Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Art Feather Bumblebee



Art Feather Bumblebee

Today I'm gonna look at an offering by a 3rd party Transformers company called Art Feather. This one's pretty obvious....I don't think anybody (well, at least youse TF fans) to will fail to recognize who this character is. In fact, by producing AND clearly stating who the character is on the packaging, Art Feather is clearly oblivious to the fact that they're liable for a lawsuit by Hasbro, THE official/licensed maker for all Transformers toys and stuff. But let's not get into that. We're here for the toy....and that's what we're gonna stick to. Let's keep all those legal mumbo-jumbo out of the geeksphere shall we?

We've got a G1 Bumbleebee before through the Hasbro: Universe/TomyTakara: Henkei line some years back, but as faithful it was to the G1 version, it was never close enough to the on-screen version of the loveable VW robot we knew. Well, Art Feather has risen to the challenge and gave us an 'screen accurate' 'Deluxe class' Bumblebee for you. Just how good this toy is? Read on to find out.

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Let's take a look at the Art Feather (AF) Bumblebee packaging. Like I said before, AF never bothered to conceal the fact that they're producing a Hasbro 'property' here. Heck, the name Bumblebee and the Autobot emblem appears everywhere! Some are saying that you should really get a hold of this toy now if you wanna get him because once Hasbro kickstarts their legal action against AF, then chances are you're probably gonna scour the secondary market to look for this one albeit a ridiculously marked-up price!

Art Feather Bumblebee

There's a cool image of the 'Bee on the side of the box. Really paying homage to the G1 cartoon.

Art Feather Bumblebee

Here's a view of the back of the packaging.

Art Feather Bumblebee

As you open the 'book-style' packaging, you'll find that there's a cool bio on the character on the left while you marvel over the toy on the right. I really love the layout design as it gives you a sense of exclusive-ness as you hold this 'masterpiece' in you hands. From here you could see that the 'Bee comes with Spike Witwicky, which is a nice touch by AF. I thought that they could've included Sparkplug in as well instead of that 'toolbox' that came with Spike. But I heard that another 3rd party company had actually produced the pair (Spike and Sparkplug) and they have some articulations too....but that's another story. 

Art Feather Bumblebee

Here's a much closer look at the bio for those of you wanting to read them.

Art Feather Bumblebee

AF included a trading card of the 'Bee. This reminds me of the one iGear included with Faith Leader (to which I've reviewed some time back). Unnecessary, but a nice touch indeed by AF.

Art Feather Bumblebee

At the back of card, you'd get to read some statistics of the 'Bee. Pretty basic stuff for a trading card.

Art Feather Bumblebee
The inclusion of a 'collector' coin is also a nice touch by AF. On the flipside is the Autobot logo.

Art Feather Bumblebee

And here they are.....Bumblebee and Spike! Spike has some height issues here. I remember him being 'almost' as tall as the 'Bee in the cartoon series. How can that be?! Coz when the 'Bee transforms, he's freakin' huge compared to Spike...and Spike can actually fit inside him....so how is it possible for Spike to stand almost as tall as the 'Bee when he is in his robot mode? (You can see why I was such a confused boy growing up with such 'complicated' predicaments in the 80s....simply by watching these cartoons! LOL).

Art Feather Bumblebee

Art Feather Bumblebee

Take a look at Spike. Well, nothing much he can do except for holding that 'Bye-bye, see you later' pose. He doesn't even remotely look like the Spike we know from the 80s TV series. He also comes with his over-sized toolbox/lunchbox. Nice addition....if you're looking forward to only posing him standing amongst the Autobots. Imagine how silly he'd look amidst fighting Autobots and Decepticons!

Art Feather Bumblebee

I remember the Volkswagen (VW) company issuing a statement saying that they do not wish their vehicle to be associated with any acts of war or terrorism. So that simply means that they're not giving any sort of endorsement for their vehicle designs to be used in any battle/war-related cartoons or any on-screen movies/film. Well, that doesn't seem to have stopped AF from referring to the vehicle as 'Beetle'....an OBVIOUS reference to the VW trademark car! A second lawsuit AF?

Art Feather Bumblebee

Whatever it is, this is a great reproduction of the 'iconic' car. Something that Hasbro nor TomyTakara weren't able to do (they went for the Isuzu Swift look instead for their G1 versions of the 'Bee!). When in vehicle mode, the parts stay in place and doesn't appear loose anywhere. So kudos to AF for that, when most of the other 3rd party TF companies aren't able to maintain such QC.

Art Feather Bumblebee

Once you transform him into his robot mode, for those of you already having the Hasbro/TomyTakara BumbleBee, you'd probably rant on how this one looks almost similar to the one you have in your collection. Well, that's a yes and a no. You see, he stands a wee bit taller than the Hasbro/TomyTakara versions (I didn't bother taking any comparison shots) but everything else seems to be rather similar except that he is now a VW in his alternate mode instead of the Isuzu Swift. Ya' dig?

Art Feather Bumblebee

The 'Bee comes with a standard Autobot laser blaster (I think it is) and an extra 'open' right hand.

Art Feather Bumblebee

I love the chrome look of his blaster. Gives us that 'TomyTakara' feel!

Art Feather Bumblebee

The paint job looks good. I don't think I found any sloppy paint work on the body of the VW vehicle nor any of the chrome parts. Everything looks crisp and delicately done.

Art Feather Bumblebee

Like I said before, Spike looks really dwarfed by the 'Bee. He's not even as tall as the Bee's waist! The scale is not even close to the way he appeared in the cartoon series.......

Art Feather Bumblebee

Take a look at an image from the cartoon.....ain't Spike 'almost' as tall as Bumblebee? Hahahah....


Whatever. I'm not gonna let my life-long childhood grouse spoil my review of this excellent piece of toy.

Art Feather Bumblebee

If there's one thing I hate about some Transformers toys is the 'kibble' issue. Yup, that's right.....that piece of plastic that refuses to go anywhere when you transform them into their robot mode. Ol 'Bee here suffers the same. He has the standard 'backpack' like some of his comrades. I saw some customizer on the 'net fixing this issue by turning the backpack upside down. I'm not sure whether that involves some breaking of the mould or otherwise but it sure does improve its overall look.

Art Feather Bumblebee

Here's 'Bee with Faith Leader aka the 3rd party Optimus Prime by iGear. Spike looks in scale with Optimus but looks ridiculously small compared to 'Bee. *Sigh*.....I guess ya can't win 'em all.

Art Feather Bumblebee

Art Feather Bumblebee

THE REBEL'S VERDICT: Honestly, the price tag slapped on this piece of baby is likely to turn most collectors off. It ranges anywhere between USD55-60, depending on where you look for him. I mean, for those who are already satisfied with their USD20 Hasbro/TomyTakara deluxe-class Bumblebee, I doubt that you'd splash thrice that amount just to get a VW Beetle/G1-correct version of the character...would ya? I personally display my G1 deluxe-class TFs in their robot mode, so most can't really tell what his 'alternate' vehicle-mode is. So, if ya ask me, although this is currently THE most accurate G1 Bumblebee out there in the market.....this is only for youse 'hardcore' TF collectors!

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3 Comments:

desmond said...

bro..this piece is awesome with great head sculpt and colour application..looks very accurate..great score indeed..

The Rebel said...

Des>> Thanks bro. This actually belongs to a fellow collector. He had graciously lent it to me for a photoshoot and review. Excellent toy.....I don't really mind it being a 3rd party toy coz even Hasbro/TomyTakara can't match up to some of these independent companies in terms of quality and design. I'm looking forward to more 'screen-accurate' 3rd part TF toys!

Anonymous said...

Awsome review, this review makes me order this version of "bee.

Just one thing, the Alternity "bee is not a Isuzu Swift, but a Suzuki Swift. Isuzu makes trucks while Suzuki makes small cars.