RA-14 CANNON BUMBLEBEE
Series: Revenge of the Fallen After the battle of Mission City, and the discovery of new Decepticons on Earth, Bumblebee decided to upgrade as many of his systems as he could. With the help of Ratchet, he added some human missile launchers to his arsenal, and modified his vehicle mode to make his weapons accessible. He was caught off-guard too many times by the Decepticons. Now when they come around he'll be ready.
First thing, many thanks to my good friend Marco, aka Ironhide77, who gave me Cannon Bumblebee as a present. This review is dedicated to you.
If you think that some parts of this figure seem familiar, you are spot on. Cannon Bumblebee is about two thirds recycled goods. Everything from the hip downward is the same as Movie Bumblebee 2008
, which certainly isn't a bad thing, seeing as that's one of the best Transformers figures of the last few years. The head, meanwhile, hails from the Preview Wave ROTF Bumblebee (which was just a repaint of the aforementioned BB, just with a new head). The torso and arms are all-new, though.
Bumblebee's upper body is pretty much designed around his gimmick, which are the flip-out shoulder cannons that inspire his name prefix. On the plus side I really like shoulder cannons and while BB's aren't the best ever, they look pretty cool. On the down-side this means, of course, that his chest, which has to fit the cannons, is pretty much solid and can't deform, so character-accuracy is rather low in that area.
Points for increased character accuracy go to the arms, though, which are more articulate, have open palms, less kibble, and just generally look a lot better than those of previous BBs. Interesting fact: It is possible to snap off his arms and put them on the Movie 2008 BB for even greater show-accurary, but of course that mish-mashed robot can't transform anymore.
Overall I must say, though, that the inclusion of the cannon gimmick is a very mixed blessing. Like I said, it looks good, but it restricts the torso design and when flipped up, the cannons hinder the head movement (and occassionally cause the 'hood' where the head sits on to pop up). So Cannon BB is still a pretty good robot, but with some downsides.
Naturally Bumblebee still transforms into a yellow Concept Camaro with black stripes. The resemblance to the vehicle mode of Movie 2008 Bumblebee is quite close, though there are differences. The front of the car looks different and, in my opinion, better. I just like that big black radiator grill and the low-set headlights. Looks better than the first one, but that's just my personal opinion. Some minor changes were also made to the racing stripes.
The two big differences are, for one thing, the cannons, which can be flipped out in this mode as well. Kind of reminds me of a James Bond car now. Just like in robot mode the cannons look good (though I've seen better) and on the car they don't interfere with anything else. The second big change is that Cannon BB, unlike Movie 2008 BB, actually has an interior. If you open the car doors, you see two seats and a crude dashboard. Not Alternator-level, but nice. Which makes it somewhat nonsensical that this BB here has non-transparent windows while Movie 2008 BB, who had only robot bits inside, had transparent ones. Apparently there is another version of Cannon BB out there with transparent windows, but not this one. Which really bugs me.
Overall the car mode is somewhat superior to that of Movie 2008 BB and if you have the version with transparent windows, there is absolutely no room for complaint.
Cannon Bumblebee takes its inspiration from the final fight scene of the first Transformers movie, where Bumblebee was seen to have shoulder cannons (his profile actually states that he added them AFTER that fight, but whatever). I don't remember him displaying them in the Revenge of the Fallen movie, but I wouldn't be surprised if I just missed them during one of the epillectic fits the shaky camera work gave me.
For his lower body, this is actually the sixth or seventh time it's been used on a figure (if I counted correctly) and while I do love the figure it originally came with, it's slowly getting old. The rest of him is a mixture of good ideas, coupled with some design limitations. So overall, how does Cannon BB compare to the Movie 2008 BB? Not bad, but he's not in the same class. The solid box chest drags him down a bit and while the cannon gimmick is cool, it's not enough for me to justify building an entire figure around it. Cannon BB has enough new stuff on him to make him a good, interesting figure, but in direct comparison, Movie 2008 BB easily outclasses him.