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Laserbeak

Transformers DOTM
by yo go re

You've gotta give them credit for creativity, if nothing else.

In Dark of the Moon, Laserbeak took on all kinds of forms, disguising himself all over the place. One of those, in order to get close to one of his targets, was as a toy the guy's daughter would play with. For some reason, the toy he chose was a human-child-sized version of Bumblebee, so they could have a little tea party together. Because kids in the world of the movies love angry murderbots? Whatever, Hasbro has cleverly taken advantage of that for the Studio Series line.

This is simply a Legends Class Bumblebee done in pink instead of yellow - at a glance, it looks like they're doing a Cliffjumper, because the magenta is close enough to red (especially looking out at you from the tiny box he's sold in). Watch the scene in the movie, and you'll see he should really be a much lighter shade, more of a carnation or cherry blossom color than this.

Surprisingly, this seems to be a new mold. That made sense for Shockwave, but there have surely been dozens of Bumblebees in this size class already. According to Hasbro, the toy was designed by Evan Brooks and Takara's Shu Umezu, who have done an okay job given the limitations of the size. The arms flop around a bit, since they don't lock into place in any way, and there's so much kibble on his back and legs that neither the hips nor knees move very well. You have to assume they're planning to use this Bumblebee mold as a Bumblebee sometime in the future, because it includes a blaster that fits over his right hand to look like he's changed his arm into battle mode.

Similarly, Laserbeak only changes from this pink Bumblebee to his usual vast predatory bird mode, but this toy turns into a little car. To convert him, straighten the kibble on the legs, tip the roof down, raise the entire chest assembly, fold down the head, tip the feet up, push the hood into place, shift the legs into car position, swing the arms underneath, rotate the forearms, fold them into the car body, and close the doors.

The car is, as you'd expect, a Camaro. Fully licensed, judging by the GM logo on the back. It's as (almost-)pink as the robot, with two wide black stripes on the hood and roof, and windows that match. The blaster cannon can plug into the roof of the car; change either the inside engineering of the hood or the shape of the gun by a single millimeter, maybe two, and you could fit the gun into the engine compartment, a much better solution than sticking it on the roof. Weird choice.

Painting a Bumblebee pink to make a toy of Laserbeak's undercover scene is a totally clever move, but Hasbro expecting us to pay $12 for what is, at most, $4 worth of toy with out-of-date engineering is a hard one to accept. Maybe it would be easier if they'd at least gotten the color right.

-- 12/27/22


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