Monday, August 29, 2011

Then and Now: Bumblebee to Goldbug!

08.29.2011 - Bumblebee has been a companion to humans mostly close related to Spike Witwicky from the original G1 cartoon. Bumblebee is reliable and the hero everyone thinks. He’s come a long way and has gone through a lot of changes but still remain the Autobot we know and loved.

In the original cartoon he’s with friend with Spike Witwicky the recurring human character in the series along with his father Sparkplug. For anyone who grew up with the original cartoon Bumblebee is a yellow Volkswagen Beetle.

Jump after the cut...

For years everyone knew that iconic vehicle would be synonymous with the character. Well until Hasbro decided to produce a live action film.

Back in the original cartoon Bumblebee was present in the important scenes and history that defined the series. In the movie he was with Spike on Moonbase II before it was devoured my Unicron in the animated feature film.

When Transformers hit season three he was less of a recurring character until his major changes happened in a hate plague outbreak in 2006 where he had an upgrade. From Bumblebee to Goldbug he was still the same Autobot but more aggressive and determined.

Back then they had used the name “Goldbug” once when the Throttlebots toy line was released in 1987. The set of these figures would have their vehicle mode deformed, but with Goldbug the Volkswagen Beetle is proportioned. The one released for Reveal The Shield was a straight repaint of the Legends Class Bumblebee released in 2008. This mold was also used to produce Henkei’s Legends Class Cliffjumper released only in Japan.

As always the Legends Class figures comes in blister card packaging. Though there are no descriptions of the character only the instructions and the skill level is printed at the back of the card. The colors still varies from the stock photography and the actual product.

Packaged in robot mode clearly the rubsign shows his allegiance and wrap with paper wire. Details down the colored head resemble the classic Goldbug. Side by side comparison with the old and new figures’ color are not close as what we expected.

The image of Goldbug’s new and old form are way beyond the changes that happened through the evolution of Bumblebee and we can see it here that the “gold” colors are way off as the original stock photo of the new version is closer than the actual product itself.

The comparison didn’t stop with Cliffjumper as the details in robot mode are evident that Goldbug lacks the paint job to define his character. As always articulation is limited and they could have done something about retooling his head similar to the original Goldbug.

Goldbug is no longer a Volkswagen Beetle like Bumblebee as the car manufacturer stated that they don’t want their product associate with “war toys” as this version of Goldbug is a sporty hatchback.

Of course the side by side comparison of the original clearly defines also the scale of Goldbug’s classic vehicle mode is way bigger than the current one.
The comparisons with Cliffjumper in vehicle mode showed the details what Goldbug and the most notable is the lack of paint job in the front grill. You get a bargain out of this Legends Class figures as currently they are being sold now for half the price.

Overall the Legends Class “Gold” Bumblebee or shall we say Goldbug has no difference being repainted for the third time. The figure lacks the details in robot mode which also appears in vehicle mode. They could have at least retooled the head to differentiate both Bumblebee and Goldbug. This figure gets a rate of 3.5 out of five robot points.

It’s a nice addition for the Legends Class scale but could have been done better if they made its more Goldbug than Bumblebee.

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