We've talked before about how much trouble Hasbro seems to have with phantom series - but is it possible for a specific toy to be cursed thusly?
In 1987, Hasbro released a figure called Goldbug: an updated version of Bumblebee. He was only the second Transformer to get two toys (Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime both having been released the year before), and the various fictions were left to come up with excuses for the change: in the Marvel comics, he was destroyed and rebuilt by GI Joe; in the UK, it was Death's Head who blew him up, and Wreck-Gar who rebuilt him; on the cartoon, it was done after Superion beat the hell out of him. Whatever the reason, he was a whole new 'bot, with a whole new look. This figure isn't Goldbug, though - it's Gold Bumblebee - and as such, it's an old look with new colors. The head is total G1 Bumblebee, for instance, just done in blue instead of yellow. You can fake a more "Goldbuggish" look by raising some of the car kibble over his head, though. The robot mode is simple, with balljoints at the shoulders and hips, and stands 3" tall. The strangest part? His backward-bent knees.
Of course, those are just designed that way so they can be tucked away completely in vehicle mode. The original G1 Bumblebee was a superdeformed Volkswagen Beetle; Goldbug was a realistically proportioned Beetle; Gold Bumblebee is neither of those things. He's some kind of sporty little two-door coupe, with a low front end and pointed headlights. All four wheels roll independently, and the "glass" is black (to make for the best contrast. The rub symbol is on the car's roof - spoiler alert, Bumblebee is an Autobot!
Hasbro designed this toy back during the Universe 2.0 period, but it never really showed up at retail - just another unseen figure like Cosmos, Wheelie and Warpath. So that the mold could finally see release, they scheduled a repaint for the Reveal the Shield subline, and again it didn't make it to retail! Poor little guy! It's showing up at discount closeout stores now, so you can pick Gold Bumblebee up for a really good price, if you shop around.
I wound up getting this mold in the Bumblebee vs. Starscream 4 pack (along with a redeco of the Legends of Cybertron Starscream, and "Trans-scanning" remolds of RotF Bumblebee and Starscream). Fun figure, though to be perfectly honest, without knees or elbows there's not a whole lot to put the figure above G1 Bumblebee in my book. I wasn't aware that the original release of this figure was tough to find, but then again, I never paid it any heed.
Wheelie, Warpath and Rodimus all got exclusive redecoes that lasted long enough to reach clearance, but sadly Cosmos (my personal favorite of the wave) has gotten nothing. Damn shame, but ah well. Thems the breaks.
I found him at Marshalls for $3.99. I already had the 4pk version, but I was in need of a "new toy" fix. Plus, it was only four bucks!
That's something we all fall victim to from time to time: the "I haven't gotten anything in a while" jones. That's part of why I bought this little Gioldbug, anyway. I'm glad I did, but there's no denying the fact that he was at least partially an impulse buy...
I've never gotten this Legends mold before (I tend not to get a lot of Legends figures because they aren't in-scale to tower over my 3 3/4" figures), but I did want to get this iteration, and I think it's a cute figure. I got him at Tuesday Morning for $2.99.