Real quick, let’s just take a fast look at Takara Legends Bumble(bee). I do enjoy this mold, I think it works quite well for Bee’s updated “G1” look. Takara did a few things that are more of a step sideways, than a step forward.
So essentially the major difference is that Hasbro’s Bee is molded in mostly yellow with the cab molded in black and then painted yellow, where as Takara’s is molded in a slightly lighter yellow with the cab molded in clear/slightly blue-ish clear plastic, and painted yellow. Unfortunately that means you’ll get shade variations on both toys, because yellow is a pain in the ass to paint with.
The reasoning for using the clear plastic for the cab is so you can view Spike inside. I’m not sure how I feel about this. It’s kinda nice, but I just feel like the trade off is a little high, especially seems there’s just a clear unpainted hinge on his chest in robot mode.
The other “major” difference is the black upper arms on Takara and the silver rims. Both are nice additions. Otherwise, the paint apps remain mostly identical with Takara using a little lighter shade of just about everything.
The big draw here though is the including of his long time buddy, and now Headmaster, Spike (with Exo-Suit).
Here’s where things get pretty neat. Spike has a bunch of neat new features that are, as far as I can tell, unique to his mold. He features thinner arms, and a new head! Unlike Daniel (or Leinad) who came with Arcee, Spike’s head sculpt is clear plastic with a face reverse printed on the inside, then painted flesh tone. It’s a very interesting technique that ends up paying off pretty well.
It’s really neat. Moreover, Spike has the Cerebros head sculpt for his headmaster form. This is huge for me, as I LOVE the Cerebros head sculpt, but because Takara’s Fortress Maximus comes with the animation design for Fortress, I would have to cannibalize the Hasbro toy to make this happen. Well not anymore!
BOTTOM LINE: Is Bumble worth the $10 import mark up? It’s a bit of a draw. The base toy remains mostly the same. While being able to view the driver is a nice touch, it’s not super important and $10 for silver rims is a little steep I guess. However, Spike sort of offsets this by being a really neat addition to the multitudes of head/titan masters with easily one of the most unique head sculpts. Overall I’d say go ahead and pick him up if you’re a Bee fan or really want a Cerebros head for Fortress, otherwise Hasbro’s Bee will float you just fine. He is a very nice update and one of my personal favorite Bee toys.