Friday, 3 April 2015

TransFormers (Movie) Arcee (Target Exclusive)

(Femme-Bot Friday #12)
The first live action movie must have seemed like a license to print money for Hasbro. With such a limited cast of robots, they were able to make some additional toys of characters from the videogame but, beyond that, the toyline featured a lot of repaints. About a billion Bumblebees, and at least a couple of just about every mold, where a G1-inspired repaint was possible.

But beyond that, Hasbro looked into its back catalogue of Energon/Superlink toys and repainted anything that looked vaguely worthwhile... And so the Energon/Superlink biker femme-bot/Omnicon got two repaints... Having now written about this model four times already, there's not a great deal more to say, so this, like the Target Exclusive Elita-1 write-up, will probably focus more on the character.

On the upside, this will be the last time I write about this mold... until I get my hands on BotCon 2005 Flamewar...

Vehicle Mode:
Yup, it's that same Energon/Superlink bike again... but this time in blue! With a weird translucent brown for the Energon weapon! Hurrah!

It's tempting to wonder whether this toy had any influence in Hasbro's decision to make TF Prime Arcee blue. It certainly shows there's merit in the idea of a biker femme-bot that isn't pink. What's rather curious about this use of the mold is how much of the blue is paint rather than bare plastic - the lower legs and chest plate were molded in a very pale grey and then painted with a metallic blue, while the front of the bike was painted with a flat blue.

Translucent brown seems like a reasonable choice for a tinted windscreen, but for the Energon weapons it just looks kind of dirty.
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Robot Mode:
You can certainly see a sort of proto-TF Prime Arcee in this figure. The colours work well, and it's nice that they painted the lower legs quite extensively, but left the feet untouched, as that serves to further differentiate her from other uses of this mold. The grey shoulder flaps stick out a bit, as do the off-white hands but, overall, the colourscheme works well.

What causes problems for me thinking of this as a true Autobot is the red eyes. Generation 1 toys got away with random eye colouration because they were repurposed from an existing toyline without thought for internal consistency. Most lines since have adopted the G1 cartoon system of having blue Autobot optics and red Decepticon optics, so I tend to assume that system holds pretty much across the board. This version of Arcee still bears the Autobot insignia though and, while an SG Autobot should wear it in purple, it somehow seems less of a stretch for SG Arcee to wear a red insignia than for a 'normal' Arcee to have red eyes...

As is unfortunately common these days, no information was provided with this toy regarding Arcee's weapon, but the smokey brown colouration makes me think it's polluted Energon that fires something pretty nasty. It doesn't exactly complement the blue/black/grey/silver of the main robot, but I guess a brighter, more vibrant colour would have been too much.
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It is somewhat interesting that, despite appearing several years before TransFormers: Prime, Hasbro was already thinking of Arcee in colours other than her standard G1 pinks, and it's particularly interesting that this movie repaint of the Energon/Superlink toy should be predominantly blue. On the other hand, it's more than a little strange that, with a Deluxe class Arcee already in the toyline, Hasbro and Target joined forces to release another Arcee. Given that Target also got Elita-1 in the same mold, it's curious that Hasbro didn't insist on this one being Chromia, thus preparing us fully for the trio of 'wheelsnakes' in Revenge of the Fallen.

Considering movie Elita-1 is little different from a G1 Arcee-inspired repaint of the Energon/Superlink toy, it confuses me that that figure, rather than this one, seems to have become the de facto Shattered Glass Arcee. Most characters of that continuity uses colourschemes usually derived from their normal continuity opposite, or the next most appropriate character - for example SG Starscream is coloured like G1 Jetfire - but the common thread is that evil characters retain the red optics.This model doesn't have a 'traditional' Arcee look in any sense and, other than the TF Prime connection, I really don't see why a different name couldn't have been used, not least to prevent confusion.

On the upside, her bio is substantially less contentious than Elita-1's... unless you take exception to a character bio devoid of any real character:
"A fast, aggressive warrior, Arcee is one of the most dangerous Autobots, despite her comparatively small size. She believes without question that the Decepticons must be stopped at all costs. That belief, combined with the combat training she received from Ironhide make her a pure warrior, a creature of speed and sudden action, striking the Decepticons whenever she can and fading away into the depths of space."
So, basically, they're trying to say she's a ninja without actually using the word 'ninja'... Not only that, but the bio seems to me to imply she's been brainwashed ("believes without question"). Hmm... a brainwashed robot ninja..? Now who does that sound like..?

But, still, it almost reads like a Shattered Glass bio, with a sadistic, trigger-happy Ironhide turning a dinky biker-bot into "one of the most dangerous Autobots" - a "pure warrior" for the Evil Autobot cause.

Hey... wow... I read somewhere that the TransFormers live action movies make a lot more sense if you take the point of view that Optimus Prime is the bad guy... Maybe all we've seen so far is a live action version of the Shattered Glass universe.

That would certainly explain Sam's parents... and the utterly incongruous and situation-inappropriate segue into the legal allowances for a sexual relationship between an adult and a minor in some US states in Age of Extinction.

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