SDCC was a few weeks ago but for fans of Hasbro’s properties who weren’t at the show, their chance to pick up some SDCC exclusives is underway now. A couple things are sold out, but most are labled “check back soon” meaning they aren’t done yet. One of these items is the Bumblebee Retro Rock Garage set which includes a movie Bumblebee and a pair of reissued previously Japan-only G1 cassettes. Needless to say, these cassettes – Dairu and Uruaz (not the original G1 names, and apparently not the same characters, but they’re super close), made for a compelling reason to pick up this set.
The package’s slip cover front features Bumblebee standing with a boombox – music is a huge theme that runs through the packaging. Flipped over, the box reads like the liner notes for a casette showing the A-side and B-side contents. The music theme continues as the slip cover is removed and a cassette-like box is revealed. Bumblebee is prominately displayed in the package’s window. Both Dairu and Uruaz are stored in a slide-out drawer, which is equally cool. You can see the package below.
Dairu and Uruaz were the draw for me in this set, so I pulled them out just after taking the boxed photos and I love them. They’re perfect. In their cassette modes they fit into Soundwave and Blaster perfectly – just as they should. Their robot modes are dinosaurs – Uruaz a clear orange Brontosaurus kind (I don’t know if this is currently an official dinosaur name, but whatever, roll with me) and Dairu a raptor-ish sort of dinosaur. These are cassette tapes that turn into dinosaurs – they are amazing. Yes, they’re quintessential G1, meaning a pinch of imagination really helps…but as someone who still has all my G1 toys, these guys are more than welcome on the shelf. In the event that cassette tapes that transform into dinosaurs isn’t enough, Uruaz and Dairu can combine and form an third, unnamed robot. Honestly, their combined form is a little bit of a let-down…keep them as dinosaurs.
A movie Bumblebee makes up the rest of this SDCC exlusive set. This Bumblebee is based on the 1978-1981 Camaro Z28 and is molded in a deep gold color. As expected Bumblebee’s car mode is spot on and the color scheme and deco are perfect. He looks great as a car. The transformation from car to robot is a nice level of difficulty…it did take a few minutes of futzing around to figure out his legs. In robot mode, Bumblebee looks quite a bit like his on-screen counterpart. The figure’s silver accents provide a great contrast from the predominately gold and black color scheme. Bumblebee features a cannon that can be swapped out for his arm, providing some good options for display.
The standouts of the ‘Bumblebee Vol. 1 Retro Rock Garage’ set are the dino-cassettes Dairu and Uruaz. Fortunately, the movie-inspired Bumblebee is a solid toy on it’s own and definately adds a significant value to this set. Some stock looks like it’s remaining on HasbroToyShop, so keep your browsers refreshed. If you’ve totally missed this and REALLY want the cassettes, look up the Bumblebee Vol. 2 Retro Pop Highway and grab a Volkswagon Beetle Bumblebee and a different colored set of dino-cassettes. As it is, I see Uruaz being front and center on my desk for a good long time.
Thanks to Hasbro for providing this set to review. And for finding a way to get these dino-cassettes out in the first place.