Friday, May 5, 2023

Bumblebee (Beast Alliance/Battle Changers)

Transformers Rise of the Beasts means a lot of new Transformers toys. Ever since it's announcement, I've been most interested in the Beast Alliance sub-line. Featuring the return of Battle Masters and partner figures for larger bots that are a mixture of beast and traditional TF characters... it's the kind of thing I really go for. Not to mention, it's priced very fairly. That's been a sticking point lately. In some ways Beast Alliance is similar to the Energon Igniters from the Bumblebee movie. A simple, gimmick based line obviously intended for children as opposed to the more serious and costly Studio Series offerings. However, Beast Alliance is a much better toy line and striking a positive chord within a large part of the Transformers fandom. I like it too.

Today we're looking at Bumblebee from Beast Alliance, or more specifically his Battle Changers figure. Battle Changers are more simple figures sold for around $10. They're mostly compatible with the Battle Masters and to scale with the other figures. In the case of Bumblebee here... he feels like a sized up legion/legend class toy and lacks compatibility with Battle Masters unlike the others in this class. Honestly, he feels like a holdover from another design stage before the gimmicks were decided on. The simpleness can be ignored easier with the other figures in this class thanks to the gimmick integration. Bumblebee can't hold a Battle Master, nor can one plug in anywhere. Considering how gimmick heavy Beast Alliance is, the lack of comparability is impossible to ignore. Aside from that, Bumblbee is a pleasant little figure.

Bumblebee returns to his Camaro alt more we're used to in the movies. However this time, it's a fun off road variation that I'm pretty fond off. I can't stop thinking that this is an up-scaled legion/legend toy as the transformation is VERY similar to prior movie Bumblebee toys of that class as is robot mode. Perhaps the engineering was reused or this is a modified CAD model. One neat feature Bumblebee has that seems to be a standard feature in Battle Changers (or all the ones I've seen) is a flip out weapon. You can spin his right hand around giving us that trademark buster style gun BB uses in the movies. It's simple, but satisfying. Speaking of simple, in robot mode he has basic arm and leg articulation. That'll be a sticking point for some people, as would the basic nature of the toy itself. With the others in the class I looked it over with the gimmick capability. I'm only harping on it so much here because it's impossible to ignore considering just how largely it plays into the rest of the line. 

Beast Alliance Battle Changers Bumblebee is a very pleasing figure. His simple design allows for fast transformation. Perfect for playing around with while watching TV or a little buddy to carry around with you. If you enjoy a desk bot, he'd make a good one. While working at the computer, the need to take a little break happens and a little something to fiddle with is a good way to  clear out the mental fudge. Drive him around and getting in an epic shoot out with the stapler, or just transform back and forth a few times. We're starting off with our dive into Beast Alliance with arguable it's weakest figure, but still a fun little one regardless. It's uphill from here... and this is not a bad start at all. 

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