Monday, December 15, 2014

Masterpiece Bumblebee

Finally, after a decade of Masterpiece releases and competition from 3rd party companies, TakaraTomy has finally released a Minibot Masterpiece figure with Bumblebee.  Why it took so long, I'll never know, but I'm pretty glad that they did.  And what better way to start that with the most iconic of all Minibots, and Autobots, really.
We'll start with Bumblebee's vehicle mode.  Yes, I'm leaving the Autobot insignia flipped up while in vehicle mode.  I like it, so leave me alone.  At any rate, Bumblebee isn't exactly to scale when compared to the rest of his Masterpiece brethren, but that isn't really the point.  He isn't exactly in proportion to his animated model either, as that was still the penny racer type.  Rather, Bumblebee is a regular, full sized Volkswagen Beetle.  Like Wheeljack, the side mirrors must be attached once removed from the sprue.  Only one mirror attaches, however.  I'm not sure if that was the intention or not.
This is the rear of the car.  The only reason that I'm showing it, or even talking about it, is to point out that the license plate is removable.
By removing the license plate, you can add the spare tire onto the rear.  It's actually a nice look.
Don't feel like using the spare tire?  It can store underneath the car, as can 'Bee's weapon.
Bumblebee's transformation is pretty straightforward and uncomplicated.  Once you do what needs to be done, you're left with a pretty decent looking robot.  It's like he almost jumped from the screen into my hands.  Unlike his larger Masterpiece friends, Bumblebee doesn't have articulation in his fists at all.  The wrists do not rotate, nor do his hands open.  It's a little disheartening, but I suppose those two features were left off for reasons.  Don't like Bumblebee's solemn expression?  Don't worry, TakaraTomy has you covered.

There's also an opened mouth smile face!  Removing the face plates is a little tough if you don't have fingernails, but it's a pretty neat feature.
For the old school fanatics, there is the exclusive battle mask.  Now you're Bumblebee will look like the G1 figure.  It's a neat look, but why do Transformers need battle masks?  Is it to protect their pretty faces from damage?  Do robots worry about those kind of things?  Beside Sunstreaker, that is.

I'm not going to go through all of the size comparisons and show Bumblebee with the ever expanding lineup of Masterpiece figures.  What I will do is show Bumblebee with some older Bumblebees of yore. 

First we have the O.G.  Faces look about the same.
After 4 years, Hasbro decided to create a Bumblebee with a face like his animated model with Pretender Classics Bumblebee.  If you'll notice, both guns from the Pretender and Masterpiece figure are pretty similar.
With the Takara Collection and then Encore reissues, a new face was sculpted to more closely resemble the animated model.
Bumblebee comes with Daniel in exosuit.  I've seen others calling him Spike, but looking at the hair on the figure, it's clearly Daniel.
The figure is a bit awkward, but it's nice to have an exosuit.
The exosuit transforms into...this.  I'm not really sure what to call it.  It appeared in The Transformers: The Movie and I think some episodes of the Japanese series.  I prefer to not use this mode.
Ok, I lied.  Here's a shot of 'Bee riding Grimlock.  For fun.

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