In the first episode of the original Transformers cartoon, we get to see Cybertron, including some of the Transformers in Cybertronian mode. However, not all of them were so rather than design new robot modes that looked like they turned into Cybertronian rather than Earth vehicles (not that the show’s designs really matched the toys that well in the first place) they just used the same old robot character models. This includes Bumblebee above. Dreamwave comics and a fan convention toy did attempt to give Bumblebee a design based on his Cybertronian mode, but no toy tried to make his Cybertronian vehicle turn into his Earth robot design. Until now.

Target stores in the US have released an exclusive line called Buzzworthy Bumblebee, a set of new and remolded/redecoed toys based on the greatest Autobot of them all! Granted, longtime readers know I’m so heavily biased that I have a shelf dedicated to Bumblebee, so your mileage may vary. With still no income and recent purchase needs draining my stimulus checks (at least they came at the right time for me…just wish I could replace some of those funds (he said while pointing to the Clutter For Sale section)) I’m not making an effort to get as much from that collection as I would like, but with all the medical issues this year, including the surgery and later kidney stone that caused the latest hiatus, I think I earned both a pity Transformer and finally getting to see Transformers: The Movie on the big screen after 35 years. So both have occurred. The movie I’ve seen so many times that it was more a bucket list since some of the excitement is gone. Still enjoyed it.

Meanwhile, one of the original molds for Buzzworthy Bumblebee is an attempt to reconcile his cartoon model’s robot and Cybertronian vehicle modes. It’s not perfect and I’d be surprised if it would have come out clean, but it’s still not a bad job.

I don’t usually go over the box but this is actually a nice design, highlighting different versions of G1 Bumblebee in various media. However, for what’s in it this seems like a rather big box. The few accessories and instructions it comes with really didn’t need this large a box. Then there’s this.

The crime: being too awesome for the universe.

The box doesn’t have any kind of plastic window. Who knows how many people coughed or sneezed on this thing, and with all the pandemic scares still going on as of this writing I’m surprised they didn’t consider it. The strings holding him in really aren’t that strong so I would think he’d be really easy to steal if you didn’t care about the accessories and were just going to use the internet to learn how to transform him. I have to question this idea…but I have another Cybertronian Bumblebee with blades, so as soon as he frees this one we can get to the review.

I don’t think this is street legal on Earth.

Vehicle mode is as close as they could get from the cartoon design. The nose is a bit long and the “wings” too short but seeing this transform and given that he’s just a little taller than the original Bumblebee toy from 1984 (referred to as a “minicar” back then) I’m not unhappy with what we got. The saucer mode is otherwise properly recreated, except the back that I didn’t realize until just before the review deals with the inability to be properly rounded off by including a set of thrusters. It may not be perfect but outside of a non-transforming vehicle it’s probably the best you can get…with one small error.

The only clip I could find in English is this extended clip formed from the original scene, recently uncovered audio recordings (you can tell the difference in quality except for one line from Soundwave), and footage from other episodes to match the audio, but it builds on what’s in the actual scene in the episode. Despite the saucer design, Bumblebee’s Cybertron mode clearly has wheels. The actual clip shows his axle (rear axle according to both his damage report in the episode and the complaining in the extended audio where he also mentions his tires) getting blown off. It’s not meant to be a hovercraft, though Wheeljack’s movements suggest he may be.

I bring this up because the toy doesn’t have wheels, not even fake ones. He can’t roll though on some surfaces you can slide him. I wonder if the toy designer looked at the images but not the actual episode and made an honest mistake. It does look like a hovercraft or flying saucer (we’d get an actual flying saucer years later with Cosmos) so while it’s worth pointing out I’m not surprised, just a bit disappointed.

Transforming this figure offers another problem. The panels that form the “wings” and part of the back end also form part of Bumblebee’s legs, but they’re prone to pop off while transforming, especially from robot to vehicle. The two back end panels pop off more than the “wings” but if you don’t transform them right they’ll come off. It’s easy to put them back on but it’s still annoying. Then there’s the front end. The part with the Autobot symbol becomes the chest but the rest of it folds in half and I’m always worried I’m putting too much pressure on the front part to disconnect it from the back part so it can fold and form the backpack. It took me a while to figure out I wasn’t putting enough pressure to put them together when forming the vehicle. It’s a bit scary how tight it is.

“The difference between me and Pac-Man is I make being all yellow look good!”

Robot mode attempt to replicate his cartoon character model. It’s not easy trying to make a saucer-shaped car turn into a robot that looks like he turns into a Volkswagen Beetle. Some liberties are going to be taken. He need the saucer grill to be part of his robot chest, and of course there’s the panels hanging off his legs and the backpack that the cartoon and the original toy didn’t have. If you take those off (and I mentioned the leg panels…you just end up with the arm the “wings” are connected to) it’s just fine. The backpack doesn’t come off easily though, but he couldn’t transform if it did.

Meanwhile, you have an attempt at having the fenders and trunk molding for what would be the front end of the Beetle. (No headlights unfortunately.) The chest is a bit too square to properly replicate the Beetle cab that form Bumblebee’s chest but he’s no the first modern Bumblebee without a rounded body. The fake windows are also a nice addition to attempt the replication. Again, not perfect, but about as good as I would expect considering what they’re attempting to do.

“Wanna dance? My fist will lead.”

He’s also packing some decent articulation. His head has very limited up and down but spins around okay. He has good shoulder movement but the joints are pretty tight. Additionally, he has decent bicep, and elbow movement though no wrists due to size. His waist rotates thanks to transformation. His hips can do the splits, has good thigh and knee movement, and his feet can be posed in a number of good standing poses. The vehicle kibble rarely interferes with articulation provided you aren’t putting his arms behind his back. This figure is ready for action.

One blurry picture out of the set. Given how long it’s been I’d say I came out ahead.

Bumblebee comes with a few accessories; his gun from the show and for some reason a jetpack he’s only seen using in one episode in season two. Then again look how many Optimus Prime figures come with an axe that he only had in one fight of the miniseries. Also, Bumblebee with some kind of flight pack has been going on since his Action Master figure so every now and then someone decides just having the colors of his namesake isn’t enough. Granted, it would benefit his role as an espionage agent. On the box these are colored silver, much like the gun was in the show, but on the actual toy they’re black, maybe from the same mold as the black limbs but I’m only guessing. I wish we had gotten the version seen on the box but they still work. One fan found a way that the gun can be locked into the back of the jetpack if you don’t want him holding it, and it works well even if he isn’t wearing the jetpack on his backpack.

Bumblebee doesn’t worry about traffic.

Both accessories can also fit into his vehicle mode thanks to the ports on his back and “wings”. In fact in both modes he can use various weapon and “effect part” accessories from the adult collector lines though he doesn’t come with the laser blast effects that would show him either shooting or getting shot. I’m surprised these exist considering how few displays I see of people’s collections where the Transformers are doing more than standing there in robot mode (I’m admittedly guilty of this as well, but I’m planning to redo the Bumblebee Shelf) but I like that they’re thinking of the rare diorama enthusiast.

“Wheeljack was right, they ran out.”

Speaking of Optimus’s axe and other one-time appearance accessories, Bumblebee comes with a set of “energy conductors” seen in the first episode, where he and Wheeljack go searching for energy before being attacked by Decepticons on the way back to base. They’re made of translucent orange plastic so I guess they’re hoping on using the lightpiping effect. I really don’t care about lightpiping since it requires a light behind the figure at all times. It doesn’t work on eyes either, Hasbro. Sadly, there’s no way to fit this into Bumblebee’s closed fists, which are designed only with his gun in mind. You can have him hold it under his arms like in the scene but it takes a lot of effort to pose the arm where the things will stay in his arm without falling out or sliding down and hitting him in the foot. It’s a nice idea but it’s not as successful as I’m sure they wanted it to be.

“Here you go. Thanks for getting me out of there.” “Glad to help. We Cybertronian Bumblebees have to stick together.”

The figure was a bit more expensive than I would have liked, but current oil prices make plastic and shipping costs a bit high. Additionally this is a store-exclusive figure in a store-exclusive line of a version of Bumblebee I never would have expected, an attempt at giving his first Cybertronian vehicle design his traditional cartoon robot design. At best I thought we’d get a saucer car that turned into a robot that looked like it turned into a saucer car, like the Dreamwave design, or maybe another space car like theĀ War For Cybertron video game inspired vehicle they made years ago. With some minor nitpicks and lack of transformation frustration of the WFC game version pictured, this is probably the closest we’ll get with current engineering and more than I would have expected. The Buzzworthy Bumblebee Origins Bumblebee may have a long name but he’s a good addition to the Bumblebee Shelf. Now I just need to reorganize it to fit everyone. I wonder if they make a smaller version of Rescue Bots Bumblebee with vehicle form?

As for regular Clutter Report operations, the kidney stone delayed seeing my doctor to get clearance from the hernia surgery. I’m going to try to at least get something done until I can finally make the appointment and get the go-ahead for the bigger projects, but hopefully we’re back in business around here.