Transformers Movie (2007) Arcee (deluxe) Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action<br />

Arcee Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: September 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Missile launcher, missile x 1


Tech Specs:
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.

Strength: 8  Intelligence:Speed: 8  Endurance: 5
Rank: 5  Courage: 7  Firepower: 7  Skill: 9

Arcee is packaged on the standard type of Transformers movie carded packaging with the edges of the plastic bubble wrapping around to the back of the card. He is packaged in vehicle mode. The curved tech detail section at the top of the bubble does lists "Automorph Technology" as her special feature. On the back both modes are pictured. Her cosells are Bumblebee, Bumblebee (2008 version), Bonecrusher, Wreckage, Dreadwing and Scorponok. Whether that means the figures from the earlier wave are being re-released is uncertain as I have not yet seen a full case opened.

This is the second Arcee figure released for the Transformers movie toy line. The first was the Target exclusive Scout Class Arcee. However, that figure was a redeco of the Energon Arcee figure. This is the first one that is an original sculpt. The story behind this figure is an interesting one. At one point, Arcee was going to be one of the Autobots featured in the movie. CGI designs were worked up for her (but not a full working animated model as far as I know) including a robot and vehicle mode. However several considerations including her relatively small size led the powers that be to decide that Ironhide would be the better choice to put in the movie. All was not lost however since we are now getting a figure of the very design that was abandoned for the movie.

Vehicle Mode:
Arcee is a ninja motorcycle in vehicle mode once again. This time however she breaks into a size class she hasn't been in before, and the result is a larger figure that has a good amount of detail and puts her toe to toe in size with most of her fellow Autobots in the movie line. As one would expect, her vehicle mode is very sleek. The front comes to a point and angles outward and curves to the sides. The sides have several angles going down and back, leading to a curved rear section. This is a pretty standard configuration for a ninja style bike, but it is the smaller details that make this figure.

Like many of the movie figures, the design aesthetic generally has more than one layer of detailing. On the outer armor layer you have the expected details such as headlights on the front, a gas tank cap in the center towards the front of the vehicle and of course a kick stand on the left side. Other details that really caught my eye were small circle details on the spokes of his wheels, engine details on either side towards the middle and even individual chain links wrapping around the left side of the rear wheel. I'm a huge fan of small details like these since it shows a good level of thought going behind not just the figure's engineering, but its appearance as well. In a nice touch, the figures' missile mounts on the right side to double as an exhaust pipe.

Arcee is cast in three primary plastic colors: metallic pink, black and translucent blue. The pink is not a bright pink like one might expect. Instead it is a darker shade that looks like it could have put her right alongside the Autobots in the film without looking too jarring. The translucent blue is used for parts such as the windshield on the front of the vehicle. Metallic silver, gold, orange, white and blue colors are used for paint detailing. Gold is used on parts such as the inside of the wheels and pipes seen towards the front of the vehicle. Silver is used on parts all over the vehicle including the sides where they silver comes down at an angle. The silver is also used for the letters and numbers "RC 1100" on the sides of the vehicle. A silver Autobot symbol can also be found on the back as well. The paint detail that amuses me the most is her license plate. Painted with a white background, she apparently hails from Massachusetts and the license plate number is "TF 7407" which is of course the original planned release date for the movie. This is the type of detail I would expect to see on an Alternator and not necesarily on a deluxe scale figure, so it was nice to see.

Arcee's wheels roll and that's about it when it comes to "action features" in this mode. Granted, you could insert the missile into the launcher in the back, but it winds up looking somewhat silly (but it is functional). What's nice is that due to her being a deluxe sized figures, you can take smaller figures such as the Scout Class sized figures and have them sit on the vehicle as drivers. The kickstand swings down on the left side and holds the bike up just fine. Overall this is a really nicely done vehicle mode.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the seat/rear section of the vehicle and the missile and insert the missile into the launcher.
  2. Swing the front end of the vehicle forward.
  3. Swing the section with the gas cap detail on it onto the windshield piece.
  4. Separate the sides of the motorcycle from the central section and swing them forward.
  5. Swing the front wheel down.
  6. Rotate the legs forward and then pull the black sections down to form the legs.
  7. Swing the ends out to form the robot feet and heel pieces.
  8. Separate the halves of the rear wheel and swing the robot arms out to the sides.
  9. Swing the robot chest open and swing the robot head up, then put the chest plate back into place.
  10. Swing each half of the rear wheel forward.
  11. The weapon can attach to either arm.

Robot Mode:
I think it's fair to say that many fans (including myself) were very happy when the Energon Arcee figure was released. Finally we had Arcee in toy form with an original sculpt and not a redeco of a pre-existing toy. It was an awesome figure and I'm really happy to see the sculpt has lasted enough to go through several redecos. However, in the end, many fans did complain that the sculpt was a bit squat and chunky, especially for the more thin and streamlined appearance fans had come to expect from a female Transformer. Given a larger canvas to work with, it seems the designers listened to these complaints and acted on them. Arcee's overall form is very lithe compared to many of the bulkier movie figures. For the most part, each part of her body is slim and sleek. Her chest leads to a very thin waist that then angles outward to the hips, giving her a more feminine appearance than her more blocky male counterparts.

The smaller details on this figure also add to Arcee's feminine appearance. The head sculpt is very alien, and has some of the same hints of design influence as Bumblebee's head. The head is rounded with wide eyes and a mouth that almost looks like a bird beak. A plate is sculpted over the right side of the head. What purpose this serves is unknown, but it certainly fits the "armor plating over other parts" look of the movie figures. Arcee's chest design has several tubes running from the sides to the center that narrow as you get to the waist. Her lower arms are very thin and lead to three fingered hands, again keeping her looking very trim. Her legs are probably the bulkiest parts, but they are also long so they wind up looking like powerful legs. While Arcee's legs do show hints of the "metal plates on top of detail" design, for the most part the curved plates cover most of the legs, resulting in a very sleek appearance. As one might expect, the feminine aspect is retained by the use of heeled foot designs similar to what the Scout Class figure has. Here however the feet are blocky instead of being curved. The only detail that really breaks the flow of this robot form are the half wheels hanging off her arms. While the proper transform calls for them being swept forward, I actually prefer them out to the sides as they wind up looking almost like wings that way. Among my favorite details on this figure are those found on the upper body. There the aforementioned tubes are on top of smaller details that flow in ever direction, up, down, to the sides etc. This complex look is appropriate to the line but also shows what we might have seen on the big screen once upon a time.

Arcee's colors from the vehicle mode carry over here with the addition of blue paint applications. Her upper arms, hands and lower legs are cast in black. The rest is cast in metallic purple. Silver paint applications are found on her face, chest, waist and legs. The gold paint applications are fully revealed as part of the tubes on her chest. Blue is used for finer details such as a diamond shaped piece on her waist and small joint details on the legs. Her eyes are translucent blue, using light piping from the back of the head. The blue is a bit dark, so the light piping only works a little bit. These paint applications may sound rather simple, but they are actually quite intricate since many of them paint very small parts all over the main body. Arcee's deco is well done overall and more intricate than I expected.

Arcee's primary weapon is her crossbow, which mounts on either arm via a peg in hole system. Pressing the button on the top of the launcher not only fires the missile, but also causes the prods on either side of the crossbow to retract back to the sides. It is a very nifty movement that brings home the point that this weapon is firing something and needs to be reloaded.

There are twenty points of articulation on this figure. This includes minor ones such as her ability to move her neck and more common ones such as the elbow and knee joints. The only significant point of posability lost is the waist due to the transformation scheme. Still, you can strike some neat poses with this figure.

Final Thoughts:
Arcee is a really cool figure that fans have wanted in this scale for quite some time now. It's really great to see such a popular character getting a "second chance" as another figure. She looks feminine, has a cool vehicle mode and is well-armed in robot mode. The fact that she was originally slated to be in the movie adds a level of fascination to the figure as well. Highly recommended!