The second third party figure that I got in the bundle with iGear Hench, Toyworld BII here is more or less a pre-official Masterpiece Bumblebee. I’ve never actually heard of Toyworld before as a third party company, but they’ve earned my success with this little guy.
Bii in robot form looks nigh-perfect – I’m surprised at how well Toyworld did his limbs-to-torso proportions that still allowed for the transformation. Everything feels nice and solid; the only minor nitpick is the rear hood folded far up the back and sticking out a bit, but it’s hardly an issue given the style of his alt mode.
The figure’s aesthetics stay true to Bumblebee’s G1 appearance, and I’m especially digging the face sculpt. Beyond the nice silver paint used for it, it just looks very true-to-show and almost life-like. Of course, this is caught even better when the eyes are lit up in front of some light, but this is one of few rare times I’ve admired a Transformer face sculpt.
I should also mention how incredible the articulation is on Bii’s tiny frame. The limbs are all very free moving, especially the ankle areas and shoulders.
Due to his massive foot size, Bii also has no problem balancing, on one foot or two.
Bii’s main and only weapon is a little gun shaped faithfully to Bumblebee’s original blaster. Beyond this, he doesn’t have much else in the way of accessories or gimmicks in robot form, but still has a lot of play value to offer because of his articulation.
Classic VW Beetle mode.
For all the praise I gave Bii’s biped form, I’m a bit less of a fan of his vehicle form. While ToyWorld didn’t do anything wrong with it, I usually prefer the more realistic car modes as opposed to this one that’s clearly based on Bumblebee’s cartoon appearance.
The car’s aesthetics are just bubbly, and lend the Beetle its obvious appearance as a toy car. The light blue windows also add to that effect, along with the particularly bright yellow orange used on the body.
For what they were going for and what it is though, it certainly is a very impressive feat of transformation. The process of turning the rear half into Bii’s upper torso and arms is actually quite creative; I’m also loving how compact the doors become when they fold behind the feet of his biped form. The side view mirrors (major props to ToyWorld for even including those) also fold into Bii’s chest in robot mode. Haven’t encountered such a creative and fun transformation in a while.
Another very creative aspect this figure is the integration of Bii’s gun as a necessary part of the vehicle form – it’s actually the rear exhaust pipe!
That little slit on the side of the gun attaches to a peg under the rear engine cover, and the handle that would normally plug into Bii’s hands in biped form flips down and sits snugly in a little groove under the rear bumper. I honestly thought that was one of the greatest things ever – more Transformers need to be able to do things like this, rather than just tack their guns on the roof of their vehicle forms (yeah I’m looking at you, MP-12 and 17).
Family photo with the Autobots. Bii’s biped form would fit perfectly in a Masterpiece collection – too bad a MP-21 Bumblebee has already been announced, so this little guy will likely fall a bit out of popularity. On the chance that he still goes for much cheaper than what the MP-21 will be released as though, Bii certainly earns his mantle as an apt substitute for the genuine article. I can only say so much about his biped form though – fact of the matter is he sticks out like a sore thumb with the rest of the MP’s in vehicle form.
Despite his status as a mere third party figure, Bii is certainly worth picking up. ToyWorld nailed his robot mode, and if you’re a fan of the more cartoon-esque Beetle mode, all the better. The transformation engineering is really what caught me off guard though – it’s rare to see stuff like this even on genuine Hasbro figures. They better be taking notes for MP-21 Bumblebee, because I’m expecting no less.