Cliffbee.com: Hyper Hobby "Scanning" Bumblebee Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Bumblebee
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Camaro Sports Car



CAR MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 8cm Width: 3.5cm

   A transparent yellow Camaro with some black internals and black plastic tyres, "Scanning" Bumblebee is a limited repaint of Legends Bumblebee, available exclusively with the September 2007 issue of the Japanese magazine, Hyper Hobby. He represents the Movie character during the off-screen conversion from the 1970s model to 2008 model Camaro.

   The external paint, such as the racing stripes, has been removed from this version, which I guess represents a morphing robot. The internal black plastic is clearly visible through the transparent plastic, mainly towards the rear but also in a line in front of the windshield. The windows are unpainted, incidentally. I never liked the last transparent yellow limited edition Takara produced - which was Ultra Magnus, however the canary yellow die cast metal failed to offset the garish transparent plastic. Bumblebee's internal blacks do just enough to save him. Sure, he's still garish, but at least there's some contrast. Hey, at least it doesn't have battle damage! As with most transparent toys, Scanning Bumblebee ends up with an unusual pattern resulting from internal sculpted elements showing through.

   The external sculpt is pretty good for a toy of this size, although much of the detailing is lost amongst the transparent yellow and the exposed internals. I don't really mind on a toy of this nature. The car mode is only vaguely recognisable as a Camaro at a glance, although it is fairly easy to pick as Bumblebee, which is the main thing for a limited exclusive. I guess this is the more relevant mode, since we can assume Bumblebee never transforms into his robot mode during his conversion. It's the less interesting mode of this figure, however, since it's a yellow blob with tyres in many ways.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extend and split the rear to form his legs, fold down the front and detach the fenders to form arms, while the hood itself folds down as a chestplate, revealing his head. The doors sort of hang off the back of his shoulders.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7.5cm Width: 3.5cm

   Again Bumblebee is transparent yellow, with the internal black plastics coming to the fore. His thighs and shoulder struts are black. The eyes are painted black and there's a tint silver stamped Autobot logo on his chest. I like the fact that the paint details are minimal, yet well chosen. They keep the focus on the transparent plastic whilst giving the figure a sense of sentience. The black and yellow plastics contrast more now, since the blacks are directly exposed, which helps Bumblebee come through as a character here compared to the car mode. It also means this mode isn't anywhere near as garish.

   The shoulders and hips are ball jointed, allowing for some poseability. The fists are sort of mashed into his arms, and while they _are_ moulded they're not really prominent. The doors behind his shoulders are an unusual effect - they're not quite wings, not quite backpack, just an unusual feature. On this version, I actually prefer twisting the arms so that the doors stick out to his sides as wings.

   While the robot mode isn't as relevant to the purpose of this variant, it's the more interesting mode, the contrasting colours work better here and with the various pieces opened out to form the robot, he's far less of a blob now. It's clear that the designer really had this mode in mind when conceiving this toy, since it's far more displayable.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A fairly hard to find toy, I was lucky enough to pick one up from a Japanese-focused bookstore near my workplace. Of course, the magazine was the price of a deluxe, and I'm not entirely convinced that Scanning Bumblebee is worth that. I mainly picked him up because he's likely to be tricky to find - and dearer - on the secondary market. I do like this toy, mainly for the robot mode. I like the mould anyway and enjoy the look of the robot mode here. The normal Legends Bumblebee is a better figure, but this figure is still nice. As with most limited edition toys, I can't really recommend him because of the likely cost, but as these sort of repaints go, Scanning Bumblebee is well executed - 6.5/10

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