This classic action figure is from the now legendary generation one, or G1, series of Transformers from Hasbro back in 1984. The transformer line is easily one of the more successful toy lines of all time. It is also one of the longest running lines. This particular figure is the autobot Bumblebee. He definitely looks like a yellow Volkswagon bug which might explain his using the name Goldbug occasionally in the cartoon series from the mid 80’s. The G1 line was manufactured by Takara in Japan and distributed by Hasbro in the US.
This version of Bumblebee is a mini vehicle or minibot. Bumblebee was one of the smaller Transformers and because of his diminutive stature he was exceptionally good at espionage. According to the storyline Bumblebee was damaged in battle and cannot speak vocally.
For those younger fans who only know of the recent Transformer movie series this version of Bumblebee might be surprising. Of course, in the 2007 movie he was represented by a 1976 Chevrolet Camaro and then a prototype 2009 Camaro. Neither of which are anywhere similar to a Volkswagon Beetle.
Here he is transformed into his autobot form. There was not a whole lot of articulation on some of the early Transformers autobot cars. In fact, they did not have movable knee joints and their feet were fused together as well. Still most of the smaller figures were priced at around $3 which was very affordable.
Bumblebee was also sold in a red version as well as yellow as you can see below.
In fact, there was also a version of Cliffjumper that was sold on a Bumblebee card. That version became known as Bumblejumper. Here is a boxed version of Bumblebee from Japan.
Bumblebee is very hard to find on the card or boxed. The above boxed version from Japan sold for just over $400. A carded US version sells for around $350 to $400 depending upon condition. Loose versions sell for about $25 to $50. The red Bumblejumper sells for about the same loose.