So in the aftermath of the hurricane my mail man (rain or shine) delivered my Art Feather
masterpiece scaled Bumblebee.
Now lets get things straight here, essentially this is a knock off as it uses the EXACT
transformation scheme of the Classics Bumblebee. This has both good results and bad results. So
if the iGear Coneheads grabbed you by the short hairs and twisted, there's no reason to continue
reading this review, as this is just as bad. At least Art Feather doesn't sugar coat it. This isn't Mini specialist or anything of the sort. It's Bumblebee.. Period..
What you're paying for is essentially a reshell of classics bee.
Also, my apologies on the bulgy look of the box, the wide angle lens (due to constricted space) made that.. I assure you it's rectangular.So Lets start with the packaging:
The packaging is pretty nice, with a solid box. I particularly like the Wrapped Autobot logo.
It's simplistic but gets the job done. Opening the flap gives a nice display of hte toy as well
as a bio that's pretty much describing the G1 character. I think the interior picture is
ripped right from some IDW or dreamwave book somewhere, but whatever. I can't get in trouble
for owning him. So it doesn't bother me!
Rear:What's in the box??
Inside the box you get a variety of items. The toy itself is packaged inside a vacuum blister which is most appreciated. The instructions are just a piece of white paper. Nothing fancy.. Open your printer pull out a piece of paper, and there you've got it (infact good printer paper may be thicker and more weighty), except it's legal sized. Mine had a brown mark on it as if someone was eating a donut while mine was on the table.
Stickers are also included to give Bee some Autobot logos and some other little details, if you so choose. I might add the license plats, but the rest are unneeded for my tastes.
You also get a trading card made of thick credit card plastic, and a "collectors coin" which is pretty nice looking, except for the Fu-Manchu stache the autobot logo seems to be rocking.The Alternate Mode
The alt mode is slavishly faithful to the Volkswagen Beetle from what I can tell, though I cant' figure out why it doesn't include any Vw markings anwhere on it. If they're going to steal designs so much, why not go all out??
The toy features rubber tires, but the wheels don't really turn that well. They do turn, but you won't be rolling him around your desk like igear's Ironhide and Ratchet. Still the nice rubber tires and the chrome wheels are really nice, as well as the chrome bumper pieces.. In alt mode I've got no complaints. The pictures show the "seats" of Bumblebee folded down. They are VERY hard to move (most likely due to the chroming) so I'm not moving them so they don't break. I don't think it's that big of an issue personally.
The plastic quality is somewhere between iGear's Ratchet and Ironhide and a Hasbro toy. So it doesn't FEEL like a cheap knock off.
In alt mode the toy scales pretty nicely with the MP line. He's a little bit large compared to MP Prime, or iGear's vans, but the real comparison will be when I get an MP sideswipe in hand. But even if scale is a little off, it wouldn't be the first for Transformers so I can give it the pass. He fits wonderfully in Prime's trailer (as you'd expect).
Upon initially seeing him in the box I could have sworn he was larger than Classics Bee in alt mode, but out of the box he's really VERY close. He did remind me of a certain Gobot though!Robot Mode
Uh oh.. The problems start to arrise. The first picture shows off one of the problems. My bee has two right fists! Also because of the pretty paint job on the exterior of the car, you can see the head is a different color due to being made of molded plastic. It's not a huge deal breaker, but it's definitely noticeable, although not lights blaring right at him it's not too bad (now that he's sitting on my desk while I write this). I might have to see if one of my classics bee's heads works nicer to match his chest.
Bee also comes with 2 extra hands a splayed open hand and a thumbs up hand. They are attached by pulling the hand out of the forearm (it's just pegged in) and replacing it. This will make the doors of the alt mode fall off his arms. At first I thought this was a bad thing, but then I realized how much BETTER he looks if you take those arm pieces off. So ultimately I'm not disappointed those pieces come off. It gives him a better lookign robot mode. Keeping the arm pieces on is doable, but I don't like how far those mirrors stick out (I feel they'll snap if he fell over onto them). The only thing I'm not a huge fan of in robot mode is the way the backpack sticks over his head. I feel like they could have engineered in some swivels to fold things in a little and hide them better.
Back to some problems, since this is a clone of a classics bee the transformation is the same. Well.. classics bee the "backpack" portion pegs and the windshield pegs. In this case as the rear bumper doesn't fold back the rear portion does not peg, and the front portion seems sized inappropriately as everyime I've pushed it on it's popped back off and I won't be trying it over and over due to the nature of classics bee and windshield breakage. However all things said he does have a nice looking presence, even if he's a little more fiddly due to the chest and back not pegging.
Of course hasbro's Jazz has similar problems. So maybe it's not worth complaining about?
He has a gun, that doesn't store anywhere on his alt mode, and no silly jetski. That's a good thing as he looks nice with his gun, and it hides the fact that mine has 2 right hands a little.
Sizewise he stands just slightly taller than classics bee. Not substantially so however. However anything I can say negative about him for me melts away when he's standing next to MP-10 Optimus and iGear's vans. He certainly looks like he'll be shorter than (at least from head to toe) than Mp Sideswipe, though his backpack height may make him similar in size. Overall I really like him standing next to the MP's, which makes me like this toy a lot.Spike and his box of questions
Finally we have a little statue of Spike. He's kinda worthless. He comes with a little box that could be a tool box, or a lunch box, or even a tax return box.. It's usage is entirely up to you. It does not open, and spike does not have the hand structure to hold it. So it just kind of sits next to him. He is not possable whatsoever. I can't say I recommend him over Dr. Wu's "Partners" but he's at least an upgrade over MP-10's Spike if you aren't concerned with him riding within prime.Final thoughts, is he worth buying??
Frankly this is something I can't give you an answer on. His value is going to be largely dependent on your own personal factors.
1) Do you like Bee?
2) Do you want your Bee to be faithful to his G1 alt mode?
3) Are you ok with him basically being a reshelled knock off?
For my personal tastes, I want my MP line to be as accurate as possible and this guy delivers a very accurate Generation 1 Alternate mode, while delivering a robot mode that scales nicely with my MP bots. To me that sells it, just like iGear's Ratchet and Ironhide. Until Hasbro puts out the character in a masterpiece styling to stand on my shelf, this guy works and doesn't have me regretting the purchase like Impossible Toy's Arcee did.
So is he worth the cost? That's subjective. If you're happy with classics Bee, then no. If you're someone looking to replicate your G1 memories in the best way (aside from hiring a customizer) possible? Then I think this guy is a perfect by.
The Youtube Review: