Alternate Mode: Motorbike
Height: 6cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 3.5cm (wider with the Energon bits attached)
A white motorbike with some silver mechanical bits around the black plastic wheels, transparent pink windshield and black and pink along the top, Arcee has a pretty good colour scheme. It's a very feminine colour scheme - in an anime way - largely because of the use of muskstick pink (for North Americans, Australia has musk candy), but also because of the deep crimson paint that's also used.
The transparent pink is a very dark pink, almost red, like the pink of grapefruits. It works pretty well with the muskstick and crimson pink hues used. The saddle is mostly black, and in front of the saddle is a deep crimson block out of which sticks her spark crystal. You can add the Energon chip here, although it looks out of place on a fairly well shaped streetbike. Just behind this there's an upside down Autobot logo, which is really for the bot mode but visible here. 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. The front is mainly black except for the yellow headlight and some metallic blue accents just under the handlebars.
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 silver missile she can shoot, on the right hand side, and giant transparent pink 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 colour of the Energon pieces work with her colour scheme - which is not the case for a lot of Energon toys.
While it's not a pink droptop, this is a nice bike mode, it's believable as a streetbike, even if the white, black and pink is a stretch. The colour scheme works quite well, 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.
Height: 10cm Width: 5.5cm
A mixture of white black and pink, with the pink and black now more prominent. Arcee has muskstick pink elbows, head and collar. Her face is silver with blue eyes. The shoulders, forearms and outer thighs are black, the chest is deep crimson and black with the spark crystal encased in a white circle. The inner thighs, hands, feet and shins are white, the groin and knees grey and ankles deep crimson.
It's a fairly good robot mode, although the head is a little bright with all that pink. But then it's Arcee, the Transformers' answer to the Pink Panther. This colour scheme is not that of the Arcee we all know from Transformers: The Movie, but it's close enough to sell the illusion. The Princess Leia buns on the sides of her head are a lot smaller than the G1 animated Arcee's, but are present. The chest is the same shape as on the G1 Arcee, another throwback that's clearly deliberate.
I get the impression that the designer was trying to make a decent bike mode, a colour scheme that wasn't dominated by pink (because pink Action Figures wont sell, or something) and yet still make something that would pass as being the same character as G1 Arcee. This has for the most part succeeded. This _looks_ like an upgrade of Arcee as a motorbike, even if she's lost a lot of her pink. The thighs are curvy and feminine, the feet are stiletto boots (which would be horribly impractical, but G1 Arcee had dainty impractical feet too) and the wheel halves sitting on posts behind her shoulders fit with the fenders sitting behind the G1 version's shoulders.
Arcee's stamped Autobot logo is now on her chest, just above the spark crystal. By the way, adding the Energon chip will add more pink 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. I don't really mind, since it's a pretty cool crossbow, perfect for a larger Energon toy (and that's half the point of the basic sized toys, to sell Energon weapons for larger toys), and the small white bike exhausts are now blasters protruding from underneath her forearms.
Arcee's 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.
It's a robot mode we've waiting 18 years for, and considering it's only a basic, it's a pretty good one. The colours work without being drowned in pink, the articulation is mostly good, although the elbows suck. The weaponry is cool, so there's enough play value for a basic sized toy.
The Superlink version has a Barbie pink rather than musk, and there was a limited release green "Paradron Type" sold as a magazine exclusive in Japan - which I've reviewed separately.
About bloody time. We've waited almost two decades for an Arcee toy (I wont count the BotCon toy since it was a limited repaint of something else), and this toy delivers fairly well. No, it's not the movie design, but it's still a good representation of that same character. Energon is a different continuity to G1, so judging this toy purely as a G1 comparison is a little unfair to the current toyline, even if this is clearly a toy inspired by and designed to be able to represent G1 Arcee. As an Energon toy in her own right, Arcee is a very good basic, with nice colours, two solid modes and a kick-ass crossbow. Most pictures I've seen online don't really do this toy justice - she's better than most photos indicate, in fact her only real flaw is the badly designed elbow joints - 8/10 as G1 Arcee and 9/10 as an Energon toy