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Monday, March 03 2014 22:21

Review - TRANSFORMERS: ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE (Shout! Factory)

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As a kid that grew up with Hasbro's TRANSFORMERS and was there in 1984 when it all began, I don't recall Bumblebee being a big deal. Back then, he was a HERBIE-like Volkswagen Beetle - one of the smallest Autobots of the bunch, and although a fun toy, it was characters like Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus and Jetfire that really grabbed me. Fast-forward thirty years, and Bumblebee is big deal - a fan-favorite for a whole new generation of kids (and some grownups, too) who dig the lighthearted "scout" 'bot in his current form - that of a Chevrolet Camaro (in the live-action films), or the similarly-designed, though completely fictional, "Urbana 500" as he appeared in the recent series, TRANSFORMERS PRIME.

Celebrating the heroics displayed in the latter, Shout! Factory in association with Hasbro Studios, has released a compilation of four, fan-favorite episodes of The Hub Network series as a bargain-priced DVD, TRANSFORMERS PRIME: ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE, a copy of which arrived here for review last month.

Preview: Check out four clips from ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE:

Ultimate BumblebeeThe 88-minute collection is perfect for families looking for some fast, kid-centric, Bumblebee-loaded TRANSFORMERS action, with the episodes Masters and Students, Operation Bumblebee Parts I & II, and Deadlock all included. There's some choice moments here, from the reveal of the Urbana 500 commercial to the return of Bumblebee's voice, but it's the lessons of bravery, sacrifice and friendship that ring most important.

With TRANSFORMERS PRIME containing the right elements for hitting the sweet spot between the Generation 1 (G1) TRANSFORMERS that grownup kids like me (now parents) so cherish, along with enough "new" (slick CG-animation) to grab a contemporary audience, it's worth checking out - and ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE is a great jumping-off point.

4

The Rock Father Rating: 4/5 Stars

Available on DVD from Amazon, Walmart and Shout! Factory.

Want even more TRANSFORMERS PRIME? Check out the selection from Amazon:
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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