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Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Keychain
Year: 2001 (original from 1984)

The least likely can be the most dangerous.
Small, eager and brave, Bumblebee acts as a messenger and spy. Due to his small size, he dares to go where others can't and won't. He idolizes the bigger Autobots, especially Optimus Prime and Prowl, and strives to be accepted. He is the most energy efficient and has the best vision of all the Autobots. He can go underwater for reconnaissance and salvage missions. Although physically the weakest Autobot, his stealth more than compensates for this inadequacy.

Robot Mode: Cartoon fans will immediately notice that Bumblebee's face looks nothing like it did in the cartoon. A visor instead of eyes, a mouthguard covering nose and mouth, the only thing recognisable is the horns. The rest of the robot is undoubtedly Bumblebee, though. No denying that. As one of the earliest G1 figures his posability is limited, but actually average for the time. He doesn't have a weapon, none of the Minibots did, but that doesn't really matter, either. What matters is that this robot is clearly Bumblebee, the cutest and most lovable of the G1 Autobots. So the robot does his job. Thumbs up.

Alternate Mode: If there is one thing we Germans can do well, it's build cars. And no German car (or any other car for that matter) was as popular or as successfull as the Volkswagen Beetle. Given that, and the fact that my father once drove a Beetle as well (though it was a green and a convertible), I always somewhat considered Bumblebee to be 'our' Transformer, seeing as he transforms into a Beetle. I'm not sure how accurate BB's vehicle mode is, he seems a bit misproportioned, but who cares? It's a Beetle. And as much as I like the Camaro we saw in the Movie, to me BB will always be a Beetle. And a damn cute-looking Beetle at that.

Remarks: To clarify one thing right up front: This is the original Bumblebee figure... kind of. Originally available from 1984 through 1986, Bumblebee was later re-issued as a keychain. So it's the original mold, the only real difference is the ring where the keychain hooks in. Everything clear? Okay, so let's move on.

The younger readers might only remember the Movie Bumblebee, but the character has its origins in Generation 1, where he was the child-relatable Autobot, meaning he was the guy the kids were supposed to be pals with. I guess many kids did like him, I certainly did. As a figure he's nothing too special, but he does look nice. Anyway, you're not buying this guy for the toy, you're buying it because of the character. And let's face it, no real G1 collection is complete without the BB. Some prefer this guy, some prefer the Classics Pretender version or maybe even Goldbug, but whatever. Go get one, everyone needs the Bee.

Rating: B
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