The Plight of the Bumblebee

Last Wednesday I accompanied my dad at the SM San Lazaro (one of Manila’s famous malls) supposedly to buy some stuff for the house but we were tipped off by someone that the entire mall will be having a sale some time next week, so he decided to wait until the sale and off we went to Suki Market (a known wet and dry marketplace near our area) to get some supplies for my mom. As my dad went inside I decided to look around the place to amuse myself a bit while waiting. From newspaper/magazine stands to stalls that sell cellphone units and accessories, nothing seems to catch my fancy as I walked back and forth hoping that nobody notices me doing the same routine like a loony or something… until I stumbled upon this stall that sold a variety of goods! Sprawled upon the concrete just below my feet was an assortment of small plastic toys! Oh what joy as I began to rummage for some items that might interest me. It wasn’t for long that I got hold of several pieces of these Lego-like toys which can be formed into your favorite “Transformers” characters.

Bumblebee on top of box (notice the Autobots and Decepticons logo on one of the flaps)

Of course these are not the real deal and they are most definitely genuine bootlegs from China, though it’s not an issue for me since I collect both originals and replicas and the important thing for me is that, for as long as it’s a toy it’s perfectly fine with me. The young lady minding the stall told me that it is selling for only Php 10/each (roughly around $0.23) So I decided to get one for myself and a couple of minutes later my dad arrived all done with his business there and we both went back home. As soon as I was settled in, I began tinkering on the small box along with the contents inside… and here’s my analysis.

A photo of the mini bootleg toy I bought along with its box

Another photo of the Lego-like toy with box showing its back portion

Since majority of what was written on the box is in Chinese, there were some hints of English on the label along with the famous Autobots and Decepticons logo printed on one of its flaps. What was clear to me is that the toy was supposed to be Bumblebee from Transformers, but being a bootleg toy and all it is a far cry… a waaayyyy far cry from the real Bumblebee we all know, but nevertheless I was interested to see what it looks like after I began piecing the parts together. After a few minutes I was done with the assembly and for someone like me who’s not that picky nor meticulous with toys, it wasn’t bad at all. I definitely agreed with what my friend Raipo had to say about the mini toy when I posted the photos I took. In its entirety it looks very interesting… only if the Chinese toy manufacturer gave it a standout identity and not, in any way, associating it with anyone from Transformers. But hey, they too need to make a living… even if it means doing it the “other” way, it’s all part of their marketing strategy. Later that evening I prepared my little tabletop studio, grabbed my camera and fired away taking a few snapshots of the toy and the rest of the photos are uploaded in our Made in X Facebook page. ‘Til next time folks!


2 thoughts on “The Plight of the Bumblebee

    • Yeah, too bad that they had to market it under Transformers. I guess it’s all about marketing strategy, if they’re going to sell it under its own identity it might flop or something to that effect, so they needed to jump in the bandwagon since kids are so into the Transformers mania and anything related to them will sell like pancakes… Oh well.

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