It took me a while to get her, but Hasbro’s G1-style Arcee finally arrived at my doorstep last week, and only about 28 years late. It’s absolutely baffling that it took this long for the figure to be released, and don’t tell me it’s because of the whole, “boys don’t buy girl action figures” nonsense, because we’ve seen an Arcee figure many times over the decades, just never one this closely based on the G1 continuity. This gal’s the real thing!
Ah, the Generations Comic Pack. I guess we’re done seeing these for a while, at least on the pegs. I’ve still go a few of them to showcase here. There’s something so blissful about getting an action figure and comic book all in one tidy bundle and the deco of 2014’s Thrilling Thirty packages really hit my nostalgia right in the sweet spot. Granted, I wasn’t terribly keen on this comic’s story arc and it doesn’t do a great job spotlighting Arcee, but hey… free comic! I’m not going to scoff. Anyway, Arcee comes packaged in her robot mode, but as usual, I’m going to start with her alt mode.
And that alt mode is indeed a pink, white, and black Cybertronian convertible, and I’ll be damned if it ain’t great looking. The long, stylized hood is a little reminiscent of a 70’s Chevy Corvette and I love the fin protruding up from behind the seats. The driver area is pretty nicely detailed with a sculpted steering wheel and console and a translucent blue windshield. The coloring is excellent and that big, crisp Autobot emblem on her hood is pure love. All in all this is a pretty faithful recreation of Arcee’s Sunbow alt mode design. I can’t think of anything off hand that I would have improved on. Even the seaming on it isn’t bad so long as you take the time to make everything go where it’s supposed to.
Arcee comes with a plethora of weapons, I’ll look at those more closely in a bit, but all of the weapons can be attached to her car mode in one way or another. Her pink gone can clip under the back of the car plus there are two tabbing ports on the top near the trunk and two more on the sides. As is often the case, weaponinzing the alt mode can get a bit silly, but I must admit to being rather fond of just having the single cannon mounted above one of her rear wheels. It actually look like it’s designed to go there and not like a tacked on afterthought.
Moving on to transformation… are you familiar with the term “shellformer?” Hmmm? Sure you are! And that term is certainly applicable here. Now, you’ve got your shelformers that involve a whole lot of plates fitting together just right like a car-bag around a bundle of robot kibble. To me, those are the worst offenders. Arcee isn’t that bad, although she does basically wear her alt mode on her back. It folds out to form the car shell and the arms and legs fold in underneath. Normally I’d be pretty critical of this sort of thing, but lets not forget that Arcee is a toy based on a totally made up animation model and one that had to retain a certain femininity in robot mode. That’s a tall order for the engineering department and a $15 toy, and so I’ll be cutting Arcee some slack here.
Yes, that my friends is the G1 Arcee I know and love and looking at the feminine curves of her body, it’s easy to see why they had to go the shellformer root and why she wears the car on her back. Still, the way the figure is designed it really does look like Arcee wearing a backpack and I’m very much fine with that. The proportions are pretty good, although Arcee is definitely sporting some child bearing hips she still manages to have a slender waist, a curvy (almost organic looking) midriff, and a strategically placed angle in her chest plate to form them robot ta-ta’s. What’s impressive is that even with that bulky backpack, Arcee has no troubles with balance. The coloring here is more of the same, appropriately white and pink with a little blue and black trim to make things interesting.
The head sculpt is pure G1 love. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. She has a cute little pink face, tiny painted lips, and the Princess Leia buns sculpted into her “helmet.” It’s certainly more Daniel-loving G1 Arcee than “You’re going to come home and find that I boiled your Petro-rabbit on the stove” IDW Arcee. That’s both G1 Transformers and a Glenn Close reference all rolled into one, kids… Weeee! Anyway, the head sculpt could be good or bad, depending on your personal tastes. Frankly, I never liked what IDW did with the character, so I dig it. Arcee also sports some really nice light-piping in those baby blue eyes of hers.
I don’t always bother running down all the articulation points in my Transformers, but in the case of Arcee it’s so damn impressive that I’m going to make an exception. Her arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, hinged at the elbows, and have swivels at the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees and ankles, and have swivels in the thighs. There’s no articulation in the waist, but the neck is ball jointed. So Arcee isn’t loaded with a ton of points of articulation, but it’s what you can do with them that count. The joints have a great range of motion and they’re all firm and can hold poses really well.
How about those weapons? Arcee comes with a formidable little assortment of killing tools. You get a pair of blue energon swords, which I suppose can double as rifles. Or is that vice-versa? You also get a medium sized gun and a smaller pistol. She can hold any of these weapons in either hand, although the guns tend to sit rather high in her grip, making them look a little awkward when she’s wielding them. Arcee also has tab ports in her forearms and thighs so she can wear her weapons like they’re holstered or wield her blades on her arms.
Arcee is a great little figure made all the sweeter for how long we had to wait for her. Yeah, she’s a shellformer, and yeah she wears a car on her back, but she’s also happens to be a gal with plenty of charms. The sculpt and coloring are great and I was surprised at what a solid and stable figure she is to play around with. Is she enough to keep me from blowing $60 on MMC’s Azalea? Well, the jury’s still out on that one. What I will say is that for a $15 Deluxe I think Hasbro did right by us old-timer fans with this release. She looks really good hanging out with the likes of Generations Blurr and Kup, but it’s a pity she’s too undersized to hang out with her boyfriend, Springer.