In 1986, the first Transformers movie introduced fans to a slew of new characters. Hot Rod. Kup. Springer. Blurr. Arcee. Ultra Magnus. Galvatron. Cyclonus. Unicron. Back then, you could watch the movie and then hit up your local store for all but two of those new characters as action figures. I bet you know which too you couldn’t get. It wasn’t until seven years ago, that Unicorn and Arcee finally joined their brethren in the toy world. But, while Unicron was close to being on-model and kinda turned into a planet, Arcee ended up a motorcycle. Fans weren’t done waiting. Now, twenty-four years since her debut, fans are finally getting an Arcee that’s close to what they’ve been wanting since the saw the movie.
Since her debut, Arcee has been a reoccurring staple in the various Transformers realities. This version, specifically, is based on her Transformers Animated Series appearances. While the Animated Series tended to give most characters a very stylized look, this version of Arcee is very reminiscent of her original G1 look. I’ve heard a lot of G1 fans who have bought her just so they could finally have a decent looking Arcee in their G1 collection.
I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with her look myself. I’m a pretty big fan of fembots, so as soon as I saw her prototype, I knew I’d have to buy her (if she ever made it into production). Arcee seems to cause a lot of problems in the toy world. The original G1 never received a toy, not even a planned repaint of Chromedome got off the ground. The few toys that she has received since 2003 are mostly repaints of obviously male robots. Think Arcee as a Kansas City Chiefs linebacker. The Beast Machine’s series did repaint Blackarachnia into Arcee, but that figure was a difficult to get Botcon exclusive. Then there’s the Bay-former, live action movie version. I don’t really know what to say about her, she doesn’t really look that much like a fembot in my opinion though. Suffice to say, many Transformers fans were pretty happy when Hasbro announced the TFA version would actually be made, even if it was a Toys R Us exclusive.
So, if you want a good looking, female Arcee, I’ll tell you up front, this is your figure. Her sculpt is great, reflecting her Animated Series look pretty accurately both in robot and car mode. I am slightly disappointed in the darker red color they chose for her instead of the more accurate pinks and light reds. But it’s not something that’s too obvious if you aren’t comparing her to a picture, so I can live with it. One thing you will definitely want to watch out for is her paint job though. All the ones that our TRU received had paint problems. It made choosing one very difficult, especially knowing that I’m only seeing the paint problems on the car mode. Her face is completely obscured in package, so I’m happy that I got lucky and found a pretty decent one.
Arcee comes with two swords for accessories. They’re made of translucent blue, and give a great energy looking effect. Intelligently, the designers at Hasbro put two holes in the top of her “backpack” to hold the swords. When she’s in car mode, this doubles for making the swords look like tail pipes.
Arcee’s articulation is great. She has a ball jointed head, shoulders, elbows, crotch, and feet. This gives her incredible movement and pose ability when coupled with the swivel joints on her forearms, waist, and thighs, and her hinged knees. The only other Animated Series Transformer I have is Blackarachnia, who also has great articulation, but Arcee blows her out of the water.
Here’s where I probably committed a Transformers fan sin. Even though I like Transformers, I’m only a casual fan. The real reason I bought Arcee was because, as mentioned above, I’m a huge fembot fan. And although Arcee is a great looking fembot, I was getting annoyed with her “backpack”. It kept getting in the way, preventing her ball jointed shoulders from having full pose ability. So, I took it off. I didn’t do anything too drastic. The two pieces I needed to remove were held on by three screws each. This pretty much excludes her from looking like a normal car, but I don’t care so much about that mode anyway. Also, the two parts can be easily placed back on with the screws, so if I really need to I can put her back together.
Even with the paint problems, Arcee is still a great figure. And, if you’re an Arcee fan, you will really enjoy the accuracy that took so long to get. Even if you’re like me and just like those female robots, you won’t be disappointed when picking her up. Now, if only they’d make more girl-looking Transformers…