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Transformers Generations
by yo go re

Better late than never. Even if we're talking about 30 years late.

Arcee is one of the most dangerous Autobots, despite her comparatively small size. She believes the Decepticons must be stopped at all costs. That belief, combined with her combat training, makes her a pure warrior, a hunter who mixes speed and sudden action to strike Decepticon targets whenever she can.

Some of the characters introduced in Transformers: the Movie were completely forgettable, but not Arcee. The first female Transformer? That's groundbreaking. That's game-changing. That's something every kid watching that movie would want in their toybox. Of course, because toy companies labor under the delusion that boys don't want toys of girl characters (go fuck yourself forever, Mattel), she never received a toy. There have been several abortive attempts to correct that, but at last, one has been successful.

This is not some half-measure or glorified repaint, this is an action figure version of Generation 1 Arcee, just as she was - or just as she would have been, as the case may be. She has the shoulder dealies, the angular chest, and a surprisingly feminine body: wide hips, a narrow waist, and even a gently curving belly. That's a little bit weird. Especially since her chest is just a flat trapezoid, not boob-shaped. I mean, it's good that they didn't give her giant metal cannonballs on her chest, but why the super anatomical stomach?

The inspiration for Arcee was Princess Leia, both her attitude and her design. That's why her head design has always had two large "buns" on either side! Sure, her face is pink and the rest of her head is white, which makes it look like she's wearing a helmet, but the idea is to duplicate Leia's Episode IV hairstyle (aka, what you think of first whenever somebody says "Leia hair").

She moves at the head, shoulders, biceps, elbows, hips, thighs, knees and ankles. The joints all move well, and hold their positions appropriately. She's armed with a small black pistol, a larger black, gray and pink gun, and two translucent blue swords. The weapons have tabs that allow them to plug into her forearms or thighs, and squared-off handles to fit inher hands. For some reason, there are plastic tabs across the bottom of her hands, meaning none of her weapons actually fit all the way into them. Apparently a running change fixes this, but you might have to cut them off yourself.

Her paint is excellent. The pink is vibrant, and the white is clean. She has black around her joints, and alittle bit of blue serving as accents. The face is lighter than the rest of the pink, and there are gray vents over her ears. Even her weapons get more paint apps than you'd expect! Clearly, no part of the paint budget got trimmed - Hasbro must have known how long we've been waiting for this toy.

Since Arcee does have a real (ie, "physical") transformation to take inspiration from, we can't compare this toy to the original toy, but we can compare it to assumptions made based on the art, and on previous attempts at updates. She turns into a futuristic car, so she's got a huge chunk of solid kibble on her back, her chest becomes the front of the car, and her legs raise up to form the sides.

There was a rumor that Arcee was going to be red, apparently started because she had a new body in the comics that was colored that way. But nope, the car's the same as the robot: 100% G1 pink. Well, more like 80% G1 pink, 15% white, 3% black and 2% blue, but you know what we mean. Arcee's a girl, and therefore her toy is pink. The only red on her is her Autobot symbol. Her skinny black wheels turn, with some effort, and her windshield is translucent blue. She has two seats and a dashboard, but nothing big enough to accommodate figures.

All the weapons can be stored on the vehicle. There are ports on the sides and rear of the car, and you can even fit the guns under the chassis if you want: the pistol plugs into the robot's waist, and gives her hands something to plug onto to keep the arms in place; and the larger gun fits into a spot under the rear bumper. There's no way to hide the swords, like there was on Animated Arcee.

Like the rest of the 2014 Transformers Generations Deluxe Class figures, Arcee comes with a reprint comicbook. Hers is not a regular issue of either Robots in Disguise or More Than Meets the Eye, it's the one-shot Dark Cybertron Finale, the piece that wraps up the whole story we've been getting free reprints of all year long. It was clearly included just to round things out, because it's not like she has much to do in the story. There's not anything wrong with that, especially after we got a few issues that didn't feature their tie-in character at all. She does get a funnny line, and someone else specifically points her out in a crowd.

You're probably not going to be able to find Arcee in stores. Hell, Windblade hasn't even shown up yet, and she was released before Arcee. Now the "Combiner Wars" figures are hitting, and they shipped after all of these. Thank goodness for HasbroToyShop and their free shipping offers, huh? Arcee's a great Transformer toy, and if not for them we'd still be waiting for her.

-- 01/20/15

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