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Series: Animated Japan
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2010

Truth is power
Arcee has dedicated her life to the power of information. As a teacher, she saw to it that young Autobots all learned the value of the facts, and how to tell truth from lies. During the war, she turned her dedication to the truth to carrying data for the Autobot High Command, often from deep behind enemy lines. She will face any danger to defend what is right, no matter what the cost.

Prelude: This figure here is the Japanese version of Animated Arcee and according to the listing at Big Bad Toystore it was supposed to be called Archi. Not that I would have given a damn, I’d still have called it Arcee, but when it got here I looked at the package and saw: ARCEE. No idea where the Archie thing comes from, but I’m relieved that I can officially refer to this figure by its true name after all.

Robot Mode: Anyone who has ever seen an episode of the original G1 cartoon’s third season will probably recognize this robot here for who she is supposed to be: Arcee, in all her pink glory, shoulder pods and all. Though she is rather small for a Deluxe-class figure, this robot here gives a very good showing both as a G1 homage and as the Animated character we saw in the much more recent Transformers TV series. So no problems at all when it comes to looks.

Arcee is armed with two translucent blue swords which can be stored in her big shoulder pods. The swords, which she never wielded in the cartoon, are actually a minor shout-out to the IDW G1 comics, where Arcee was portrayed as a sword-wielding lunatic with vampire fangs (don’t ask!). The swords fit her well, though, and thanks to her excellent posability she can pull off quite a few cool sword-fighting poses.

The major point of contention when it comes to this figure are the big shoulder wings/spoilers she has. While the on-screen Arcee did have wings on her shoulder pods, they were very tiny and bear little to no resemblance to these monstrosities. The wings can be removed without problem and, at least in my opinion, the robot mode looks better without them. But that’s subjective, of course.

All in all this might just be the best Arcee robot mode yet in my opinion. It looks great, carries the homage well, and adheres to Animated’s design aesthetics all at the same time. So two thumbs up here.

Alternate Mode: Arcee transforms into a futuristic / alien car that pretty closely resembles the vehicle mode she had in the original G1 series. Now in this mode, too, the big spoiler wings can be removed or left attached at your leisure. Personally I think the vehicle mode (unlike the robot mode) looks better with the wings than without them, but again: to each his own.

Not a whole lot more I can write here, really. It’s not a car you’d see on Earth, which makes sense as Arcee wasn’t on Earth long enough to scan an alternate mode there. With the wings attached it looks more like a flying craft than a car and I guess there is no harm in pretending it is one if you want to. Point of the matter is it looks good, but unspectacular.

Remarks: Like many Animated characters, Arcee is a straight-up homage to the G1 character of the same name and the closest Hasbro/Takara-Tomy has yet come to producing a real G1-style Arcee figure. In the series (where she was voiced by her original G1 voice actor Susan Blu) she played a spy who carried the codes for Project Omega in her head, but was ambushed by the bounty hunter Lockdown and eventually had her memory erased by Ratchet as the only way to keep the codes out of Decepticon hands. It was only near the end of the Animated series that she made a recovery, just in time to take part in the final battle against Megatron (though she never did brandish those swords in the cartoon). It was also implied that she and Ratchet had romantic feelings for each other.

Interesting side note: The Japanese Animated opening trailer vastly overstates her role in the cartoon, implying that she’s a member of the main cast when she leaps into battle alongside them. Japanese kids might be confused later on, seeing as this prominent figure only appears in a single season 1 episode and isn’t seen again until season 3.

The bottom line for me is: This is by far the best Arcee figure across all the various Transformers toy lines I’ve seen yet. It manages to look both female and robotic at the same time, stays true to the G1 original but without overdoing it. So if you’re a fan of Arcee and/or female Transformers, you really need to get this one. Btw, the Japanese version is actually easier to get right now, seeing as the American version was a Toys R’Us exclusive that quickly sold out.

Rating: A


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