Friday, 8 July 2011

Stealth Force Bumblebee

OOOOh!  Stealth Force.  The Transformers that don’t transform.  I have been keen on the SF series for a while, mainly because of the M.A.S.K possibilities contained therein.  Most of them were overpriced when they cam out towards the middle of the Revenge Of The Fallen line.  Electronic Optimus and the normal Soundwave were the only ones I was interested in all the rest were waaaaaay over priced.

No with the Dark of The Moon movie using the forms and the game of the movie featuring them quite heavily (almost to the detriment of robot mode), I spied this new line of larger electronic sized cars and was intrigued, especially since Barricade is in the line up too.

Bumblebee didn’t interest me at first, but then after seeing the movie and playing the game, I kept an eye out for a sale, as the original $50 retail price (I kid you not!) is one of the larger rip-offs that we Australians have to put up with.  Luckily the toys sales abound and the price came done to $30.  Still a rip-off considering how the US is looking at an 18.99 price, but not too bad I guess.  So I got one.  This way he can go up against Barricade!

So I will start this by saying, DO NOT pay full price for this toy!  There is absolutely no justification in its $50 price tag. None whatsoever.


The packaging is an improvement over the older version, which was just a cardboard base leaving the whole toy open to abuse in the shop.  Select your one carefully, as damage can still occur, as the box allows for fingers to intrude and play with the buttons, as well as change it back and forth.


The Stealth Force mode is activated by pressing the Autobot insignia on the rear window.  It is spring and gear activated, unlike Optimus who has an electronic motor to do it.  You change it back into non-attack mode by pushing the spoiler/boot in.


The plastic red bits are a nice touch and they are to be put together to form a display stand, but they don’t clip together.  Would have been a better presentation if they had.


The car mode is the new update of the Camaro.  Bumblebee now has a spoiler and I think the window design with the cross hatching is new too.


It’s a nice solid toy car mode, except for one thing that annoys me a little.  I know it’s probably a necessary evil, due to the way it works, but the roof panels don’t clip closed allowing you to just lift them up, or when flipped over they just flop open.


The car details are pretty good.  Lots of nice sculpting and a lack of paint.  Obviously this is a kids toy and so they haven’t gone overboard on the paint.  There isn’t really much paint to add anyway.  I do like the license plate for some reason.


In car mode, pressing a little button behind the Autobot symbol makes some screeching and various car noises, as well as activating some lights and stuff.


Of course most of the play value comes from the Stealth Force.  I don’t quite get the name.  I think a car kitted out with all these weapons isn’t going to look all that stealthy..  I guesss the idea is that they don’t have to transform all the way to access weapons.  A quick half change, buts out a couple of rounds of blammo and back into car mode.  I like it as it gives them a  ‘RoadBlasters’ arcade game sort of vibe.


Bumblebee has a lot of weapons and the bits opening up look pretty cool.  He has a launching missile in the gun in the roof.

Having a look at the front of the vehicle and you can see the forehead of Bumblebee.  A closer look and I think I can spot his eyes.  His eyes light up as well.  Interestingly enough, the light source for the headlights is not located in the headlights, they use some light piping, so the engine block lights up in SF mode.  When the panels open up, there are lots of sculpted details inside.  Like those underneath the spoiler.



Even the little door blasters have quite a bit of detail.

The panels sliding away look pretty cool.


Video Footage of his noises and lights

So overall, like Optimus and Soundwave, this is a fairly cool spin off from the main Transformers series.  As I said before, as  much as I like the Stealth Force idea, it is not worth the full price.  These guys are kind of fun, but I would really like to see the weapon bearing vehicles adapted into the normal Transformers figures, so that way you can have weapon-loaded vehicles as well as a robot mode.  That would be cool.  I suspect it could be hard to design, but hey, I can dream right?

As these stand though, they are fun, but limited.  Too pricey here in Australia, but if found on special at about $30 or so, they can be fun for kids.  The hard-core Transformer collector will probably avoid these due to lack of robot modes, but as an off shoot, they hold a promising future if applied correctly.

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