Alternate Mode: Sports Car
Height: 4cm Length: 14cm Width: 11cm
A dark pink futuristic sports car with white on the rear fenders and spoilers, Arcee has a transparent blue racing canopy featuring a stamped red Autobot logo. There's some silver on her spoilers and hood, along with some white on the hood and doors. There are four black plastic wheels partially visible under her fenders and two transparent blue exhausts at the back. Arcee has twin yellow headlights painted at the front. It's a good colour scheme which fits the cartoon well. It's also quite close to that of G1 Arcee, even if the pink used is a much lighter shade.
As with most Animated toys, Arcee's vehicle mode is quite stylised. She's also notable for being the first Arcee toy with an alt mode based on that of G1 Arcee (which never actually got a toy). The "Cybertronian" design of that character's alt mode is pretty close to this car, making this a good substitute. There's a narrow "waist" in the middle here, giving her deeply recessed doors. The spoilers sit on either fender, as sort of winglets - a nice stylised element, but probably not one that helps her aerodynamics much.
There's minimal play value here aside from the wheels rolling. I guess you could count detaching the spoilers, but that just leaves awkward tabs. Most Animated Deluxes have minimal play value and to be honest, an Arcee car (repurposed repaints aside) has enough cache in itself to make this mode cool.
A good vehicle mode despite no play value. The colours work well - making me wonder why Arcee was skipped in G1 - and the stylised look gives her a very sleek look. That she approximates G1 Arcee's vehicle mode is a bonus, albeit one that will please many fans.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Fold the rear fenders down, pull out the hands from behind the canopy, revealing her head. Position the arms. Split the hood, pull down to form her legs, rotate the waist. Rotate the boots so that they're open in front, fold in the shin panels & lift up her feet. Swing the doors down as hip armour.
Height: 17cm Width: 7.5cm
A pink robot with white hip plates, a white head and a light pink face, Arcee has blue eyes with a very handy lightpipe. There's a red Autobot logo stamped on her chest, maroon on her waist and some black on her hips, but this robot mode is very much about pink. The wings sit on her shoulder pylons, giving Arcee some more white, albeit on the periphery. The blue exhausts stick out of the shoulder pylons. Again it's a nice colour scheme, although the pink is a little strong now - more white on her legs would have helped in this regard.
As you'd expect Arcee is quite stylised, with a large head on a stalk of a neck, concave shins and wide ankles. The stylised parts work well together, giving her wider points at the top and bottom of her body. The kibble (fenders) behind her head fit into this theme, which actually helps minimise their visual impact. Her head bears the Princess Leia buns which G1 Arcee so un-subtly introduced in 1986.
The poseability here is pretty good, with ball joints in her neck, shoulders. elbows and hips while there are rotators below her elbows and hips. The elbow rotators effectively work as wrists. The ankles feature hinges and rotators, giving her feet a range of poses, and while she lacks heelspurs, the big boots mean she doesn't need them. The knees are hinged, rounding out good poseability.
The exhausts slide out as twin transparent blue swords, to be placed in either hand, but the handles are a little too wide, so placing them in her hands will cause her thumbs quite a bit of stress - and eventually the thumbs will break off, so you'll need to either sand back the handles or just leave then on her back (which I've done, since I don't fancy the sanding job). There's a notch which helps her car mode hood stay together that can get in the way of her right knee (on some versions, mine is unaffected). Arcee was released after Animated was essentially cancelled so I suspect these two flaws weren't ironed out before release - even if the right knee was fixed as a running change.
A good robot mode and while this robot mode is the closest we've got to G1 Arcee, the relative lack of white gives this robot mode a different feel. I would have like some white on her legs anyway, since the pink is so bold. The poseability is good, but it's a shame the weapons are so poorly designed - since the idea is actually a good one. Again this robot mode looks good without impressing through engineering - the ideas are great but execution a little off.
The Hasbro release had a glossy pink plastic while the Takara one (which I have) featured a matte plastic. As mentioned there's a running change allowing later toys to straighten out the right knee - mine has this change, thankfully.
A good toy, but a slightly frustrating one as the thumb issue and the colours in robot mode hold her back a little. Both modes still display well, and the stylised look works well - not a given in this line. The play value is decent if nothing special, but it could have used weapons that fit into her hands properly. This is the closest we've come to a G1 Arcee toy and I'm sure many will by her on that alone (I did), but even leaving that side, this is still a solid toy - 7.5/10