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Series: Dark of the Moon Mechtech
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Leader
Year: 2011

Bumblebee was the first to try out the Mechtech weapons system. With his speed and firepower both boosted to incredible levels, he began racking up Decepticon takedowns faster than Ironhide could even keep track.

Review by Synyster Gates

Prelude: As soon as the first rumors about the Dark of the Moon toys began circulating in the web, people started speculating what characters would make it into the Leader class this time around. Surprisingly, not a single Decpeticon (Sentinel Prime doesn’t count, as he never saw himself as one). The second surprise: Leader class Bumblebee. This is Bumblebee’s first Leader class figure, seeing as both the Ultimate and the Battle Ops figures were a good deal larger. So now let’s get to the review and see why this figure is worth a second look.

Alternate Mode: Nothing much has changed about Bumblebee’s alternate mode in the course of the Movie Trilogy. Dark of the Moon, too, sees Bumblebee transform into a yellow Chevrolet Camaro with black racing stripes. This time he has a slightly modified front, plus a rear spoiler, making him a slightly different configuration of the standard model, a Camaro SS. Just like the Dark of the Moon Deluxe figure, the Leader figure, too, has a kind of grid sculpted into the side windows, though this time it’s actually on the inside of the transparent windows.

The painting is standard Bumblebee, but with some noteworthy, positive extras. The racing stripes have a kind of carbon structure to them, very nicely done. Some negative points, too, though, such as the Chevrolet logo on the rear and the fenders (chrome fenders in the movie), where they ran out of paint apparently. All in all, though, a solid alternate mode with but minimal flaws.

Stealth Mode: In this mode Bumblebee’s jetpack finally gets some use (you can use it in normal alternate mode as well, of course, but it’s superfluous). Basically you fold out the arms, pull apart the hood, and apply to the jetpack to the roof. The jetpack consists of two rocket engines, two missile launchers, a big cannon with a kind of targeting computer and the usual electronics. Surprisingly I like the Stealth Mode a lot, even though it doesn’t resemble the one we saw on the movie a whole lot. As you can see in the pictures, the Stealth Mode can be enhanced by applying other clip-on and Mechtech weapons.

Transformation: Most of the bigger (Deluxe class and higher) versions of Bumblebee transform more or less the same way. There are more moving parts here, of course, seeing as we’re dealing with a Leader class figure, but the transformation is far less demanding than that of RotF Leader Optimus Prime, for example, so no complaints here.

Robot Mode: After the transformation you now see the slightly modified version of Bumblebee for the Dark of the Moon Leader class. Thanks to some changes made to the chest area he looks a good deal more muscular than most previous versions. Personally I like the changes made to Optimus Prime’s chest more, but that’s a matter of taste. Without the jetpack on his back Bumblebee has a high degree of articulation and can pull off lots of poses. Sadly the feet are rather immobile, making some poses look a tad strange.

Applying Bumblebee’s jetpack does make him quite back heavy, which makes posing him difficult up to impossible. Also noteworthy, several joints are too weak to carry the additional weight. The missile launchers and cannon now rest on his shoulders. Apart from the jetpack as a gimmick you also have a battle mask, which can lower onto his face, and his arm cannon. Sadly he’s once again missing a second hand. Considering that a Leader class figure should have included enough room to make an arm cannon that can transform into a hand in some way, it’s quite bothersome.

The paintjob is okay, though a few more painted details would have been welcome. Sadly the paint job isn’t as cleanly applied here as in alternate mode. And it’s not just my version, I fear, as I’ve looked at quite a few Bees in their boxes.

Conclusion: The big advantage of this figure is that the electronics stuff is merely optional. It does have several flaws, though. Whether you really need this figure is, of course, up to each of you. Me, I was pleasantly surprised, as I expected it to be much, much worse.

Rating: B-
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