Cliffbee.com: Elita-One Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Elita-One
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Motorbike

Thanks to fatbot for loaning me Elita-One for this review



MOTORBIKE MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 3.5cm (wider with the Energon bits attached)

   A copper, light grey and black motorbike, Elita-One is a repaint of Arcee. The bike itself is largely composed of a metallic copper plastic while the engine area is a mix of light grey and some painted silver. Her saddle, tyres and windshield are composed of a solid black plastic. There's an upside down Autobot logo stamped on the back of her fueltank and silver exhausts under the back of her saddle, while the add-on weaponry is a solid glossy black plastic. This colour scheme is not really reminiscent of her pink and white G1 colours, but then you can't really repaint a pink and white toy into a pink and white toy and hope for it to sell. That's not to say this isn't a thoughtful repaint, but the homage is weak in this mode. To be honest, I don't really mind, since the copper and grey look really good, and I think the black add-ons look better than the transparent Energon equivalents.

   The original Elita-1 (okay, the name was been played with a little) turned into some sort of car, not that the G1 cartoon ever gave us a really good look at her. Like Arcee, she's now a motorbike, since the rounded and slender shape lends itself to the Barbie-doll proportions the G1 female Autobots had. I'm not terribly happy that these girls had those proportions, but I'm glad that the shape is more or less consistent.

   Like Arcee's, her saddle is mostly black, and in front of the saddle is a copper block out of which sticks her spark crystal. You can add the black Energon chip here, and while it covers up the spark crystal, a solid black star looks better than the transparent one did on Arcee's bike mode. It's a pretty good streetbike otherwise, and the black doesn't look as out of place as transparent red did, basically. There are a couple of dials (speedo and tacho, I guess) and handlebars just behind the windshield, which represent enough fine detailing to keep me happy at the basic pricepoint.

   The front does not twist, so can't steer as such, but she does roll, with the front wheel rolling better than the rear wheel. There's a silver headlight and silver indicators on the front while the wheels themselves are painted silver.

   On the left hand side is a long powerlinx hardpoint, that can act as a kickstand, allowing her to lean to the side in "park". By partially swinging down her robot feet you can stand the bike upright, and the same effect can be achieved by adding the Energon bits for her Attack Mode. Not only does this allow her to stand upright, it gives her a giant copper missile she can shoot, on the right hand side, and giant black exhausts on either side. While it doesn't really fit in with the whole realistic bike thing, it looks pretty cool and works well for an attack bike mode, and the black colour really helps them dominate visually.

   Okay, so this doesn't really feel much like Elita-1, but Elita-One is still fairly feminine, without dripping of girlishness like Arcee. The bio note works against this, but you can easily disregard that. The colours are actually better in my opinion - not only are they more "mature" but the blacks work better than the transparent reds of Arcee. It's a pretty good streetbike, the Energon weaponry compliments her and she can lean _and_ stand - someone paid attention whilst designing this toy. I'm struggling to fault this mode, although the rear wheel's spin is bad, it has to split for the robot mode and the versatility of this bike mode is pretty good for a basic sized toy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift out the sides of the bike and swing them over (back to front), straighten them to form her legs, which will more or less stick up in the air. Split the entire back half of the bike, swing the halves out to the sides, revealing the robot head. Swing this head up, push the front wheel to stow it on her back. Rotate the windshield down, so that you can push the legs down. Bring her arms down to her side, stow the rear wheels halves down onto her back, rotate the fists around and give her the crossbow if you like.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 5.5cm

   Elita-One now looks more like the Elita-1 we saw in the G1 media. Her torso, hips and knees are copper, lining up with peachy pink elements of the original. Her head and feet are light grey rather than pink, which is kind of disappointing (Arcee had a painted head, after all). The arms are mainly black rather than pink since they're the saddle, but her thighs, boots and hands are light grey, matching the whites on the original. Her face is silver with blue eyes, close enough to G1 to work even if the headsculpt is Arcee's. The Autobot logo is now on her chest while the Spark Crystal is on her waist. The mixture of colours again works well from an aesthetic point of view, and does just enough to work as the tribute it's meant to. While she's far from the best tribute Transformer, considering the mould they had to work with and the fact that they had to move away from white and the musk pink of Arcee, this is a pretty good effort.

   It's a fairly good robot mode, although the profusion of black on her arms highlights how boxy they are. The Princess Leia buns on the sides of her head are a lot smaller than the G1 animated Arcee's, which is a good thing - the neutral light grey also helps to reduce their visual impact. The chest is the same shape as on the G1 Arcee, although the paint mask here is markedly different to Energon Arcee.

   The mould's feminine pedigree is immediately obvious - her thighs are curvy and feminine, the feet are stiletto boots which would be horribly impractical, but G1 fembots were overly dainty, remember. The stamped Autobot logo is now on her chest, just above the spark crystal. By the way, adding the Energon chip will add more black but it sticks out like a pot belly or something, so I'd recommend leaving it off. Her groin is actually the bike's console, with the speedo and tacho, which is a nice touch.

   The crossbow is too big for her to wield properly, it clips onto the inside of her forearm and she has to point it to the side, which can still work but it's huge in proportion. It's a pretty cool crossbow, however it's really designed for a larger Energon toy and as such, only fits into Elita-One's hand awkwardly. You can plug the halves - as exhausts - into her ankles although this impacts on her stability. The small silver bike exhausts are now blasters protruding from underneath her forearms, so she still gets well-integrated weapons.

   Elita-One is reasonably well articulated, her head turns, her shoulders and wrists are ball jointed, although her elbows are hinged in such a way that they only hinge _in_. While this doesn't ruin the arm poseability, it does limit her posing since she can't lift her elbows. The hips are ball jointed, the knees are double hinges and ankles swing a little. Aside from the limited elbows, I'm quite happy with this articulation, although more arm motion would have helped her handle her crossbow.

   A decent tribute for what she is, and a nice repaint of Arcee. I'm not entirely satisfied that this is the only mass-released version of the character - two decades after she was introduced to us, but at least we have an Elita-1 toy. I do like the repaint anyway, although I'd be lying if I denied picking this figure up for the tribute.

VARIATIONS

   It's a mould that is being trotted out for various female character repaints, most of which are tangental G1 character tributes - but other than Arcee herself this is one of the better tributes. There are no variations as such, but the mould is showing wear - I've heard reports of poor moulding on Elita-One, although toy I reviewed is okay. There was a more G1 faithful BotCon toy of Elita-One as well.

OVERALL

   A decent mould with a good bike mode and a generally clever robot mode that's distinctly feminine. The repaint looks good and does a good job of representing the character despite having to move away from her colours - not an easy task. The switch to solid colours on her accessories is a definite plus, but I can't recommend this toy over the original Arcee figure, simply because the sculpt is designed as Arcee - and that still comes out here. Despite the limitations, this is a good repaint and while she's not a pure Elita-1, it's a good repurposing of this mould - 7/10

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