So I just got the Evolution Bumblebee two pack yesterday. Let's review it!
Before we get to the main attraction, let's look at the little guy. The representation for "G1" Bumblebee in this set is a redeco of Generations Legends Bumblebee. I never got that Bumblebee, but from what I can see, it's basically the same toy with a less exciting deco. He's surprisingly neat though, the robot mode is pretty cute and more poseable than I'd expect, and the alt mode is okay, kind of gappy on the sides. I mostly like the transformation, the entire sides of the alt mode form the arms in a simple, but unique way I haven't seen before. He also inexplicably comes with a redeco of DOTM Jolt's mechtech weapon, which looks hilarious on him. It's absurdly huge in his little mitts, I'm surprised he can even stand while holding this thing.
As for Deluxe 'Bee, in alt mode he's a 2014 concept camaro. Unlike most people, I actually really like this alt mode for Bumblebee. It's sleek and has a lot of character, and it just fits Bumblebee better than the previous alt modes in a way I can't explain. The toy version is decent. It has a lot of panel lines and gaps that are pretty ugly, it feels like a downgrade compared to the alt modes of other AOE toys like Drift or Galvatron, which have very few transformation seams. It still works, but could use more paint, especially in the back. Weapon storage is well done, the shuriken stow away underneath tightly and don't hinder rolling like say, Drift's swords.
The transformation is pretty fun and interesting. It's very different from most of the Movie Bumblebees we've gotten, they don't use the same damn leg transformation, thankfully. The new leg transformation is really cool too, definite upgrade there. Going to robot mode can be finicky, if only because of how absurdly tight the front of the car is held together. There's a couple of tabs there that you should really cut off, they're just frustrating, don't help with anything, and the front fits together more flush when they're gone.
Robot mode is really where he shines. The proportions and overall aesthetic are excellent. He has a really strong and athletic build, with the bulky chest and shoulders and the sleek lower body and limbs. The backpack isn't all that bothersome, it at least holds together really well. The doors hanging off the arms are a bit more annoying, but not a deal breaker. He has some damn good articulation. A great ball jointed neck, and a lot of good ratchets and swivels in the limbs. You can get a lot of good poses out of him. And he's DEAD solid. Nothing is going to flop around on this guy. The paint is kind of shit though, at least on mine. The yellow chips easily, and doesn't match well to the plastic at all. The black isn't too much better, a lot of paint on the chest was chipped on mine out of package. The tiny Autobot logo on his head is really neat though.
Gimmicks are awesome, you can tell they were trying to pack in as much as they could with this guy. The cannon is sweet, and handled way better than Battle Blade's. The mask doesn't cover the face, but it's still a neat visor. It has a badass insectoid look to it that I dig a lot. It's really hard to flip down though, I swear I sweat a little every time I do it, since I've heard horror stories of it cracking. And with the way it works, you can give him some expression with it, by lifting it up it makes him look really surprised, which is hilarious. As for separate weapons, he has these pentagrams/shuriken/throwing star things. They're okay, he doesn't really hold them properly. I like to think of them being more like some kind of bladed punching weapons, which I think fits his fighting style more. And if you don't like them, you can just store them on his back like in the movie and ignore them.
All in all, this Bumblebee is a winner. He's a really solid and excellent little Deluxe with a lot of play value. I'd say he's up there with Evasion Optimus, Hound and Scorn for me, as far as AOE toys go.