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Series: Legacy United
Allegiance: Autobot
Category: Deluxe
Year: 2024


Prelude: Though it is hard to believe from today’s standpoint, back in 2008 it was a relatively new thing for Bumblebee to be one of the main characters of any given Transformers show. Sure, he was a mainstay in G1’s first two seasons, but it wasn’t until the 2007 live-action movie that the yellow bug returned to center stage. One year later in Animated, though, he was back in the core cast and sixteen years later Legacy United brings us a homage figure of that version of the yellow menace. Animated Bumblebee is back, so let’s say go!

Robot Mode: The first thing that occurred to me when I unpacked Bumblebee here was: man, he is small! He might just be the smallest Deluxe Class figure I ever bought, actually, even smaller than Earthrise Cliffjumper. Of course it’s not about size but rather about parts count, I know, but still: it did surprise me a bit. Still, it does make sense, as Bumblebee was easily the smallest of all the regular Transformers characters in Animated and his original Deluxe Class figure from Animated was a bit big scale-wise. So the small size is okay with me.

Now one thing that bothered me about Legacy Animated Prowl was that his face looked nothing like his cartoon counterpart. Thankfully the designers learned from this. Bumblebee has a very cartoon-faithful head, including the big chin and the smirk. That’s clearly Animated Bumblebee, so nicely done. As for the rest of the body, you can see that they have somewhat “geewunnified” him a little bit, not quite going for the full Animated aesthetic, but again: he still looks very much like Animated Bumblebee, so no complaints.

The robot as such is very nicely articulated, no inconvenient hollow spaces that require a filler set, and he is nicely balanced, too. He comes with the rocket boosters Bumblebee wore in several Animated episodes and can attach them to his back or use them as handguns if you want to. He also has his stingers, which double as effect parts for the rockets. And here is my one big complaint about this figure: when he flips in his hands to attach his stingers, the stingers are stuck at an angle. This is, of course, so he can put them together in front of his chest into a single big stinger and that works just fine, but if he keeps the stinger halves separate (which he sometimes did in the cartoon, too), it looks stupid. A single extra joint in either the wrist socket or the stingers themselves could have improved that immensely.

Otherwise, though, a very nice new interpretation of Animated Bumblebee. Some might balk at the smaller size, but except for the stingers thing it’s thumbs up for the robot mode.

Alternate Mode: Bumblebee transforms into a small, slightly Beetle-like yellow car with a police siren on top. This is, of course, the car of choice of Captain Fanzone from the Animated cartoon, which Bumblebee replicated. The transformation is complex without being difficult, the resulting car looks good, and the tones of yellow mostly match, too. There is that bit right above the windshield where it’s yellow-painted transparent plastic instead of actual yellow plastic, but compared to offenders like Earthrise Sunstreaker, you barely notice any difference.

And, yeah, that’s pretty much all I can think of here. It’s a small yellow car. The rockets boosters can attach, of course, and you have additional 5mm ports on the back and the side to attach blast effects and/or weapons if you want. So while the resemblance to the actual car from the cartoon is not one hundred percent and we have a bit more departure from the Animated aesthetic here than in robot mode, it’s still a nice car mode overall. No complaints.

Remarks: The story of how Bumblebee became part of Animated is interesting, as he was originally supposed to be a new version of Hot Shot, who had made a name for himself as a yellow speedster in the Unicron Trilogy. Then something called Transformers came into cinemas in 2007 and made Bumblebee a household name across the world, so plans were quickly changed. The interesting parallel is that Hot Shot was originally meant to be called Bumblebee in early plans for Armada, but apparently Aaron Archer figured the name was too generic. Times change, I guess.

Of the three Animated characters we have seen in Legacy so far (the others being Prowl and Optimus Prime), I’d rate Bumblebee in the middle of them. Slightly better than Prowl, not quite as good as Optimus Prime. The robot mode is better, both overall and in terms of achieving that rather distinctive Animated look, than the car mode, and it’s a fun little figure overall. Plus, its distinctively Animated Bumblebe head design makes it suitably different from the deluge of G1-based Bumblebees we’ve gotten in the last decade or so, so even if you are totally done with all those “Evergreen” Bumblebee figures, this one here might still interest you. And remember: Animated was the best Transformers series of all time, so respect that!

Rating: B


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