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.



Transformers Report: Universe Stockade & Magna Stampede (with Mini-Cons)

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Sorry for the washed out images. Sadly I goofed in editing.

Our next set of Transformers Universe figures were sold together so that’s how I’ll be reviewing them, if only to move things along. They share an instruction sheet, which is how I know they came together. And yes, it’s another set including Mini-Cons with figures who can’t use Mini-Cons. As you’ll see it’s worse this time though.

I’m not sure why these four were sold together. There’s no connecting theme. At least Whirl’s Mini-Con pals were some kind of aircraft. Magna Stampede and Stockade are original characters based on molds from the Beast Machines line while Terradive and Prowl weren’t even on the same Mini-Con team, yet share a feature their friends are unable to use. I get the feeling the Mini-Cons of this group are pretending to be Micromasters to not be used as power boosters in the Universe arena, like it’s their chance to just be seen as any other Transformer. At least that’s the canon in my head since Universe is about dragging Transformers from across the multiverse. I’m going to limit photos to robot and alt mode and will give my thoughts individually. Of course we know the Mini-Cons are safe but what about the other two?


Transformers Report: Cybertron Brakedown

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Megatron races Override

Megatron races Override (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s time for the last of loose ones that were in this pile, and just in time to set up my Transformers for the annual Christmas display. This one also comes from the Transformers Cybertron line.

Velocitron, the Speed Planet, is a culture that revolves around racing. Even the monster truck is built for speed. They love to race around all day, and the leader is chose by who wins the race. It also feels like all the Autobots have that annoying gimmick that Hardtop had, where the key unlocks a weapon that’s part of something they carry, but it’s worse because without the Cyber Key in use it’s just some box they’re carrying or some other bonus part rather than popping a new weapon out of their structure like the Decepticons. Except for Hot Shot but his Cyber Key power is just two fins that help with aerodynamics or something. Of all the Cyber Key gimmicks the Speed Planet Autobots have the weakest.

And that holds true for Brakedown, the wise old racer who trains the excitable young Clocker and first befriends the Autobot envoy. His toy is…kind of mixed. I’ve kind of gone back and forth whether or not I want to keep this one but I have come to a decision. First we need to give him a proper examination.


Transformers Report: Animated Jazz

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Transformers Animated is rather different from other Transformers shows. It’s probably the most light and cartoonish of the shows right down to the art style. It’s a sharp contrast to the Michael Bay films that started coming out around this time, but it still managed to bring about good characters while the Autobots took a more superhero role than the traditional defending army or current “police officer” approach. The heroes weren’t trained soldiers but a simple work crew in over their heads and trying to survive on Earth. It’s really a good show and worth checking out.

One of the later characters was the Animated version of Jazz, working not with Optimus Prime but with Ultra Magnus, this version not too sure about humans due to Cybertronians in general having a xenophobic fear of organic beings. Jazz, however, grew to see the humans as just as worth as any Transformer, and the only one of that group to respect them. It’s why I like him, but his cool persona and ninja styling helped. It was around this time that my FIRST hospital stay came about, due to inflammation and where I first learned what Crohn’s Disease was. So a friend on the Transformers newsgroup sent me a bunch of Transformers to make me feel better, and it sure helped. I couldn’t buy my usual “pity Transformer”, which in hindsight is part of the reason my collection is too big today. But where does Animated’s Jazz fit into that?