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Series: Prime First Edition
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2011

Robot Mode: There is very little doubt where the inspiration for this robot comes from. Prime BB is very similar in look to the various Movie Bumblebees, from the angled car hood as chest to the rear of the car as feet. Now if you’re sick to death of seeing yet another variation of Movie BB, welcome to the club, but in this case there are, in fact, some changes that make this new BB bearable. Overall the look, while clearly Movie-inspired, also has some of the softer Animated-styling as well. The head isn’t quite as bug-eyed. Some other subtle differences elevate this robot mode above being yet another Movie BB.

Getting BB into robot mode requires a somewhat complex, yet short of complicated transformation. Again, similarities to the way most Movie BBs transformed, but enough differences to inspire some new interest. Side note: The instruction sheet and the back of the package disagree on how exactly BB’s upper body is supposed to look. The back of the package forgoes setting the chest pieces at an angle, while the instructions neglect flipping the shoulders out sideways. For the completely screen-accurate look, though, you need to do both.

Speaking of screen accuracy, that’s pretty good. Just about the only thing worth mentioning is that on-screen BB carries blasters on both arms, while toy BB has just the one. Apparently the “normal” (meaning not-First Edition) Prime BB will have two guns, so if that is important to you, you might want to wait for that one. Otherwise, though, the robot is spot-on as far as resemblance to the cartoon character goes. No complaints.

Finally, articulation. Bumblebee is as agile as you’d expect from a modern-day Transformers figure, including a twisting hip. The arrangement of the shoulders takes a moment to get used to, but it doesn’t hinder him in any way. The big feet make for a stable platform, so outrageous poses and kicking stances are not a problem, either. Just about the only thing he’s missing are twisting wrists, but he can twist his forearm, which mostly negates that limitation. Bottom line: A good robot mode whose only real downside is that the character depicted has been vastly overexposed these last few years.

Alternate Mode: Shockingly Bumblebee transforms into a yellow car with black racing stripes, who would have guessed? It’s not a Camaro this time, more of a generic muscle car with the engine sticking out from the hood and a huge front grill. Apart from the black racing stripes, silver rims, red stop lights, and blue-tinted windows break up the yellow monotony. There’s also an Autobot symbol on the hood.

Sadly the transparent blue windows show the robot arms lying inside the cabin. You don’t recognize them as such necessarily, but they do fill up the insides pretty well. Apart from that, though, no visible robot bits. Bumblebee’s blaster can be stored on the underside of the vehicle; sadly there is no way to actually utilize it in this mode (making it able to plug into the exposed engine wouldn’t have been hard, I think). Apart from that, though, no complaints. A good car mode, even if it is yet another yellow and black sports car.

Remarks: Transformers Prime once again features a Bumblebee as part of the core cast. This version of the yellow bot is taken almost directly from the Movie line, both in terms of look and his inability to speak. He’s also once again the child-relatable character, being paired with the youngest of the Autobots’ human friends, Raf. Personally Bumblebee has failed to make much of an impression on me in the first season of Prime, but given the limitations (lack of speech, overexposure in the movies, etc.) that is hardly surprising. Maybe he will be more entertaining to watch in season two.

I was very much opposed to getting another Bumblebee toy, especially one that resembles the Movie version so closely. If it hadn’t been for my buddy James, who got the First Edition figures for me at a very decent price, I would have left him lying. As it is, I grudgingly admit that he’s a nice toy. Far from revolutionary, but given the fact that the designers were forced to somehow make a new toy out of a character that has seen a billion incarnations already, they did a stand-up job and my hat’s off to them. So if you like Transformers Prime, there is no reason not to get this figure here, even if you’re sick to death of Movie BB.

Rating: B
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