there are fairly large, load-bearing bits of clear plastic in a figure as they can become brittle over the years. This mould basically has a 'vest' that is formed from the roof in robot mode and is all clear plastic. No issues as yet though but perhaps one to watch...
Overall - 37/50
Bumblebee is a successful rendition of the original character and is a lot of fun to boot. While he is one of the older moulds, he still looks good enough to pose with the later figures in the line. A nice (and completely essential) addition to any collection.