Just when you thought, as a Transformers Animated collector, that you couldn't possibly end up with another Animated deluxe Bumblebee or deluxe Ratchet in a lot where you wanted something else out of it, you actually go and willingly buy a 2-pack with...Ratchet and Bumblebee. Even at £17.99, why would I add a fourth deluxe Ratchet and a fourth deluxe Bumblebee to my collection, when I can't even sell the spares? BECAUSE IT'S A VARIANT, OKAY?
Nothing to see here, it's still Animated Bumblebee, the only Animated Autobot to survive my original modern collection purge in 2008 to 2011. First time through he was my favourite show character, and I absolutely loved the way he captured the essence of Animated, but as I hadn't sampled most of the line I mistakenly thought he probably represented the best of the line to some degree. Recent eye-openings like Cybertronian Optimus, Blurr, Lockdown, Rodimus, Oil Slick, Grimlock, Swindle, Ultra Magnus etc have taught me better.
But try to separate a Transformers collector from his sentimentality and you'll probably end up removing the reason they're doing it in the first place. That works on a holistic and an atomic level. Animated Bumblebee was my way into this series, and when I realised that the Elite Guard moulding was available on the standard yellow version - specifically the fully retractable stingers - buying this 2-pack was inevitable. I understand that the Ratchet also has improved knees where the lower legs don't pop off at every given opportunity (something that the Rescue Ratchet seemed to have regressed to) but I already have a Ratchet like that, so the Bumblebee is the star here and the reason for purchase.
|See those stingers sticking out?|
|No such problem on Elite Bee|
|Updated moulding left, original moulding right|
You can see clearly above the difference between the two, and it does make a difference. However, they neglected to fix any of the other standout issues on the mould which include the popping off of both arms, the rear window and the rotating windscreen sections together with the difficulty in folding the torso over on itself for vehicle mode smoothly. It's a flawed mould, but gorgeous nonetheless and I'll always keep one version of it regardless of where my collecting goes. It's not the last one I'll buy either, Takara Tomy Elite Guard and regular metallic Bumblebee are still on the list and they'll be bought with a smile.
All the best