Bumblebee is the youngest, yellowest, and most energetic of the Autobots...as usual. A hyperactive wisecracker, Bumblebee is quite convinced he's the fastest—and coolest—thing on four wheels. He has a tendency to bite off more than he can chew, so it's a good thing he pals around with the massive Bulkhead. He does not take well to being called short, and his over-eager ways can get on Ratchet's nerves all too easily. Still, Bumblebee is good people, as evidenced by his fast friendship with Sari Sumdac.
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Early in his career, Bumblebee dreamed of becoming a member of the Elite Guard. He joined the Autobot Boot Camp, but things didn't exactly go as planned - his drill sergeant was a jerk, most of his classmates bullied him and the only bot willing to befriend him was a complete mudflap. His luck seemed to change, however, when he accidentally overheard someone communicating with a Decepticon. He then saw fellow classmate Wasp walk out, which aroused his suspicions. After taking the advice of Longarm, Bumblebee attempted to weed out the spy, but Sentinel Minor got in the way twice. Needless to say, this resulted in many transform-ups for his squadron. After Wasp and Ironhide tore off his legs and put him in a closet, he was saved by Longarm, who encouraged him not to give up. Later that day, the group was put through their first training exercise—combat in a simulated battlezone. When somebody switched the turret settings to fire actual lasers, it was Bulkhead who saved him. However, they accidentally knocked over a building in the process, flattening Sentinel.
When Sentinel was conducting a surprise locker inspection, Sentinel discovered a Decepticon communicator in Wasp's trunk, ousting him as a traitor. Sentinel was prepared to put Bumblebee on an Elite Guard fast track program. Sadly, his new friendship with Bulkhead forced him to throw it all away in order to prevent his new buddy being kicked out, and they both wound up working on space bridges.
Stellar cycles later, Bumblebee and Bulkhead were assigned to Optimus Prime's space bridge repair crew, fixing malfunctioning space bridges. 'Bee proved agile enough to help Bulkhead, who had managed to lodge a wrecking ball in an asteroid. Even though he expressed significant fear of Megatron, he still managed to crack wise at the Decepticon leader's appearance once they were face-to-face. The humor vanished when Megs pulled out his sword. After Megatron was thrown off the ship, Bumblebee entered stasis with the rest of the crew just before the crew's ship crash-landed on Earth.
Fifty years later, Teletran-1 awoke the crew to alert them to the intrusion of a nanite-powered bug-slug. Sending out a probe to find local disguises, the probe scanned Captain Fanzone's car amongst other things. Bumblebee was given the car for his new bodyform. Lucky him.
Upon noticing "a little creature" struggling with her "owner", 'Bee and Mr. Bulk showed their unfamiliarity with organic life by assuming the owner/pet relationship was reversed. Their speculation was interrupted by the attacks of the giant, nanite-fueled bug monster, and Bumblebee intervened to get Sari out of the way. Later in the battle, Bumblebee was called on to deliver the override command to the beast's nanites, as he was the fastest and most nimble of the crew.
His defeat of the monster seriously impressed Sari, who decided to befriend him. Sari's definition of befriending included cajoling him into sneaking her aboard the Autobots' ship. Of course, Sari wouldn't stay still as Bumblebee asked, compelling him to jettison her into a ventilation shaft. After introducing her to the group, Sari and 'Bee became fast friends. When Starscream attacked Detroit, Bumblebee took a shot intended for Sari, allowing Screamer to capture Bumblebee, Isaac Sumdac, Captain Fanzone, and the Mayor. Sari, with Prowl's help, managed to rescue them.
At one point, Bumblebee took part in a match against Cyrus "Colossus" Rhodes. Unfortunately, Cyrus hulked up, then proceeded to beat the slag out of Bumblebee. The other Autobots were forced to rescue him, using it as a chance to riff on his small stature. However, only Bumblebee was able to get into Sumdac Tower when Meltdown went to kill Isaac Sumdac. Bumblebee managed to get him to the ground floor, but Meltdown arrived. Bulkhead tried to stop him, but Meltdown threw a glob of acid at Bulkhead, which Bumblebee took instead (basically, 'Bee is a human shield). Bulkhead offered his apologies over his comments, saying he was only having a little fun—which sent Bumblebee into declaring his good moves and speed. He's going to be pretty impossible to live with for a while.
After getting lost looking for the I-94 on-ramp, Bumblebee and Prowl bumped into Detroit's first "hero", the Wraith, and while capturing the Angry Archer, inadvertently revealed that The Wraith had no real powers, and just used holograms to trick people. Bumblebee didn't think revealing that the Wraith was harmless was such a big deal, and instead focused on all the attention he'd been getting lately, to the point where he was invited to the University of Michigan's half time show. The Wraith tried to sabotage the event with his holograms, making it seem like Bumblebee was attacking the stadium. Fortunately, the Autobots managed to reveal the truth, and the Wraith was taken away. Bumblebee felt a little sorry for him.
After showing a lack of ability to be subtle on Earth, Prime had Prowl try to teach Bumblebee how to blend in. This ruined some plans with Sari, as she wanted to attach some turbo-boosters to him to make him go even faster. During the exercise, they encountered Nanosec, a crook that had gained Professor Sumdac's new speed suit via unknown patrons. Unable to keep up with Nanosec, Bumblebee was convinced by Sari attach the turbo-boosters against Prime's orders. Unfortunately, he couldn't control them in vehicle mode, allowing Nanosec to escape from the Autobots twice. Worse, he was carrying enough Destronium to destroy all of Detroit. Overhearing Bulkhead and Prowl's comments on his change of appearance, Bumblebee realized that the suit was causing him to age the more he used it, so he purposefully ran him into old age (cold, Bee). With the Destronium about to go critical, Bumblebee, with help from Prowl and Bulkhead, managed to use his turbo-boosters to head into the outer atmosphere and get the Destronium away from the city before detonating. The whole experience seems have given Bumblebee a bit more respect for subtlety.
When Decepticon activity was detected in high levels, Bulkhead spilled the beans on what he and Prowl had done with the Dinobots, and Optimus Prime pretty much lost it. Ranting that all he had was a group of insubordinate malfunctions, he told Ratchet to take the key from Sari, saying it wasn't safe in her hands. As she ran off crying, Bumblebee defended her, and Prime pointed out that Bumblebee wasn't a good character witness. Bumblebee mouthed off that their situation meant that Prime wasn't fit to command, and then went looking for Sari. Heading to Sumdac Tower, Bumblebee spotted Starscream, and disobeyed Prime's order to hold off. Heading up the elevator (which could not only fit him, but also carry his weight) Bumblebee charged, firing his stingers at Starscream. All it really did was interrupt his speech, which made Starscream seriously freak out. However, a crane pulled Starscream, who was holding Bumblebee, up to the roof, where the two fought it out...right until Megatron burst through the roof of the tower.
After Megatron's restoration, Starscream absentmindedly beat on Bumblebee for a while, then threw him aside when Megatron called the Decepticons to him. Once he'd been repaired with remaining key energy in Professor Sumdac's lab, Bumblebee called Prime on his previous statements, and Optimus apologized, saying he was out of line. When Ratchet brought the Autobots' ship to them, the Autobots and Sumdacs boarded the vessel in an attempt to lead Megatron and the Decepticons off-planet, but were shot down and crashed on Dinobot Island. As the Autobots rallied to defend the AllSpark, Bumblebee, Ratchet, and Prowl took on Blitzwing. Ratchet and Bumblebee teamed up again to create an electromagnetic pulse, causing him to crash. After shelling them in tank mode, Blitzwing again took to the air for some strafing runs. Prowl noticed a connection between Blitzwing's alternate modes and personalities, so they had Bumblebee use his greatest strength, his obnoxious personality, to cause Angry Blitzwing to emerge. Taunting the triple changer, Bumblebee got him to transform accidentally into tank mode and crash into the lake.
Later, he went on a trip to the Five Banners Roller Coaster Kingdom theme park with Sari. Optimus, fool that he is, believed him when he called it "an important fact-finding mission".
After learning of Wasp's escape, Bumblebee felt a stirring of his old dreams, and dragged Bulkhead off to trace a signal leaked to them, containing a conversation between Megatron and his spy. As they tracked it down, Bumblebee fell into old habits, and started putting Bulkhead down, just like in the old days. It took a nasty fall to remind him that Bulkhead was the best friend he'd ever have, and he didn't need to spend his time chasing big dreams. Together, the two headed home, never realizing they were outside of the carbon mines.
Later, Bumblebee relayed the information they'd gathered to his old friend, Longarm, now Longarm Prime, head of Cybertron Intel.
After insulting Bulkhead's latest painting of Sari, Bumblebee realized that he was wrong and actually apologized for his comments. It didn't go over very well, and that was before Megatron showed up with Professor Sumdac. Though Bumblebee suspected that Sumdac was a willing accomplice, Sari refused to hear it. At that moment, the mysterious blue racer appeared. Thinking he was a Decepticon, Bumblebee rolled after the racer, running him off the road. It was only at this point that the racer revealed that he was Blurr, a member of the Elite Guard sent to keep tabs on Decepticons and Prime's crew. Worse, Bumblebee's actions allowed Bulkhead to be kidnapped by Megatron. Once Optimus Prime was informed that the Decepticons were building a space bridge to attack Cybertron, 'Bee went with the Autobots to rescue Bulkhead and destroy the bridge. During a brief skirmish with Lugnut and Blitzwing, Bumblebee admitted that he'd lost his title as "fastest thing on wheels" to Blurr. Unfortunately, when they confronted Megatron himself, the Constructicons managed to incapacitate the pair...just in time for Starscream and his clones to attack.
Managing to escape the Decepticons, the Autobots went for the clones, apparently deciding that they were the greater evil. The battle went poorly for them, as Blurr was lost in the space bridge and Bumblebee was cemented to a wall. When Isaac Sumdac decapitated Starscream and took his body with the Headmaster unit, Bumblebee was convinced that he was working for the Decepticons, though Sumdac revealed that it was to destroy Megatron. That didn't work out too well. After Megatron explained his plan to the captive Autobots, the Decepticon Shockwave revealed that he was Longarm Prime and that Bumblebee had sent an innocent Wasp to the stockade. Fortunately, Omega Supreme arrived, reactivated thanks to Sari and Ratchet, and sacrificed himself to save the Autobots and Sumdacs. With the threat passed, Sumdac revealed that he had been forced to help the Decepticons, and Bumblebee's mistrust of the professor presumably faded away—only to return when Sari saw that the skin of her right arm had torn...revealing robotic circuitry underneath!
- Bumblebee (Deluxe, 2008)
- Accessories: Left & right rocket boosters
- Bumblebee transforms from a small yellow hatchback with a single red flasher to a scrappy robot with a smile on his face. He has a fake car roof on his chest (but to be fair, so does his cartoon counterpart.) in robot mode, and the two halves of his stinger weapon, stored in his forearms, can be flipped out and pegged together. In both robot and car mode, his two booster rockets can be attached on his back.
- Due to support struts added inside his forearms to ensure durability, his stingers do not recede all the way back into his arms. There have also been some complaints that the socket in his left arm tends to crack easily, which makes the arm impossible to pose.
- This mold was also used to make "Elite Guard" Bumblebee.
- Bumblebee (Activator, 2008)
- Part of the first wave of Activators, this small version of Bumblebee automatically transforms from vehicle to robot mode via spring-loaded releases when you press his top-mounted police light. Interestingly enough, this toy is probably the closest to "proper" scale in robot mode when compared to the Deluxe Prowl and Ratchet, the Voyager Optimus, and Leader Bulkhead. Like the Deluxe class toy, Bumblebee was intended to be molded with a benign sideways smile on his face, but at this small of scale the effect does not come off as intended, leaving Bumblebee looking rather more like he's grimacing. Add him to the list of Transformers who just need a hug.
- Bumper Battlers Bumblebee (Bumper Battlers, 2008)
- Part of the first wave of Bumper Battlers, this very simple version of Bumblebee is meant for the much younger set. About the same size as the Deluxe Bumblebee in car mode, pressing the Autobot faction symbol on his hood activates the toy's sound feature, using a seemingly randomized assortment of sound effects and original voice samples from Bumper Robinson. Pressing the car mode's front bumper in activates the simple spring-loaded one-step transformation to robot mode... "properly" activated by using the toy's pull-back motor gimmick to propel it forward into an obstacle.
- Bumblebee (McDonalds Happy Meal toy, 2008)
- A simple version of Bumblebee with a very simple transformation sequence, one of six toys available as part of the McDonald's Transformers Animated promotion (held concurrently with the Littlest Pet Shop promo). You transform him by pulling out the arms from the sides, pulling down the legs and rotating them around and flipping up the head. The arms hold the legs in place, and need to be pulled out before his legs. His vehicle mode is accurate to the show, and his robot mode is reasonably accurate, although rather on the "bulky" side.
- Elite Guard Bumblebee (Deluxe, 2008)
- Accessories: Left & right rocket boosters
- A redeco of Deluxe Bumblebee, this figure represents Bumblebee after getting Sari to help paint him up in Elite Guard deco as part of his anticipated ascension into their ranks. Dare to dream! He retains all the play-gimmicks of the original, and his arm has been remolded to allow the stingers to recede fully.
- Patrol Bumblebee (Activator, 2008)
- A police-themed redeco of Activators Bumblebee, instead of his current "undercover" markings, he gets full-on black-and-white deco with "POLICE" lettering across his doors.
- Bumblebee (Universe 2008 Legends Animated 3-pack, 2008?)
- Revealed on a Hasbro instruction sheet, Universe Legends Bumblebee comes with Legends Optimus Prime and Deluxe Stealth Lockdown.
- Cyber Speed Bumblebee (Power Bots, 2008)
A large, non-transforming figure of Bumblebee in bulky, child-friendly form. He comes with lights and sounds, including a stinger sound on the right arm, which has the stinger deployed, and a "punching" sound and extending fist on the left. He also speaks a slew of phrases, including "Bring it on, Decepticons!" and "Hi, I'm Bumblebee!", again using Bumper Robinson voice clips. He is of course, utterly adorable.
- Bumblebee (Legends, 2008)
- A Legends-scale Bumblebee was announced at TFcon. It will be released under the Universe Legends line, with the Universe packaging instead of Animated.
- Bumblebee's arm-mounted shock stingers are very likely inspired by an early weapon concept from the 2007 movie Bumblebee.
- The character who would become Bumblebee was originally conceived as Hot Shot, but changed to Bumblebee in anticipation of his breakout popularity in the live-action film. This explains why his character is more like Hot Shot and less like... well, Bumblebee.
- Bumblebee appears to have a fake car roof on his chest in both his toy and on his character model. Not only does Bumblebee transform like his toy in his drawn-out animated transformation sequences, with his legs forming the top of the vehicle and the rest forming the underside, but his "real" windshield is drawn on the back of his legs, just like the toy. Plus the headlights on Bumblebee's feet are upside-down, just like the toy's. However, Bumblebee's vehicle mode stripe doesn't change sides like on the toy. Cheatsy!
- In addition to the above, in "Thrill of the Hunt," Bumblebee reaches under his fake car roof kibble to get out his air freshener and fuzzy dice. This would mean that he had kept them in his back seat...
- He likes to swear a lot. Slag yeah!
- He apparently got his name for being a bumbler in Autobot boot camp.
- On the Transformers Animated Season One DVD set, the "Season Two Sneak Peek" special feature shows Bumblebee's character model colored in the Elite Guard Bumblebee toy's deco. Bumblebee did not actually use that color scheme in Season 2, so its inclusion in a Season Two gallery is puzzling at best...