Hasbro Transformers Buzzworthy Bumblebee Studio Series 86 Deluxe Kup Action Figure Hasbro, 2022
Day #2,409: April 5, 2022
Kup Studio Series 86-02 v. 2
Transformers Buzzworthy Bumblebee Studio Series 86 Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. F3927 No. F4481 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Energon goodies, blaster Action Feature:Transforms from pickup to robot, removable limbs Retail:$22.99 Availability: February 2022 Other: This Space Is Reserved For Classics Kup
Target's "Buzzworthy Bumblebee" line of Transformers is something to envy - a best-of who's-who selection of mass-market friendly faces with some reruns, many with enhanced deco. As much as I'd like to rag on Kup for getting a same-character repaint just from last year - heck, I wrote and hadn't posted the review yet! - it's an improvement. I'd go as far as to say don't even bother with last year's release - just get this one. They're very similar so you may not need both, but there's a clear winner here.
The "Buzzworthy" Kup robot does a good job replicating his coloring as seen in Transformers: The Movie right down to the little scuffs. While the animation model is a bit more saturated in terms of color, it's clear that's what they were aiming to copy and they largely did a good job. If you want to buy a toy based on the Studio Series 86 mold, this is the better of the two. Unless, of course, they do an even better one for the premium-priced Premium Finish line from Japan, which probably isn't worth a hypothetical 50-70% upcharge.
I don't even think this is going to be the last "classics" Kup we get, because there's still room for improvement - but this release really fixes up some of the problems. The clear chest was hideous, and they made it animation-friendly grey with some drawn-on wear and tear that looks like someone actually drew on it. It's hokey, but feels right. This also means the energon goodie dispenser is opaque, but it's a fine trade. If you have both versions, your bases are covered.
Articulation is standard fare, but they did a nice job executing things like the elbows - which don't have as much in the way of gaps. The rocker ankles are nice, as are the rotating shoulders. We even get bonus joint swivels on the biceps and thighs thanks to movie-accurate dismemberment action! Grisly, but awesome. The Hot Rod can indeed fix him, if you're so inclined.
There are only two deco things I don't love about this thing. One is that his wheels are grey instead of black. The reason the G1 toy had black wheels is so they blend in with the shins, and the animation model has no visible wheels on the shins. I don't understand why they didn't just make them green to match the legs, as they're basically invisible in vehicle mode anyway. But I digress. The other is that the eyes are still pretty dark, as opposed to the bright blue optics of the G1 toy and the fact the robot eyes are typically considered to be lit-up on the cartoon. His painted blue eyes are absolutely an improvement over the dark, almost dead clear blue peppers of 2021. But they're still shaded by his helmet, so they seem pretty dark to me.
I needed the instructions. There are a lot of panels to go from a nice robot silhouette to a pretty solid truck, and you want to get it right - especially if you don't want anything to snap. Use the manual. The shoulders are particularly vexing, even with the instruction sheet.
The truck mode looks really cool, provided you don't compare it to the animation models - the colors are obviously much darker for the toy. A few details are missing due to making the robot mode work, but that's the kind of thing they will probably work out for the Masterpiece Edition we may some day get. I wish the brighter colors could be here, but you don't get what you want all the time - at least it evokes the feel of the futuristic truck, even if the lighter colors on the fenders don't quite carry the color all the way through. Perhaps we'll some day see a collector line placing much more emphasis on the vehicle modes... but I doubt it.
You can toss last year's Kup! That's how much better this one is - which kind of stinks, because early adopters and fans who wanted last year's Kup after years of middling Kups probably ran and bought it. Hasbro did a smart thing by just giving fans a better version of a toy they no doubt realized just wasn't good enough. You're $43-$46 in on the same mold of the same character if you buy this one too, but maybe you can leave one dismembered in some alien ocean or just leave one permanently in truck mode. Or sell it. Who am I to judge? Either way, I can say this Buzzworthy version is a good enough upgrade that it may vex you to not own it. So go ahead and get it, you'll probably be mad that you just spent another $23 plus tax on the same toy until you open it and go "yeah... this is better. Dammit."
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