Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Arcee Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Beast Hunters, Deluxe, Prime

Transformers Prime

Arcee

General Information:
Release Date: August 2013
Price Point: $12.99
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Echohawk Bow, Missiles x 2

Images:

*Images with asterisks above are from Amazon.com:
Predacons beware, because this Arcee figure is just the Autobot to take any of them on! She's a hunter and a warrior, and her Echohawk Bow will make her enemies think twice before taking her on. She'll launch her missiles at an unsuspecting Predacon, then convert to motorcycle mode to move in and finish him off! (Other figures sold separately.) Keep converting her back and forth so she can handle whatever her Predacon enemies dish out!

As new sculpts have been released in the "Beast Hunters" line such as Vertebreak and Skystalker, several Autobot sculpts from the "Robots in Disguise" sub-line of "Prime" have been retooled with "beast" themes and new weaponry to battle the Predacons. Among the mid-year releases for the line was Arcee, a redeco and retool of "Robots in Disguise" Arcee. This review will focus on the changes made to the sculpt and colors so you'll definitely want to check out that previous review for a well rounded look at this figure.

Robot Mode:
Most of the Autobots retooled for "Beast Hunters" have been given an animal "theme" with their retooled parts. Bumblebee for instance seems to have adopted an eagle as his "spirit animal" for his form. In Arcee's case, she's gone a different direction - adopting design elements of a bat. The parts that have been retooled include:

  • The head is a different sculpt, with the curved, beveled sections of the helmet area extending back further than the "Robots in Disguise" Arcee. It's very subtle and the two designs look almost the same, especially around the face and crest area.
  • The "wings" on her back are now bad wing shaped pieces. This includes bone like structures with armor in between them resembling the skin on an organic bat.
  • The forearms are slightly different than the previous version, the wrist guard extends over the hand slightly and the grooves near the 5mm port hole are no longer there.
  • The lower legs are completely new sculpts. They have a similar design including pointed knee armor and pointed feet, but the beveled details are found mostly on the sides instead of the front. There have also been vent details added to the sides, near the knee joints.
  • On the inside of each lower leg you'll find pieces that extend out like the ends of bat wings.

In addition to all these sculpt changes, "Beast Hunters" Arcee comes with a crossbow weapon in place of the cannon/blade combination from the previous release. It has lots of grooves and details that align with the "bat" designs on the figure, including the two "wings" on the sides. It is a double barreled weapon which can launch each missile independently via buttons on the sides. The look of the weapon fits in with the figure perfectly. There are "spikes" on the sides of the weapon and the center even has a creepy looking "head" complete with eyes and a row of teeth! The head looks a bit more like a dragon than a bat however, which aligns more with the general "Beast Hunters" theme instead of the bat motif. If you want to use the weapons from "Robots in Disguise" Arcee, the ports on her arms are still present so you can use those weapons and have her hold the bow at the same time.

Arcee retains two of her key colors from previous iterations: dark blue and black. However, those two colors now work in conjunction with two tones of grey. Each one has a tinge of a different color. one grey that makes up parts of her forearms and lower legs has a purple, almost pink tone to it. Other parts such as her thighs have blue "marbling" running through them. This "marbling" type effect was used on previous "Beast Hunter" Autobot retooled figures and looks very cool here. My only wish is that there as more of it.

Several paint colors help round out the deco on this figure. That includes dark blue, used extensively on the lower legs and wrists, a metallic blue-grey used on the main body and black which is mostly found from the mid-body to waist area. Her face is painted with a greyish color (it's not quite white I think) while her crest is painted pink. An Autobot symbol sits near her neck on the chest armor. In terms of tone, this color scheme still stays true to Arcee as we have known her, but manages to be just different enough that it doesn't feel like a retread of what's come before.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached and set it aside for now.
  2. On each leg, swing out the parts with the wheels on them.
  3. Connect the two wheel halves together.
  4. Swing the waist section forward.
  5. Straighten out each arm and rotate the forearms so the rectangular holes on them connect to the tabs on the side of the main body.
  6. Swing the legs forward, bending them at the knees.
  7. Swing the front of the vehicle mode forward, with the front wheel covering the robot head.
  8. Rotate the front wheel around so it is pointing the same way as the rear wheel.
  9. Swing the "wing" flaps on the sides back.
  10. The weapon can be attached to the vehicle mode. Swing down each of the pegs, then slide it over the front wheel, swing the pegs back up and tuck the wheel back and the weapon forms both a new wheel cover and weaponry.

Vehicle Mode:
The beauty of many "Beast Hunters" sculpt modifications is that they not only have significant changes in robot mode, but they also have them in vehicle mode. Arcee is no exception. At first glance she looks dramatically different than the previous version of the figure. Not counting the weapon being attached (which forms a "new" front wheel cover), the retooled parts visible here include:

  • The "wing" panels on the sides show even more of their "bat-wing" inspired design with the bone like details very obvious and layered armor panels between them.
  • The tail of the vehicle has two small "fins" on the back that skirt the line between looking aquatic and bat-like.
  • The rear wheel has blade-like pieces pointed back on either side.
  • The seating and fuel tank section of the vehicle is not just a rounded, smooth piece anymore but instead has several beveled layers of armor paneling.

With the weapon attached, the vehicle looks like it has wings on the sides. With the "dragon" head on the front wheel, Arcee looks like she could seriously scare some enemies as she barrels down at them at full speed!

All the colors form the robot mode carry over here, but now the grey with the pink details gets a bit more focus on the top of the vehicle. The "bone" sections of the wing panels on the sides are dark blue plastic with the armor in between them painted silver. A bit of orange is used on the sides and front of the vehicle. Dark blue paint is used on the edge of the "fins" in the back and the seat. A bit more silver can be found on the blades on the sides of the rear wheels. Overall it's a good color scheme that stays true to the character.

In terms of play value, attaching Arcee's crossbow weapon gives you some serious firepower right in front. If you are so inclined, the blade weapons from both the First Edition and "Robots in Disguise" Arcee figures will still attach to the sides thanks to the designers keeping the two small pegs sticking out on each side. The left side of the vehicle has a kickstand allowing you to display the figure in vehicle mode.

Final Thoughts:
The whole idea of taking "beast features" and working them into a robot/vehicle Transformer isn't for everyone. Aesthetically a bat probably isn't what most people would have pictured as a fit for Arcee, and the colors are not super different han the previous iteration (though some have suggested she might be a partial homage to the "Beast Wars" Optimus Primal bat figure). I get all this, but in my book this is a solid figure with fun play value and a mean looking weapon. Recommended!