When I first became a Toyologist last year, the Dream was that Toys R Us would send us a Transformer to review. Well, it's taken a while but that day is finally here. The first time I haven't had to pay out for a Transformer since...well, I think I conned my mum into buying me a Dark of the Moon toy last year, but that doesn't really count since Bayverse toys are hideous monstrosities. Besides, I think I told her it was for the children. This toy is all mine. All mine!
So here we are with (mostly) the children's opinion of Weaponiser Bumblebee :'(
I'm reasonably sure I've read somewhere that after things became ridiculously complicated with the film toys, Hasbro have been making an effort to simplify their Transformers recently. Bumblebee's transformation is fairly straightforward and most people should be able to do it within a minute or two without the instructions.
There is a big 'play' advantage of a quick transformation. You can be a robot, change into a car, drive across the living room and turn back into a robot again to fight the Decepticons very quickly without it taking away from the battle that's taking place in your imagination.
The articulation is extensive and Bumblebee can be posed in almost any way you can think of. His feet are large so he has no problem standing up. As a car he rolls nicely along most surfaces.
According to the box the toy has 4 modes, which is a bit of a cheat. There are only really 2, but both robot and car modes have the option of pop-out spinning cannons. While there is a blinking light when they pop out, there's thankfully no sound to annoy parents. I'm not convinced the light actually adds anything to the toy as it's the headlights which (briefly) light up when the cannons are unleashed, not the cannons themselves to represent firing.
While Bumblebee is a nice toy, the children weren't really interested. We already have countless Bumblebees, so they couldn't care a less about having another one, even with the new gimmick. This is a problem Hasbro are well aware of. Toy sales for the last film were down due to children already having all the characters, so a new robotic cast is being assembled for the fourth film.
If your children don't have a Bumblebee then this would be quite a good one to get them, but if they do already own a yellow car I definitely recommend checking whether they want a second before purchasing it as a gift.