Cliffbee.com: Movie Arcee Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Arcee
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: 2006 Buell Firebolt XB12R Motorbike (thanks to Fit For Natalie for the model)



MOTORCYCLE MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 4cm

   A metallic crimson and black motorbike, Arcee is taking up where her Energon counterpart left off. There's some silver paint here and there, bronze wheels and white character on the left side of the saddle reading "RC 1100", which is a nice touch. There's also a silver Autobot logo on the top of the saddle and a Massachusetts license plate on the back, number TF 7407. The colours are nice, I do like the metallic crimson, and they represent an evolution of the pink and white seen on the Energon version. Having said that, they do drag Arcee further away from the toyless G1 character of the same name. But then, Movie Jazz is grey, so there you go. I should also mention that her windshield and headlights are transparent blue and taillights are painted red.

   The bike form is actually quite similar to that of the Energon toy - in fact they've based this toy's transformation on the previous version, too. Anyway, it's a fairly sleek motorbike with some nice sculpted details such as a fuel cap in front of her saddle, rear vision mirrors (no silver paint on them, sadly), a chain on the left side of the rear wheel, brakediscs on the same wheel, diffusion patterning on her headlights and footpegs on either side. There's a single exhaust on the right side - which is fairly obviously a missile, and kickstand on the left.

   There's not that much play value here - which is typical of the movie deluxes, which focus on good alt modes rather than modes being compromised by gimmicks. I much prefer this design focus, and while she's fairly static, Arcee's play value is still admirable. The kickstand folds down - and is effective. Both wheels roll quite well, which is significant since the rear wheel splits into semi-circles when she transforms (think Transmetal Tarantulas). The front wheel doesn't turn, which is really the only other thing I might ask here.

   Overall this is a good bike mode. Her hands are visible underneath the saddle - just above the rear wheel - which is the one real complaint I have. The colours aren't G1 Arcee, but then there's a lot of variation in movie toys in that regard, so I'm not about to hold that against her. At any rate, the metallic crimson and black work well. The detailing is good, the play value is about what I'd hope for. Colours aside, this is one of the most realistic Transformer motorbikes we've seen - they've come a _long_ way since the early efforts such as Groove.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   As I said, the basic idea here is swiped from the Energon Arcee. But it works, and this version does improve the concept, so I don't mind that much. Lift up the panel formed by the windshield and petrol cap, revealing her torso. Remove the saddle and exhaust pipe, set aside. Swing up the sides, fond the front wheel and panel underneath, fold up the panel. Pull the sides forward and straighten to form her legs, flip out her feet and heelspurs. Split the rear wheel, fold over the shoulders the arms. Open the chest, lift out her head, close again. Finally, plug the missile into the back of the saddle, which will cause two black pieces to swing out, forming a crossbow. This automorph isn't terribly clever, but the effect is still nice - and it works well enough.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 13.5cm

   A metallic crimson and black robot with silver on her face and groin, Arcee has blue eyes with a nice lightpipe. Her forearms, head and chest are crimson while the upper arms, hands, boots and much of her thighs are black. She's very slender, lacking the puffy thighs of either G1 or Energon Arcee. Her instructions suggest you fold the wheel halves down over her arms, something the the designers apparently intended - but they provide black and bronze wings, and the halves hang down under gravity, which looks much better, and keeps them out of the way of her articulation. The general colour scheme here is again quite nice, although I'm not entirely sold on the reduced role the crimson plays here, it makes her a little dark for my liking. Still the overall colour scheme is still fairly nice - if still not really what you associate with the name.

   This is her weaker mode, although it's not a bad mode as such. Her head is... odd. There's a very angular piece which hangs over the right side, like she's flicked her hair over that direction. It reminds me of Beast Machines Nightscream, although she looks better than he does (in pretty much every aspect). Her bodyshape is clearly feminine, with a narrowish waist and rounded thighs. Thankfully she doesn't have a prominent chest, which would have a been a little too sexual for my liking.

   The wheel halves don't really fit - I get the impression that the designer had something else in mind other than hanging them over the shoulders, since this affects poseability. The marketing guys probably just stuck them over the shoulders, and that was that. I much prefer to lift them up as wings, but even this doesn't totally satisfy me.

   The crossbow weapon is a cool idea, and it fires fairly well. The bars on the side retract as the missile fires, however, so it won't look any good once she's fired. It can clip into the holes on the outsides of her arms (which it does in bike mode) or over a little peg on top of her left forearm. The problem is that there are stress marks on both the holes and the socket underneath the crossbow where the peg slots into - at least on mine. I'm reluctant to do too much with it, as a result.

   Poseability here is very good. The head sits on a ball joint, as do the shoulders, elbows and hips. Her wrists are hinged and bend inwards while there are two hinges per knee and hinges in her ankles for both the feet and heelspurs. I'm happy to report than her heelspurs aren't quite as high (in stiletto terms) as those of her Energon predecessor. There are some cool poses here, including a few where she's aiming the crossbow. The crossbow is a better fit - in terms of proportions - than that of the Energon toy.

   While this is her weaker mode, I do still like it. The crossbow is nice, the poseability good and the colours still work. The wings bug me a little, the head a little and the stress marks more than a little. She's notably thinner than the rest of the movie deluxes - Brawl looks downright obese next to her.

VARIATIONS

   There was a limited black version sold by Takara (thanks to Nik for this info), and a battle damaged version later released by Hasbro.

OVERALL

   Arcee has great bike mode, a decent transformation which improves on the concept introduced in Energon and a nice is slightly disappointing robot mode. The transformation does feel like a rip of from the Energon Arcee - which it is - but it also expands on that idea and improves it, so I don't mind. Her colours are nice, if not quite the colours we know as Arcee. This character was originally intended to be in the film - I can understand the movie people not wanting a pink and while robot in this sort of film, to be honest. While she's not the best deluxe in the line, and is probably the least original, I still think she has something to offer - 7/10

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