HA! Bumblebee…

What happens when HasTak makes a larger scaled figure without trying to cram in a battery pack for lights and sounds, and treads carefully the line between toyetic gimmicks and collector oriented detail?

Human Alliance Bumblebee!

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Minimal kibble, lots of articulation, and an intricate transformation make for a big recommendation from me. I was expecting to just toss the Sam figure that came with him, but he’s a neat little bonus.

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The HA line shows quite a bit of promise. Skids and Mudflap look great, and look to be in scale with Bumblebee. Barricade looks like he could be great, and here’s to hoping for an Ironhide…

The one low point to the line is Sideswipe. The deluxe figure was spectacular, to the point where they’d really just need to stabilize the feet, add some more articulation, and upsize the mold. Sure, they’d have to work in some seats somewhere, and maybe that’s just simplifying how much work would go into it, but with HA Sideswipe they took everything great about the deluxe and tossed it out the window.

Every review I read mentioned his back kibble as a problem, but the pictures tend to gloss over just how huge it is. The entire front section of the car (everything but the wheels), the roof, the trunk, and both bumpers are on his back. It doesn’t even sit closely to the back of the robot, either. Couple that with a very skinny torso and you’ve got some strange proportions.

There’s also the matter of crappy blades (replacing the door automorph with a separate piece for the blades that has a ‘drilling’ gimmick), no ankle articulation, and hollow forearms.

Again, the reviews I’ve seen tend to gloss over these things, especially with pictures of the backpack. It seems every paragraph of his faults is followed up with something about how sleek and cool the vehicle mode is, and how they couldn’t have had such a pretty vehicle mode if they’d put seams and joints in for a better backpack.

Let me state this as nice and simple as possible…

I do not collect cars.

I don’t care about seams on the vehicle mode if I get an awesome bot out of it. The whole “but seams are ugly and the car looks better without them” mentality is why most alternators suck.

(For the record, I really like my alt Hound, Jazz, and Ricochet!)

Granted, there should be some consideration to seams in the alt mode. Classics Ironhide is a good example of it being a bit much, but deluxe Sideswipe looks fine with his panel lines.

So… HA Bumblebee. He’s recommended.

~Matt Booker

25 thoughts on “HA! Bumblebee…

  1. In regards to HA Sideswipe, I kept thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, that maybe I could fix him. Maybe it was even the case of, like Long Haul, people just folded the backpack up in a crappy way.

    Unfortunately, there’s no getting around it with HA Sideswipe. The backpack is about twice the size of the deluxe figure and it does not fold up or split in any interesting ways. To make room for the HA gimmicks, they’ve made the backpack so it sits away from Sideswipe’s back. So you’ve got a huge U shape for the front of the car that’s one solid piece and then on top of that you’ve got the top and trunk and bumper.

    If they’d just done the backpack like the deluxe, it would’ve looked much better. The deluxe has a heck of a backpack, but it splits up into pieces that he could use in the movie as counterbalances or whatever.

    The backpack itself isn’t the only problem, though. As I said, he’s got no ankle articulation, flimsy little blades, and his proportions are odd.

    Am I too harsh on it? Maybe, but it seems that most of the reviews out there are people trying to feel better about the cost by following up ever problem with Sideswipe by saying how cool the car is.

    If you get him, be sure to review him. :)

    Hey Esoteric, here’s a post that your wallet should like! (Unless you don’t have HA Bumblebee…)

    ~Matt Booker

  2. You totally preempted me! I was going to say that he looks *really* nice. I don’t think he’s – or any of this line are – on shelves down here yet, but you’ve convinced me to at least keep an eye out.

    I absolutely agree with your “I do not collect cars” statement. Figures that compromise the robot for the alt are the bane of my collection — case-in-point: Universe Cheetor.

  3. Matt: Even if I can’t transform his backpack better, I can always try modding it somehow. Plus, I’ve been known to like weird stuff that other people didn’t like.

    I even liked The Spirit.

  4. Monty, if you can fix him then that would be great! I’d even probably overlook all the other issues with Sideswipe if he had a better backpack.

    If you end up liking him despite all that, that’s cool too. :)

    Esoteric, Cheetor could’ve been much better if they’d dropped that crappy gimmick and done more show accurate transformation. The cheetah legs should’ve gone on his back, and they should’ve gone with his gun, and… You know, they should’ve redesigned it at the prototype stage.

    ~Matt Booker

  5. I got ’em both, and yeah, BB is pretty sweet, I even got him in a pose where it looks like he is leaning slightly back and off balance like he is dodging a shot while returning fire. I would like to have had a removable right hand for BB as well,(thanks to Peaugh’s vid). I keep the battle mask down all the time too, otherwise he looks like he is being surprised while puckering up.

    SS, well he’s HA SS, what can I say? You pretty much summed it up with your post. I’ve managed to tuck in the back pack a little more by fidgeting with it, but there is not too much more to do honestly. The spinning blades gimmick really should have been left off, it’s just pure crap. As I have seen in a few places, the TF’s don’t need gimmicks, turning in to robots from cars/vehicles and back again IS THE GIMMICK.

    If he was not a 30 buck chunk, I might contemplate taking a band saw to the front car clip and split it down the middle of the hood and use some Lego Bionocle hinges to make them have more freedom in backpack mode. Right now I have him posed across from HA BB in a 3/4 profile with one of the rubbers(sword) out in a fighting stance and that somewhat masks the small planet-oid on his back.

    As for Sam & Sgt. Epps, they are laid out like they got ambushed by Long Haul & Mixmaster. Yep, pure evil fun.

  6. “I do not collect cars” is my occasional mantra, and one of the reasons that some reviews turn me off. I don’t CARE if it’s a real car design or how accurate the car mode is to the real thing–tell me if it turns into an awesome robot!

    I recognize that there are some collectors who want the cars to be realistic and lifelike. That’s great, but it’s not me. To add to your statement: I collect robots that turn into stuff. Yes, ‘stuff’, because it’s purposely broad and non-confining. I’m willing to let a lot of the alt mode get sacrificed if I get a kickass robot in the bargain.

    What really bugs me is the sort of thing that you mention, where someone who seems to be in that same train of thought suddenly gives a glowing review to the car, seemingly to justify the money they spent on a crappy robot.

  7. “suddenly gives a glowing review to the car, seemingly to justify the money they spent on a crappy robot.”

    Yeah, I did that with my purchase of Leader Movie Prime.

  8. i dont have human alliance sideswipe but the backpack looks okay in all the pictures ive seen and he looks more posable than the deluxe. how can you like bumblebee but not like sideswipe?

    why do you guys (or girls lol) hate gimiks so much? look at devs hes cool!

  9. Phantaman the pictures youve seen are probably people trying to make the backpack look smaller. Ive got one and its almost as big as the bot parts!

    And gimmicks most of the time suck and when they don’t theyre still taking up space that could be used for better articulation. Look at how many figures have problems because of battery packs, or like how movie Jetfire has a p oh ess transformation because he had to have a battery pack and combine with optimus!!!!!!!

    Monty Python or Bosch if you could mod Sideswipe you should take pictures and show us how to do it!!

    I agree totally with Luke and Matt on this one. Stay with Deluxe Sideswipe.

    :<
    [r
    _L

  10. I don’t hate gimmicks at all. Some of my best friends are gimmicks.

    It’s when a figure is obviously compromised in terms of aesthetic, design, and articulation to put in a gimmick that I have issues. Gimmicks should make something even better than it already is, not take away from what could have been.

  11. I agree with that but when has there been a really good gimick that didnt take away from the figure? Missle launchers dont count.

    :<
    [r
    _L

  12. I have nothing against most gimmicks. Hell, transforming is a gimmick. It’s the ones that have no point, or take away from the articulation that I dislike.

    And, of course, some gimmicks are fun, like Animated Waspinator’s wings.

  13. They actually decided not to give him knees because of all the gimmicks. Knee articulation would have put him over budget, and they wanted to stay in the spirit of the gimmickyness of Armada.

  14. Gimmicks are cool if they don’t get in the way.

    and armada megatron was all like Hey I can’t bend my knees but check these totally awesome moving panels!

  15. Well, I got HA Sideswipe. Overall, I like him. He has some (rather bad) issues, but he looks damned good on top of my monitor.

    As far as modding his backpack, I don’t really think it could be done. But, I’m going to see if I can add some hinges to the hood to make it fold in (Of course I’ll also cut a line down the hood).

  16. He’s on top of your monitor? I’d like to see a picture of that. :D

    If you could figure out a way to hinge the backpack, that would make quite a bit of difference.

    ~Matt Booker

  17. It’s an extra handle for a human alliance figure to hold onto. There’s pics on tfw2005, maybe in the feedback thread.

    ~Matt Booker

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