"Generations" Power of the Primes Elita-1 / Elita Infin1te Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Generations, Power of the Primes, Voyager

Generations

Power of the Primes

General Information:
Release Date: June 2018
Price Point: $24.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blasters x 2; Foot pieces x 2; Autobot Enigma

Elita-1

Official images with asterisks and text below in italics are from Amazon.com and Amazon.com:
The Autobots and Decepticons use Prime Masters to wield the incredible powers of the most legendary bots in the universe: the Primes. Prime Masters carry the spark of a Prime, allowing them to share a Prime's godlike ability with other bots. How will the Autobot warrior wield this epic power? Anything is possible and everything is at stake when the Power of the Primes is unleashed!

Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Voyager Class figures are 7-inch-scale figures that come with 2 Prime Armor accessories. Insert a Prime Master figure (not included; each sold separately) into 1 of the accessories, attach it to the figure, and imagine Elita-1 wields the power of a Prime.

Figure Specs:
Voyager Class Elita-1
Modes: robot, jet
Converts in 12 steps
Includes 2 Prime Armor accessories, Autobot Enigma accessory, and collector card
Works with Prime Master figures (Not included. Each sold separately. Subject to availability.)
Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Elita-1 was introduced in the Generation One cartoon series as the leader of a group of rebels on Cybertron fighting against Shockwave and his Decepticon forces. Elita-1 was also notable for being one of the few significant "female Autobots" in the series. Later, fans would learn that Elita-1 used to be a Cybertronian named Ariel who was wounded by Megatron. Alpha Trion rebuilt her as Elita-1 and since then, the character has appeared in other Transformers media including the current IDW Publishing comic book series.

Elita-1 is a retool and redeco of the "Power of the Primes" Starscream figure. Now, this is not a simple head swap. The designers really went the extra mile with this retool. I do recommend you read "Power of the Primes" Starscream's review but this review will focus on the changes made to the design for this release.

Packaging:
Like previous waves of "Generations" Voyager Class figures Elita-1 is in a window box. The box has a black background with graphics on top. These include the Generations logo on the upper right hand corner and the vertical "Transformers" logo under it. On the other side is Elita-1's package art along with the "Power of the Primes" logo and her name underneath with a Autobot symbol. The right side panel of the box features the symbols for the twelve Primes along with the "Power of the Primes" logo and the "Authentic Transformers" logo at the bottom. The other side of the box shows Elita-1 in her Combiner form. In a nice touch, the figure can be seen both in box via the front window and a small window on top.

The back of the packaging shows Elita-1 in both modes set against a grey background. It also shows him with her Prime Armor attached and the "Autobot Enigma" attached to it. It also indicates 12 steps of transformation for this figure. Her cosells are the Alpha Trion, Alchemist Prime and Liege Maximo.

Accessories:
Elita-1 includes two small blasters. Each has a barrel that narrows in the front with a cylindrical base section. The design of these weapons is actually based on a design detail from the G1 animation model for Elita-1. The G1 animation model had two antennae like structures on the sides of her arms. These were likely analogous to Optimus Prime's smokestacks which were in roughly the same place on his arms. I love the weapons being based on this somewhat obscure detail. Both weapons are cast in red plastic that leans towards looking pink (which was one of G1 Elita-1's key colors).

Elita-1 also comes with two Prime Armor pieces. Each of these can be attached to the sides of the arms or held in the hands of the Elita-1 figure. You can also fit a Prime Master in Spark mode into the slot in the Prime Armor. The Prime Armor is shown as cast in a peach color on the packaging, but it is actually painted black (with some pink still showing on the pegs). This is the same design as the foot pieces included with "Power of the Primes" Starscream and Inferno.

Robot Mode:
Normally retools of figures share a lot of parts with their "source" figures. In the past, new parts generally came down to a new head and/or maybe a new chest piece or something similar. However, in the case of this figure the designers went a lot further. The basic structure of the Starscream and Elita-1 are the same, with rather thick forearms and legs and the jet cockpit and wings on the back. However, the actual parts shared between the two are limited. These include the jet cockpit on the back, the back piece, parts of the arms and parts of the wings. I have to say however that the designers did a great job with these reused parts. I really had to stare at the parts before figuring out what parts the two figures shared. For example, the upper arms have the same piece with a 5mm port, but the shoulder armor over that section is different so it really hides the shared parts.

Here's a run down of the main parts that have been changed between Starscream and Elita-1:

  • The head is a whole new sculpt, based on the G1 animation model. This includes a wide crest piece and two antennae sticking out at angles on the top.
  • The shoulder armor pieces are different. They are not as wide as Starscream's with a beveled section in the middle.
  • The forearm and fist pieces are both different. Most notably, a piston like detail on Starscream's forearms do not appear on Elita-1. The fists are slightly open versus Starscream's which are closed into a fist.
  • The chest piece is completely new. Instead of featuring a faux jet cockpit and air intakes, this has a collar and rounded torso based on the shape of G1 Elita-1's animation model.
  • Elita's thigh piece has a section that comes up over the hip joint, unlike Starscream who has two distinctive pieces for the hip and thigh sections that do not overlap.
  • The lower legs and feet are different on Elita-1. She does not user the "Seeker-esque" design featuring knee armor, thrusters on the lower legs and bulky looking feet. Instead, her lower legs have an armor piece that overlaps in front from the knee all the way to the feet. Also, the feet are more angled with a distinctive "V" shape on them.

Overall, Elita-1 looks amazingly different from Starscream. There was clearly a lot of thought and work put into reusing this design while making it look distinctive. I appreciate the G1 design cues being integrated into a more modern (and functional) design.

One quality control note: the feet on many Elita-1 figures were swapped during assembly. In theory you can swap them by unscrewing the feet and diassembling that section, then switching them. I did not do this so you can see the figure in its "original" state.

Elita-1's colors are inspired by her G1 appearance which included pink and white colors. However, the designers wanted her to have a stronger visual impact so her colors are red, white and peach. The red and white make up most of the figure, with the peach color appearing on the head, chest and arms. Some grey is used for contrasting on the shoulders and legs. Stickers are used to provide some detailing including some on the forearms and even stickers on the chest that say "Ariel Evolved", a reference to the G1 cartoon.

There are seventeen points of articulation on this figure. I am being generous by including the ability of the feet to swing up and down so we can say fifteen if you prefer. Each fist has 5mm ports in them, allowing the figure to hold her weapons or weapons from other figures. The sides of the arms also have ports to attach the weapons and simulate her G1 animated appearance. You can also attach her Prime Armor pieces to the arms or fists.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach any accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Rotate the head around.
  4. Swing the feet up.
  5. Lift the wings up slightly and rotate them around.
  6. Swing the jet nosecone forward.
  7. Swing the arms out to the sides to get them out of the way for now.
  8. Swing the white panels on the insides of the legs down.
  9. Push the lower legs up over the thighs, then press them together.
  10. Swing the arms back in, tabbing the arms into the sides of the lower legs.
  11. Straighten out the arms, then push them down, connecting the tabs on the forearms to the corresponding slots on the undersides of the wings.
  12. Swing the horizontal stabilizer fins down.
  13. Swing the panels on either side of the cockpit section down.
  14. Reattach the blasters to the sides of the arms.
  15. The Prime Master armor can be attached to the undersides of the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
Elita-1's vehicle mode is a very sleek, "scifi" looking vehicle. It does share some parts with Starscream including the nosecone/cockpit section and the panel in the middle of the back. However, like the robot mode a bulk of the parts showing int his mode are new. This includes the wings, the stabilizer fins and even the section with the thrusters in the back. I really like the look of the new parts, especially the wings. They look nothing like Starscream's and that is important. Elita-1 does not look like a Seeker, she looks very much like she has a distinct vehicle mode all her own.

This mode mostly shows off the red color, but some parts are grey and white. Like Starscream, stickers make up a bulk of the detailing. The stickers on the wings are pink and red with black line detail. There are also Autobot symbols on each wing. However, I find these stickers stick much nicer on my copy of this figure than the equivalent stickers on my Starscream.

As a bit of a follow up to the "Ariel Evolved" detail from the robot mode, the vehicle mode also has some fun callouts including "700-58". This is a deep reference, referring to the Marvel Productions code for the episode "War Dawn" where the character appeared as Ariel. Other stickers refer to her as "Elita-One" instead of "Elita-1". I really love these fun little references. They add detailing so they look great on their own, but their deeper meaning is a great Easter Egg for long time fans.

You can attach all the accessories to the vehicle either on the robot arms or the wings. Under the cockpit section is a landing gear piece that can swing down. Each wing has three Prime/Titan Master pegs on them, allowing Elita-1 to transport some of the mini-figures. This is, perhaps, my favorite functionality with the "Titans Return" and "Power of the Primes" figures so I am happy to see it used here.

Transformation to Torso Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Separate the arms from the wings and swing them out to the sides.
  2. Push the horizontal stabilizers up.
  3. Pull the legs down.
  4. Swing the cockpit section up.
  5. Lift the wing section and rotate it around.
  6. Swing the arms back in, then swing them up.
  7. On each forearm, lift the side panels, rotate the fists in to reveal the Combiner ports.
  8. Swing the side panels up, connecting them to the tabs on the white sections with the fists to lock them into place.
  9. Rotate the lower legs around so the stabilizer fins are facing forward.
  10. Push the lower legs over the thighs at angles, then push the tab on one leg into the corresponding slot on the other side.
  11. Swing the cockpit in against the back of the vehicle mode.
  12. Swing the wings in, connecting the slots on the wings to the small fins on the sides of the cockpit section. Then swing the ends of the wings back out, creating an "L" shape with the wings.
  13. Flip the torso section around and open up the robot chest panel. Swing out the Combiner head and move it up and over the robot legs (which are clipped together).
  14. Push the robot head into the torso and close the panel.
  15. On the section connected to the Combiner head, connect the two small tabs to the end of the cockpit section.
  16. Push the Combiner head down, then rotate it around.
  17. The blasters can be connected to the back or the legs.
  18. Deluxe Class Combiner limbs can now be fit into the slots on the shoudlers and thighs.

Torso Mode/Elita-Infin1te:
The combined form of Elita-1 with other Autobots is known as Elita-Infin1te, which is interesting on a couple of levels. First, using the "1" in place of the letter "I" is a bit unusual for Transformers names. More than that however is how this differs from the general concept of a Combiner. In general, Combiners are meant to be a merging of several Transformers into one being. However, here the factor that seems to define the identity of the Combiner is Elita-1 herself!

Like Starscream's torso mode, the wings and cockpit section make up a bulk of the details in this mode. However the shape of the wings make this torso look less like a homage to the live action movie Starscream and more of a sleek, futuristic design. To further the concept of Elita-1 defining the identity of the Combiner, the Combiner head is basically just a larger and slightly more detailed version of Elita-1's own head. Due to the basic design, the chest winds up being rather wide and bulky looking, making Elita-Infin1te look really powerful.

The only real "new" details featured here are the head and the stickers on the shoulders. The head is peach colored with a white face. Red surrounds the section in front of the crest and the inside is painted yellow. The eyes are painted light blue. The stickers on the shoulders each have line patterns on them in pink against red with the letters "E1" in silver.

Overall the torso mode looks great. I appreciate that it is different from Starscream's and giving it Elita's head really does give it a visual identity all its own.

The back of the figure features two 5mm ports near the thrusters. You can also open up the cockpit section to attach a Prime Master to "power up" Elita-1.

Final Thoughts:
Elita-1 is a fantastic example of how to utilize a basic design and retool it as a new character. While there have been other Elita-1 figures over the years, this is probably the best representation of the character to date. There are some minor issues with the figure, so it's not perfect. However I do absolutely recommend it.

Pros:

  • Extensive retool of the Starscream sculpt.
  • I love the G1 influences in the new parts.
  • The references in the stickers (ex: Ariel Evolved) are fun Easter Eggs.
  • Nice new deco.
  • Ratchet joints help keep the Combiner form stable.

Cons:

  • I still would prefer tampographs over these types of stickers. While these are better than the ones on Starscream, the edges still lift up way too easily for my comfort level.
  • While it does not hamper the figure's functionality, it is a shame the feet were incorrectly assembled.