You know when you’re looking forward to seeing a soon-to-be-released film, and every shop and supermarket in town is literally stuffed with merch? Sometimes it takes longer than that for merch items to hit the market:
So, yeah, after about 3 decades, Arcee from the original Transformers movie finally has a toy on the market. She’s quite a nice sculpt, looking reasonably screen-accurate, packed with 2 guns and 2 bladed weapons.
Arcee has two guns packed with her; a little square-barrelled pistol that strongly resembles her gun from the movie, and a more brutish tubular thing that looks sort of Dalek-ish to me, though I can’t put my finger on why. Either of these guns will peg nicely into her fists, wrist-mounts, shoulders, or stay “holstered” or her hips.
Her colour scheme is almost completely screen accurate, except for a few touches of black which break up the pink-and-white quite nicely. These are mostly on hinged areas, so I suspect that they are a denser plastic than the rest of her, and that their presence is an engineering necessity. Her chest is missing the Autobot sigil present on in the cartoon, but I think I can remedy that easily enough.
Though this is clearly G1 Arcee (the pink colour-scheme and Princess Leia hairstyle should leave you in no doubt), her bladed weapons can be used as swords in the style of TFA Arcee, or wielded as katar or arm-blades like TFP Arcee. I guess this kind of cross-continuity joke counts as fanservice of a sort, right?
The articulation on this figure is quite nice, but nothing special. Her shoulders, neck and hips are on ball-joints, whilst her knees and elbows are simple hinges. Her flat strut-backed heels are nice and stable, and although she has a largish backpack of car parts, it seems most of her mass is in her torso, so she stands well in any reasonable pose.
Transforming Arcee isn’t hard. You pretty much just fold her head away, then unfold the car-parts on her back and tug her limbs into the shell this creates. Interestingly, some of her sculpted details are only visible during the process of transforming her. There are some piston-like “mechanical” looking structures tucked inside her belly that can’t be seen in either mode. Also of interest is the tidy articulation in the upper thighs that allows the car modes back wheels to be hidden away in robot mode.
In her alt-mode, Arcee looks fairly sleek, and “retro-futuristic” in a distinctly 80s way. Of course, the early 80s idea of what cars from a utopian 2005 would look like seems endearingly naive nowadays. It seems that the toy-makers managed to match up nicely with the cartoon design.
The guns and swords all peg in nicely to those rectangular indentations at the back, allowing you to clip all four weapons into her alt-mode, turning her from a sleek sports car into a gun-studded and blade-edged chariot-thing, if that’s your bag.
All in all, she’s a nice figure, with reasonable articulation and a nice altmode. I’m sure that since she’s the first screen-accurate G1 Arcee she would be going to grace a lot of collector’s shelves whether she was any good or not, but I’m pleased to say that she looks pretty cool. I think she’s worth every penny spent on her retail price, and seeing as she’s already going for twice retail from scalpers I’m glad I paid under RRP to pre-order her. She’s definitely a worthwhile addition to my collection.