Transformers Animated Arcee Toy Review

in 2010, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Toys R Us Exclusive, Transformers Animated

Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: February 2010
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: Toys R Us exclusive
Accessories: Swords x 2


Arcee"Transformers Animated" ended last year, but there were several original sculpts in the line that did not see a mass release before the show's demise. Among them is Arcee. Based on the Generation One character of the same name, this is a figure long time Transformers fans have been waiting to get for the better part of two decades now. When Arcee was first introducd in 1986, she was portrayed as a female Autobot who was white and pink and transformed into a futuristic sports car. This interpretation of the character has never made into an official, fully transformable figure despite prototypes being made in the 80's and several statues, motorcycle incarnations and so on. Because of this, fans have been clamoring for this sculpt. It is the first time an Arcee toy has been made where she is an original, transformable, Cybertronian/futuristic car (not a motorcycle or licensed Earth vehicle) and uses a color scheme influenced by her pink and white G1 counterpart.

When she initially appeared in "Animated", a toy had not yet been planned for Arcee. However, once a figure was planned, the animation model was changed slightly to add more "car parts" onto her including signs of wheels and a cockpit that was visible in robot mode.

This figure was released alongside Cybertron Ratchet as Toys R Us exclusives, selling out almost everywhere she appeared in a matter of days. Special thanks to my friend Nick and Lanny Lathem from Master Collector in helping me snag an Arcee when my own searches were utterly futile for a month straight!

Vehicle Mode:
In Generation One, Arcee's vehicle mode was a very sleek one representative of the design sensability of the time. She was very thin and sleek looking. I have several screen captures of G1 Arcee in the Energon Arcee review for your reference. Several aspects of this G1 design were used as a springboard for the Animated vehicle mode design. First is the front end of the vehicle. You'll notice there is a notch on the front end with a ridged set of details inside the notch. Animated Arcee has a very similar design, though it is much smaller proportionally speaking. This leads to the rest of the front section, which flares out and then condenses back in at the center of the vehicle. Then the rear of the vehicle angles outwards, winding up a bit wider than the front end of the vehicle. These design elements are visual callbacks to G1 Arcee who had similar segments where her wheel wells resided in vehicle mode. On the top of the hood you'll find an air intake that is inspired by a similar (but much wider) detail on G1 Arcee. It's really cool to see so much inspiration from the G1 Arcee character model when previous incarnations of the character have practically avoided utilizing them.

While there's plenty of homage material on this figure, Animated Arcee has a look all her own as well. G1 Arcee had a lot of curved parts whereas Animated Arcee's vehicle is much more sleek in an angular way. The front end angles back, and there are lots of straight lines on the back of the vehicle. Her spoilers are huge and sweep back at an impressive looking angle. It is interesting to note however that these spoiler wings are not the ones shown in the publicity photos of the figure. Those were attached much further forward, to the sides of the section right behind the cockpit. Truth be told, I can't really choose one look over the other. They're both really cool in their own way. The way the spoiler pieces are set up in this version, it conveys a sense of speed and power all at the same time. With her cabin section in the center looking more like a cockpit on a jet, the look of a super fast car is complete. The detail that completes the vehicle mode for me is inside the cockpit where you'll find a single seat sculpted inside.

Look at the back of Arcee's vehicle mode and you'll see two translucent blue pieces sticking out the back. These are actually part of her weapons, but in this form they wind up looking a lot like some type of energy exhaust coming out the back, adding to the perception of a very fast vehicle.

Arcee is cast in light grey, pink, black and translucent blue plastic. The pink is the dominant color, but it is nowhere near as light as the pink used on G1 Arcee. Instead, it is a darker pink with metallic flake, giving it a wonderful shine. The light grey is used on parts such as the spoilers and tubes on the sides near the cockpit. Her wheels are black and the cockpit cover is translucent blue. I really like the pink color used on this figure. I'm glad they went a bit darker than G1 Arcee and used a metallic shade to boot. It's a strong color and works very well. Paint applications are done in grey (matching the light grey plastic), silver, yellow and white. The grey paint is used on the sides towards the rear of the vehicle and in concert with the silver to form a pattern on the front end of the car. Silver is used on the outer edge of the details on the hood as well as the edges of the spoiler wings. Yellow is used for the headlights and an Autobot symbol on the top of the cockpit is painted as a white outline, something that has been seen in animation often but not in toy form. It's a fantastic deco and I have to say that the pattern on the hood piece is really awesome. It's simple, but offers a complexity to the front end that it would have lacked if they had only painted the headlights.

Arcee's vehicle mode looks fantastic. It's a wonderful homage to the G1 Arcee vehicle mode with updated sensabilities. Truth be told, in this form she would blend right in with some of the wackier vehicles that came out starting in 1986 for G1. The colors are brilliant and look great as well. I had heard friends say theirs had paint job issues, but the lines on mine are very clean as far as I can tell, but you may want to inspect her carefully in package before purchasing.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the spoiler wings and set them aside for now.
  2. Push the front end of the vehicle down a bit.
  3. Split the front half of the vehicle.
  4. Swing out each half to begin forming the robot legs.
  5. Swing up the robot foot pieces.
  6. Rotate the lower legs arund so the front wheels are now facing up.
  7. Rotate the grey tubes on either side of the cockpit so they point down.
  8. Swing the cockpit cover down.
  9. Rotate the lower body around at the waist.
  10. Swing the panels on the sides of the lower robot legs in.
  11. Swing the sections with the swords in them back.
  12. Swing the robot arms out to the sides.
  13. Reattach the spoiler wings to the sections with the swords in them on her back.
  14. The swords can be pulled out and placed in Arcee's hands.

Robot Mode:
Every now and then, you get a Transformer that you look at and just think "Pure win", and Arcee is one of them. Despite the Animated aesthetic with exaggerated parts, there is no doubt that this character model is based off of G1 Arcee. Several of her features have parallels to her G1 predecessor including:

  • The head design has a curved helmet portion with round sections on the sides, a design that many jokingly called a robotic version of Princess Leia's hair buns from the first Star Wars film.
  • The two sections that hold Arcee's swords are similar in design to sections of G1 Arcee's vehicle modes that wound up attached to her back in robot mode.
  • Arcee's chest design angles forward and then down, with a set of ridged details on the section that angles down, a visual allusion to the front of the vehicle mode.
  • Like her G1 counterpart, Arcee has very slender arms with a rounded shoulder section.

Of course, this isn't G1 Arcee, despite all the influences, so some features are unique to Animated Arcee and her cartoon model. First off, the proportions on everything are quite different than G1 Arcee. Her head is positively huge in proportion to her thin neck and small torso section. The sections on her back are huge and her rather thin upper legs connect to fairly large lower legs. The spoiler wings flare out to the sides very dramatically, much more so than the ones from the original design and I suspect this is part of the reason they were redesigned. The tube like pieces from the vehicle mode wind up on her hips here, and wind up looking like pouches connected a belt instead, a really neat way of using one piece to look like something else in the alternate form. Overall, Arcee's design is a great mix of the old and the new.

Pink dominates again in this form, but grey plastic still takes up several aprts including the panels on her back, the chest piece and the "pouches" on her hips. Translucent blue also shows up again, this time in the form of her light piping eyes and sword weapons. Paint decos are done up in a flesh tone pink, red, silver, grey and black. The most dominant color is black, which you'll find on her waist, legs and arms. The flesh tone color is on her face and red is used on the stripes that flank the central crest on her head. Grey can be found on smaller details such as the strip around her waist. The Autobot symbol on her chest is silver, which looks fine on top of the pink plastic. The color tones match up to the animated model very well and thanks to the size of her head, her light piping feature works very well.

Arcee has eighteen points of articulation in this form. This is a combination of hinges and ball joints. The ball joints are in the right places including her shoulders and elbows, allowing her to wield her swords in various poses. All the joints are tight, something I worried about when I saw how small the various joints were. I love the way her swords can be stowed away behind her. They don't quite just slide in however. You'll need to push them a bit to get them to snap into place.

Final Thoughts:
I'm not going to deny it, I'm extremely biased about this toy since I've been waiting for it for over twenty years. It's also cool looking in both modes, well articulated and she's a teacher with swords! Along with the G1 homage bits and show accuracy, there's simply tons to love in this figure. Highly recommended!