Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Class Bumblebee Part 1

Toy-only design

Almost half a year after the review on "Transformers: Prime - Beast Hunters" Cyberverse Legion Class Twinstrike, reviews on Transformers action figures on this blog are making a rather late debut this year (^^;), with this entry:

Released by Hasbro in December 2012, this is Deluxe Class Bumblebee from "Transformers: Prime - Beast Hunters". ^^ It's perhaps one of the most aggresive-looking Bumblebee designs out there, which is exactly the reason that prompted me in picking him this up. ^^ Not enough with horn on its head, and spikes all over its body, this version of Bumblebee is armed with a really awesome crossbow weapon called Eagleshot Bow, on top of a pair of double pew-pew (laser guns XD) from its previous incarnation in the show. Bumblebee is also carrying six missiles that can be used with Eagleshot Bow, so he's more than prepared to do some serious damage to his enemies. ^^ The new image is very weird, especially when compared to earlier versions of the character, when Bumblebee was depicted as the usual dependable Autobot but unfortunately armed with low firepower, but very cool at the same time.

The many weapons included for this version Bumblebee is another reason I like it very much. ^^ The flexibility of configuring the weapons on the figure increases its playability, and I also like the design of how all the weapons can be stored in either mode. ^^ There's no external component that need to be swapped onto or detached from the figure in either mode. There's even enough ports on the figure to mount the main weapon when it's not in used. ^^ This may be a minor issue for many, but I like it very much. The design of having no loose part makes all the weapons feel like they are "derived" from the robot itself, and can be reintegrated with the main body when they are not in use. On the other hand, from an action figure's point of view, having no loose part is certainly a good news for storage and display of the figure. You don't need to have a separate container to keep any of the weapons or extra parts, so the risk of losing them in the future can certainly be avoided. ^^

Interestingly, the toy lines featuring characters from the TV series and movie of "Transformers: Prime - Beast Hunters" continue to flourish after the show ended in early October 2013. ^^ While the strong merchandising power of Transformers in general is definitely not something new to me, what really amazes me is how some of the toys can be based on designs that were never part of the show. ^^ This version of Bumbleebee for example, never showed up anywhere in the show. He did however, receive a change of color scheme before the movie, but that certainly had nothing to do with the thorny design as depicted on this figure. ^^ Pretty much every Autobots and Decepticons characters from Season 1 and 2 of the series received a makeover for their look in this Deluxe Class series, which began with Bumblebee by the way, but none of the designs made it into the show. The only exception was Optimus Prime I think, which came out in existing formats: Cyberverse Commander Class, Voyager Class, and new ones: Ultimate Class, Battlemaster Class, and others I just lost track of after a while. ^^; Unlike Season 1, there's no Deluxe Class of Optimus though. The point is, save for Optimus Prime and all the new characters in "Transformers: Prime - Beast Hunters", none of the action figures released reflects the characters they represent in the show, yet, the toy lines continue to this day. ^^ This version of Bumbleebee, which was in neither the series nor the show, even has a black "Night Shadow" design in both Deluxe Class, and Cyberverse Legion Class. ^^

All in all, I think I'm merely stating the fact if I were to comment that the merchandising power of Transformers is amazing. ^^

Front view of the blister pack.

"Beast Hunters" appended to the original logo of "Transformers: Prime".

(Left) Image of Predaking, leader of the Predacon legion in dragon mode on the left hand side of the card.
(Right) The vehicle mode of Bumblebee is shown at the bottom right corner on the blister pack.

The name of Bumblebee's new weapon is shown.

The figure can be seen very easily and clearly through the clear shell.

Closeups on the details.

Information about Bumblebee can be seen on the package's right hand side.

Top and bottom views of the package.

Preview for Lazerback, Wheeljack, and Soundwave from the same toy line on the bottom of the package.

A brief introduction of the character as well as images of the figure in robot and vehicle modes on the back of the package.

Optimus Prime and his Autobots comrades from the anime series.
This "promo shot" can be seen on "Transformers: Prime" figure packages since 2011, as evidenced from the box of "First Edition" Voyager Class Optimus Prime.

Comparison with the package of "First Edition" Deluxe Class Arcee.

The "normal" version of Bumblebee can be seen on the back of Arcee's package. ^^

Side comparison of the two packages.
While Arcee's package is longer, it does comes with a paper display base for the figure, which is an "accessory" not available for Bumblebee.

The package is carefully cut from its side in order for the content to be removed.

Bumblebee and his weapons on the plastic tray.

Front view of the plastic tray that houses Bumblebee.

Closeup on the details.

Rear view of the tray.

Closeup on the details.

The complete backdrop with the remaining edges of the cut plastic cover removed.

The cardboard label for the top, side and bottom faces of the plastic container.

The neatly folded instruction sheet on Bumblebee's transformation.

Front page of the transformation sheet.

Lineart of Bumblebee, and details about his new weapon of the left side of the sheet.

A short story that is part of this toy line can be found on the side panel.

A tiny preview image of Wheeljack can be seen as well.

The transformation design of Bumblebee seems really simple. ^^

Simple instruction on how to operate the weapon.

Vehicle to robot mode transformation on the back of the sheet.

While the steps seem like mere reversal of the instructions on the front page, I'm glad they are included anyway, instead of having a blank, wasted space on the second page.

Removed strings that were used to tie the figure to its plastic tray.

Straight-out-of-box display of "Transformers: Prime - Beast Hunters" Deluxe Class Bumblebee.

Unlike the previous review on Cyberverse Legion Class Twinstrike, I'll be doing a reserve-transformation for Bumblebee - the vehicle mode will be shown next, before its transformation sequence in another posting. ^^

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