Posted October 5, 2005 at 9:54 pm
Left to right: Arcee, Flamewar, Chromia, Flareup.
We got three iterations of the Energon Arcee mold this year. The first one, Chromia, came as part of the 7-figure boxed set. The obvious thing to point out right off the bat is her case of mistaken identity. She's got Moonracer's head (a new sculpt) and Moonracer's colors. The organizers said they set out to do Moonracer originally (which is odd, since Ironhide, another figure in the set, is Chromia's boyfriend), but thanks to King Moonracer of the Island of Misfit toys, the "Moonracer" trademark was unavailable. It was too late to change the colors and the new head sculpt, so they decided to name her after her friend. No, they decided to pretend she is her friend. So I guess for some reason, Chromia just looks like Moonracer now. Oh well! (I probably would have tried for "Lunaracer.")
So anyway. She's teal. The odd thing about her headsculpt is that while her helmet is an entirely new shape, her face is the original's. Well, sorta. Since some of the details are slightly warped, it looks kinda like the sculpter made a cast of Arcee's face and then created a new helmet around that. (But more on this when I talk about Deathsaurus.)
The colors are nice. They're somewhat similar to an exclusive Japanese redeco, but not enough to bother me. Her biggest problem is that she looks just like Arcee with the pink/magenta swapped out for teal, since she's still all the same plastic colors.
The second version of this mold is Flamewar, who was free if you picked up your boxed set in person at the convention, and she came separately in a little baggie. Instead of the new head sculpt, she still features Arcee's head. This was a touch I really liked, because it distinguishes the two. She also has the dubious honor of being the second black redeco in this year's offerings. Hurray! Her purple looks nice, I admit. And it photographs much bluer than it is for some reason. The little flame tampos all over her are also a nice touch.
(I really wish, though, that for some of the black in these toys, they'd use some dark gray or dark blue instead, or something. All uses of black are blackity-black. I would like to see some variety in the future. I can be a challenge or something, y'know, for the designers -- to see if they can do a whole year without using blackity-black. Use whatever shade of blue or gray you want.)
Flareup, sold separately in a baggie with Ratchet, is the third and last use of the mold this year, and may be my favorite of all the exclusives. Visually, she's a dead ringer for Firestar, a name they obviously couldn't use. The tech spec says Flareup is a student of Firestar, but since she's got a good portion of red and black on her, I personally choose to believe she's also the daughter of Firestar and her boyfriend Inferno. (This is because I am obviously a fanfic writer.) The reason I like her so much is the use of orange. I love orange, which is a color that is seriously lacking from the past years of BotCon exclusives. I admit, there was 1999's Sandstorm, but that wasn't nearly orange enough. Another thing I like about the exclusives of years past are the interesting use of colors, and the gray helmet and yellow face are very unique. (Of course, this owes to Firestar's cartoon model.) I do wish the gray used was elsewhere on her body. For instance, the silver doesn't really work with the rest of her color scheme, and would have looked really nice if it were painted that matte light gray her helmet is. Or maybe if the black were gray. I don't really care if the tires aren't black. Tires don't have to be black on Cybertron. Hell, on Velocitron, all Transformers' tires are translucent.
But she's pretty. Especially her bright orange translucent energon crossbow. Mmmmmmmm.
Man, I want some Kool-Aid, suddenly.