Cliffbee.com: CyberSlammer Bumblebee 08 Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Bumblebee
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: 2008 Camaro

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Bumblebee for this review



CAR MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 7cm

   A yellow Camaro with black stripes on the hood and spoiler, Bumblebee has metallic blue painted windows. The taillights are painted red while the grille is black, headlights, sports lights and Chevrolet logo on the grille are silver. His tyres are black with silver mag wheels. The colour scheme is very similar to the normal toy, save for the loss of transparent plastic on the windows. Having said that, the proportions are very kiddie, so the realism is greatly reduced.

   The play value really relates to the gimmick, which is accessible in robot mode. He rolls very well and there are rubber belts on the rear tyres to assist the gimmick. Bumblebee has a rear axle so he rolls quite straight, which is nice. There's a switch underneath but it doesn't do anything in this mode, except to transform it.

   While the realism is lost thanks to the almost comical proportions, the paint job here is actually very good. The level of detail is respectable, if not great - enough to make the Camaro recognisable, not enough for a realistic look. While this car mode might work for a 3 year old, it's a bit too much of a caricature for many adult fans to really appreciate. Still, this is his better mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Slide the white switch underneath back and the cabin pops up, revealing the robot. The front slides back slightly.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 7cm

   A yellow robot that somewhat resembles Bumblebee. The front of the car is his toes and there's a false front on his chest. The face is black with blue eyes and the false grille is painted black with silver headlights. There's a red Autobot logo on his chest, the fists and groin are painted black. The colour layout is essentially correct although this time the colours are simplified. The head sculpt is the highlight here, along with the false detailing on the chest it ensures that this toy is Bumblebee despite a very non-humanoid shape.

   I'm not all that impressed with this robot mode. There are no legs, which means that the front of the vehicle doesn't really look like feet. I've seen some fans compare the CyberSlammers to the Throttlebots - but they latter have legs, and while they're short, they ensure that the Throttlebot robot forms are robots - despite the bad proportions. The shape here is far from humanoid, the head is the only instantly recognisable body part at a glance. The arms are simply the doors, and unlike the G1 equivalents (Throttlebots, Battlechargers), they don't lift out to the sides at all, so they make poor limbs (although they're better than the arms on a href="slammerratchet.php">Ratchet). There's not much of a gap and while they lift up, springs ensure they spring back down, so we can't even use the arms to help with a humanoid shape. The elbows are sculpted bent anyway, so with the arms down he's pointing his fist forward. Well, the left fist - the right hand is in canon mode.

   The gimmick doesn't really justify the poor robot shape (or the chibi vehicle). The idea is that you push down the robot onto the base and it'll roll forward. Okay, so pushing him down does reform the vehicle mode as they planned - which is nice - but from a standing start he rolls maybe a metre - which is further than my Ratchet, at least. A little more if you push him along as you do it, but this isn't enough to really impress. He's far less impressive than the Throttlebots in this regard and about as impressive as the Battlechargers (but sturdier). The gimmick is dumbed right down for a young audience (we're talking 3 year olds), but I still don't see why such a poor gimmick was implemented when a better gimmick such as a pullback motor would have worked better, and allowed a better robot mode.

   On the whole this is a limited robot mode. The gimmick just isn't that impressive - I can see kids becoming bored with it awfully quickly. I was about eight years old when the Throttlebots came out, and had hours of fun with them - I can't see today's kids really appreciating this concept. Judging by the slow movement of CyberSlammers in stores around here, I don't think they've been that successful. The robot mode has some positives, but makes too many compromises to really justify the very simple gimmick.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Hasbro couldn't resist doing a Cliffjumper repaint. There is a 1970s version as well.

OVERALL

   Of all the characters in the film, Bumblebee is the best choice for a toy aimed at toddlers. I think making a dozen of these things was overkill, and then some, but this one does fit fairly well, since Bumblebee was always meant to be the character kids would warm to. It's better than my Ratchet, and the vehicle mode is well painted, but the robot mode is still quite poor, the gimmick not enough to really justify all the shortcomings of this toy as a Transformer. If you want a simple Bumblebee for a kid, I'd recommend the cheaper Legends toy, but if you're after a rolling gimmick, I would say Bumblebee is the one to go for - 4/10

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