Friday, June 15, 2012

(Mostly) Transformers Feature: Reveal the Shield "Goldbug"

Old-school Transformers fans will be aware that Goldbug was the name given to the character of Bumblebee as that character was given a 2nd toy (almost unheard of at the time for a Transformers character) in 1987. After that, Hasbro reverted back to the Bumblebee name, relegating the Goldbug name to something of a footnote in history. Although BotCon, which rather specializes in obscure fan-oriented references, did an evil Goldbug toy just a few years ago, Hasbro tends only to use the Bumblebee name on toys released to general retail (and there are a lot of retail Bumblebee toys these days. There's even a debate in the fandom about the fact that Hasbro is doing so many Bumblebee toys, it's sometimes hard to find other toys on the shelf amid the seemingly endless supply of Bumblebees!). Thus, even a toy that's clearly intended to be a Goldbug homage was given the name "Gold Bumblebee," and even that toy wasn't given a proper "Goldbug" head, but simply repainted the existing Bumblebee head (it was just a redeco of a previously existing figure, after all) in blue.

It is therefore left to the fans to come up with a proper Goldbug update, and a couple of third-party businesses have stepped up to make this a little easier. Renderform, for example, has produced a "Gold Scout" (to come right out and use the "Goldbug" name would be to invite legal trouble) custom head intended to be used with the Classics Bumblebee mold. Having picked up the recent Reveal the Shield version of this mold when it was being offered at Ross stores for a mere $7, I took advantage of an offer through Captured Prey that made the "Gold Scout" kit available again (the Renderform site having sold out some time back). Thus, I now have my own Reveal the Shield "Goldbug."

Besides the head, the "Gold Scout" kit comes with four guns. Three of these (already more than a single figure can carry in its hands!) are standard, while an extra clear purple "dark energy" gun is exclusive to orders placed through Captured Prey. While I found that one can "store" the two extra guns behind "Goldbug's" head (either with or without the "Wave Crusher" accessory), it really seems better to give those weapons to other figures, so here's a shot with my other toys that share this mold; the original Classics Bumblebee and Classics Cliffjumper (also sporting a custom-added head, courtesy of War for Cybertron Cliffjumper).

Granted, most fans who buy this "Gold Scout" kit don't seem to be using it on this toy. By all indications, most fans are using this head on the United Bumblebee toy from TakaraTomy in Japan, which happens to be painted in a shiny metallic gold color. While this would indeed make for a more name-accurate "Goldbug," this toy is a fair bit more expensive to get, and I feel that I've already spent enough on this project. Besides, it's not like the original Goldbug (seen here alongside the original Bumblebee) was really "gold" either (G2 Bumblebee was far more so!). Given that Hasbro is far less likely than TakaraTomy to go the metallic-paint route, anyway, I figure this is a pretty fair interpretation of a modern-day "Hasbro Goldbug."

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