Review by Optimal III
threezero is another one of those newer toy companies I've stared at from afar. And aside from their SiXTH (1/6th or 12-inch) stuff, I've heard nothing but great things. They've done some Transformers stuff in their DLX line, and I've passed on them. I don't mind that they don't transform, but don't like those prices. Lucky for both sides in this equation, they've got another line now called MDLX. Smaller figures for a smaller price, I now am inclined to look.
MDLX is about action figures with a premium feel and premium articulation at an affordable price. So far consisting of Transformers (how the DLX line started), the first release is the little yellow Autobot that could, Bumblebee.
The Autobot symbol-shaped window on the front is cool, but the sides and back show us a different Bumblebee than what we're used to seeing.
Additional contents besides what's in the tray are a warranty application and instructions.
He's yellow, has horns, looks like he could transform into a Beetle, and feels kind of small at 5-inches. Otherwise, Bumblebee feels all new. And I love it. This is what I wish we got out of the live-action movies. He doesn't look just like the cartoon or any of his G1 figures, but he doesn't look like something radically different for the sake of being different.
I'm intrigued by how his limbs are so covered. From the front, the only parts not plated over are his hips, waist, fingers, and elbows. It gives him more substantial presence.
From the sides and back, we see a bit more inner metal and the spare tire. The near total use of yellow reminds me of how he was colored sometimes in the Marvel comics, sort of a block style. But we're kept in the present with a weathering effect all over. Bumblebee definitely has some grime & dirt on his surfaces, especially around edges and crevices.
He's also got some weight. All the exterior feels like plastic, but there's heft head to toe inside, sort of a metal skeleton.
Fortunately, it's not too much, and his joints are strong enough to support any pose you can get him into. He's got ball joints at the neck, shoulders, wrists, waist, hips, and ankles. And his elbows & knees are double-jointed. The only funk bits are his shoulders & hips. To do certain motions or poses, you'll need to rotate the shoulder covers up & outward first, or outward with the hip skirts.
Don't mind the shoulder covers at all, but I'd prefer a more trim waist cover or drop-down hips over one big skirt piece on each side.
Not a big deal though. That's my only quibble with this figure. He's otherwise completely fantastic and fun to fiddle with. Even the tires in his feet rotate.
For accessories, Bumblebee has two sets of alternate hands, open palmed and gun holding, an alternate head with his "battle mask" on, and a gun.
Swapping hands is easy, just pulling off the ball peg and popping on what you want to use.
Since the original Bumblebee toy doesn't have any weapons, he's never had a signature one to wield. This looks pretty good though. Small, but not tiny. Something that can be handled with one or two hands.
The heads also pop off and back on a ball peg.
The original Bumblebee toy has a robotic face like this, but his more human face from the cartoon is what most people remember. Since that time, different media have depicted him switching between them, this being a sort of battle mask. And more high-end toys have worked it in. Kudos to threezero for maintaining the trend.
This is the first MDLX figure, and my first, but I'm already sold on them all. I think threezero has hit the sweet spot for non-transforming Transformers, or modern Actionmasters if you will. This isn't as cheap as the R.E.D. line that's exclusive to Wal-Mart ($20+), or even Super7's Ultimates ($50+). But it's cheaper than most Masterpiece and third-party figures, and has the quality of the best MP & 3P offerings. On top of that, this line will be scaled around itself, so most releases will actually be a bit bigger than Bumblebee here.
If you want a premium action figure or Transformer, you can't go wrong here. If you aren't that keen on Bumblebee in all his yellowness, there's a limited edition gold version ala G2 out there. And they're also doing Cliffjumper, a minor retool with new heads. Whichever you get, one to all, you'll be happy.
|Posted 30 March, 2023 - 08:43 by Optimal III|