Beatmix Bumblebee arrived today, courtesy of my Discover card cashback bonus redemption with Sharper Image; so he was (in a way) free! He also came with a new product catalog I don't think we've seen, which has Ultimate Bumblebee and Robot Replicas Barricade featured. I know a lot of folks probably don't care too much about BB, but I think many were wondering exactly what it does, so hopefully this will help. He is, for all practical purposes, a fancy speaker that does some other cool stuff. He'll operate with your iPod, Diskman, pretty much anything with a stereo jack (same plug size as standard headphones). Heck, if you've got a record player, you could most likely hook him up to that, too. His primary function is as a playback device, so just to clarify, he is not an mp3 player himself, nor can he download or store music (for the most part--more on that later). BB's box is about ten inches tall and six inches deep and has a window that displays beautifully. One thing that immediately surprised me was how not-prominently displayed the Transformers logo is on the packaging. It's relegated to a tiny box in the bottom right corner on the front, and even smaller on the top and back. The sides of the box do not say Transformers at all. I was glad to see the Collector's Club logo make it onto the packaging. His doors ship separately in the box and need to be snapped onto his back. Six standard-issue Hasbro twist ties kept BB safe and secure on his way to my house. BOX FRONT BOX BACK BB takes four AA batteries (2 in each foot) to operate. The elbows and shoulders have ratcheting joints that can be manually positioned, and these are the only parts that can be moved by the user. The elbows have only a hinge, so there's limited movement there. There is no leg, knee, or hip movement whatsoever. ARMS EXTENDED ARMS RAISED WITH DOORS ATTACHED He has eight LED lights: - Eyes (2) - Nipples! (2) - Chest under the Autobot logo--also the record button for capturing samples (1) - Upper back/doors (2) - Lower back--also the power button (1) The speaker is just above the license plate on his stomach. You plug your audio device into his right heel. The sound sensor, which picks up external music (when you're not feeding music through the cord), is located in his crotch. There are "beat buttons" on his chest and just above both feet (more on those later), a volume control on his left outside shin, and a "scratch wheel" on his right outside shin. When you power him on, he plays a rock rendition of the Transformers theme and runs through a quick series of LED sequences. To turn him off, you press and hold the same button - there's another LED animation + the transform sound to confirm power off. Here's a fast video of the power up sequence BB gets progressively more "excited" as more music plays through him. After two minutes of music, he's fully "excited" (lol) and will display all the various lights and movement sequences. Movement includes head, door-wings, and waist. Here are some fast pics, intentionally taken in low light to illustrate the light features. PIC PIC PIC PIC More features... the following is taken from the manual, as I don't think I can explain it better: "The toy is able to manually record music and beats (in 5-second clips), and it will also randomly record music and beats (in 3-second clips). These sound clips are stored in its memory (up to 60 seconds). The toy will then play the recordings back, at random, depending on its energy level." You can also manually record five second clips by pressing the Autobot logo. Here's another excerpt from the manual that explains how those are managed: "Recorded sound clips in the internal memory disappear over time. If the toy receives no new input for 15 minutes, it will start to erase recorded clips from its memory. If the toy has not been exposed to music for 1-2 days, there won't be any recorded music in the memory." Additionally, there are "beat machine" buttons on the left and right chest panels, as well as above each foot. These sounds are a bit cheesy, and can be looped by following various button sequences. All in all, this thing is cool as an oddity, and for the fact that Bumblebee playing music in this fashion is a bit of a tie-in to his character in the movie. Still, I'd have a hard time giving it a full-on recommendation to anyone unless you really like this kind of stuff. Points are lost for the squatty proportions (would have been better with Cyberstompin Bumblebee's legs) and the lack of knee and hip movement, although that is undoubtedly to ensure the figure remains stable while the waist is in motion. Click here for another video, featuring Huey!