Friday, 6 March 2015

TransFormers (Movie) Elita-1 (Target Exclusive)

(Femme-Bot Friday #8)
Since I've already dealt with this mold a couple of times already, I figure I may as well play this one differently. Here we have another repaint of an Energon/Superlink toy, this time live action movie-branded. Since Arcee had already been done as a Deluxe by this point, Hasbro decided to create the first official Elita-1 toy, paving the way, amusingly enough, for the 'wheelsnakes' in Revenge of the Fallen.

But, rather than being something awesome - a belated acknowledgement of how cool femme-bots can be - something went terribly, terribly wrong with this release...

Vehicle Mode:
At first glance, you could easily be forgiven for assuming this was another Arcee, the colourscheme and distribution of colours being so similar. The pink is more of an orangey-pink this time, though, and it's combined with pale grey plastic, translucent dark grey, a very subtly different shade of orangey-pink paint, then touches of silver and black paint here and there, including a swishy zig-zag pattern towards the front of the bike, and nicely painted spokes on her wheels. One problem with the distribution of colours is that the robot mode's hands are molded in pale grey and attached to forearms molded in orangey-pink plastic, so the hands are not really disguised.

Naturally, she comes packaged with everything the original Energon toy had, this time molded in entirely opaque dark grey (possibly black) plastic, and the missile is yet more of the orangey-pink plastic. It actually looks pretty good, but this is one of those molds that would be pretty difficult to mess up.
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Robot Mode:
On that same note, robot mode looks as good as one might expect, though the body looks a bit dull in two shades of orangey-pink. What with having a pale grey collar, shoulder flaps and legs, it almost looks as though she's wearing some kind of robo-leotard.

The weapons pieces function exactly as they always have - they can be connected up to form her 'bow' or connected separately in other interesting configurations just for fun. There are signs of mold degradation on this version, though whether it's the weapon or the robot that's worse I'm not sure... The sockets in her forearms exhibited signs of plastic stress the very first time I plugged the weapon parts in. Nothing's broken yet, but the raised rim of the sockets looks as though it might crumble one of these days.

It's the usual head sculpt, with very little to differentiate it from any of the Arcee/Paradron Medic alternatives - pale grey plastic, silver face, blue eyes.
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So if there's nothing fundamentally bad about the toy (unless you count plastic stress or how ill-suited it is to the movie toyline), what made this version of the toy so terribly wrong? Well, surprisingly, given how dramatically curtailed they have tended to get over the last few years, her bio is the problem:
"As the first of the female Transformers robots, Elita-One gets a lot of attention, and loves every minute of it. It isn't just her incredible handling, or her fast idle that gets the attention either. She's a cunning fighter, and one of the best marksmen among the Autobots, able to blast Scraplets off a Decepticon at more than four miles. At short range, she's just as effective, generating an attraction field that can cause unshielded robots to overheat almost instantly."
I mean, seriously, someone at Hasbro needs to take a very cold shower and then probably not go out and meet some real women because, frankly, I dread to think how poorly that might go. Attention-loving? Incredible handling? The "fast idle" (that is, high rpm when the engine is not actually in use) crack, and then that shit about an "attraction field"? Is this really how Hasbro wants us to view femme-bots after the original G1 maternal Arcee?

More and more, TransFormers is being acknowledged as a non-gender-specific toy range as more and more female fans make their presence know... but I can't imagine this was a well-received bio in that section of the fandom. Then again, I'd hope that male TransFormers fans were suitably disturbed by it...

Amusingly, this figure is semi-officially repurposed as Shattered Glass Arcee... and there's no doubt the bio suits that purpose, if you assume the negative universe version of 'maternal Arcee' is 'brazen hussy Arcee'. Personally, I think her colourscheme is too close to a 'proper' Arcee to function as a Shattered Glass character, so I reserve that role for the blue repaint (with red eyes!) that was released as Scout class movie Arcee.

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