The Transformers Animated train rolls on, and late June sees me waiting for numerous packages from Asia and the US. The first (and only one thus far) to arrive in late June is something I never realised would be so interesting, the smaller scale Takara Tomy Transformers Animated Jet Pack Bumblebee figure - and just the figure, the accessories and jet pack were not included in the auction. Even more surprising was that I knew the seller from years ago when we hung out at BotCon two years in a row, he'd since moved to Japan, small world right?
|Deluxe - Jet Pack - Activators - Legends|
|Hasbro - TakTomy - Hasbro - Hasbro|
I was only recently made aware of the fact that the Japanese Jet Pack bumblebee figure was actually an entirely new mould, not just a gold painted deluxe like the regular TakTomy Bumblebee. This mould is very different and more in scale with the other main Animated cast, and has a completely new transformation.
The vehicle mode is not quite as attractive as the regular deluxe's, or even the Activator, but it's very cute, and I love the gold colour scheme. I knew it would be a love/hate thing, and I really like it. He compares better to Bulkhead, both the leader and Voyager, with his newer more diminutive vehicle mode stature.
|Leader Hasbro Bulkhead with Jet Pack Bumblebee|
|Takara Tomy Voyager Bulkhead with Jet Pack Bumblebee|
The posability is brilliant, he's such a versatile little bugger and in my humble opinion, looks terrific from all angles, aided by lush translucent blue windows. Hasbro were meant to do their own version called Hydrodrive Bumblebee, but it never came to fruition and so this release is the only way to get a properly scaled Animated Bumblebee, and boy was it worth it at $24 shipped from Japan to the UK, and also worth it to re-establish contact with a friend. I've had more fun photographing this figure than pretty much anything.
True, there is yellow plastic and gold painted plastic that do not match entirely. True, his face is lacking the definition that comes with the black outline seen on all other TF Animated Bumblebee toys, and true, his Autobot symbol is off-centre, but I genuinely feel like my life and collection have been enriched by the addition of this figure. You know how it is, you buy something MISB and open it, you are careful with it and it's a collectible. You buy something like this loose and cheaper, and it's a plaything to be enjoyed properly, and you find more of your love and affection is soaked into its being. He's riding Oil Slick for crying out loud!
The size is perfect in robot mode, too. One of those that simply cannot be put down, he holds the hands-on-hips pose brilliantly, has better shoulder and forearm articulation than the deluxe, and despite sharing the deluxe's penchant for leg kibble, has massively reduced kibble everywhere else. There is also no false chest with this version. I really can;t wait to attach the Jet Pack armour, that's on its way from a different source in Japan. However, the next picture was what sealed his worth and justified the price of entry alone for Jet Pack Bumblebee. This is the appeal of Transformers Animated in one photo:
All the best