Review by Atom
While many “Transformer fans” say how much they hate the live-action Transformer movies they sure do seem to spend lots of cash on the toys, scooping up just about anything with the Transformers label on it. Well fear not Hasbro would like even more of your money and have launched a new line of toys based on the new films. The good news... they don't suck. As a matter of fact, Human Alliance may very well be the best new toy-line of 2009.
The Human Alliance line is a larger scale of Transformers that feature more movie-accurate designs, more complex transformations, an action figures and a higher price tag starting at the $29.99 price point.
So the first one to hit shelves was Bumblebee and the first I picked up. The package is basically a large window-box with a 4-color image behind the piece with the toy in car mode and the included Sam figure on display to emphasize the ability to have the action figure interact with the toy. It's a nice box but you will more than likely destroy it getting the piece out.
Sam Witwicky is appropriately included with Bumblebee and measures just over 2 inches tall and features 12 points of articulation. For the size and scale it's a pretty good figure. Close up photos don't do it any justice as it's so tiny there is not a lot of sculpt or paint detail on it. In your hands and playing with it it looks good though. So no complaints here really.
In vehicle mode Bumblebee is updated ever so slightly to be a 2010 Camaro adding the updated front end and hood scoop as seen in the film. The toy itself in car mode measures close to 7 inches long and 4 inches wide.
In his car form Bumblebee looks just like his movie incarnation and makes a solid, playable toy. Panel lines do stand out a bit but I personally don't have a problem with that. The wheels roll freely and doors open to accommodate the included figure.
Which is the whole gimmick with this line. Being able to use your human figures with the Transformer in both car and robot mode. The interior has 2 usable seats and each features a peg in the seat to plug into the back of the provided figures.
The interior isn't as nice as the Alternator/Binaltech lines as it is a bit more utilitarian but with the doors closed you will never notice.
One of the reasons I was so excited about this line is Human Alliance is much more in-scale to the larger Leader class releases. They're not exactly the same scale but there so close I'm satisfied as a collector and have sworn off (for the most part) smaller Voyager and Deluxe class releases in favor of future Human Alliance releases.
It's nice having the Autobots assembled and displayed looking like they belong together...
Transforming from vehicle mode to robot and back is fairly straightforward and the provided instructions are more than clear enough to figure out. After a few transformations this Level 3 Conversion is not difficult at all.
As a car, it's pretty straightforward but in robot mode, it shines.
Bumblebee stands over 8 inches tall and features more points of articulation than I care to figure out and you will be hard-pressed to find a pose he can't hold.
Because the movie designs are so complex I doubt even the best Japanese engineers could figure out a way to take what was on screen and recreate it exactly in toy form. But Hasbro got it pretty close.
Bumblebee's face looks much more like his on-screen counterpart and features a light pipe to make the eyes glow. Indoors it doesn't look that bright but outdoors the eyes glow.
Taking Bumblebee into battle? You can pull down the top of the head to create the battle shield he drops over his face in the films. A nice touch indeed but it doesn't stop there.
Sharp eyed viewers may have noticed in the films that Bumblebee sported a missile launcher on his shoulder. This release features the same gimmick. A missile launcher can be folded out of the dashboard. Nice!
The right arm is permanently in his cannon mode and features a working, spring-loaded missile. 2 missiles are included in the package and can be mounted to the bottom of the car for storage when not in use.
[Industrious collectors have taken to buying a second Bumblebee to cannibalize the hand and creating a swappable hand for the cannon. It's a nice thought and looks good but I am fine with just buying one Bumblebee and leaving him as is...]
So, so far Hasbro has given adult collectors a fairly movie accurate Bumblebee with some nice features... but it gets even better.
It turns out kids are gonna flip over the “play” features. Hasbro went a step further and created several points you can connect the figure too.
You can mount Human Alliance figures to the stand inside Bumblebee to man the missile launcher. There is also another set of guns that flip out on Bumblebee's back that flip upward above his head.
You can mount a Human Alliance figure to the right arm to man the arm cannon.
And you can mount a Human Alliance figure to the left arm which features a fold out gun array.
Not to mention the pegs in the hands allow you to have Bumblebee “hold” the humans.
Overall I am genuinely blown away with how awesome Bumblebee is. If I were to nitpick it would be:
The toy needs a bit more paint detail, especially for the price-point and I would have preferred a more movie-accurate backside. This release looks more Alternator/Binaltech with the roof just hanging there. Where in the film the roof is split into multiple sections giving the illusion of Bumblebee wings.
My little Nephew loves my Human Alliance Transformers and the little men that come with them and we are constantly playing with them when he comes over. He knows nothing of the drama, pathos or fan-indignation of the new films and just enjoys vehicles that turn into robots that have little men to play with. Transformers are once again for kids. Like it or not, it's not about YOUR childhood anymore, it is about THEIRS and the toys are good. Most adult collectors will probably love them too.
|Posted 21 December, 2009 - 20:59 by Atom|