Review: Transformers Generations Goldfire

When the IDW-based Generations toyline kicked off in 2013, many eye-rolls were made at the obligatory presence of a Bumblebee toy in the first wave. Not only was it, well, yet another sports car Bumblebee, but it was also easily the weakest of the wave, suffering from poor construction, joint tolerances, a lackluster design, and some pretty awful paint apps. The toy itself was based mostly on Bumblebee’s upgraded design from the Ongoing comic series, with some minor design tweaks. When the setting of the comics shifted to Cybertron, ‘Bee’s design switched to a more WFC-esque look… only to be rebuilt into a new body using spare parts from his old Earth form after a run-in with Megatron. If the reasoning for that new look seems a bit contrived, that’s because there was yet another Bumblebee toy on the market, a repaint of the original toy dubbed Goldfire.

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Vehicle Mode

Bumblebee’s upgraded body in IDW was meant to give him a look reminiscent of his Movie and Prime selves– less of a mini-bot and more of a full-sized Autobot car. For this, ‘Bee traded in his Volkswagen Beetle for a beefy, American-looking muscle car. It’s a bit of a mix of various real-life cars, taking primary inspiration from a Dodge Charger. In this case, I honestly think the original version pulled the look off a lot better. Goldfire looks fine, but the black-on-dull-gold makes him look, well, dull. Bumblebee may be incredibly yellow, but the painted rims and black striping worked well for the mold. The clear blue windows are a great touch, though, and the dull gold plastic looks a lot better in person than in pictures. Shame the wheels couldn’t have been painted, though. His dumb electro-stinger-cannon-things can be mounted on the sides of the car… and they actually don’t look too bad, in a doofy sort of way.

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Transformation

Goldfire’s transformation is simple and logical. It’s not particularly difficult at all, but that’s not necessarily a negative. Even with the slight dip in complexity in more recent toys, it’s nice to have a simple and straightforward conversion. The plastic quality overall feels greatly improved from Bumblebee, which makes the figure much less fiddly and more pleasant to handle. It’s a shame they couldn’t have done something about that backpack, though.

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Robot Mode

Goldfire shapes up into a fairly standard-looking car Transformer. The mold took some liberties with the Ongoing Bumblebee design (though admittedly, so did the artists), notably by simplifying the shoulders and changing the transformation scheme. It’s fine and all, but I feel it loses a lot of what made that design cool. Regardless, this toy is completely accurate to the comics, so the point is a bit moot. One particular feature of the sculpt is that his head is designed to somewhat resemble the Movie and Prime non-speaking versions of the character, which is a super cool idea that I never realized until I got the toy. Somewhat-uninspired design aside, Goldfire is rocking some pretty great colors. The lovely blue is deep, rich, and just pops, and does a great job of complimenting the otherwise-unattractive dull gold. The black breaks it all up just enough to make for a well-rounded color scheme.

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Articulation is nothing special: swivel neck, biceps (though rather hindered by the sculpt), waist, and thighs, universal-joint shoulders, ball-jointed hips and ankles, and faux-ratchet (friction ratchet) knees and elbows. The lack of a wrist swivel is frustrating, and combined with the unwieldy faux-ratchets do make the toy feel a bit cheap in design, but I am happy to report that the plastic quality and tolerances are much better on Goldfire; all of his joints feel nice and solid. As far as the design goes, the fact that his door-wings are attached to his shoulders makes posing look rather awkward most of the time… but the wings themselves look good, at least. Goldfire is armed with the same electro-stinger-cannon-things that came with Bumblebee, but this time in gorgeous blue. These weapons weren’t in the comics at all, and they still look kind of dumb, but, eh, oh, well.

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Overall

In all honesty, Goldfire really isn’t a very strong release in the Generations line. The mold is simple by today’s standards, does a lot of cheating in its conversion, suffers from a cheap-looking design, comes with some shoddy weapons, and is yet another Bumblebee. Many people skipped out on the initial Bumblebee version of this mold, and I wish I had, because the other two repaints of the mold are far superior, and it’s really a shame that the mold debuted as Bumblebee. Goldfire is rocking a unique and striking color scheme, has a better overall build quality, and at least almost-faithfully represents a form Bumblebee (briefly) took during Dark Cybertron. It’s still not a great toy… but it’s not bad. However, there are three versions of this mold in the Generations line, and the third version is the final figure of the Windblade-Jhiaxus-Crosscut wave I reviewed. Why is this review about Goldfire and not him? Well, that is a mystery…

Where to Buy

Goldfire and his wave (Skids, Waspinator, and Dreadwing) were notoriously hard to find at retail, and suffered from a short period of distribution due to a factory error on poor Skids. The wave has been rereleased, though, so you should be able to find them at retail!

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