Dark of the Moon Deluxe Bumblebee Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Deluxe, Movie (2007)

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: April 2011
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster/Plasma Cannon


Bumblebee is back! Like his previous appearances, Bumblebee has taken on an upgraded version of his previous Chevrolet Camaro modes. With that new vehicle mode comes a whole new sculpt with a Mech Tech weapon to boot!

Mech Tech Weapon:
Since the Mech Tech weapons are critical parts of this toy line, I will review the weapons separately if they have some type of functionality. How they work with each figure will be discussed in the review of the various modes. I will make one general statement that will probably be replicated throughout several of the first (and possibly second) wave of deluxe figure releases regarding the Mech Tech weapons: they cannot stay in their "transformed" state without being held in place. Most Mech Tech weapons are spring activated, and when you release the switch that transforms them, the weapons automatically revert back to their previous form. This is important to note as the packaging clearly shows the weapons can maintain their alternative forms with no mention of requiring support (this could change).

Is this disappointing? Absolutely. However, it must be stressed that this seems to only apply to the deluxe wave one so far. Larger figures do have weapons that can "stay" transformed and who knows? A future deluxe wave may have figures that can stay in their alternate form. Also please note that in my photos, I had to use various tricks to make the weapon stay in its alternate form (including liberal use of paper and paper clips to keep them in place).

Bumblebee's weapon is a "Blaster" with a thick base, a hammer on the back and a small barrel in the front that looks more like the front end of a rifle or machine gun. It's definitely a formidable looking weapon with lots of cool sculpted detail including ridges on the safety, bolts on the sides and several layers of mechanical greebles. When you pull on the hammer, the weapon transforms by extending its length. The small barrel in the front folds out to reveal a significantly larger barrel that resembles the one Bumblebee transforms his arm into in the films. In a final detail, the top reveals a targeting scope as the weapon transforms. It's a very dramatic and cool transformation that is very reminscent of what we have seen in the feature films.

The Mech Tech weapon is completely cast in grey plastic, with no other colors or paint applications. That's probably the only visual drawback since some black highlights or perhaps a bright color inside the larger barrel would have given it a bit more "life".

Vehicle Mode:
For his appearance in the third live action "Transformers" film, Bumblebee has retained his basic form of a Chevrolet Camaro. In the first movie he went from a "classic" Camaro to a modern version, a form he kept for the second film. This time Bumblebee undergoes another change as his modern Camaro form undergoes some changes to its structure. These changes aren't subtle. As soon as you see this vehicle, it has a much more aggressive appearance that looks like it's meant to intimidate foes on the race track as well as the battlefield. Among the features that appear on this sculpt that are different from the previous iteration are:

  • A larger spoiler has been added to the back, replacing the slightly raised, curved piece on the last iteration of Bumblebee.
  • The center of the cabin cover has a small antenna sticking out in the middle.
  • The windows have protective cages on them in lieu of regular windows.
  • The hood piece is not one level section, but instead has two air intakes that are found in two depressions on either side of the central section.
  • On the lower section fo the front end, there is a section that sticks outward, following the lines of the front end and coming to a point in the center.
  • This may be a new element in the design of the vehicle overall, but the fog lights located on the front end now come out at more of an angle than the previous iterations of this vehicle.
  • An extended balance piece sticks out in the front on the lower portion of the vehicle.

Overall, Bumblebee looks cool and I like a lot of the modifications added on. I'm only a tiny bit iffy on the spoiler, but I think it will grow on me. The detail level is very well done including the aforementioned air intakes on the hood, the Chevrolet logos on the front and back along with the words "Camaro SS" sculpted into the sides of the vehicle.

Bumblebee is cast in the same deep yellow plastic color as the previous iterations of this character. The other plastic colors used are black and translucent blue. The black is used for his wheels and spoiler while the translucent blue is found on the windshield.

Black, red and silver paint are used for the deco. Bumblebee of course has his characteristic black stripes running from the hood to the back of the vehicle. His front grille areas are painted black along with the extended piece on the bottom under the headlights. Silver is found on the front end where the Chevrolet logo and headlights are painted. The sides of the wheels are painted silver too. What surprised me is that the silver was used even more. Usually the wheels and the headlights are it, and everything else that could be silver is left unpainted. Instead, Bumblebee has silver Autobot symbols on both sides of the vehicle right under the "Camaro SS" logo. On the back, the license plate and Chevrolet logo are also painted silver, a big surprise as these details are usually sculpted but left unpainted. The rear lights are painted red, which looks great with the silver detailing. No doubt about it, Bumblebee is one fun and fierce looking Camaro! I should also mention a couple spots of yellow paint on the front end of the car on several panels including the one right above the Chevrolet logo.

On the top of Bumblebee's vehicle mode, you'll notice a small circle in the middle of the cabin section. You can attach any Mech Tech weapon to that hole, and I really like the way the designers didn't just leave an open hole there but rather made sure it was covered up when the weapon is not inserted. Bumblebee's doors can also swing out to add a bit of "real life" functionality to the figure.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached.
  2. Swing each outer half of the car's front end up.
  3. You'll see a grey piece under the center of the car's front end, swing that up.
  4. Open both car doors and swing up the windows.
  5. Raise the rear panel with the spoiler attached to it.
  6. Swing up the panel that forms the armor on top of the rear wheel wells.
  7. Pull down the robot feet to form the robot legs.
  8. Swing the front wheels out to the sides.
  9. With the bottom of the car facing up, swing the robot arms up, then out to the sides.
  10. Move the piece with the cabin cover and spoiler on it out a bit, tuck in the yellow piece from the hood and then push it up against the back of the figure.
  11. Swing the front section of the car down to form the robot chest.
  12. Straighten out the robot arms and hands.
  13. Attach the weapon to his forearm.

Robot Mode:
I sometimes think the designers and sculptors at Tomy and Hasbro must have created the Movie Bumblebee so many times they could do it blindfolded at this point. While his vehicle mode differs significantly from the previous versions of the character, his robot mode pretty much remains the same. Among the design elements carried directly over from the previous movies are:

  • The head sculpt retains the same appearance complete with a crest, vents on the sides, antennae and a circular "mouth".
  • The doors wind up on his back in traditional G1 style.
  • His chest breaks up into several panels based on the front of the car.
  • The arms have "Y" shaped armor on the upper arms and armor on the forearms leading to four fingered hands.
  • In the middle of his waist area is a round circle that looks like a headlight.
  • The robot feet have thick tabs that stick out at angles.
  • The robot feet are shaped like a "Y", with the two prongs in the back for support.

This Bumblebee is not an exact clone of previous releases however. Several elements of this design are distinct:

  • The front wheels from the vehicle mode are now right in front of his doors.
  • The way his chest panels break up opens up a lot more gaps, resembling the movie model more.
  • There are now "C" clips on his forearms, allowing you to attach weapons from figures such as Darkmount.
  • He has a nicely sculpted layer of detail on his arms and legs showing off a ton of mechanical parts that differ a bit from previous releases.

Overall, this figure looks great. Fans may be a bit fatigued on the design at this point and I wouldn't blame them. However, I give credit where it's due and this Bumblebee looks cool and is super detailed.

This mdoe reveals a lot of grey plastic. You'll see it on his waist, thighs, arms and ankles. Black palstic is used for smaller parts such as his hands. The other parts such as the head, armor and lower legs are cast in yellow, matching the color from the vehicle mode. The paint applications for this figure are focused on the head. It's sculpted in yellow with translucent blue light piping, but the face is silver along with some touches on the top. At first I was a bit surprised by this. Sure the decos from the vehicle mode front end carry over to the chest, but then I remembered that he had more paint apps in vehicle mode than normal, so my guess is the decision was made to focus on the vehicle mode (the form seein package) and leave some out on the robot mode. That said, I think it's a safe bet to say this sculpt will be given at least two to three redecos during the course of "Dark of the Moon" so I wouldn't be surprised if a version came out later with more paint applications in robot mode.

Bumblebee has twenty two points of articulation in this mode, which is quite a bit for a deluxe class figure. His arms are the primary connection points for Mech Tech weapons and C clip weapons. I really appreciate the way the Mech Tech weapon was designed to have a resemblance to the cannon he transforms his arm into in the movies.

Final Thoughts:
By now, you probably own over a dozen Bumblebees if you've been faithfully buying movie figures. This one is not super distinctive from its predecessors in robot mode, but the vehicle mode is quite different and looks great. If you are looking to add another Bumblebee to your collection, this version is recommended with only some reservations due to the relatively dull color scheme in robot mode.