Friday, 10 April 2015

New York Comic Con 2011 Arcee

Femme-Bot Friday #13
As you may have gathered from other posts, I'm a sucker for limited editions of any mold I like, but particularly G1-inspired repaints of new models/characters. When I first saw the New York Comic Con 2011 boxed set of Arcee and Bumblebee (with Jack and Raf), only one part of it really appealed to me. Thankfully, I have a friend with a collection of Bumblebees (and who, coincidentally, is quite fond of New York), so I hatched a devious play to acquire the boxed set and palm off NY Cab Bumblebee on her as a birthday present, keeping Arcee for myself.

Jack and Raf ended up staying with me, too...

Vehicle Mode:
I mentioned in my write up of the original First Edition that there was a distracting patch of unpainted plastic just below the headlights and, sure enough, that error is repeated here. Of course, now the model is pink and white, there's an even bigger contrast between the plastic/paint colours and the translucent blue headlights and windscreen, so this limited edition - somewhat premium, at least on the secondary market - exclusive loses points straight away for not fixing such an obvious error.

This model has a pretty much straight swap from blue plastic to pink, and black plastic to white, though the wheels remain black, and now have a pink ring around them. While the raised area on the front mudguard remains unpainted, one section of her side panels has received a coat of metallic pink paint, as well as a large, conspicuous Autobot insignia on one side. Other than that, there's not a great deal of difference in the paintwork except that FE's black is replaced by a dark gunmetal, and FE's blueish silver is replaced by a straight silver. It's a shame that the extra paintwork didn't extend to the rear indicator lights, but that's not disastrous...

NYCC Arcee came packaged with the same pair of arm-blades which attach in the same way to the sides of the bike. A gun would have made a nice addition, but that would have meant new toolings for a mold that had already been superseded. Instead we get little statue of Jack and Rafael that are more or less in scale with the robot, and so are dwarfed by Arcee in vehicle mode... hence no photos.

Robot Mode:
Despite Arcee's clear disdain for pink, expressed in one of the last few episodes of TF Prime before it gained the Beast Hunters subtitle, she actually looks pretty damned fine. The plastic colours are a good rich pink and a sharp, clean white. They contrast well, and the three colours of metallic paint stand out or blend in where they need to. One thing that I found quite surprising was how well the metallic pink worked on her 'curls', against both the pink plastic and the silver of her face.

I do find it a little odd that the sections of panels that end up on her shoulders got a coat of paint when, for example, the raised panels on her hips, her forearms and the backs of her hands were left white. It wasn't a bad choice, all told, it just seems strange to put such a large area of metallic pink paint on parts that are already pink, when some white parts could have used a touch of pink instead.

The First Edition Arcee model has only a couple of major flaws, and they're both mounted on her shoulders. Her shoulder movement is annoyingly limited thanks to those erroneously-placed 'wings'. Even so, I loved the original, and I love this repaint just as much even though, by this time, repainting something pink and white and calling it a homage to G1 Arcee is getting a bit passé. I can't imagine the upcoming Generations Arcee will get a blue and black paintjob as a homage to TF Prime Arcee, but I wouldn't necessarily rule it out either. Hell, if the Takara Tomy version is as good as it's cracked up to be, I might pick up a Hasbro one and do it myself!

The NYCC boxed set was pretty cool - I had a quick play about with FE 'New York Cab' Bumblebee before passing it on to my friend just to make sure it worked nicely and didn't have any stages of transformation that might require additional explanation (this friend, as far as I'm aware, has yet to transform her Alternity Bumblebee into robot mode), and it's not a bad figure, just a bit weird in the chest and shoulder department. Just like the differences between FE and regular Arcee, FE Bumblebee simply expands on a few points of transformation and tidies certain things up. It's a shame the set didn't add an advertising board or the roof light, but either would have had to be removable to avoid causing problems with transformation. Its paint job wasn't authentic to an actual New York cab... but there are a few designs to choose from, and the design they came up with was decent enough.

Jack Darby and Raf Esquivel are very basic, featuring terrible paintwork on the faces and articulation in the neck only, but their t-shirts (based on the old I♥NY design) are cute.

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