I swore I wasn’t going to be buying any of the Beasts in the Kingdom line, because I’m running out of display and storage space. Plus, while I love the Beast Wars TV series, I was never all that into the toys. But it’s also no secret that I’ve rarely ever been able to keep my word when it comes to not buying toys. And for me, the deciding factor was when I fired up the Netflix series and started giving it a watch. The very next day, I was browsing the toy aisles at Target and Blackarachnia followed me home.
I have not been able to get into the other two Netflix series: Siege and Earthrise. I think they look great and I love how the animation models follow the toys so perfectly. But to be honest, they are so depressing to watch. I think they try way too hard to be grim-dark, and it just doesn’t work for me. I made it through most of Siege, but only about half of Earthrise. I wasn’t going to watch Kingdom at all, but I was really curious how they were going to work both Beasts and conventional Transformers into the same series. The result was interesting, and so has been the series so far. I don’t love it, but it does have me coming back for more. So, let’s check out my first Beast… The Predacon Blackarachnia! And as usual, we’ll start with the alt mode!
I’m going to be extremely generous when looking at this alt mode, because it just can’t be that easy to make a very humanoid robot transform into a realistic spider. And with that having been said, I think this figure does a pretty good job at it. The body has some robot kibble showing on the sides, but come on… it’s a spider and it looks fine! The engineering here isn’t mindblowing, as the bot basically folds up into a ball with the shoulders crunching under the spider head, and the arms and legs partially gathering under a body shell. It holds together fairly well, although one of my figure’s legs doesn’t lock up like it should. It’s not a critical problem, but it does make it harder to tighten up the seams in her body.
The body and legs are black with some nice texturing, and she has red spots on her back and a bunch of red eyes peppering her little spider face. The spider butt has something that I guess sort of resembles spinnerettes, protruding underneith. There are also a bunch of yellow bumps that sort of look like eyes. I’m no doctor of spiderology, but I don’t think spiders have peepers on their hineys, so I’m not sure what those are supposed to be. The black and red of the body is nicely offset by the yellow bits, which kind of look like the color of the goo that would come out if she were squished.
Blackarachnia’s legs have some pretty useful articulation. Each cluster of legs attaches to the body with one hinge, but then each leg is ball jointed further on down so it can be posed independently. The legs also do a pretty good job of holding the weight of the figure. All in all, I think this mode delivers pretty well for a Deluxe. So how about that robot mode?
Clearly, the robot mode was the design focus for this figure, because it’s outstanding! And seeing it really makes me appreciate the spider mode even more. Blackarachnia is clearly both all spider and all woman, with organic curves to her legs, wide hips, a narrow waist, and some rather impressive venom sacs. The spider’s butt lumps wind up on her pelvis, and what passed for spinnerettes become her claw-like hands. I also love the striking black and yellow coloring. She even looks great from the back, with the exception of those holes in her lower legs. Her spider body folds up neatly to form a backplate. What’s more her sizeable feet make her easy to balance, despite that leg kibble.
Yes, she’s got leg kibble for days, and I absolutely love how this design just owns it. The legs look really cool and aggressive in the way they angle away from her body, almost like skeletal wings. Granted, they have to be tweaked almost every time I pose her, but it’s worth the effort. I seem to remember in the TV show that Tarantulus’ leg kibble actually functioning as guns, but I can’t remember of Blackarachnia’s shared that function or not.
The head sculpt is excellent, and should satisfy fans of the Beast Wars series. At first, I though the sculpt was a little soft, but it’s really not. There’s plenty of detail in there. I like that they used a lighter shade of yellow for her mouth area, and she even got a little lick of red paint on her “crown.” I also dig the Predacon emblem painted on her collar.
Blackarachnia’s articulation is absolutely fabulous. She’s got rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, hinges in the elbows, ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. Some of these points are in service to her transformation, others are just there to make her loads of fun to play with.
Of course, Blackarachnia comes with her trademark crossbow-type weapon, which pegs surprisingly well into either of her claw hands.
I have to say, I’m glad I weakened, overcame my self-imposed Beast Bot Ban, and picked up this figure! She’s been on my desk ever since I first opened her up, and I’ve been messing around with her a lot in my downtime. The transformation isn’t too fiddly, although I do wish that one leg locked up properly in her spider mode. Even still, she looks fine in her alt mode, and exceptionally good in her femme-bot mode. But, the real question is… do I like her enough to buy more Beast Bots? Time will tell!