Before I had made a decision to sell a large portion of my collection (still need to post about that), I had still given myself the task of collecting every significant Transformers Animated variant - Hasbro, TakaraTomy, bootleg - that I could find. Bumblebee was my first love in Animated and although I have discovered deluxes that surpass him and leave him feeling as flawed as people always said he was, the soft spot remains. When a seller in the UK offered a MOSC Takara Bumblebee, I had to pounce and man, I am glad I did.
Now I'm going to struggle to beat that first picture, but at least I can shed some light on why this release appealed. I'd gotten to the point with Transformers Animated where assembling a show accurate cast was a target achieved months ago, and I was more interested in owning the amazing Animated moulds in colour schemes/decos that showed them off in the best light, boasting the best finish, paint apps, tooling and overall shine than a version that just resembled the character from the on-screen adventures. In the case of Bumblebee, I had thought just the regular Hasbro release with the fixed stingers from the Ratchet 2-pack did the job.
Takara Tomy's deluxe Bumblebee is obviously different to the Hasbro screen accurate release in that instead of matte yellow, he is shiny gold. A really offensively in-your-face gold that suits the Animated character right down to the ground. The Autobot logo on his chest is also red instead of a barely visible silver. The headlights have nice silver paint application and he just looks premium.
The moulding for the stingers is also the corrected tooling where they slot away comfortably in the arm recesses without sticking out awkwardly, same as Elite Guard Bumblebee and the Ratchet 2-pack Bumblebee. It makes sense as the Takara Tomy version of this character came out almost 2 years after the Hasbro release, so it would have been ridiculous for it not to have had the updated moulding.
It's still Animated deluxe Bumblebee, meaning almost everything pops off its ball joint with just a smidgen too much pressure or vigour, and getting to all slot back together in car mode still frustrates me occasionally. It is, however, the most beautiful version of the mould I now own, and that I think is what I am after with my collection now. It's taken me countless pounds and hours and square metres of space to assemble virtually every variant of the moulds I like, but at least I am in a position now to pick the one I think looks or is the best and finally let the others go - especially Animated that makes up a frightening percentage of what I own.
Except Bumblebee. They can both stay.
All the best