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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Blackjack's review: Elita-One

Name: Elita-One
Allegiance: Autobot
Size Class: Scouts Class
Repaint of: Transformers: Energon Arcee
Accessories: Four-part Crossbow; Missile; Energon Star

Elita-One is one of the many Walmart-exclusive repaints during the first movie line, when Hasbro churned out lots of these guys to cash in on the big movie craze. Many of the repaints, however, were repaints of Energon and Cybertron-era molds, which don’t exactly fit in well with the Movie aesthetic. Of course, that doesn’t stop Hasbro from doing it, and that doesn’t stop IDW comic writers from taking these toy-exclusive characters and using them as cannon fodder in their comics.

One of these repaints is Elita-One, a repaint of Energon-era Omnicon Arcee in maroon. The name homages Optimus Prime’s girlfriend in the original cartoon, but the rather rubbish bio makes Elita-One kind of a… well, she is able to use her ‘attraction field’ to overheat other male Transformers around her. It’s kind of silly. And stupid.

Of course, since Elita-One is a practical nobody other than that one episode in the original cartoon, not many people really cares about her, and evidently not the writers of IDW’s Reign of Starscream comics, where Elita gets killed by Starscream. And then because in Revenge of the Fallen one of the Arcee bikes gets named ‘Elita-One’ by Hasbro, IDW writers rush with their retcon team, tidying up their version of Movie Arcee and dead Elita-One as best as they could. So basically Elita-One’s dead body gets used in a Decepticon experiment where Arcee’s spark is split between three bodies. And thus Elita-One the not-Arcee is born. Or something.

Anyway, I got this toy during the movie craze because she was cheap.

Alternate Mode:
Elita transforms into a brownish-maroon, black and silver motorcycle. The colours are pretty evenly distributed alongside her alternate mode. She hides her robot kibble relatively well – the arms transform into the seat seamlessly (with the hands showing flat surfaces) and the torso is well disguised as a block. The upper legs look like pieces of the motorcycle body, but the lower legs (and the high heels) are pretty visible. They are painted in white, however, and in any case, the included energon weapons (painted in solid black instead of random clear plastic) can combine into two… pistons? Additional engines? Whatever they are. They attach onto the sides of Elita’s motorcycle mode, and make a rather good effort at trying to blend in with her. It isn’t what I would call perfect – the weapons are clearly out of scale with Arcee, they scrape the ground a little, and one of the engines has a big missile stuck onto it.

But it does a rather serviceable motorbike, a pretty solid toy, and she rolls on the ground pretty fun.

Robot Mode:
Elita-One’s robot mode is… well, it’s kibbly. She transforms into the likeness of G1 Arcee, and her paint scheme’s layout clearly tries to homage G1 Arcee, albeit substituting the far tastier pinkish maroon instead of baby pink. It’s a pretty well homage, yet tasty enough to blend into the more realistic movie decos as she is supposed to do. She unfolds quite cleanly in a relatively simple transformation. I am not a fan of her wimpy arms, though. The elbows are only hinged in one direction, so Elita can only awkwardly move her lower arms sideways, which doesn’t lead to good articulation. The shoulders are better-articulated, thankfully, so she can at least point that giant crossbow at others.

The rest of her is pretty good. She balances quite well on her high heels, although the windshield and front wheel of the motorcycle just hangs off her back like… well, like nothing. They just hang there. The halves of the rear wheel can either stick on top from Elita-One’s shoulders, or tucked away so they’re more out of view, depending on your taste. Personally I like to know that my Transformers actually turn into something, so the unobstructive shoulder wings always point upwards.

Elita’s head is a fair approximation of her original Leia-bunned G1 version, albeit with Ariel’s (G1 Elita’s old name and body) hairdo thrown into the mix. It isn’t very distractive. You can peg the similarly black-plastic Energon Star into her chest, and if you remove it there is a silver Autobot insignia inside.

Her two… pipe things combine, and the exhaust pipes peg onto the sides in an approximation of a crossbow weapon. It does look impressive, if only Elita-One has actual arms to hold it with… see, she doesn’t have real hands, just pieces of plastic with hands molded onto them, which are, to be fair, on a ball joint, but they can only articulate away from the motorcycle piece, making rather crappy hands. The crossbow pegs onto a hole in Elita-One’s wrists, which is rather comically impractical and oversized. The crossbow looks much better when held by a Deluxe Class figure, but it’s quite serviceable on Elita-One.

The weapon fires pretty far when you press the button, but it's not trigger-happy like some of my toys are.

Elita is a strictly average robot. She's not great, but the arm problems and badly-positioned kibble doesn't really make her terrible.

Marks out of ten for the following:
Transformation Design: 6/10 It’s a toy from the Energon line, so you really can’t expect much here. It’s serviceable, I suppose, for a toy her size and quite fun to do. Transforming into motorcycle mode requires some rather fiddly lining up of the front wheels which I’m not too fond of.

Durability: 8/10 Aside from losing her weapon pieces or snapping off the pegs in the wheels, I don’t think you’ll break Elita-One unless you’re a real philistine.

Aesthetics: 7/10 She looks quite good, as long as you get over the ‘not a Bayformer’ aesthetic. The rather muted yet slightly pinkish maroon is quite classy, and the silver and black are pretty well and muted secondary colours. For a deco that is supposed to homage G1 Arcee’s robot mode, the use of maroon instead of pink pleases me.

Articulation: 3/10 Mmm, to be fair, she is an Energon-era toy, but compared to the other Omnicon molds I own, Arcee does feel much less articulated. The aforementioned arms are a big factor, but her kibble also detracts from her articulation.

Fun: 6/10 She comes with a huge weapon, and she was a decent toy. I liked her, anyway.

Price/Value: 8/10 She’s worth it for what you’re paying back then for the Scouts class price range, and now I don’t think her aftermarket price has increased significantly.

Overall: 6.5/10 Elita’s a very average toy, but back then I liked her quite a lot. She’s got a rather fetching deco as compared to numerous other versions of this mold, and the maroon is a very pretty colour, and a rather uncommon one as well. She won’t blow you away, but despite articulation problems, she is a good, solid toy and display piece. The weapon can plug into many other toys as well, which is always a good bonus.
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