Reorganizing The Bumblebee Shelf

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My latest addition and the review I did last week highlighted a problem with the infamous Bumblebee Shelf beyond not having the paint I want to redecorate it. I’m running out of space for it and it’s not a very exciting display. They’re just standing there like their having their driver’s license photo taken and I’m not sure you need a driver’s license when you are the car. This week, as I have the okay to start doing more I wanted to dust off and reorganize my Bumblebees to make room and to have a little bit of life to it…at least the ones with any decent form of articulation.

And yes, Scooter of the GoBots is there as well. I didn’t have anywhere else to put him as he kept falling over on my computer desk and I like to pretend Scooter and Bumblebee are best buddies. In this space the Autobots and Guardians get along.

So take a trip with me through the Bumblebees, including the ones I haven’t reviewed on this site before.

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Transformers Report: Buzzworthy Bumblebee Origin

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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.

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Transformers Report: Alternity Bumble(bee)

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The original Bumblebee from the “G1” era of Transformers was called simply Bumble in Japan for reasons I am not aware of. So while technically this is a Japan exclusive figure I’m going to stick with Bumblebee because that’s the name I know and love. You may recall I have a whole shelf dedicated to this character and a few namesakes. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that another one was in my birthday Amazon wish list.

The history of Takara Tomy’s Alternity is tough to go into full detail for so I’ll give you the highlights. Did you ever hear of the Alternators line? It was a series of scaled vehicles that looked like model cars right down to being licensed with an engineering style that led to crazy hard transformations. I own a few and frankly wasn’t a fan because they’re such pains to transform. I know there are collectors who enjoy these puzzle style transformations but I prefer a smooth, fun transformation. In Japan the line was called “Binaltech” and the instructions actually came with chapters of a text adventure whose story isn’t important here. Alternity is a sequel line right down to the engineering and story, but the toys were given a smaller scale and the story a larger one, involving alternate universes, and Bumblebee getting cool dimension-altering powers. To say more would bore the casuals so let’s move on.

To be honest this toy is rather pricey but it’s partly die-cast, highly engineered (more so than Transformers figures usually are), has a lot of parts put together, features licensed vehicles, and is a canceled Japan-exclusive toyline. That last part dropped the price to something slightly more reasonable than you’d pay for it previously here in the US. So let’s take a look at the toy.

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Toy Report: Legends Bumblebee and Blazemaster

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Bumblebee Legend

Time for a new addition to the Bumblebee shelf. I found this one at Big Lots, a clearance store franchise I’ve mentioned before. You can find some cool stuff there. I’m told that this size class is “legends” but it’s frankly kind of small for the price. Bumblebee comes with “Blazemaster”, a helicopter that transforms into a robot and a gun for Bumblebee.

Now, I know that there are two figures in the set, but one is just a companion and frankly the two together do not equal one “scout” class that I can find at Big Lots for $5. Yes, the new figures are more expensive thanks to the current petroleum market (plastic comes from oil) but still, this is the price I expect in a “regular” store, not a clearance store. So I was curious to see if it was worth that much. Let’s find out.

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Longbox Report: The Transformers #16

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I have a convention to prepare for, so let’s make this quick. You’ve seen my Bumblebee shelf and I’ve reviewed some of my newest acquisitions. If you’re at all curious as to why I like the little guy so much, here’s a review of the comic that got me into him, straight from my other site.

I’d make a joke about this pose, but I’m too biased towards this comic.

The Transformers #16

Marvel Comics (May, 1986)

also republished by IDW in Transformers: Generations #4 (June, 2006)

“Plight of the Bumblebee”
WRITER: Len Kaminski
PENCILER: Graham Nolan
INKER: Tom Morgan
LETTERER: Bill Oakley
COLORIST: Nelson Yomtov
EDITOR: Mike Carlin
COVER ART: Herbe Timpe (credited in the IDW version which doesn’t use that cover)
SELECTED IDW COVER (see end of article): Nick Roche
SPLASH PAGE: Eliot Brown

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Toy Report: Bot Shots Bumblebee

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Of course I’m going to add to the Bumblebee Shelf. Bot Shots is a new Transformers line that is more a game than a regular toy. I don’t know how many of you have heard of Heroclix, but it’s similar to that. This is probably the only one I’ll pick up, because it’s at least in part classic Bumblebee.  Let’s look more into it.

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Toy Report: Rescue Bots Bumblebee

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I didn’t get him in time for last week’s report, but I have him now. This is the Bumblebee for the younger kids, age 3-6. And he will be getting screen time. The cartoon for Transformers: Rescue Bots will air on the Hub on December 17th, 2011. I’m not as familiar with the storyline, since it obviously hasn’t aired yet. Some of the larger figures come with a storybook, but I haven’t gotten those.

From what I’ve heard, there won’t be any Decepticon opponents. Instead, the Autobots will team with humans to perform rescue missions. This is odd because the other two series of the “Playskool Heroes” line feature Star Wars and Marvel Universe characters, and both of them have bad guys for the heroes to fight, and they target the same age group.

This one isn’t as collectible as the Prime version for adults so we can’t torture the MISP guys as much. Still, let’s get this thing open.

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Toy Report: Transformers Prime Bumblebee

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I wasn’t able to get the second new Bumblebee for the Bumblebee shelf, but I still have this one. From the “Transformers Prime” line, which actually debuted in animated form on the Hub some time ago, Bumblebee’s character design and personality is based on his appearance in the Michael Bay movies, only instead of talking through his radio he just makes noises. His personality is still Bumblebee as I’ve come to know him, but this bit is starting to get old. Anyway, we’re not here to discuss the show. We’re here to discuss the toy.

This first edition figure is the dominant figure of the line, currently shipping with Starscream and Arcee. The other two are harder to find according to reports I’ve heard. So how does this new Bumblebee stack up to his predecessors?

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The Bumblebee Shelf

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There it is, the Bumblebee shelf. Or rather speaker. Long story short, Bumblebee is my favorite of the original Transformers characters. He got a resurgence thanks to the live-action movies, and now he’s everywhere. This means I have a lot of Bumblebee’s of the Multiverse to collect, although there are a couple of versions I may sadly never get to own. Granted, there are a few I don’t need. If it’s the same mold with some different colors, I don’t need it. I want new forms. Except for this one and this one, because they don’t feel like Bumblebee to me.

I also have a couple of official namesakes, from the movie and Transformers Animated. For all of the Bay films’ faults, even without a voicebox his Bumblebee is our Bee. Animated Bumblebee, however, was not a likable guy but that’s for the other blog. Still, they both get small places. There’s also some Bee-related merchandise like the McDonalds toy that looks like a key or something when folded up, and the Bumblebee finger board (skate board toys you can actually do tricks with using your fingers, I don’t really follow that type of toy but it IS a Bumblebee skateboard).

As you can see, the Bumblebee speaker is full. There’s no room for another Bumblebee and I can’t even display them as well as I would like. This is where finding an old figurine display stand in the basement comes in handy. It’s time for an official Bumblebee shelf!

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