Transformers Animated Activators Battlefield Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Transformers Animated

Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: November 2009
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None


Activators are a sub-line of Transformers aimed at providing simpler transformations with a fully functional and posable Transformers figure. Activator transformations are primarily accomplished through the pressing of a switch or tab and manipulation of a few extra parts. Such transformations are much akin to the early "spring loaded transformations" used in many Beast Wars Transformers figures.

Looking over my collection shelf of "recent releases" (which really means figures that have come out in the past year or so), it really feels like the "Revenge of the Fallen" line is going its best to beat us over the head with different incarnations of Bumblebee. Not to be outdone, the "Transformers Animated" line has released another version of Bumblebee based on the 2008 Activators Bumblebee sculpt. This figure was already given a new deco once, but now he's back as "Battlefield Bumblebee". This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Robot Mode:
When Bumblebee was changed into "Patrol Bumblebee", he changed his primary color to white, but this time around he's back in his more traditional yellow color. Unlike the first Activators Bumblebee however, Battlefield Bumblebee's yellow is much lighter than the one used on the first version. It's not something that is immediately obvious, but when you put him side by side with the first Activators Bumblebee, the difference is quite striking. In a nice touch, the designers didn't simply replace the black plastic parts with one other color. Instead, the parts that were black on the first Bumblebee are a combination of black and silver here. For instance, while most of his leg pieces are black, the knee section is silver. It's a nice color combination and I'm really glad to see an extra plastic color being thrown into the mix other than black and yellow.

To go with the lighter colors used on the plastic parts, Battlefield Bumblebee's paint decos are done in rather light colors as well. The most prominant color is a metallic silver with a blue tinge to it. There are also light blue and black details. You see these colors work together on the robot head where his eyes are painted light blue with a black outline and bluish silver face. Black can also be found on a huge Autobot symbol printed onto his chest, right next to the siren. While his base colors are definitely along the same lines as the first version of Activator Bumblebee, they are different enough that you'll be able to tell the diffence even in the package. I really like this color scheme, but then again I'm very fond of Bumblebee as a character overall so I admit to some bias. This version seems to take its inspiration from the G1 cartoon, where in general things were lighter, especially the yellow. His light blue colors also match up well to the shade of light blue used in the G1 animated porgram which is fun to see.

All of Bumblebee's joints are tight and I had no trouble posing him. The tooling is still relatively young, only having been used for three huge runs so far so I wouldn't expect any problems just yet.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the robot feet forward and press them together in the middle.
  2. Straighten out each arm so the door panels line up.
  3. Swing the vehicle panel on his back up and lock it into place with the door panels.

Vehicle Mode:
As one would expect, in vehicle mode Bumblebee's parts all come together, and thus some of the details you could see broken up in robot mode are able to be seen as they should be. Most notable are the silver racing stripes running from the front of the vehicle to the top of the cabin. This dual stripe design is reminiscent of the movie Bumblebee's design. On the top of the cabin, the black Autobot symbol stands out well. The stripes stop halfway on the hood, but the silver color is found again on the front end of the vehicle. The silver color also runs along the raised edges along the side of the vehicle, leading to the back where the hinge pieces and back bumper are painted silver. His headlights and siren are painted light blue, contrasting nicely with the silver color.

I really like this color scheme since it still features colors often associated with the character while using different shades of certain colors than the first Activators Bumblebee. I also like the use of three primary plastic colors instead of just two.

Final Thoughts:
Taken by itself, this is definitely a highly recommended figure in my book. It represents the character well, it's fun to play with and the deco looks fantastic. However, this sculpt has seen three releases previous to this (twice as Bumblebee, once with a new head as Cliffjumper) so for the fourth use I had hoped something might have been changed other than the colors. It's a tough sell if you already own all three previous releases of this figure, but if you don't then it's nice to have a choice between this version of the character and the previous versions.