Cliffbee.com: RPM Battle Charger Bumblebee Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Bumblebee
Series: Move Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Camaro



CAMARO MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 15cm Width: 8cm

   A yellow Camaro with a fairly unrealistic shape, Bumblebee has two black stripes on the hood which don't extend past the windshield. His windows are painted metallic blue while the tyres, front bumper and grille are black while his headlights and hubcaps are silver. His taillights are red. The yellow plastic is actually metallic, unlike the more matte plastics of other versions of this character. It's a good if simplified colour scheme. There are no Autobot logos here, although he has simplified Chevy logos at the front and back.

   The shape is hot rodded, with the rear sitting higher than it should and the rear wheels are oversized - he's more like a dragster than a street vehicle. The details are simple, although he has grille details, doorhandles and seams and unpainted front indicators. There's a rather unsightly gash in the rear window, which is for his autotransform. While he's very simple - almost cartoony, the basic details are done right.

   The gimmick here is fairly simple, but it works well. The front wheels are attached to a pull-back motor (and have rubber tyres). He'll roll quite far when released, and rolls straight despite lacking a rear axle. The front bumper will push it once he hits an obstacle, causing Bumblebee to auto-transform. The pullback mechanism is sturdy and easy to use - it reminds me of the Throttlebots more than the flimsy G1 Battle Chargers.

   A simple car mode but one that has the essential details right - it's clearly a Camaro and clearly Bumblebee. The pullback gimmick works well - it's much better than the rolling gimmick of the Cyber Slammers from the last film. While this car mode is aimed at pre-school age children, the gimmick is done well enough that anyone can appreciate it.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   As mentioned, when the front bumper impacts something (or you press on it), Bumblebee auto-transforms. The roof flips over with the side windows swinging out as arms and the head flips up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11.5cm Width: 8cm

   This robot mode is the car with an upper body replacing the windows and roof. His torso and head are yellow while the arms are black. His right arm is a pulse cannon, as seen in the film, with a blue front. There's some black on his chest while the face is silver and black with blue eyes. There's a small red Autobot logo on his forehead and a larger sculpted one with red on the raised sections and unpainted relief, on what I'll call his ankles (a single piece). The colour scheme of the robot only parts is very simple, and a little lacking in black - but it's clearly Bumblebee.

   As mentioned, it's the upper body of a robot on top of the car. So I guess it's Bumblebee in a dodgem car. The lower section of the car is almost like a giant foot - similar to the Throttlebots but without even the token legs they had. This is disappointing, but the bodyshape is better than that seen on Cyber Slammers, since the arms actually look like arms. The head is drastically oversized (we're talking gigantism here).

   While it's simple - perhaps too simple, the pullback gimmick is equally effective in this mode, even if the front bumper no longer does anything. Transforming Bumblebee back to car mode simply involves grabbing his ankles and flipping them right back. The forearms are in a 90 pose (elbows lifted up), and out to the sides slightly. For the size, this is a very simple robot mode.

   It's clear the Battle Chargers are designed for younger children. While this robot mode is exceedingly simple, it's a much better effort than those seen on the Cyber Slammers and the pull back gimmick is still available, which is the point, really. It's fun in it's way, but not one to admire for an adult collector.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A fun toy, but one that's really designed for pre-schoolers. The gimmick is very effective - not since the Throttlebots have we seen Transformers that really use a pullback motor well. The simplicity and poor robot shape will keep many adult collectors away, but I'm happy enough to have one - I do enjoy the gimmick. Sadly the Battle Chargers are being sold at a similar pricepoint to the larger deluxes, and I can't recommend them at that price, but if you manage him for around the price of a Legends toy, I'd recommend Bumblebee - 6/10

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