Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Transformers Adventure (TAV-01) Bumblebee

My Hasbro Robots In Disguise 2015 warrior class Bumblebee stopped working. Actually it's debatable that it ever worked considering the leg issue all of them have straight out of the packaging. However, once the doors could no longer tab onto the side of the vehicle mode, causing them to hang off and sag (thank you broken tabs), a more show accurate premium option was immediately attractive. Enter Transformers Adventure TAV-01 Bumblebee from Takara Tomy, with extra paint apps, suspected improved build quality and a very sensible £18 shipped price from Asian online retail.

The Adventure packaging isn't much to write home about, features the same artwork for Bumblebee as the Hasbro RID cards and the back advertises the app, scan function of the toys and stock photography. At least the TAV Bumblebee comes with an instruction sheet as opposed to some small images printed on the card back.

Another interesting feature is a clear piece of plastic packaging at the bottom of the above image that features the scan-able Autobot logo on it, this piece rests on Bumblebee's chest when he's in packaging. One thing I realised was that with the RID toys, you could scan them quite easily in the toy store through the packaging if they were in robot mode, so maybe this is some preventative feature to cover the figure's actual scan logo? I have no idea sadly as you cannot scan the TAV logos on the Western version of the Robots In Disguise app. You can also see the product catalogue for TAV and Bumblebee's clear blue sword accessory.

Vehicle mode is where, visually, the TAV version is much more noticeable than the Hasbro RID release. For a start you get painted red tail lights, the screen accurate black stripe deco along the side of the car on the doors, as well as red painted lights on the front of the car too, not just the blue headlights. In addition to that, you get the sexy blue paint on the rims, making them look just that little bit less like the monochromatic plastic moulded black clip on wheels that they are.

The above comparison drives home the differences, as well as the now-sagging doors on my Hasbro version. All this time I thought my daughter was transforming them with ease, I guess she was yanking on the doors a bit too vigorously. I suspect many will be able to avoid the broken door tab issue on their RID Bee. I really love how TakaraTomy have made this thing look in vehicle mode by just adding a few dabs of colour and detailing.

While visually there's less to notice immediately in robot mode that has been improved for the TakaraTomy version (doors and rims hidden when viewed head-on), you do get the flashes of red on the tail lights sitting up on his shoulders. One of the complaints about TAV has been that TakaraTomy have moulded recesses into the toys to accommodate the scan sticker, but RID Bumblebee already had the recess on his chest, so a complete non-event there. The scan logo for TAV toys has more of a rainbow motif on the surrounding ring whereas RID toys have just a red and white scheme for the rim pattern. 

I'll be honest, it didn't even feel that superior in terms of build quality when transforming it, just solid and dependable - maybe a shade more polished. It's the little things like the roof sections clipping in perfectly to the back of the calves straight off the backing card with no need for mods a la Hasbro RID version. TAV Bumblebee stood first time in robot mode after being plonked on the table. No weight adjustment or fiddling or shaving of grey plastic parts necessary. It's clearly the better version of the two with screen accuracy on its side, but were it not for the price being just a mere £3 more than a retail Hasbro version for me, I probably would have skipped it despite the obvious improvements. As it is, though, I love TAV Bumblebee. A job well done, I think that sums it up perfectly.

All the best


  1. So exactly how does takara fix the door problem because only one of the doors on my bumblebee is sagging and I want to get another bumblebee that won't do that.

    1. Maybe it doesn't 'fix' it at all, maybe having had the Hasbro toy and seeing how the tab sheared off over time, I just took more care when connecting/disconnecting the door on the Takara toy when I owned it.

      All the best