Posts tagged with "arcee" - 1
Posted October 2, 2020 at 10:30 am

1) cut a hole in a box

2) put your chick in that box

3) they make you open that box

and that's how you transform her

Dang, got deja vu here.  Back in July, I talked about Cyberverse Arcee, who is a box which you yank a woman-shaped robot out from.  Well, here's Earthrise Arcee, who is the sequel.  And like many sequels, it's not as good!!!!!

Like, you can fault Cyberverse Arcee for many things, but it had style.  Some visual panache.  She transformed by stepping out of her car box, which you then folded up onto her back, but at least she looked rad!  Earthrise Arcee..... has some problems!  Like, okay, Transformers these days are pretty lax about closing up their shapes in plastic from certain angles, so if you look at them from behind or below, you might see some hollowness.  Materials and labor and shipping are getting expensive, I get it, and we don't want our Deluxe Transformers to be $30.  It's fine.  But Earthrise Arcee steps out of her car box, and then you fold it up on her back, and .... you're just staring at a bunch of frontward-facing hollowness surrounding her robot mode.  It is not ideal!  I mean, it's not ideal in many ways, what with the stepping out of her car box part, but you get it.  Earthrise Arcee really needed some extra plastic parts to make her shoulder kibble look good from, like, the most important angle.  

You can remove half of the car mode from her back and have her stand on it, if you want.  This doesn't fix the frontward-facing facade problems over her shoulders, but it does remove half of her backpack.  However, she is also standing on herself.  Which is ridiculous.  She is surfing on her own spine.  

So, yes, this Arcee toy is evidently deficient in many obvious ways.  Why do I own it?  Let's talk about Earthrise Arcee's strengths, category: relative.  Five years ago, Arcee got her first Proper Transforming G1-Style Toy, for the Thrilling 30 line.  It was honestly a Moment.  It'd taken so long.  29 years, at the time.  And, yeah, you had to fold up a lot of car onto her back, but surprising amounts of Arcee Robot actually became car!  The thighs became car!  The chest became the tip of the hood!  And... okay, that was it.  But that is 100% more than Earthrise Arcee.  

But the problem with Thrilling 30 Arcee is pretty evident when you stand her next to Earthrise Arcee.  T30 Arcee was evidently designed by somebody who is incredibly thirsty for Arcee.  She's got a very sexy arch in her back, she's somehow got sexy cleavage carved into her hood chest, she's got a sexy round tummy area, she's got, like, g-string underwear...  It is A Look.  A Horny Look.

Earthrise Arcee doesn't have all this.  Yes, she's still shaped like a thin human female, but she's a faithful recreation of the decidedly less thirsty 1986 model sheet for Arcee.   It's a much more neutral look for her.  It's just a little bit less embarrassing.  She's not standing like she's trying to shove her cleavage in her own mouth.  Plus, like, her arms reach past her torso.  That's nice!  

Other pluses: She has waist articulation, ankle swivels, some better range of movement all around.

So that's the thing.  There's a choice of Arcees where one stepped out of a Liefeld comic but can transform a little, and one that is 90% less fetishized but takes off her car mode to stand on it.  


Posted July 28, 2020 at 9:34 pm

1) cut a hole in a box

2) put your chick in that box

3) they make you open that box

and that's how you transform her

Ah, the eternal battle of "Arcee toys should look like Arcee" versus "Arcee is a human woman who transforms into a box."  How will we wad up the robot inside the car shell this time?  Will the chest actually become the hood of the car, or have we now given up on that completely?  Will, in fact, any part of the robot become part of the vehicle mode?  

The answer with Cyberverse Deluxe Class Arcee is: just the forearms this time.  You unfold the car on her back, fold her knees back, and tuck her inside her altmode.  Panels on her arms form a portion of the sides of the vehicle.  

Her animation model on the Cyberverse cartoon smartly expects this.  If you see her from behind, yeah, there's an entire car drawn/rendered back there, just shrunk a little.  So, you know, at least it's ... accurate.  I remember when Animated Arcee was redesigned between seasons to have vehicle kibble hanging off her butt 'cuz whoops I guess she's going to be a toy now and not be just a cameo.  Whoever designed Cyberverse Arcee's animated appearance seems to have been genre savvy enough to put that massive backpack in to begin with.  

Despite all that!!! Cyberverse Deluxe Class Arcee is an appealing-looking toy.  She's a very vibrant pink.  She has enough paint to make her dazzle.  And I really like how her shins look like, you know, robot shins instead of naked human lady legs painted white.  It's just a pity those robot legs aren't also vehicle parts.  It could have saved on so much backpack.

Arcee comes with a blaster, two blue effects parts so you can either make the gun look like it's shooting or her vehicle mode look like it's zooming.  She also comes with Build-A-Figure parts for Maccadam, specifically his biceps and weapon.  Just one Thunderhowl left to go until I can finish that guy!

Posted June 12, 2018 at 1:56 am

I was never big into Street Fighter II.  Mostly I liked playing Blanka because he could bite the other guy's head.  But I don't have the dexterity for pulling off any kind of special move, so the game was mostly lost on me.  But it was an everpresent part of kidvid growing up, so it's there in my brain just through pop culture osmosis.  Not many strong feelings.

Not many strong feelings, but not none.  Like, for instance, if TakaraTomy were to go friggin' bonkers and redeco a set of four Transformers as Ken, Ryu, Chun Li, and M Bison?  Yeah, that intersects my interests.

(note: m bison's name over in japan -- and thus on this toy's packaging -- is vega, but i am going to be calling him m bison anyway)

Seriously, what the fudge.  These two sets are nuts, and they came outta no where.  Megatron, Optimus, Hot Rod, and Arcee are all decoed like the human characters from Street Fighter II, down to having flesh tones where the characters have flesh tones.  It's equally ugly and visually captivating.  Ken has bare feet?  Yes, let's paint Hot Rod's toes pink.  Let's paint his Headmaster's toes pink, too.   And the toys are posed in their packaging doing their special moves.  M Bison is launching sideways, Chun Li is doing her upside-down spin kick, etc.  

Unfortunately, they're packaged in a way that made me buy them both.  I really only want Megatron/M Bison and Arcee/Chun Li, and not Optimus/Ryu or Hot Rod/Ken, but they matched each of the two I wanted with one I didn't, so whatcha gonna do. 

Look, I'm gonna be completely honest with you.  I bought these sets because of Raul Julia.  I wanted a Raul Julia M Bison Transformer.  That dude knew how to have fun playing an incredibly goofy fascist dictator, with, like, octopus hat racks and everything.  He chewed scenery like it was friggin' beef jerky.

And so now I have a Transformer of him.  He's a redeco of Titans Return Megatron, who's a triple changer.  (Which itself is essentially Blitzwing with a new chest and head.)  M Bison transforms from tank to jet to robot and back.   His head transforms into a little robot guy who's ALSO painted to look like M Bison.  It's a pretty solid toy, and it has a good presence as M Bison.  

Arcee as Chun Li probably has the most interesting deco of the set.  Ken's a solid red guy and Ryu is that scheme but in white, and M Bison is red again but with silver... but Chun Li gives the Generations "Thrilling 30" Arcee toy a nice blue/brown/yellow/peach ensemble that's more engaging than the others.  Plus nobody doesn't like Chun Li.  She's friggin' Agent Melinda May, yo.  

Unfortunately, she doesn't have the same Headmaster gimmick as the other three.  I guess TakaraTomy didn't want to use Titans Return Windblade or Titans Return Arcee for her.  

They're probably not gonna do more of these.  But if they did, I'd take a Blanka, please.
Posted September 14, 2017 at 3:15 am

A "Headmaster Arcee" has been a hypothetical holy grail of a Transformer for so long, that its very name is a meme.  It's the punchline to a platoon of fandom in-jokes.  And now it's sort of real????

I only say "sort of" only because of semantics.  Though the exact trademark terminology involved is "Titan Master," this is a Headmaster Arcee.  It's a toy of Arcee where her head pops off and becomes a little guy.  A guy named Leinad, which is "Daniel" backwards, because Daniel Witwicky-the-10-year-old-child transformed into Arcee's head in the final episodes of the original Transformers cartoon.  This is a Headmaster Arcee.

Titans Return Arcee is another retool of Titans Return Blurr.  Unlike Nautica, which only added parts to Blurr, Arcee actually replaces some parts.  She's got new shoulders (with fake kibble Arcee shoulder stuff sculpted onto the back of them so she keeps her silhouette), she's got a new car hood/shield, she's got new handguns, and she's got a new swooshy-thing on the roof of her car mode.  And, of course, the new face, both for herself and for Leinad.

Everything's gloriously pink and white.

She's one of the two Transformers-related offerings available at HasCon last weekend.  (they say she'll also be at retail at some enigmatic later time through unspecified means, but we'll see)  Just one single BotCon-style exclusive (and one Optimus Prime phone charger that most people ignored) are kind of a step back from the figurative avalanche of exclusive products that BotCons had up until their demise, but, well, I dunno, a Headmaster Arcee is such a big, crazy deal that I feel that the exchange rate of one Headmaster Arcee kind of equals a dozen or so toys.  Also, I only had to spend $25 instead of like $800, so that's cool.  

The source mold for Arcee, Titans Returns Blurr, is still a great one.  Easily one of the best in this line, so it doesn't hurt so much that we're getting it reused repeatedly.  And she comes with a bonus Ultra Magnus Titan Master head, so everything's pretty good all around.  

Hi, Don.  Squeaky wheel, eh?

Posted July 28, 2015 at 10:01 am

FINE i guess i'll talk about some of the new toys i've gotten in the past few weeks

Here's the SDCC-exclusive Combiner Hunters three-pack, which I'll showcase 'cuz the remainder of the stock goes up some time today on  (OH HEY!  HERE IT IS!) It comes with redecoes of the three Deluxe Class female Transformers we got last year: Arcee, Windblade, and Chromia, plus a bunch of additional huge-ass weapons and one small bit of retooling.

The retooling is Arcee's hands, which go from slot-holding hands to the usual 5mm peghole hands.  She still comes with her swords, and since the slots are 5mm across, she can still hold her swords.  She doesn't come with either of her original guns, which means technically you can't really complete her transformation.  Her hands grasp either end of her smaller rifle in car mode, and without that rifle, the arms kind of just fold underneath and don't secure.  I mean, it's not the worst thing in the world, and it's not like they're visible in car mode, but it still bothers me a little.  She comes with a giant toothed cleaver that originally came with the super-large Beast Hunters Optimus Prime toy from a year or so back.   She doesn't hold the cleaver super well, what with it being twice her size, but you can still get her into some poses, and a huge-ass cleaver is still fuckin' rad.  Her new colors, a dark charcoal with some pink and silver trim, make her the most attractive toy of the set.  Plus, you know, Autobot symbol tattoo on her cheek.  Booyah.

Windblade and Chromia have fewer changes to them, with no weapon absences or retooling, and their colors kind of feel a little more shuffled-around rather than changed.  Chromia is improved, I think, with the facepaint around her eyes, which makes her look pretty fierce and a little terrifying.  Which fits Chromia well, hmm?  She's still blue and gray, though now she's more gray than blue, while Windblade is now mostly red rather than only a little red.  They both come with weapons from those 12-inch "Titan Heroes" figures that collectors hate but kids snatch up like crack.  You know, the nontransformable five points of articulation guys?  Windblade's weapon is the "Decepticon Hunter" from the Robots in Disguise cartoon, while Chromia's sword is Bumblebee's sword version of the Decepticon Hunter from the same cartoon.  But, you know, packed with a Deluxe Class toy, they're huge.

A purchase of either this Combiner Hunters set or the SDCC-exclusive Devastator at Comic-Con got you a bonus Combiner Hunters one-shot comic.  That comic's being released to comic book stores on Wednesdays!  I read that comic like thirty times at my booth, and so I'm very glad it was a good comic.  (It introduces Victorion, the fan-voted lady combiner.)

If you like transforming robot ladies in facepaint and tattoos wielding weapons larger than themselves which they use to cut down giant Transformer combiners, then this set is probably up your alley.  

Posted February 23, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Lookit me, I got another Arcee.   The one on the right is Japan's deco.  She's the new one.

There are things I like about the plain ol' domestic version on the left.  I like the use of black, for example.  I think it adds a nice contrast color to her that gives her some visual interest beyond the kind of value-samey white, pink, and gray.  I like that the larger rifle is painted, which if you think about it is a bizarre choice, since why would Hasbro waste paint applications on the rifle?  99% of the time they leave weapons unpainted, since using up your paint budget on the actual figure seems preferable, but both of Hasbro Arcee's weapons have paint.  The smaller gun has just the sliver of gray, while everything that isn't a handle or a peg is painted on the larger gun.  And it's both black and gray paint, too.  (Okay, the larger rifle is pink if you don't paint it, and maybe Hasbro didn't want a pink gun, I dunno.)  Also the Hasbro one's like $15 domestic instead of $30 imported, so,  you know, half as expensive.

But those positives aside, and even though I thought that I'd always prefer the Hasbro deco, I changed my mind a bit once we got to see the TakaraTomy deco.  Since Finally Arcee's First Toy The Way Most People Would Define As Such is kind of a big 30th Anniversary event, I thought it might be worth it to splurge for the "deco the way the designers intended," aka slavishly adherent to the original cartoon colors.  And while import Arcee's larger rifle remains unpainted, there's a lot of stuff I like about the robot's deco that's a fair trade to me.  For example, the paint wraps all the way around her torso instead of ending abruptly at the seams.  And Hasbro's version looks like it was trying to avoid the whole "pink bikini" look by not painting the crotch of the pink bikini, but honestly it just looks like a crotchless pink bikini without that deco there, so, um, whoops.  The gray lower midsection is more cartoon accurate AND its relative darkerness obscures the uncanny-valley organic round tummy-with-a-bellybutton the sculpt has.  So that's nice.  

Anyway, I felt okay splurging because this toy was surprisingly fun to own.  When I preordered her and Chromia, I expected Arcee to be kinda whatevs and Chromia to be the fuckin' bomb, but in person Chromia's remolding makes her a chore to deal with and Arcee's fun.  Shellformery fun, but fun nonetheless.  And so I'm happy to get the more expensive version.  Her toy's a milestone, after all.

Plus now I can steal the painted larger rifle from the Hasbro one to give to the other!  Best of both worlds!   (And eventually scrape out the support struts from inside the new one's palms so she can hold her weapons non-ridiculously, to match what I did with the Hasbro one.)  

Posted December 21, 2014 at 11:45 am

So Hasbro's all "FINE, here's your goddamned cartoon-style Arcee toy who transforms into a futuristic sportscar convertible, GAWD."   Twenty-eight years later and probably just as many offbrand third-party Arcee toys later, here she is.  The one you wanted in the way you wanted her.  Probably.

She even shares a case assortment with Chromia, another lady Transformer (who herself is a retool of a previous Arcee toy).  It's a case assortment that can potentially pass the Bechdel test!  And importantly, Arcee is gloriously pink.  They said it couldn't be done in the dude aisle, but here she is.  She's not a rosey red or rusty brown, she's legimately hot pink and white.  Hasbro's all "fuck y'all, we're doin' it."  

The design of this toy was spearheaded by a guy over in Japan who fandom-famously homebuilt an Arcee back in 1998.  Additional design work was contributed from another guy who draws Arcee like this, with a broken Escher Girl spine and cheated-in cleavage.  There were some design drawings for this toy printed in a magazine that echo these choices, and, uh, I am kind of amazingly thankful that not much of it got into the final toy.  There's no sculpted cleavage and the spine isn't as broken.  That weirdly organic-looking tummy's still there, though, and if you look at Arcee's toy from the side, you can still see some of those vague shapes, particularly in the boobal area.  They, like, point up.  Look, for some people Arcee was their sexual awakening, okay???  And now those people make Transformers.

Because of the adherance to the original Arcee robot and car designs, she's kinda backpacky.  90% of the car mode folds up on her back, leaving only the very tip of the hood and some of the rear wheel hubs to serve as the chest and thighs, respectively.  The car parts fold up reasonably well, though since the back bumper kind of juts into the small of her arched back at an angle, she can't really keep her arms straight down at her sides.  It's arms akimbo or action for Arcee!  Other than that, she's a pretty good robot mode.  She'd have to be, considering she's just a humanoid robot person with a car on her back.  Good robot mode, good car mode, not so great Transformer.  

My Arcee is a version of the toy before a running change.  Later versions of Arcee have remolded fists that better hold her weapons.  In my earlier version, there's a small ledge of plastic that prevents the weapon tabs from sliding all the way through, presumably for structural purposes.  The later version removes this ledge but accommodates for structural integrity by closing her fist sculpt.  (The fingers and thumb touch each other now, is what I mean.)  The open palms look better, but they look terrible holding stuff.  And lord does she come with stuff!  It's like Hasbro was crossing their fingers that little boys love weapons more than they hate pink girls, or at least pink-girl-hating parents of less culturally-contaminated little boys.  

There's two guns and two swords, all sculpted to work with Arcee and only Arcee through a tab system rather than the usual 5mm pegs.... probably because Arcee's arms are so damn thin that a 5mm pegholed fist would look conspicuous.  There's slots for these tabs everywhere on her, so there's lots of placement choices.  There's even some tabs on the underside of her front bumper (or the top of her robot shoulder kibble) that I'm not really sure are useful in either mode for space reasons.  In vehicle mode you can tab her guns in any of the many slots, or store them underneath.  The swords hafta remain plugged in visibly, though.  They're too big to hide underneath somewhere.  (the smaller gun plugs in between her arms, and her fists plug into either side of it)

At the end of the day, it's probably the best toy of the original Arcee design that you could get for $15.  There have been some better Arcee toys and there will be better Arcee toys, but if you want one of this particular design, it's actually pretty good for that.  

Good luck waiting for a Headmaster version.

Me, I just want one in the preproduction colors.

Posted February 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm
I'm still sick, but I napped like aalll day and so I have the energy in me to write this.  Huzzah!

Like all of the other "Robots in Disguise" Revealers, Arcee is an entirely new mold apart from her "First Edition" version.  And just like Cliffjumper, she relies more on faux kibble for her transformation.  Instead of the front of the bike splitting apart and folding down to become her upper torso, the entire front of the bike now hangs off her back.  This results in a more "show accurate" chest, but I think I'm preaching to the choir when I say that's not a step in the right direction.

I do not, however, want to give the impression that this is a disappointing or terrible toy.  It is not.  In fact, it's superior to the FE in a few ways.

First of all, all its kibble is further out of the way this time.  FE Arcee had this problem with her shoulders, where the big shoulder kibble was attached to her upper arms and kept getting in the way of all the stuff hanging off her back.  This is not a problem with RID Arcee.  Everything's back and out of the way of her range of movement.

Secondly, I like that she's shorter.  FE Arcee was taller than both Bumblebee and Cliffjumper, which just won't do!  RID Arcee is about a head shorter than FE Arcee, which is loads better, though not perfect.  I will take better over worse any day of the week, however.

Because she was created more recently, RID Arcee manages to be slightly more cartoon accurate than her earlier FE version as well.  The cuffs on her wrist are shaped properly, for example, and they managed to get her forearms blue this time.  Her chest, as mentioned, is more accurate, but that's a function of the different transformation, of course.  (Other than the torso, the rest of the toy transforms basically the same as the older one: The rear wheel splits apart and folds into the back of her shins.)  The head also looks a lot better.  Her eyes are lessbeady and more large and expressive.

Oh, and did you know you can use the FE's weapons on Arcee?  In addition to the 5mm pegholes that remain under her forearms for her blade weapons, there's also two skinny pegs on either side of her motorcycle mode that allow you to mount her blade weapons as you could on the previous toy.  There's no other reason for them.  That's pretty awesome.

There are some downsides, of course.  She only comes with one blade.  It combines with a giant version of the blaster her arms can transform into on the cartoon.  She loses both her waist articulation, her wrist articulation is now a balljoint and keeps her from being able to put her hands on her hips most excellently, plus she lost all of her pink.  I assume the latter is because of Boys, who tend to be strongly sexist at the toy's target age.

I now have all three of Prime Arcee's toys!  How did this happen?

(I may have to sell the FE.  Hey, it has Reprolabels on it!)
Posted February 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm

this is the new arcee and the old arcee


okay you know what,  I'm too sick to do this.  I used up all my energy drawing Thursday's Shortpacked!, announcing Dumbing of Age's second place SLASH CONTEST winner, and eating dinner.  There is no energy left.

Posted February 10, 2012 at 2:43 am
So I bought Legion Class Arcee and Ratchet on Wednesday.  Legion Class toys are the smaller price point in the Cyberverse arena of Transformers toys.  They're tiny and very simple and there are playsets for them.  And I got an Arcee because I was wondering about her scale and I got a Ratchet because I'm weak and I like Ratchet.

Arcee's a motorcycle on the show, but she's a Deluxe Class toy the same as the cars and planes, so of course her scale's a bit wonky. And so I picked up Tiny Arcee to see how she'd compare to the other toys.  Maybe she'd be a better Arcee than my admittedly awesome Deluxe Class version!  And, as expected, she's a way better scale versus the cars in vehicle mode, but about half as short as her cartoon's robot mode.  See, in the show, she grows between modes.  A lot.  Very much a lot.  Her motorcycle mode's as large as her shin.  It's kind of annoying.

Which, as it turns out, puts her Legion motorcycle at perfect television scale with her Deluxe robot.  Huh.

Her transformation is pretty sweet for such a small toy.  It reminds me a lot of Animated Prowl in its elegance.  And like Animated Prowl, one wheel ends on one leg and one wheel on the other, with the arms pointing out the rear of the motorcycle and motorcycle kibble ending up as wings on her back.   It's fun to do and she fits in your pocket.

Ratchet is way more pedestrian.  The back becomes legs and the sides pull out to be arms.  He's basically a Micromaster.

Both Ratchet and Arcee come with rubbery translucent pink weapons.  These weapons are covered in pegs and pegholes so that you can combine them in various ways, and the toys themselves have multiple pegholes.  In theory, if I had more than just these two Cyberverse toys, I could combine my pile of weapons into a superweapon, or many superweapons, or just load up one toy with all of them.
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