RA-21 Human Alliance Bumblebee
Here’s yet another release of our beloved, yellow, not so talkative and oh so likable Bumblebee, this time with his Earthling good pal Sam Witwicky!
Sam Witwicky and the Witwicky family are fictional characters from the Transformers universe. They are the closest human allies and friends of the Autobots.
From Hasbro’s website:
“BUMBLEBEE and Sam were best friends almost from the moment they first met face to face. As they learned more about one another, that connection grew deeper and deeper. Now, whether Sam is behind the wheel, or standing side by side with his friend, they work together as a team. Against BUMBLEBEE and his human friend, no DECEPTICON stands a chance. Gear up for battle excitement with this dynamic duo! Sam Witwicky figure and BUMBLEBEE robot-to-vehicle figure make a perfect pair, even interacting with each other! Convert BUMBLEBEE buddy from robot with flip-out cannon to Camaro concept car in vehicle mode — and you can even fit two human ally figures inside (additional figures sold separately)! Team up with this fearless twosome and take on the DECEPTICON enemies. Recreate exciting movie scenes or create your own! Who will win the battle? You decide!”
Name: Bumblebee & Sam Witwicky
Line: RA-21 Human Alliance
Material: ABS, PVC, PC
Release: Sept 2009
Original Price: $29.99USD (approx. $34AUD)
Secondary Market Price: $45AUD – $85AUD
Height: 200mm / 7.87inches
The packaging graphics borrows heavily from the movie ROFT, with photos of Sam (Shia LaBeouf) and images of Bumblebee and Megatron. What I like about this packaging is the way they have packed the contents as if the toy is on a movie set, with Megatron printed in the background coming after them. The contents are well displayed as around half of the packaging is clear acrylic window. I much prefer this over the conventional blister packs as it is also resealable, however it does tend to take more space.
Bumblebee comes with two launching missiles that can be fired from his cannon or stored on his arms. The spring is relatively good and can fire up to about 30cm. The other accessory that Bumblebee comes with is his good pal Sam Witwicky which can fit on various locations around Bumblebee’s body using pegs and holes, such as his palm, arms and back.
Robot Mode: The one area that I was really happy Hasbro got right this time around was Bumblebee’s face, it now resembles the life action movie design much better! On another note, Bumblebee has now increased in size compared to previous releases and is now almost the same size as the 1:24 scale Alternator (Hasbro) / Binaltech (Takara) series. He does tend to look a bit chubby and stout, but I guess that is a compromise you have to make considering this is a perfect transforming toy. I also applaud Hasbro for finally giving Bumblebee the slanted bumper/headlights on his chest, makes him look much less dorky. Although annoyingly it doesn’t like to stay in place, a slight nudge will make the spring loaded chest pieces bounce back to its dorky configuration. (After the review I realized his knees can also be folded out of the rear bumper of the car)
Sam Witwicky: First glance at this figure and you’ll sense that it is not completely right. The proportions could do with some work, but at this scale it is acceptable. While the facial features may not bare close resemblance to LaBeouf, it is clean and relatively sharp.
Vehicle Mode: The Camaro is a nice looking car, even at this scale. While it is not completely without flaw, the parts and panels come together much nicer than the previous releases. The photos may show some unsightly gaps but this could be due to my poor transformation skills as this is a relatively difficult toy to transform (Level 3 Advanced conversion).
Not much restriction with any of the arms and legs, which is understandable as this toy is required to fold down into a car so naturally articulation would be pretty good. Let’s take a look at some action shots!
Sam on the other hand, does have restricted articulation, his knees don’t bend very much and there isn’t any elbow joints which is fine if you think of him as an accessory. And as an accessory he is pretty good having 8 points of articulation.
To my surprise, paint work on this toy is generally quite good. Perhaps Hasbro has picked up on the reviews of their older toys and decided to up the QC? I hope so! A nice Autobot logo on his head, quite detailed. Chevrolet badge has been highlighted red, number plate printed to a good quality and generally clean paint application throughout. Most of the grey bits are moulded in colour with metallic flakes where as the yellow parts are moulded in plain colour. Head has been painted yellow and colour matching here is acceptable.
Robot Mode: As mentioned earlier, Sam can fit on a number of places around Bumblebee’s body, hence the title “Human Alliance”. Sam fits on the seat on both the right and left arm of Bumblebee, on the left arm he is armed with a pair of guns (I thought they were those roller coaster safety thingies when I first saw it!), but on the right arm, he seems quite exposed?! Sam is also able to mount on Bumblebee’s shoulder and has control of some missile launcher weapon which flips up.
The best and most fun mechanism on this toy by far is the flip down battle visor/mask on Bumblebee’s head, it immediately makes him look tougher.
Vehicle Mode: There is a fair bit of detail with the car interior, although the steering wheel should really have been moulded in grey at least. The wheels are nicely sculpted and you can actually see the wheel nuts.
Size wise you can see the HA Bumblebee is quite a bit larger than the voyager class toy, and is overall much better designed. In robot mode his size in comparison to the MP-01 Optimus seems to be in scale, however in car mode, perhaps a little bit big?
I quite like this toy, it has a lot more to offer than the smaller voyager class Transformers line, but it also costs a fair bit more.
I do hope they make more of these (Skids & Mikaela, Sideswipe & Epps also available), and keep up the good quality control Hasbro!
Thanks for reading my toy review!