Transformers Movie Arcee... A character that was rumored to appear in the upcoming Transformers film, but ultimately did not make the cut. This figure seems to be based off the appearance of the character Arcee in the IDW comic book movie prequel -- or vice versa. Consider this figure to be Arcee given the movie design treatment. I stumbled across a pair of these figures at my local toy shop today and decided to pick one up for myself. Arcee came in an assortment with '08 Bumblebee, Scorpinok, Bonecrusher, Swindle and Dreadwing. I was originally very turned off by the design, but let's see if having the figure in hand changed my mind...
This is a pretty crazy-looking racing bike. Unlike the majority of the movie figures, this figure's alternate mode doesn't seem to be based off a real vehicle. If it IS, you'll have to forgive me. I've never come across anything quite like this. The bike isn't totally unrealistic, and I actually like the design very much. I was struck by the size of the vehicle while in package. After Energon Arcee, I'm used to this character being very tiny. Size was the main thing that drove me to purchase her today.
As you can see, the motorcycle mode is the perfect size for the Revoltech Revy figure. I was intrigued back in the day when Energon Kicker and Highwire came out. Having a human character to ride on a Transformer is a novel idea, but I didn't like the execution with Highwire. Obviously this Arcee isn't designed specifically to accomodate a rider, but the fact that it does adds a lot to the playability factor for me. Most of the time I'm tempted to leave my Transformers in robot mode while on display. Being able to slap another figure ontop of Arcee's alt-mode gives me the option of posing her either way and being satisfied.
Movie Arcee's transformation is VERY similar to that of Energon Arcee. Anyone who owns the Energon version (or Target exclusive basic-class) won't really need the instructions to transform this figure. The main difference is that Arcee's crossbow weapon is absolutely necessary for the alt-mode. It seamlessly forms the seat and back of the bike. Removing the weapon, and the missile camoflauged as an exhaust pipe, allow for a fairly basic transformation. Split the back wheel and exposed arms, rotating them to the sides. Extend the sides of the bike to form Arcee's legs and feet. Flip up the top of the bike and windshield, rotating the entire section along with the front wheel into Arcee's back area and fold together. Rotate the legs into position. Flip open the chest flap and push or pull Arcee's head out and into place, then closing the chest flap shut. I have an issue with the shoulder wheels. The instructions tell me to fold them forward, but this results in the wheel halves constantly wobbling and rotating while the figure is being handled. I prefer to leave the wheel halves entended above Arcee's shoulders. The upper arm detail is hidden otherwise, and articulation is limited. Plug the missile into the launcher, and two pieces will flip out of the sides to form the crossbow. Overall, Arcee's transformation is a BIT more complex than her Energon counterpart's, but is essentially the same. It appears the designers used Energon Arcee as a template and merely boosted the scale up and added design elements from the movie robots.
I don't know how to say this without it sounding creepy, but I really like Arcee's body. It's definitely feminine, without being overt about it. The deluxe scale allows for a lot more detail than Energon Arcee, and this really shows in the arms. There's full shoulder and elbow articulation, and a standard swivel joint in each wrist. Arcee also have two fingers and a thumb on each hand, sculpted with open palms. The chest features two metal plates that resemble female breasts, with an inverted v-shaped piece that balances out the shape. What looks like two orange tubes adds an interesting hi-tech feel to the robot mode, if that makes any sense. Arcee's waist, hips and stomach are fantastic, and a vast improvement over Energon Arcee's pregnant belly. There's a lot of detail and color in this area. The entire torso was very nicely sculpted and painted.
Arcee features fairly long legs, which of course adds to the feminine visage. There's a lot of detail sculpted into the thighs, and some blue paint that matches a spot on the hip crest pops out to break up the primarily pink and black color scheme of the figure. The calves are unavoidably large, being made up of the side panels of the vehicle mode. The ankles are smooth and skinny, but lead into overly blocky feet that somewhat resemble high-heel boots. For being this oddly-shaped, Arcee's feet do manage to keep her standing pretty well. I haven't had any real balance issues. Next up is the kibble factor. Similar to the Energon version, Movie Arcee's windshield is visible between her legs in robot mode. This does manage to limit poseability somewhat if you're trying to achieve a lunging pose or something of the sort. The front wheel is housed fairly nicely in Arcee's back. The back wheel, meanwhile splits in half and ends up hanging awkwardly on Arcee's shoulders. I really don't know what to do with those wheel halves. I would have prefered it if the wheel split the way Energon Arcee's did, giving us a full circle above each shoulder. There's not much to be done about it, though. The halves onto fold forward, and not back. I found this dissapointing.
And speaking of disappointing, we come to the one thing I really dislike about this figure -- the head. This looks like Arcee after having her faceplate bitten off by a Sharkticon. The eyes feature some blue light-piping that doesn't work too well, but is good enough. The "helmet" part of her head is shaped like an odd type of womens hairstyle, but this doesn't look bad. What really gets me is the face. I can understand the desire to match the movie design aesthetic, but this is taking things a bit too far. This is one of the ugliest faces I've ever seen on any robot, especially a female one. Arcee sports what resembles a nose, but seems to actually be more of a beak. She has verticle ridges running down her cheeks resembling wrinkles that lead into two blocky, black jowels. Arcee also has a very tiny pink chin. It just looks like there should be more to the face than there is. A larger, smooth faceplate might have been a better way to go. Call me crazy, but I like my robot females to look attractive. I don't think anybody can say this figure's face is pleasing to the eye. Anyone who argues with that is just trying to push my buttons.
I already went into this a bit earlier. The top/back end of the bike (including seat) detach from the vehicle mode to become Arcee's weapon. A nice, big, silver Autobot logo shows here, along with some silly "RC 1100" text that also carries over into the robot mode somewhere. The crossbow's shape actually looks very nice. I usually remove the missles from my figures' weapons, but the missile is absolutely necessary to complete Arcee's crossbow. Remove the missle and you have a random chunk of motorcycle. Speaking of random, Arcee's license plate hangs down on the front of the crossbow. I suppose you could consider this a hand-shield of sorts, but I feel it should fold down somehow.
This is definitely a good figure, and I recommend picking it up. For around $10, this figure gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Light years beyond figures like '76 Bumblebee, Arcee is probably one of the top two or three deluxe figures from the movie toy line. For an Arcee figure, I'm a little disappointed it doesn't resemble G1 Arcee a bit more. At the very least, the face could have been retained. This is an issue with the entire line, however, and the movie itself. Arcee's head is a good example of how doing things radically different is not always a good thing. Still, the rest of the figure is so solid that it makes up for Arcee's facial disfigurement.