Sunday, 28 February 2010

TransFormers Collectors' Club BotCon 2009 (Timelines) Elita-1

As mentioned in the Razorclaw entry, Elita-1 turned up at BotCon 2009 as an Attendees Only souvenir piece. Also like Razorclaw, this is her second appearance at BotCon, the first being in 2007's Games of Deception comic. All told, she was a rather pointless character without a toy, so it was surprising that we've had to wait two years for this to emerge, as a seemingly random addition... I haven't seen the Wings of Honour comic, but I'd like to think there were a few more interesting 'bots to use as 2009 souvenir figures...

The name comes from the fleeting appearance of a female Autobot in the G1 cartoon episode where the Aerialbots go back in time and see the start of the war on Cybertron, meeting an Autobot named Orion Pax - who later becomes Optimus Prime - in the process. Elita-1 was rebuilt from the wreckage of Orion Pax's companion. More recently, of course, Elita-1 has been attributed to one of the biker-bots in Revenge of the Fallen. The biography supplied with this model is a complete waste of time, saying as it does that Elita-1's origins are unknown to all but Grimlock, the leader of her team, and he's not telling. I'm not sure who decided that even constituted a biography but, frankly, I'd rather a poorly-written bio than the waste of card and ink she was given.

Vehicle Mode:
Elita-1 is derived from Galaxy Force Chromia (coincidentally, that name was applied to another of the RotF 'wheelsnakes'), who was such a poor example of a TransFormer that I never bothered getting her. Basically, it's a cut down MicroLady figure attached to a boat shell. It truly is rubbish... and yet, in the hand, there's something compelling about it. Vehicle mode is, naturally, very effective - it exists to conceal the robot, without actually being part of it. It also has a disproportionately large weapon.

The mold doesn't do a great deal - both the missile launcher and the smaller machine gun mounted on the front turn around, and the key-activated gimmick works better in this mode than it does in robot mode - basically, the front of the laucher drops down and a spring-loaded missile launcher (for the torpedoes mounted on her sides) pops out.

Robot Mode:
Yes... So... essentially you have an action figure with an opened out boat stuck on its back. In all honesty, it's very true to the design of Chromia in Galaxy Force, but it's very poorly executed. For one, the reduced articulation makes it difficult to pose well. The oversized weapon is far too heavy for the shoulder ball joints - the only way I've found to have her hold the weapon out is to rotate the shoulder joint so it's basically upside down. Furthermore, the boat hanging off her back gets in the way of her standing straight, let alone in an action pose.

But get beyond that, and the figure is actually quite cute. It almost dares you to put it into some coquettish pose. The sleek, very humaniform look of the body, the high-heeled, knee-high booted look of the legs... and, oddly, something very reminscent of the G1 movie's Autobot Matrix of Leadership sticking out of her chest. Well, I suppose it avoids the temptation to give her breasts...

Both arms have an excellent range of motion, but the waist and legs are seriously hindered by the massive bulk on her back. The head should turn right round, but the protrusions at her collar and around her neck do get in each other's way, so she can't look around properly.

The bright pinks which dominate her colourscheme are broken somewhat by the cyan panels in her 'wings' and the details on her head, chest and legs, but there's no escaping that this is a truly bizarre colour scheme for a 'Robot In Disguise'. Who has a bright pink gunboat?

Against my better judgement, I have come to quite like this mold... I'm even tempted to try to find either Galaxy Force Chromia, or the US/UK version Thunderblast (who chose that name for a female TransFormer?). Not necessarily to keep as Chromia, but certainly to try to repaint as a TransFormers version of Morrigan from the Darkstalkers games - it's a bit of a no-brainer: most of the helmet would be green, representing her hair, but the spikes would be black like her head-wings. The body could pretty easily be repainted to match her costume, and the boat on her back would be coloured like her main wings... Even the enormous weapon is not inappropriate, considering one of Morrigan's special moves...

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