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May 17, 2004

{     Transformers Energon: Arcee     }    

Cybertron has always been a boy's world. The ranks of the Autobots and Decepticons alike are filled with plenty of distinctly male personalities. Conventional toy wisdom seems to stipulate quite strongly that boys don't want to play with girl figures (I'm assuming this can be found in the same file as the idea that kids only buy Batman toys for one reason: Batman, preferably with some oversized action feature component). While there may be some truth to that notion and most American boys would sooner be caught dead than play with a feminine toy, I doubt I'm alone in saying "Welcome Arcee, we missed you." Introduced way back in the second season of Generation One, Arcee came to the forefront often as the battle lines shifted from Earth back to Cybertron. Yet even as we saw several other Cybertronian vehicles pop up on store shelves Arcee was never among them. We would have to wait until _Beast Wars_ until we got a strong female Transformer both on the screen and in plastic. No longer a futuristic pink and white automobile, the new Arcee is a sleek racing motorcycle. In her vehicle form she's primarily white with some black and pink trim. The pink becomes much more obvious in her robot form, particularly on her head which nearly identical to the television version. Arcee's vehicle form is very convincing, particularly for a toy of her size. None of her robot parts stick out awkwardly. Her transformation astutely avoids the pitfalls of the _Robots In Disguise_ series from a few years back in which the robot forms were essentially stuffed inside a very realistic vehicle mode. While the vehicle modes were exceptionally realistic, and the robot modes uncharacteristically posable, they didn't so much "transform" as they did "open." Robot forms would be left with entire car doors hanging off their arms (ostensibly as a shield) and difficult parts would jut off asymmetrically. Rather than try to pass off one or both of the motorcycle wheels as a weapon or armor in robot mode the designers hid one and split the other in two so they jut off of the shoulders. True to her roots, Arcee's robot form is decidedly feminine. While she isn't as curvy as the _Beast Machines_ Black Arachnia, Arcee has a certain sense of grace that the male Transformers lack. The best surprise is unfolding her legs and forming her feet. This Transformer is built with knee-high stiletto heels! In keeping with the new _Energon_ theme Arcee comes packaged with a comically oversized clear red bow and arrow that can be disassembled and attached to the motorcycle form as a set of missile-launching exhaust pipes. The allure of spring-loaded missile-launching weapons must also be explained in that big book of toy manufacturer mysteries because I certainly do not see it. Even as a child I would set them aside immediately after opening the toy. Aside from these ugly neon monstrosities Arcee is a highly recommended purchase if you dig on motorcycles that turn into hot chick robots, and who doesn't?



My boys at Toy Tokyo used to stock an Arcee import that transformed into and out of her old "car" mode. It was hot. It was also $75.00.
This version looks like it's up to spec, minus that ridiculous missle-shooter. Any idea when we can expect to see her in stores?

Posted by: Adam at May 17, 2004 7:30 PM

I knew that inevitably there would been some sort of toy release of the old car mode, either limited release or some Japanese one. I knew about the pvcs. Those don't count. Anyway, she didn't come out years and years ago so it still doesn't count.

I've finally located some more pictures without the grossly oversized bow. If you want a much more fan-centric review of the figure, plus a buttload more pics send your browser over to:

And yes, I was probably wrong about the season. I thought she appeared pre-movie. . . I was (probably) wrong.

Posted by: benjamin at May 18, 2004 12:15 AM
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