Monday 11 September 2023



Has it really been 4 years since this diminutive chap was released upon the Transformers collecting community? Oh how time flies! I had been of a mind to pick one up when he first came out but wasn’t over keen on the price point so I settled on two options: either wait for the price to come down if a second run was released, or pick up the inevitable knock off when that eventually surfaced. Now knowing myself and the luck (or lack there of) that surrounds me, it was obvious that the initial KO’s would sell out or there would be certain QC issues. Both of these scenarios would come to pass so I resigned myself to never having one or having to wait until Fans Toys eventually got around to doing their version, a possibility now made stronger after the release of Parkour. But, consider my ghast well and truly flabbered when Show.Z announced they were getting some stock of the MP-45 Bumble KO…… pre-order swiftly placed, it was now time to play the delivery waiting game.

Box & Accessories

In what is best described as a straight out copy, the box for this knock off Bumblebee is a straight out copy of the Takara Tomy version. As you’ll be aware, I don’t have an official copy of MP-45 so cannot compare the box like for like, but I do have the box for MP-47 Hound. Let us take a look and see…

Well it’s close, really damn close if you ask me, it’s possibly one of the best KO boxes I’ve seen. The figure images on the front are glossy and reflective, as is the Volkswagen logo and Transformer branding. The holographic licence sticker to the bottom of the box works, not just there for effect. Text fonts are a match and spacing is good. However, there are places where it’s less good and these do give it away. The colours of the text are a little flat, not as bright as the official and some of the text looks to be in bold rather than standard. Also, some of the accent lines around the name ‘tags’ is faint and not clear. But these minor issues aside, it is a bloody good job and sure to trip up some collectors were they not to be aware of what to look out for.

But back to what is what and where. Bumble is presented in a clam (in vehicle mode) with a Spike figure, two swap out faces, a blast effect, a gun, a ‘fun’ number plate, instruction sheet, detailing sticker sheet and a collectors card. All of which, aside from the gun, I cannot see me utilising much after I’m done with this review. Of the accessories I’ll briefly discuss the Spike figure, mainly as I have a frame of reference for that one. I did for a short while own the KO version of MP Hound, a place holder until I was able to pick up an official at a relatively decent price. That also came with a Spike figure, one much larger than this one it has to be said, let’s have a cheer for the scaling! Anyway, the Spike figure with Hound was a little poor to be honest, quite loose and mine had a break to one of the ball joints, which I repaired but it was never the same.

This time around the Spike figure is much better in general. Better paint application, better materials, stiffer joints and more finer detail. Now obviously with KO’s it can boil down to ‘the luck of the draw’ in some cases, so if yours is a shit show then I’m sorry, tough break. Finally and quickly, the instructions are printed well as is the collectors card.

Vehicle Mode

MP-45’s vehicle mode should tick all those G1 cartoon lovers boxes. VW beetle, Super-Deformed, Penny Racer style and most importantly, looking like the cartoon. However in actuality the vehicle mode, whilst looking nice to be fair, is just a heap of yellow plastic gaps and panel misalignment. Now I initially figured that this was due to the nature of the beast, it’s a knock-off after all. But having looked at some other reviews and online images, it seems that this is an issue that plagues the official version as well, to a lesser extent of course. So I did the only thing I could, I spent half an hour or so messing around and re-transforming and guess what….. It still has some panel gaps but to a lesser extent, much like its official counterpart.

It’s a good vehicle mode, not real world looking in the slightest, but there is a likability factor to it overall. The materials and paint application to the one in hand seem good, no obvious marks, over spray or blemishes noticeable. It rolls well on those horrible plastic wheels, this being Takara, there is no die-cast or rubber tyres present. The transparent windows are okay, but I think I’d have preferred maybe a smoked or even blue tinge to them, if only to hide the robot mode gubbins that lie within. The doors open and the front end lifts up to allow the Spike figure to sit in there. I tried this feature and couldn’t quite pull it off. I don’t think Spike truly fits in there well and when he does, he doesn't look comfortable. I think maybe it’s a gimmick that could’ve been left out, I definitely believe had it been skipped, the robot mode would’ve benefited greatly. The fun number plate attaches fine and stays in place, but is see no where that the gun could be stored in this mode.


The transformation wasn’t as bad as I was expecting to be fair, I sort of went into it thinking it’d be a hot mess much like Sunstreaker. Not that it’s a difficult transformation, more it’s just a bit of a mess. But Bumble was quite straightforward, a few tight joints here and there had me a little pensive but feel your way and go lightly and you should encounter no issues.

Robot Mode

I’ll get straight to it, no point going round the houses on this one. Bumble looks okay, just okay. There is the feet, which a lot has been said about already, but also for me is the backpack. Again, this is not an issue that has evaded debate, I’m just saying that for me it looks unsightly. And for this I completely blame Takara’s slavish adherence to the cartoon look for the line. Had they gone in a different way, I believe that it could’ve been a lot tidier. There is also the Spike in-car gimmick which also adds to the prominence of the back area too. However, that said there is a charm to the little fella, I’ll not deny. Much as the vehicle mode, no blemishes or marks are evident to the figure. He stands well, which he ought to on those immense feet, and articulation is good for such a small figure. I personally think that this is where much of the appeal will be to some collectors. Takara do miss the mark somewhat lately with aspects of their Masterpiece output, but the articulation is always on point.

As mentioned, no die-cast but the figure does not feel lacking for its absence. It balances well in all manner of poses, although some assistance may be required for the more ambitious ones. The hands being as they are, there is no real peg slot for the gun so its held in there by force. The alt faces fit well but I don’t see me using them at all, neither do I see myself using the gun blast effect either, which also fits snugly. In robot mode I personally feel that Spike does not scale at all, in fact for the photos I’ve been using the Spike from MP Hound. Speaking of scale, not that there is any real metric to go by, he does look well next to my KO MP-44 Prime.

Closing Thoughts

I’m glad that I picked this one up, honestly I am, but I don’t feel like its my definitive Masterpiece Bumblebee. I don’t see it being on the same level as the MP Mini-Bots released so far by Fans Toys. So it is definitely a space saver on my shelf awaiting a replacement. I’m also very much glad that I did not pay over the odds for the official version, when this KO is as good as it is. I’ve got what I wanted for a fraction of the cost, and that’s a win. That said, I don’t see me going full on KO in the future, even if there are one or two KO’s I do have my eye on. I see them as a means to an end, like what I did when I had the KO MP Hound until a legit one came along at a sensible price. But I won’t be doing that here with Bumblebee, for reasons stated above.

Overall the figure is spot on and I’m hard pushed to regard this as a knock off, yes it’s that good. But again, it is subjective and mine in hand maybe the exception to the rule, KO is a lottery. Would I recommend it? Well, if you are on the look out for an MP Bumblebee and don’t want to spend official money then sure, why the hell not. But bear in mind, as I’ve said, KO is a lottery.

And that’s about it. The rest you can gather from the photo’s or by heading over to Show.Z and buying one for yourself.

Right, I’m out of here. I’ve been Edd, he's been Bumble and you’ve been awesome for spending a little time reading my ramblings.

If you’d like to see more reviews, photos or idle, yet potentially insightful thoughts, then why not head over to our Instagram page…. we’re are also on Facebook and YouTube. Also keep us locked into your browser favourites at Vaults of Iacon.