Cliffbee.com: ROTF Arcee Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




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

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Arcee for this review



MOTORBIKE MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 5.5cm

   A pink & black Ducati motorbike, Arcee is dominated by fluorescent pink with black on her mechanical details, tyres and sidecar. While the two colours are used in equal amounts, the pink is so distinct that it dominates Arcee. There's a slight silver paint wash on the fueltank and colourless headlights below a windshield composed of transparent midnight blue plastic (which essentially looks black). Arcee has a silver Autobot logo stamped on the back of her saddle and there are Cybertronian characters stamped on either side of the cowlings. The sidecar is almost entirely black aside from some pink paint on the front.

   The bike itself is pretty good, with little kibble and a nice shape. The saddle can wiggle around a little on one of her elbow joints and from the right side one of her hands is visible (although it's black against black), but overall the detailing is good and the colours, while unlikely, are kept simple so she looks good. The sidecar is little more than a way to attach the robot mode's stand. Okay, so it is sidecar shaped, but it's way too small and has no wheels at all - since that would make it unstable in robot mode. It doesn't look awful, but doesn't manage to look good either - Arcee looks much better in bike mode without the sidecar.

   The play value here is by the numbers. Both wheels turn so you can roll her along - if you have the sidecar attached you can even push her off gently. We have the option of adding/removing the sidecar on her left side of course, and on the same side there's a small kickstand, which easily allows her to stand. The handlebars are composed of soft plastic, but the front wheel is fixed.

   A good bike mode despite a couple of shortcomings. The colours work well and while the play value is pretty much formula, it's done right. The sidecar is an admirable but underwhelming attempt to use the stand here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the sidecar, if attached. Unclip the windshield area, fold out the right side cowling. Swing the tyres down and plug into the sidecar, which forms the base. Pivot the saddle out to form the right arm and the left cowling as the left arm. Pivot the torso up, swing the arms into position. Fold out the right hand, rotate the weapon on the same forearm around. The left arm pivots (as everything does here, it seems) with the windshield area forming a shoulderpad. The left side cowling sort of hangs awkwardly from this left arm, but looks like it should somehow swing out of the way.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19cm Width: 11cm

   A pink and black robot, Arcee has more black than pink, but again the brighter colour dominates - partly because it's so bright, but also because her chest & head are pink. She has a silver face and transparent blue eyes (but a fairly useless lightpipe). There's a transparent blue blade on the outside of her right forearm, adding another splash of blue. The silver Autobot logo is now on the outside of her right hand, mostly covered by the blade.

   This is a very unusual robot mode shape. Arcee is basically half a robot on an uneven stalk. The tyres form a single foot, while there's a convoluted stalk with several joints - but no way to straighten it. She has a small torso and kibbly arms. The left arm has the windshield area as a large shoulderpad (which works) and a cowling hanging awkwardly from the forearm (which doesn't work). The right arm has a weird spike at the shoulder and a rather uneven elbow joint. I don't really blame the toy designer for the issues Arcee's robot mode has here - they've had to try and convey a bizarre on-screen look and while there are engineering shortcomings here, they've captured that basic shape. The concept sucks to begin with, so kibble or no, this robot mode was never going to be a pile of awesome.

   The play value here is okay. The blade on her arm springs out during transformation, so it will collapse as she strikes someone, simulating the blade sinking into an opponent. The other arm features a buzzsaw (a co-opted brake disc from vehicle mode), which is a nice idea but it hangs off the bottom of the cowling which is itself awkward, and can't really be deployed in a way that looks threatening (or practical to use in combat). The assortment of joints in her stalk don't really do much - she's stuck in a sort of twisted shape, and needs the stand to stay upright. The shoulders and elbows are all ball jointed but are quite restricted and the arms tend to pop off if you attempt to pose her shoulders. Neither hand is able to do anything - the right hand is hampered by that stupid cowling, and can't come close to grasping the buzzsaw. The head is on a ball joint, but it's about the only decent poseability here.

   Well, basically, it's a mess. Between the stupid concept and the engineering trying to closely match that concept and failing to really deal with kibble, she falls in heap. Quite literally, too, if you don't use the stand. I've never been a fan of Transformers that can't stand on their own - loseable accessories don't count. At least Beast Machines had the good sense to allow toys like Thrust the option of feet. The kink in her mid body looks bad, the chunks of kibble on her arms even worse, and to top all of that off, she's bright pink with her Autobot logo hidden.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   One to avoid. The pink and black works well in vehicle mode - and that bike mode is respectable - but the colours don't work quite as well in her robot mode, which is a pile of steaming kibble with failed engineering. The transformation is a series of pivots, and it's fiddly. If you must get the character, I'd recommend the Legends toy. While that one's far from perfect, it's a lot cheaper, can stand on its own and has less kibble in robot mode - 1.5/10

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