Some of you may have seen this one coming. 😀 I had hoped Target would put these girls on sale, but they kept on not doing so. (And so far they seem to have an exclusive on the whole line. Probably Mattel just signed a deal with them to give it to them a month or so in advance of everyone else.) However, even without a sale, they seem to have trouble keeping them on the shelves: there were only two there when I picked up Bumblebee, just her and Poison Ivy. I’m glad they’re selling well. 🙂
Since she’s in the same line — and I’m a little pressed for time — I won’t be giving Bumblebee here the same full review treatment that I gave Harley Quinn.
I have to admit that I’d never heard of Bumblebee before seeing this doll line…which basically means that if she had an appearance on Justice League, I either missed the episode or totally forgot about it. (Yup. Not a comics person.) But the important thing here is that she’s a nice-looking doll, and they were able to add an African-American to the doll line.
She’s got a really nice character portrait, but there are some significant discrepancies between the portrait and the doll, which I’ll refer back to from time to time.
Again, I have issues with this text. If all her “powers” come from her suit, then she has no actual powers, and that shouldn’t be there. Or rather, does she make her own tech? (The “Favorite Class” part certainly implies that she does.) If so, shouldn’t that be listed as her power? Sure, it’s not a super power in the traditional sense, but if they were doing one of these for Tony Stark, they’d sure put “supergenius” under his list of powers! (Yeah, I know it’s a different company. I just wanted an example everyone would know. Especially one I would know.) Of course, as my brother pointed out, because this doll line is coming out after Ant-man, it’s now going to seem to a lot of people like Bumblebee is ripping off the Wasp, even though that’s not what’s going on.
Looking at the promotional photos used of the other dolls, I’m noticing their promotional version of Harley has much less hair. And possibly longer shorts. But the much less hair is the prominent thing…and I’m glad they changed that for the production doll. That looks bad.
So, here she is out of the package. And as it proudly proclaimed, she can stand on her own…but her wings and hair tip her balance in odd ways, so it’s not always easy to get her to balance. (She’s also badly lit, but that’s my fault. 😛 )
She’s got a pretty face — which my photos do not do justice to — but I have to admit that I’d be a little more satisfied with her if she had a happier smile like the one on the box art.
Her wrist things look rather different from the illustration. The actual product has a design that looks rather like the patterning on her wing pack (which you’ll see shortly) whereas the illustration’s design looks like an actual bee. I think I like the illustration’s version better, personally, but perhaps this is actually more appropriate. (BTW, I know it looks like there’s some kind of damage to the plastic in her arm, but there really isn’t. It’s just a lighting issue. It was not a good day for doll photography, but I was really down to the wire on this one.)
She has a really pretty (yet ethnically inappropriate) mane of neatly curled hair which is completely soft and shows no evidence of styling products. It does interfere with her wings something awful, though. I really like the streaks of different shades.
On about a third of her head, she has molded braids instead of rooted hair. I’m not sure why exactly, but it’s certainly distinctive, and it does look good…although it might have looked better if they had flocked the braids, the way they flock the shaved part of Venus McFlytrap’s head. (And sometimes Clawdeen Wolf also has some flocked areas where she’s shaved part of her hair off.) It’s not a big deal, but the light reflecting off the paint does rather damage the illusion that it’s actually hair. (Maybe matte paint would have been better?)
And here’s the wing pack I mentioned earlier. The wings cannot move at all. That’s somewhat disappointing; I’ve seen dolls with wings like this before, ones that did let you move the wings up and down. Given that the wings interfere with her hair, letting you move the wings would have been a really good idea, since they wouldn’t interfere so much in a lower position. I have an unpleasant feeling that whoever decided not to make the wings move thought that little girls would be removing the wing pack altogether, because “girls don’t play superhero” and so they’d just be treating them as ordinary dolls. I think it’s safe to say that that person would be wrong about most girls. [EDIT: it finally occurred to me to take off her wing pack and then put it back on her upside down. Now her wings and hair aren’t fighting anymore, and it looks a bit more bee-like in the process…with the down side that now some positions for her arms are cut off by her wings.]
She can’t do the superhero landing pose. Come on, Mattel! You should have known that a flying hero would need to do this pose! I’ve got Made-to-Move Barbies: I know you can achieve a doll who can do this pose, and can make it cheaply, too!
Moving on to costume details, here’s a shot of her shirt. You’ll notice, if you scroll back up, that the illustration has two black hexagons on the front of the shirt, which are absent from the doll. (Also, the illustration is much bustier. That part I’m glad they changed.) I like the beehive patterning on the side panel of the shirt, but I wish the front material would behave a little better. (It’s a nice looking material when it’s not crumpling, wrinkling and pouching out, though.)
And one last photo to show the hexagons on her leggings, to represent the cells in a beehive. (Or to show that she’s into .hack. Either works for me.) You’ll notice that her shoes are nothing like Harley’s, which is good: at least they didn’t skimp by giving them all the same shoes…though looking at the photos on the back of the box, Supergirl and Batgirl may have the same shoes. (Hard to tell for sure. Could be the same, could be different yet similar. Everyone else’s are very different from each other, though.)
Now, that’s all I have to say in “B is for Bumblebee,” but I have something else to share, toy-related news connected to another “B” superheroine…also with an insect theme.
Someone learned their lesson from the disaster that was the merchandising for Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the big figure set that isn’t actually for Captain America: Civil War (even though it obviously is) includes Natasha Romanov, AKA Black Widow. 😀 I, personally, still won’t be buying the figures, ’cause they look kind of crappy, but I’m an adult collector. I’m sure kids will be buying them in droves, and I’m glad they finally got their act together and included a heroine as well as the heroes.
I realize that is probably not news to most people — I’m sure the Internet at large has been talking about it already — but it was news to me when I saw the set at Target the other day when I was buying Bumblebee, so I wanted to share, in case there were others who hadn’t heard yet.
Anyway, the gallery for this post is here. See you Monday for C! (I’ll give you two hints: one, you will not see that one coming, and two, it’s definitely one of my favorites for the month. Okay, those actually probably don’t count as hints.)