To Rumble with a Bumble
While everyone’s been busying themselves over Comiket (C87) and CosHolic in Japan or Comic Fiesta 2014 in Malaysia, I’ve spent my weekend fiddling with my newly bought Volkswagen… w
Designated MP-21, Bumble AKA Bumblebee has finally saw his transformation into the Transformers Masterpiece line.
Although a fan favourite since his appearance back in the 80’s, it seems that his lateness into the Masterpiece line was due to Takara Tomy’s difficulty in obtaining permission from Volkswagen, due to Bumble’s vehicle mode being based upon their automobile’s design.
Looking at the packaging, it’s definitely smaller, roughly only a quarter off Transformers Masterpiece MP-13 Soundwave‘s unnecessarily gigantic box. w
A holographic sticker proved that Takara Tomy have the permission from the Germany automobile manufacturer Volkswagen, the license holder, to produced this Transformer.
Bumble is based upon the company’s flagship Type I series (Beetle) that saw many years of releases ever since before World War II (1938 – 2003).
Perhaps to justify his pricing, Bumble comes with Spike Witwicky in his Excel Suit (Exo-Suit), as seen in the classic Transformers the Movie from 1986!
This is perhaps the smallest Masterpiece ever produced! ^_~
Let’s have a look at the Excel Suit first, shall we?
The mechanical suit is designed to allow Humans and humanoids-alike to venture into space or any other hazardous environment(s). It usually comes packed with thrusters and blaster(s).
In its vehicle mode, the Excel Suit looks kinda like a more manoeuvrable 4-wheeled Moon rover. Spike’s head can be seen sticking out inside the clear dome in front of the vehicle. XDc
Oh yes the Excel Suit does transform!
While in its humanoid mode, the Excel Suit does look pretty cool in the eyes.
Unfortunately due to the incorporated transformation gimmick, articulations around many parts are severely limited, most notable around the elbows and knees.
The Excel Suit also lacks any form of rotation around the waist, which is quite a bummer considering this is a part of the Masterpiece line.
As you can see here, the elbows are forced into a 45-degree-angle always, the knees are even worse, unable to bend anything more than just a little tilt.
Flippable side skirts and hip joints helped a lot in the leg posing though, and the heels can somewhat bend as part of the transformation.
Mimicking the scene near the end of the 1984 movie, you can kinda transform the arms of the Excel Suit into its blaster form by reversing the forearm section, when Daniel (In another suit) used them to save his father Spike and fellow Autobots from being smelted while still inside Unicron.
Speaking of Daniel, the head sculpt does look more like him than his father Spike, although the official source stated that the one inside this Excel Suit is the father… =_=
Time to rumble with Bumble! Albeit slighter longer in shape, Bumble is no doubt a Volkswagen Type I AKA the Beetle/Bug.
This vehicle design was so popular back in the 80’s, and is most associated with the Hippie subculture back then. Other known shows that has a Beetle in them are Mr. Bean and Herbie, even the 3DCG movie Cars!
The rear black license plate can be removed and stored within the optional Spare Tyre Case, which can then be attached to the same spot.
There is a slot at the left side of the vehicle, of which you can install a side mirror piece (In black) from a given runner similar to a Plamo’s.
Bumble in robot mode really does resemble the classic design, with big feet, small waist and enormous chest and backpack… XDc
Bumble comes with a small Laser Gun, which can be stashed away underneath the front part of the vehicle mode.
Articulations wise, Bumble is pretty OK-ish at various joints, though like the Excel Suit he lacks a waist rotation… The large Hobbit-like feet does come in the way if you’re trying to make him squat/crouch, but it is still possible to do so.
Too bad the hands are fixed in gun-holding pose. For a Masterpiece I would prefer poseable fingers, but that would be too much to ask for since Bumble is ay too small to have such gimmick. XDc
The hollow compartment on the forearm after flipping out the hands too, if only Takara Tomy would incorporate some sort of cover to at least hide the gaping hole…
Aside from his neutral expression, Bumble comes with an alternate face plate depicting his
childish youthful smirk.
Limited edition comes with another face plate: a battle face-mask/face-guard optional piece, which is only available to certain stores online.
Some action poses utilising and maximising the limitations of them available joints.
Together with the Excel Suit!
Despite them minor flaws, I’ve come to adore this little Bug the more I’m handling him. Can’t really say about the Excel Suit otherwise, the limitation at the knees really bugs (Pun intended) me.
My next Transformers Masterpiece will be MP-24 Star Saber, a fave of mine since my childhood. Looking forward to experience the bulk of his form when he is released next year!