Friday, 30 January 2015

Superlink (Toy's Dream Project) Ariel Paradron Type

(Femme-Bot Friday #3)
Energon/Superlink is where it all started to change, both for motorcycle TransFormers generally and for femme-bots. Arcee/Ariel was a well designed character with an excellent toy for her diminutive size class. While Hasbro didn't get round to repainting this model until the live action movie toyline started recycling figures from older continuities, Takara - via Toys Dream Project - released a repaint inspired by the Paradron Medic who made a brief appearance in the G1 cartoon series.

Vehicle Mode:
For a fuller exploration of the model, see the write up of Energon Arcee. Essentially, what you have here is a repaint which substitutes the original grey plastic with black, and the translucent orangy-pink switched out for translucent green. The layout of the plastic colours and paintwork remains identical to Arcee, but the paint comes in a bright (almost flourescent) light green and a mintier, almost turquoise shade.

There's not much else to write about as it's a simple repaint with exactly the same weapon. It might have been nice to include a different weapon, but the choice at the time was very limited... and the accessories that came with Skyblast, Strongarm and Signal Flare just wouldn't work as well with this mold.

The colour scheme works very well... but, in my opinion, it's pretty difficult to screw this model up - bike mode is excellent, if perhaps a little chubby.

Robot Mode:
As with vehicle mode, there are no changes to the appearance of Ariel other than the colourscheme. I think the face is painted a slightly different shade of silver - it certainly seems shinier - but the eyes are still blue. I rather wish I'd taken a few more photos to show this off because, other than waxing lyrical about the surprisingly effective robot mode, there's not much to say about this that I haven't already covered with Arcee.

I have to say I think the weapon looks a bit better in translucent green than it did in translucent orangey-pink, but that's about the only notable feature... and that's only my opinion.

I like this model because it's incredibly effective despite being one of the smallest in the Energon/Superlink line. The other Omnicons seem basic, dull and somewhat clumsy in comparison to this lithe, curvy 'bot. Some of her angles may be a little harsh, and her articulation may not be great, but I think the only Omnicon that comes close to being better is Strongarm, and he's seriously let down by his legs and feet.

At the time of writing, I still have only two more iterations of this mold, both repainted for the extended movie line, and am still on the look-out for the BotCon 2005 attendee figures. It probably rates as one of my favourite molds of all time, simply because of how neat and tidy it is. Add to that, the fact that the first live action movie toy is clearly derived from this in the way it transforms, so it's a direct ancestor to another of my favourite biker femme-bot toys.

While the limited edition versions of this mold are something of an expensive niche, I consider it well worth picking up at least one version of this model.

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