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Bumblebee

Bumblebee makes an appearance as one of the Autobots in the live-action Transformers film trilogy. He retains some elements from his Generation 1 design, such as the iconic horn-like pieces in his head, which are articulated in the films. The cautious but brave Bumblebee was given a different alternate mode from his original G1 incarnation, instead of a Volkswagen Beetle, he transforms into a Chevrolet Camaro (the model year of which is upgraded in the first film). Director Michael Bay states in the special features of DVD 2 of the first film, that the change of Bumblebee's alternate mode was due to the fact that a Volkswagen Beetle reminded him of Herbie. Due to a battle injury, he is rendered effectively mute, and communicates through use of selected playback of radio and television signals. Though his original voice is restored at the end of the first Transformers film, he communicates solely through his radio in Revenge of the Fallen and alternates between his voice and his radio in Dark of the Moon. The biography for the Decepticon Hardtop figure states that he and Bumblebee are old rivals and it was not Megatron who damaged Bumblebee's vocal processor, but a shot from Hardtop's gun. This, however, is in almost direct opposition of the film's prequel.

Bay stated in an early interview that Bumblebee stands about 17 and a half feet tall, but the official guide to the Transformers video game says he is 16 feet tall.

Bumblebee depicted as a 1977 Camaro and four different iterations of a fifth-generation Camaro with the below version being the production version that began with the 2010 model year. The vehicles used for Bumblebee, Ironhide, Jazz and Ratchet were put on display by General Motors at the 2007 Detroit River Walk Festival a little over a week before the U.S. release of the film.

In Hot Rod magazine's Nov. 2006 issue, Bumblebee was a feature article. Originally a worn-out 1969 Camaro, producers settled on a 1977 model. It is painted yellow with black stripes, primer and rust patches, riveted hood scoop, Cragar SS wheels up front, Eric Vaughn Real Wheels in the back, marine-grade vinyl seats, and even an eight-track player. The Camaro Concept model was built using a 2006 Pontiac GTO by Saleen, with the body built from the same GM R&D molds that were used in the original 2006 Camaro Concept. Early photos show that Bumblebee can transform his right arm into a plasma cannon and has missile launchers in his shoulders. In addition to his firearms, in the game Bumblebee can extend an axe-like "stinger" from his wrist, in a similar fashion to how Optimus releases his sword. Bumblebee uses this in close-quarters combat. This weapon was most notable in the video game. The 1977 Camaro movie vehicle was sold on eBay with a winning bid of U.S. $40,100.01.


As a tribute to the original form of Bumblebee, a yellow Volkswagen Beetle appears next to him at the car dealership. Bumblebee damages the Beetle in order to ensure that Sam purchases him. He also has a bee-shaped air freshener attached to his rear view mirror with the words "Bee-otch". The air freshener was the subject of a lawsuit for $850,000 due to its alleged resemblance to another design.

Since his conversion from 1977 Camaro to 2006 Camaro Concept, Bumblebee's alternate mode continues to evolve throughout the film series. In Revenge of the Fallen, he sports a different set of alloy wheels (apparently, in the first two films are actually hubcaps made from composite to look like a set of wheel-disc brake) and a custom front bumper. For Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Now a Camaro SS), his color changes from yellow to amber with thicker black stripes that run across his hood, roof and trunk. In addition, he will have dark-colored rims and side mirrors, as well as a rear spoiler. Also, in Transformers Dark of the Moon, he has a sort of vehicle battle mode in which he can use his weapons in car mode without fully transforming and still being able to seat a driver and passengers.

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