/A Bumblebee In Disguise

A Bumblebee In Disguise

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If you haven’t seen Chevrolet’s display stand at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this week you haven’t been looking very hard. Apart from making the headlines along with Chevrolet’s other new models, it’s their a bright yellow muscle car with black stripes that stands out from the crowd, a car starring in the upcoming forth edition of the Transformers.

So who is playing one of the leading roles for the Autobots in 2014?

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For now, I’ll go as far as saying it’s another Chevy Camaro. You see, once I noticed the Transformers connection, I became all nostalgic and thought back to the 80s when I used to watch the TV series and play with the toys as a nipper. I remember Bumblebee as an innocuous yellow VW Beetle. I didn’t question it as a child, but compared to the modern Autobot, it’s about as scary and intimidating as its real life furry namesake – so why the Beetle?

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This is the same car as the loveable No. 53 Herbie The Love Bug – in fact, Herbie could beat race cars in the Monte Carlo rally, so I expect Bumblebee was about as nimble and fast as an actual bumblebee – in theory it is thought the bumblebee shouldn’t be capable of flight… but it is, so I guess the yellow Beatle fought the Decepticons in the same way – shouldn’t be capable but just does.

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Through rose-tinted mist and cloud, I searched the web for the 1986 animated movie and struck gold. Despite finding the full length movie, I couldn’t see past 15 minutes through all the chaotic moving images accompanied by the perpetual soundtrack of an 80s metal guitarist masturbating solo. I didn’t take much away from the movie other than Bumblebee was more of a younger brother trying to impress his peers. He was more of a spy than a fighter – but again, why a Beetle? It’s about as sleek and inconspicuous as… well, a bright yellow VW Beetle.

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Before I take you through Bumblebee’s Hollywood evolution, I’ll finish up on the animated VW by telling you that after Starscream killed Bumblebee, he returned as a hardcore version called Goldbug. However, the Autobots preferred the cute version and he became Bumblebee again – confused yet? The Japanese are great with the head spin cartoons, right?

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In 2008, Transformers Animated saw Bumblebee take on a more modern appeal in the fact he was a super-mini police car after his transformation from a hip, gaming obsessed robot.

Also appealing to the masses today we see our robotic friends bought to life with a combination of computers and Steven Spielberg. A trillion miles away from the 1986 animation, the Transformers movies are superbly done and extremely realistic.

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In the first Transformers, Bumblebee first took on the guise of a cool 1977 Z28 Chevrolet Camaro, whilst later in the movie this changed to a 5th Gen variant – as the film came out in 2007, the 2010 5th Gen derived from the 2006 Camaro concept.

The second and third instalments – Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon – see Bumblebee as a more modern 5th Generation Camaro.

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Now I can go back to the beginning of the article and talk a little about the fourth instalment of the movie. The 2014 concept uses the base from the standard Camaro, but this Bumblebee has been injecting steroids, now boasting slimmer and leaner headlights, a bigger grille, and a wider rear. I particularly like Chevy’s signature yellow paint scheme with the black racing stripes.

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Bumblebee’s heart options are either a V6 or V8 – who in their right mind would opt for the V6? To set this special Bumblebee edition apart from the rest, they will come with the edition of Transformers badging on the wheel centres and sill plates, along with an embroidered emblem on the console inside – nice touches.

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My favourite version to date will also make an appearance in Transformers 4, as like the first movie, Bumblebee uses another older Camaro as a guise. This time round he also transforms into a 1967 Camaro SS, a car that looks like Bumblebee could take on all of the Decepticons at the same time.

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(Journalist) – James is a published fiction and article writer from London (UK) with a serious penchant for Ferrari F1, anything with an engine, and English Pointers.