Monday, August 05, 2013

The Transformers Thunderous Thirty #2 - Bumblebee

Within months of my first post on this blog back in 2005, when I made what was perhaps my first attempt to do meaningful Transformers-related content, it seemed a natural choice to feature Bumblebee. At that time, neither Hasbro nor Takara had made much of a serious attempt to revive the Generation One characters, with the possible exception of the Alternators line, and since the trademark to the name "Bumblebee" had apparently been lost, it didn't seem likely that we'd see too much more of the once-prominent character.

A lot has changed since 2005.

Perhaps the most important reason for this change was the coming of the live-action Transformers movie in 2007. While I've made no secret of the fact that I'm not a fan of Michael Bay's take on the Transformers concept, there's little point in denying that the movies have injected a lot of money and energy into the franchise, and that at least one of the benefits has been the resurgence of interest in Generation One characters and concepts. Since the movie was going to feature a character named Bumblebee (who, besides being yellow and being the Transformer most readily identified with the main human character, bears little resemblance to the original), Hasbro was able to recapture the trademark to the name (first used on the "Classics" figure of 2006), and whereas once it seemed like we'd never see a Bumblebee on the shelves again, stores are now so flush with them that it sometimes seems like they won't carry any other character!

Theoretically, Bumblebee is an Autobot spy, able to use his diminutive stature to sneak into enemy establishments to locate valuable information undetected. But that's not really what anyone remembers him as. Bumblebee was the guy everyone could relate to. He was the one who spent the most time with the human characters. If we could just "hang out" with a Transformer character and shoot the breeze, the odds are that character would be Bumblebee.

I'm going to step out a limb and say that I don't think that the 2010 War for Cybertron version of Bumblebee pictured here is anyone's favorite version of the character. In fact, given the fact that the War for Cybertron video game is generally accepted as being in continuity with Transformers: Prime (which is decidedly not in the Generation One continuity family), it may even seem to be a wholly inappropriate toy to use to demonstrate the Bumblebee character. The fact is that I've already shown nearly every other Bumblebee toy I own (if not a feature article on each one) on this blog, and I want to show something new as often as possible. Besides, since the current run of comics produced by IDW (which is more-or-less in the Generation One family) has recently featured Bumblebee in this form, I figure it counts as a "repurposed" Generation One form. And, let's face it, War for Cybertron (and its sequel, Fall of Cybertron) really is based off of Generation One in a pretty meaningful way. If the snarl of conflicting continuities has gotten confusing, feel free to blame Hasbro.

Not all of them...

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