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Series: Masterpiece Movie Series
Allegiance: Autobot
Year: 2018

Prelude: Bumblebee became the face of the Transformers live-action movie franchise ever since he first appeared as a radio-talking Camaro, but after five movies the whole thing became a bit stale. So Bumblebee was taken back to the roots in a movie set in the 1980s, where the Bee once again took his original vehicle form of a classic Volkswagen Beetle. Apparently Volkswagen’s decision not to lend their likenesses to war toys was revisited after a few billion box office dollars. Anyway, we are now looking at the Masterpiece Movie Series Bumblebee in his VW Beetle form. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: MPM Bumblebee follows more or less the same design as Studio Series Bumblebee, meaning he’s got the headlights of the VW Beetle as nipples, wings consisting of doors and wheels, and a backpack consisting of the hood and car roof. Of course MPM Bee is a good deal larger than his Studio Series cousin, roughly Voyager-sized. Along with the larger size comes a far more impressive amount of detailing, which I hope the pictures give a good impression of. MPM Bee looks really, really good, no complaints on that front.

Being partially metal, Bumblebee feels solid and has a very grounded stance, which allows him to pull off all sorts of poses. Articulation is excellent, so no complaints here, either. In terms of weapons Bee comes fully loaded. He has a blade to attach to one arm, a blaster for the other arm, a battle mask, and can lift up his chest panels to show (sculpted) missile launchers underneath. I especially like the blaster, which has an opening where the robot’s hand basically slides in, thereby giving a very convincing illusion of the blaster “growing” out of the arm. Very nicely done. The blade and blaster can be stored on the back when they’re not needed.

Overall Bee is just a beautiful looking robot, is all I can say. Just about the only bad thing I can think of is that he’s got a bit of kibble on his back, but that could hardly have been avoided. I’m not usually a fan of Movie-style Bumblebees, but this one here just looks great. Two thumbs up for the robot mode.

Alternate Mode: Bumblebee transforms into an 80s vintage Volkswagen Beetle. And let me just put this out there: he is not quite screen-accurate, because you cannot see the robot’s head underneath. No visible head syndrome. I hope you can live with that. That aside, you end up with a great-looking VW Beetle car. The blaster and blade can be stored on the back end if you want, but it doesn’t really look all that great. Better to leave them aside, imagine them vanishing into subspace or something. No gimmicks or anything, just a great-looking car. So no complaints here, either.

Remarks: While Bumblebee from the Bumblebee movie was clearly still more or less the same Bee we’d seen in the five previous live-action movies, he regained a level of cuteness and relatability not seen since the original 2007 movie. His friendship with human girl Charlie is one of the best human-Transformer friendships in the franchise’s 35+ year history. Which is why this figure is the only Masterpiece Movie series figure I was ever interested in and it did not disappoint.

Sure, it’s a Bumblebee and we’ve been positively drowned in Bumblebee figures during the last decade (over 200 by my count), but to me it’s the best Movie-styled Bumblebee yet and well worth getting, even if you are seriously Bee-fatigued. I got Bee as a birthday present from my beloved wife, which just adds a few more bonus points. So bottom line: unless you are utterly and completely opposed to all things Bumbleee, this is one figure worth checking out.

Rating: A
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