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

Arcee is an accomplished, street smart and powerful fighter with little patience for those who don't know their way around a battlefield. Luckily, Bumblebee is as skilled as any other warrior in the Autobot army. Set loose on the streets of the big city with their human partners Raf and Jack, they're an unstoppable team in the defense of the planet.

Review by Laserwave13:

Prelude: Well it happened again. Right after Deluxe Optimus Prime from the SDCC comes the NYCC 2-pack including Bumblebee and Arcee. And of course their respective human sidekicks are included as well, but more about them in the review. Both figures have not been officially released except in a few Asian countries that already got some of the first edition deluxe toys. So comparison pictures between those versions and the retail versions will have to wait and could not be done at this time.

Both of these figures feature an exclusive deco and this time Bumblebee sports a complete NYC taxi deco. We all know that by now there must be a million Bumblebee toys out there, mostly Movie toys of course, but at least this one is not really yellow but more of a bright orange. The taxi deco seems to be stickers instead of paint, so be careful not to scratch it. Now, let us see if this is a Bumblebee worth buying again.

Package: The box is a kind of window box, pretty similar to the Movie Screen-Battle boxes. Only a bit bigger, as we need to fit two figures and two humans inside. It is a pretty nice box, pleasing to the eye, displaying some kind of highway scene in New York. Is has a little 3D effect with the street and a few buildings in the back, and even Megatron and Starcream are included, painted on one of the skyscrapers. Neat idea and a nice solid package that even allows you to put the figures back in and use it for a complete display. All in all nice and what’s also cool, both figures have there own instructions. I like it.

Alternate Mode: A cab, or better a Transformers Taxi. This instantly raises the question, was there anything like this before? Well, at least not to my knowledge. I have seen some pictures of a Minicon with a taxi deco, but I do not know where it came from, which toy line, or even if it was an original. Be that as it may, this is the real deal, both a taxi and, of course, a Bumblebee toy. You just cannot outrun him, he will always come back to haunt you, even if you buy this set only for Arcee.

So what’s to say about him? The car itself looks nice, pretty similar to the Movie Versions, but not as realistic. Pretty show accurate, though, minus the taxi deco here, of course. Otherwise, nice details: blue headlights and windows and even taillights and silver rims are there. Nothing really special and no gimmicks this time, but everything you could ask for in a Bumblebee vehicle. The taxi deco is a nice change and looks cool. Size is somewhere between Movie, which is bigger, and Classics or Animated, which are smaller. So all in all, right in the middle and a very nice and wholesome car mode.

Transformation: Just like Arcee: ingeniously made and a lot of fun. Of course you see the same basic design as the many previous Movie toys, but there is enough new stuff going on here to satisfy you in the end. Talking about how the chest area comes together, is has similarities but it is also totally new. Sometimes not the best fit when moving the arms, the joints are all pretty tight so some parts on the chest can come loose but nothing serious there. Some of the joints are also work a little different than what we are used to comparing it to the mostly Movie toys we did get over the last few years. The leg section looks a bit too bulky but since he also has proper heel pieces he can stand perfectly and it manages to look nicely after all and again, show accurate. All in all, nice transformation, not too hard and not too common, nicely done.

Partner: Let’s get this out of the way as fast as we can. Included in the package is his human friend or partner Raf Esquivel. As far as I can tell it will be the same figure we’ll get in the still to be released Entertainment 2-pack, which includes deluxe Megatron and OP and all three of the humans, including Miko. So not much difference here except for the white shirt saying „NY Autobot“ and not much you can do with it, either. The little figure can turn his head and can be displayed with or without a little base. That is about it. So not much use for me, either and pretty useless for the set. Go for the Entertainment 2-pack if you want the human crew and that will be fine.

Robot Mode: Now it is getting dangerous! Can all the collectors out there bear another Bumblebee? Well, no matter what, we will always have to in some way, be it a new TV series or movie. So, for TF Prime, will it be this one or the retail version? Or both of them? What has he got to offer anyway? This version gets bonus points for not being yellow as such, more of a bright orange. Kind of hard to catch on the pictures, but I hope you get the idea. The retail version, of course, will be as yellow as it gets. But despite being another Bumblebee, this one looks fresh and somewhat different and even more, pretty show accurate as far as it gets. He even puts good old Mr. Schwarzenegger in his place when looking at the body proportions, but it fits him.

Articulation is nearly Movie-like and leaves almost nothing to complain about. Again, everything you see in the pictures was done without any support all by himself. His size is bigger than Classics / Henkei Bee and about similar to the Animated one. The joints are all pretty tight and will handle most poses easily. Sadly he suffers from the same problem as Arcee does, meaning he lacks wrist rotation. Again, there is just a hinge joint. Everything else is there and what you really need to know considering the arms: the lower arm section can twist, meaning the yellow parts do turn, but the joint for that is not visible, which may leave you thinking that he has only his ball joint elbow. Well, he’s got more, and the lower arm compensate for the missing wrist rotation pretty well.

As far as we know the retail version will also come with just the one gun. Normally in the show he should have two, one on each arm. Guess they skipped the second gun since there is only room for one in vehicle mode. But if you have this version and buy the retail, too, that problem is solved and you have two for the one that stands in robot mode.

All in all a fresh and new- looking Bumblebee and pretty cool to boot. Nothing like the usual -and by now very boring- Movie repaints that we got in almost every new wave of toys lately. He has some good details and a very nice head sculpt. Believe it or not, but this is a great new Bumblebee. I really dig the head on this guy, looks show accurate, a little Movie, but by far not as pop-eyed as before. And I am really looking forward to getting the whole crew together, meaning I will also go for the retail version of him. He is worth it, and saying that about a Bumblebee toy is saying a lot.

Conclusion: Again, not easy. Were it about recommending the retail version, I would say buy it, it a cool figure and this time around a fresh and new Bumblebee that is worth getting. So pack together all your Movie repaints and throw them in a box, you will not need them on display anymore. But here we have the taxi version and, as always with exclusives, he will cost you more than the retail version will.

So again, the retail version will do, even if it’s all yellow again. This version I recommend only to those who buy this set for either both figures or even Arcee alone, or for being an exclusive. To every one else I say, wait for the retail version, but once released, get him. You’re going to need him anyway for the complete TF Prime crew, but it is nice to buy a Bumblebee with a clear conscience again. Recommended! If you can get him on retail, definitely snatch him up. Considering that I would have given the same rating to the retail version I say, save the boring Movie repaints and get a real new and good looking Bumblebee!

Rating: B
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