Love the ‘Bee
Bumblebee was never really one of my favorite characters. He overshadowed most everyone on the original cartoon. And then he became the defacto face of the Michael Bay Transformers movie. Still, you have to have Bumblebee, right? If you don’t, your collection is suspiciously incomplete.
I’ve had two versions of the movie Bumblebee, the ones from the first and second movie (the second being the Human Alliance one), but ended up selling those off. I recently plugged the bee-sized hole in my collection with Classics Bumblebee, the version of the character I’ve wanted to get for a while. I mean, look at that face! That is 100% the visage of the cartoon version. All pleasantly smiling like there’s a new adventure waiting for him just around the hill.
He’s not perfect. The door flaps on his arms are intrusive in robot mode, big hunking pieces of plastic permanently attached on his forearms. And his knees (which have fold out seats that you can see in car mode) don’t neatly tuck away when he’s a vehicle. Like, he’s got to have them at a slight kneel, but that makes the seats look a little weird. Like the driver hadn’t adjusted the vertical positioning properly. Still, he’s probably the best G1 version of Bumblebee around … despite not being a Volkswagen Beetle.
What I like most are those thighs. It seems like a standard anymore that all legs are supposed to be hollowed out chambers design obviously for cost savings purposes. Bumblebee’s thighs, though, look pretty solid from any angle. He’s got a great looking chest that’s not a car hood, either. It’s a car roof, as God intended. Best of all, he’s well proportioned. That’s not something I can say of Thrilling 30 Bumblebee, who looks gangly as all get out. (And the chest is a fake-out and not the roof of the car? GET OUT.)
Otherwise, he’s suitably stubby and friendly-looking as a robot. And his car mode is pretty great, too, looking like something out of the Fast and Furious movies. He’s also about the size of the new, smaller Thrilling 30 figures, so Bee can stand alongside Skids and Trailcutter without feeling a crippling sense of size inadequacy.
There’s a variant out there where the stripes are black instead of white, and the jet ski is yellow instead of gray. Some collectors prefer this version over the original. These collectors are dead wrong. I mean, the jetski/wing things are already intrusive. What do you have to gain by having them be the same color as the body? Madness, I tell you.