I’ve managed to be pretty responsible with Transformers Movieverse figures until now. Up until about March this year, I bought one version of each on-screen character and left it at that. Well, after picking up the Hunt for the Decepticons Rescue Ratchet that sort of changed. I figured it was time to update my movie cast; get the definitive versions. Thankfully, Dark of the Moon has been giving me plenty of figures that do just that.
Despite the onslaught of Bumblebee figures we get year after year these days (and I thought Snake-Eyes was bad), I’ve managed to not buy a single Movie ‘Bee figure since the first movie’s Concept Camaro. Since toy technology has come a long way in such a small time, I figured it was time to update. And since movie-accuracy is secondary to the toy being cool in my eyes, I set my sights on Nitro Bumblebee.
Nitro Bumblebee is essentially what Bumblebee would look like if he were one of the Movie Wreckers. He’s still the ever-awesome new Camaro, but now he’s got all sorts of modifications, like heat-resistant armor and a pair of gigantic boosters on his trunk. He’s all decked-out in Cybernetic detail, like he’s ready to explore space or something. I like it a lot. And to make things even better, he has a whopping FIVE MechTech ports in this mode! I really want to buy a second Topspin now just to give Bumblebee all his guns.
This new incarnation of Bumblebee has a much different transformation than his predecessors. Instead of a segmented car-chest that always ends up looking awkward, this figure has the sides on hinges that allow them to be positioned in a more defined way. The transformation on his ankles takes a bit getting used to, but it allows for him to have boosters on them for rocket-assisted jumps! Or something. The instructions and photos show him with his doors down in robot mode, but you can actually position them so they can be his wings. I like this a lot more as it helps give him a better silhouette.
In robot mode, Bumblebee doesn’t look as different as you might expect. The changes feel minor, making him look more along the lines of Voyager Optimus. I personally love his wheel ankles—they remind me of Animated Blurr. He receives two new Mechtech ports on his forearms in this mode, and the one on his hood ends up behind his head. A cool idea, for sure, but there aren’t any weapons that can really work there, unfortunately. My only issues with this mold are the rotated hands (like Animated Starscream—augh!), the lack of a neck, short arms, and the kibble on his hips. Other than that, it’s a great-looking robot.
His head is a very good sculpt, and certainly one of the best movie Bumblebee head sculpts we’ve gotten. Unfortunately, he was designed to have light piping, but his eyes got painted over a la War for Cybertron Soundwave. I’m not TOO bothered here because they at least painted his eyes a nice shade of light blue. I just wish he had some kind of a neck. His head looks so squat!
The articulation on his arms would’ve been improved had he been given articulated wrists or had them placed at a different angle. He has double-jointed knees, however; though they’d be more effective without the hip kibble.
His MechTech gun is essentially a giant engine that turns into a double-barreled gun. It’s very SIMILAR to the one Skids comes with, but it’s not a remold. It’s actually kind of difficult to deploy –you need to position your thumb kind of far down on the trigger to get it to work.
If you’re absolutely sick of Bumblebee, this figure isn’t going to change your mind. He’s a nice-looking figure for sure, but he doesn’t bring anything that new to the table outside of his vehicle mode and many MechTech ports. If you’re a crazy Bumblebee fan or you want a new one, I’d definitely recommend him. Come into FPNYC and replace your old 2007 Bumblebee with this guy, I certainly recommend it.