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by yo go re

One of the things the Transfanboys like to bitch about in regard to the 2007 movie is that the character designs seem random. Which, yes, pretty much means they're complaining about the robots in disguise not looking enough like they did in the '80s. The fanboys get real cute, imagining scenarios in which the producers drew names out of a hat as random robots popped onto a screen. Of course, reading even one interview with the writers is enough to dispell that - they had a good idea of which Transformers they wanted to work with, even if their first choices sometimes got cut.

Arcee Arcee is a born hunter. Before joining the Autobots, she passed her time tracking turbofoxes on Cybertron with some of the other speedsters, taking great pride in approaching as close as she could to them, quickly and silently, before tagging them with her bow. She's brought those skills with her to Earth, where she passes the days stalking unsuspecting Decepticons until she draws close enough to strike.

Apparently the main reason Arcee was cut from the script was because it would have been a hassle to explain why there was a female robot. Personally, I think it's more of a hassle to explain why all the supposedly genderless robots have recognizably male personalities, but your mileage may vary. Besides, you gotta leave some chracters for the sequel.

Arcee's "movie" form is a Buell Firebolt XB12R, but since the character didn't actually appear in the film, her toy is one of those she's the town bicycle "almost but not quite" vehicles. It resembles a Firebolt, but doesn't directly copy one. Instead it turns into a nice-looking, stylish and mostly fictional motorcycle.

The bike is about 5½" long, and just under 2¾" tall. The wheels turn freely, but the kickstand really isn't the right height to make the bike stand the way it should. Oh, it works, you just have to futz around with some parts, first. The bike has a silver autobot symbol on the back, the serial number "RC 1100" in two different spots, and Massachusetts license plate TF7404 - the movie's release date.

Movie Arcee's transformation haven't seen hair like that since middle school is somewhat similar to the Energon version's. In fact, it's remarkably similar. Nearly the same. Just a bit more complex given her size and design. Begin by removing the bike's seat, and putting it aside. Flip the gascap, dashboard and windshield forward over the front wheel. Split the rear wheel to help form the arms, and pull out the undercarriage to form the legs. After that, it's basically just a question of straightening everything so it's in the right place, and popping up the head.

Transformed, she would have looked like this the figure looks incredibly true to the cgi renders. Of the character that was subsequently cut from the film. Yeah. It seems a lot of Arcee's intended role ended up going to Ironhide, and since he still didn't do much of anything, cutting one Autobot was probably a good idea (it totally would have changed the meaning of Ironhide's "I just wanted to show him my cannons" line, though). However, in the final battle, when Capt. Lennox jumped on a bike and raced at Blackout? That bike was a Buell Firebolt, which means that scene probably would have belonged to Arcee instead of just a generic non-sentient.

Arcee is actually a fairly good-looking robot. The hips stick out a bit, but other than that the proportions are good and the kibble is balanced well, though almost no effort has been made to conceal it. The bike's front wheel and windshield stick out of her back (reminicent of Blackarachnia's big booty robot mode), and its footpegs jut out of her ankles. The rear wheel ends up split in two and wrapped around her upper arms like a shawl or something. What the hell? Beats the way Energon Arcee's wheel worked, but it's still weird. Her face is a bit more "human" than most of the movie 'bots ended up being, and she even has a hairdo. What else would you call it when her head is asymmetrical?

Remember when we said to remove the bike's seat? Now it's time for it to come back. more Energon-inspired goodness It doesn't transform or anything, but it does act as a launcher for the bike's tailpipe, which becomes a missile. When you put the missile in, arms come out the sides of the seat, though this is the opposite of the way a real crossbow would work. A tab on Arcee's left arm plugs into the weapon, but you can also attach it to either arm the same way it was attached to the bike. Ambidextrous! In a desperate move, the packaging claims the crossbow's arms as Automorph technology - better to admit Arcee doesn't have any, and revel in that fact.

In robot mode, Arcee stands 5¾" tall and moves at the ankles, nees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and head. Her wheel-halves make posing the shoulders hard - they just keep bumping into things as they move. At least you can still pose her weapon decently.

Acree is a decent little figure, and second only to 2009 Bumblebee when it comes to rarity - thankfully, the scalpers are starting to get over her, so your chances of finding one on the shelves are going up. You get a good toy for the price, but don't pay more than retail. Sure, she was cut from the movie, but she showed up in the prequel comics, so this is still an in-continuity appearance, and she'll look great in your movie-figure collection.


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