Kamen's review: Arcee
Arcee is a born hunter. Before joining the Autobots, she passed her time tracking turbofoxes on Cybertron with some of the other speedsters, taking great pride in approaching as close as she could to them, quickly and silently, before tagging them with her bow. She's brought those skills with her to earth, where she passes the days stalking unsuspecting Decepticons until she draws close enough to strike.
Prior to Arcee’s debut in [i]The Transformers: The Movie
a group of female Autobots (Elita-1, Chromia, Moonracer, and Firestar) were featured prominently in the G1 episode “The Search for Alpha Trion.” However, Arcee is certainly the most well-known Female Autobot due to her prominence as a reoccurring character in The Transformers
’ third season. She did not appear in the US Transformers comics, though she did have a number of appearances in the UK series. Arcee would not appear in the animated Transformers universe until Transformers: Energon
, where she was introduced as the leader of the Omnicons (she did, however, receive an amusing reference in Beast Wars
, where Rattrap refers to his Great Aunt Arcee). The 2007 live action Movie was to include a version of Arcee, but she was dropped in favor of Ironhide.
Although an Arcee figure was released as a Botcon exclusive repaint of Transmetal 2 Blackarachnia, Arcee would not have an original mold until she was released as part of the Energon
line as a white and pink basic sized motorcycle; the same figure would be release again as part of the Target exclusive Movie line, this time in a blue and silver color scheme. Now Arcee returns with a second new mold, this time as a deluxe.
Arcee, in this mode, is a Buell Firebolt. Befitting a sports bike, the mold has virtually no hard edges, flows smoothly from back to front. There is a bit of detailing, concentrated on the engine block, which makes up the majority of the figure in this mode. The front wheels are supported by clearly molded pistons, the rear wheel has the typical drive chain molded on one side. Small but necessary details such as handle bars and foot rests also make an appearance along side a fuel port and working kickstand. The bike even has a license plate (marked 7407 naturally) and an exhaust pipe. However, despite, or because of, this attention to detail, the intrusion of the robot hands really shatters the otherwise superb form of the bike. As it is, the hands look like they are supposed to form the rear bumper, and they don’t look too bad until one sees the way the thumb sticks out. A hinge on the thumb would have easily fixed this.
Fuchsia, a much better choice than G1 Arcee’s pink, colors the majority of the vehicle, with black coming in second to fill in a lot of the details. Silver appears on the side of the bike and on the top in front of the seat; silver is also used for the Autobot symbol on there rear of the seat and for the lettering “RC 1100" that appears on the rear and side of the motorcycle. A subdued gold tone fills in the spokes of the wheels, and makes a small appearance at the top of the engine block. Translucent violet plastic features on the front of the bike as the windshield and headlights. A nice, if simple, color scheme, the only detailing missing, and I’m nitpicking here, is that viewing surface of the side mirrors is left the same fuchsia color as the rest of the mirror. A touch of silver paint (or the same kind of sticker they used for the Alternators mirrors) would have immensely added to this figures appeal. None of the other deluxe figures have their mirrors painted either, but the mirrors are much more obvious on the bike.
Besides a kickstand that can move up and down, Arcee has no action features. Her wheels roll freely, though she, of course, falls over quickly if one tries to send her on her way without hand support. Of particular note, however, is that she is the right side to accommodate standard six-inch figures from other lines, assuming they can articulate properly. Some basic size Transformers figures can fit as well, though more awkwardly. And someday I would love to see a Transformers motorcycle mold that can actually move its handlebars and front wheel.
Though the figure does have some flaws, they are minor, and Arcee definitely comes out ahead compared to some other motorcycle modes.
It is impossible to look at Arcee in robot mode and not immediately know that she is female. The figure takes full advantage of the motorcycle’s curves to create a distinctly feminine robot. Like her alternate form, Arcee has virtually no sharp points, only smoothly rounded curves. Her proportions are also classic (or perhaps stereotypically ideal), sculpted into the “coke bottle” shape: wider at the shoulder and hips, yet with a small waist. Arcee is thin, though in a lithe and powerful way, rather than in an anorexic way. In bit of quixotic fancy, she has also been sculpted with an appropriately sized bust...and high-heels. Fortunately, the female details are not the only ones on the figure. Much more robotic detail appears in this mode, focused mainly on the inside of her thighs and on her chest and hips. Her face has several layers of grooves and tubing detail, all of which is framed by a helmet that is likely a nod to her G1 appearance.
Her coloring remains largely the same: fuchsia and black for the majority of her body. However, silver takes on a larger role, appearing on her hips, chest, and composing most of her face. Gold remains in the same places as her alternate mode, though the wires on her chest are much more prominent. One new color, blue, shows up on the inside of her thighs and on her hips. Translucent violet plastic in her head gives her a nice light-piping effect.
For articulation, Arcee has several points. Her head is on a ball joint, and thus has full motion side to side and up and down. Both her shoulders and elbows are on ball joints; however, her hands only swing on hinge joints, and the way her arms are put together limits the number of natural poses she can take. Another ball joint in her wrist would have been welcome. Her knees and ankles have the typical hinge joint, but no ability to swivel, which is disappointing but not unexpected. A ball joint also articulates her hips; unfortunately, it only allows her to swing her legs forward and backward. Movement sideways is very limited. Somewhat predictably, Arcee’s balance tends to be precarious, partly because of the limited articulation in her legs and partly because of her heeled feet. Either way, posing her can be difficult at times.
Arcee comes with two accessories in this mode: her motorcycle seat and her exhaust pipe. Together they form her crossbow weapon; however, some assembly is required. Place the notched end of the pipe into the hole above the license plate to activate the figures automorph, swinging the sides of the crossbow into place. Press the black tab behind the Autobot symbol to fire the missile and retract the crossbow’s wings. This mechanism works very well and looks great.
There are, however, two annoyances this figure has. I will discuss the major one first. During her transformation, her vehicle mode’s rear wheel splits apart, with one half ending up on each shoulder. A hinge near the arm allows the wheels to fold forward over her shoulders like armor. Although this looks really good there is no built in way to keep the tire halves from spinning freely. A lock of some sort would have been awesome. But even if you do manage to arrest the tires, if you move her arms up, she ends up gouging her face with the hubcaps. A simple solution would have been to reverse the hinge and have them fold toward the back. However, I can’t help but think that this would have been a good place to put and automorph, though I admit that I have no idea how to put it in with out sacrificing articulation in the shoulder.
The second annoyance is very minor, and it has to do with the position of the front of the bike. It just kind of...hangs off her butt. I think it would have been cool if this piece detached and became a shield.
Arcee has some problems in this mode, but she is still a good figure.
Arcee’s transformation is nearly identical to the scout sized version of Arcee. It’s not at all difficult, but I would have loved to have a fresh take on the motorcycle’s transformation scheme. On the other hand there isn’t any automorph to get in the way, or to help either. 2/10
I haven’t had any major problems, but I noticed that white stress marks appeared near the holes in her arms where her weapon attaches. There haven’t been any problems so far, though. 8/10
Her vehicle mode is great. Her robot mode is enjoyable but does suffer a bit. 7/10
$9.99 US A decent price. I wouldn’t pay more for her unless it was the cost of shipping. 8/10
Arcee is a good toy. She has some definite drawbacks in her robot mode, but her vehicle mode is awesome. Plus she’s the only female Autobot in the movie line and this is only her second release as a new mold. I might not make her my first priority, there are better figures, but I’d definitely put her on the must have list. 8/10