The many faces of Transformers icon Bumble Bee as told by a collector

I have been collecting Transformers toys basically since before I could talk. It goes without saying one of the first toys I received is also one I connected with the most. It was the 1987 refresh of the main character of the cartoon. I got a Goldbug as one of my first toys as a child. It was the reincarnated Bumble Bee.

Over the years my toy collection has taken many shapes. In it’s current form I have one hard rule I rarely bend. That is I try to pick ONE toy to represent a character and stick with that as my toy for that character. I do this to limit the amount of toys on my shelf. It does allow me to shop around to determine which version of Jazz or Wheeljack I consider the best. This isn’t to say I can’t or won’t buy a second version of a character if it’s different enough, I have two vastly different Megatrons and two different Optimus Primes as well as a couple very different Prowls and one Iron Hide as a van and one as a pickup truck.

There is one character I threw this rule entirely out the window. Of course it is the yellow bug we all fell in love with back in 1984 before rediscovering him again in 2007. Since the Bumble Bee movie is still my favorite in the live-action Transformers film franchise it is safe to say I have a soft spot in my heart for that yellow love bug.

Here is a deep dive into every single version of the character  own in toy form. I will be sharing pictures of toys from my own personal collection here. I am also sharing my personal memories with each iteration of the character. I intend to do similar toy profiles in the future now that my collection has settled down some.

Original 1984 More Than Meet the Eye (Generation One) Bumble Bee

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This is the first toy to represent the character. This is the ONLY toy I kept from my past life from before I sold all my stuff and moved across the country one of those times I did that years past. This is the version that most kids in the 80’s had. As a child I never had this exact one. Instead I had the gold-painted reissue from the Generation 2 era, a toy that continues to elude me to this day. This is the same exact mold as that and the exact one I bought way back in 2002 when I first got back into collecting the first time around.

Transformers More Than Meets The Eye (Generation One) Goldbug

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This was the toy from my childhood. I got this originally for the Christmas following my 5th birthday. It was a very special toy for me because Bumble Bee was my favorite character on the show. Now I didn’t know this toy was called Gold Bug, I just figured it was the same Bumble Bee I grew to love watching that cartoon I fell in love with. The toy from my childhood did not survive my childhood unfortunately. Sometime when I was 16 or so I smashed the remaining broken bits of all the left over Transformers toys I had from my youth and the broke pieces of plastic that came from my original Gold Bug were included in that ordeal.

Transformers MPM-7 Masterpiece Movie Bumble Bee

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This is the prize of my collection. A very expensive, mostly metal and rubber tire rendition of the very beetle represented in the Bumble Bee live action film. This is the toy I cherish the most. It’s a rock solid build. Durable and heavy duty!

My memories with this are short since I only obtained it recently. I went to see the movie in theaters on Christmas the year it came out. I was so enamored it instantly became my favorite in the franchise. I also quickly went out hunting for the toy from the film. Once I saw how much it was selling for online I wrote it off as a down the road deal. Then one day I came across this beauty in a Target just sitting there all fairly reasonably priced. I say reasonably priced, I paid a whopping $80 for it mere months ago and it already sells for double to triple that on ebay now. Still I currently own a small piece of high quality memorabilia from a movie that warmed my heart at a time I really needed it.

Buzzworthy Bumblebee G1 Cybertronian

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This is a fantastic surprise! I came across this one day also at a Target and instantly had to pick it up no questions asked. This is built using War for Cybertron style molding. It is part of the Target exclusive Buzzworthy Bumble Bee collection. This toy is super neat because it represent his cartoon accurate version. The transformation turns into the flying saucer we saw in his first appearance in More Than Meets the Eye Part 1. He also comes with some Energon Conductors just like in the show and the same blaster pistol he used in the scene. It’s a fabulous toy I will hold near and dear to my heart for years to come.

Studio Series retro Camaro

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This was the first Studio Series toy I ever bought. I told myself I don’t really like the movie toys. I selected a handful of toys I’d own and this retro Camaro was among them. This represents how he looked when he first appeared to Sam Whitwicky in the film. This toy is cool because it takes me back to the thrill of 2007 seeing the Transformers finally brought to life in live-action from. That movie was also special because it was produced by non other than Stephen Spielberg! It retains a special place in my heart even if it hasn’t aged so well.

Studio Series modern Camaro

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My Bumble Bee toy collection would be incomplete without his modern refresh the character took mid-film. This version is just a duplicate to me, it transforms nearly identically to the retro one so it’s more of a show piece than anything special to me.

Buzzworthy Bumble Bee Studio series 1986 Transformers the Movie

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This is a pretty cool toy. This is based on his 1986 Transformers the Movie appearance. It comes with a transforming miniature Spike in his very own exosuit. This was another complete surprise I found at Target earlier this year. It quickly darted up to one of my personal favorite versions of the toy simply because it takes me back to the wonder of that original awe-inspiring animated classic film that changed my life forever.

That’s my current Bumble Bee toy collection. There are a few missing pieces I’d still like to obtain. I still want G2 recolor of the classic character. I am still looking for Beast Wars Waspinator, not a Bumble Bee per se but a rock solid throw back. I am also interested in getting an Armada Hot Shot which was originally intended to be Bumble Bee but was changed last minute for reasons I never understood. I don’t have any interest in Studio Series WWII Jeep Bumble Bee. I might pick up one or more of the in-betweens like Animated or Power of the Primes, etc., depending on what they do with him.

You’ll notice despite sort of breaking my rule each toy does offer something completely different from the rest. I know there are plenty of other characters I could have done this with, and there are others I own multiples of not going to lie. As of right now I am happy with the current form my Bumble Bee collection has taken.

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Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos. If you like my writing please consider helping me survive. You can support me directly by giving money to my paypal: thetransformerscollector@yahoo.com. If you prefer CashApp my handle is @Stephaniebri22. Also feel free to donate to my Patreon. I know it's largely podcast-centric but every little bit helps. Find it by going to www.patreon.com/stephaniebri, Thank you.