After creating the ultimate Optimus Prime toy, Hasbro and Robosen are back with yet another Transformers figure, and this time, it’s a 14-inch programmable robot modeled after Bumblebee. With a price tag of $399, this miniature Autobot can walk, squat, kick, lean, dance, and even pick itself up from the ground. But there is one thing it can’t do: transform.
That’s probably one of the reasons why this Bumblebee figure is several hundred dollars less than its self-transforming Optimus Prime counterpart, which costs a cool $700 plus an extra $750 for the auto-converting trailer if you really want to go all out. But if you’re okay with the fact that this bot doesn’t actually do any transforming — or are just a huge fan of the Transformers franchise — you’ll probably still enjoy all the other cool things it can do.
Equipped with 17 servo motors and 45 custom microchips, Bumblebee is capable of performing a variety of poses, with its ability to lean back without actually tipping over being one of its most impressive. If the Autobot does end up falling down, Robosen and Hasbro say it will “automatically get up on its own,” which is something I would definitely like to see, as my colleague Sean Hollister had trouble keeping Optimus Prime on two feet when testing the toy in 2021.
Just like with Optimus, you can program Bumblebee to perform specific moves using its accompanying app. There’s no coding involved — you can either manually program Bumblebee by putting it in a sequence of positions for the app to track or you can use the app’s drag-and-drop interface to create a set of moves. Bumblebee can even perform alongside the $700 Elite Optimus Prime bot (or even the $1,000 Flagship Collector’s model) through a “mini theater” experience that lets you watch both Autobots carry out customizable stories and actions.
You can also control Bumblebee using 20 different voice commands, like “dance,” “attack,” “pose,” and “open fire,” and it can even say 69 unique phrases from voice actor Dan Gilvezan thanks to its built-in speakers. Other neat details include LED eyes, working headlights on its feet, an illuminated blaster, and two walking speeds that adjust based on movement.
If you’re thinking about getting your hands on this gadget, the Bumblebee G1 Performance bot is available for purchase now through Robosen’s website.