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Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2000

It is a double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.
Despite Predacon past, Black Arachnia detests Megatron and fights with the Maximals. The definitive femme fatale, she despises life's pleasantries, though sometimes can't help but feel an affinity towards certain Cybertronians. Her history of treachery and double-dealing makes fellow Maximals distrustful. Spins metal-deteriorating webs that deflect energy pulses. Two stinger legs disrupt / overload any electronic system. Can ground herself with legs and use stingers to send electronic pulses through the ground towards enemies. Six eyes are hypersensitive to enemies and targets.

Robot Mode: I think this version of Black Arachnia might just be the first (and possibly only) female Transformers figure that doesn't feature high heels (I don't count the original BA figure because that was just a repaint of Tarantulas). In fact she's got pretty big feet, but considering that her legs are pretty long, too, that just makes sense and gives her a solid stance. As with most Beast Wars and Beast Machines figures she is very posable, and given that solid stance it means you can put her in all sorts of dramatic poses. Pretty good.

Her paint job isn't exactly show accurate, sadly. In the show she was kind of a dark pink, while the figure here is an almost blue purple. Complaining about lack of show accuracy is pretty much a never-ending task with Beast Machines toys, though, so we'll be going on. One thing on Black Arachnia they did design very well is her head. Her face is pretty close to her TV counterpart and she also features that headgear which can slide up to reveal extra pairs of eyes. Pretty neat.

Black Arachnia's only weapons are the big claws on her hands. Seeing as the Beast Machines characters (at least the Maximals) pretty much did away with any obvious weapons, it comes as no surprise that she has none. In the series she could channel venom blasts through her arms and legs. Speaking of legs, one of the positive aspects of this figure is that nearly all of the spider legs are converted into robot limbs, so they don't hang around.

So to sum up my opinion of Black Arachnia's robot mode: Good, but nothing more than that.

Alternate Mode: Once again and not particularly surprising Black Arachnia transforms into a Black Widow spider, a techno-organic one this time. The design of this spider is a bit awkward, as the four spider legs made from Black Arachnia's robot mode legs are much longer than the remaining ones. In fact I first figured the designers had messed up and given us a spider with six instead of eight legs, until I realized that the short things on her spider head are supposed to be legs as well, not additional mandibles.

All in all the spider does look good and unless you look at it from underneath you see no trace of a robot mode, but other spider-Transformers have done a better job in this area, especially when it comes to the legs. Black Arachnia makes for a decent spider, but little more than that.

Remarks: Black Arachnia was one of the major characters in Beast Wars, first as a Predacon, then as a Maximal, and survived to join the Beast Machines cast. She spent most of the series trying to rescue her lover Silverbolt / Jetstorm and convert him back to the Maximal cause. After Beast Machines ended Black Arachnia played a part in the Universe comic books, where Unicron's influence turned her towards evil once again. She was also repainted twice for the Universe series, once under her own name and once as Crystal Widow.

As a figure Black Arachnia is definitely among the better Beast Machines toys, but that isn't saying all that much, really. She does a decent job in robot mode and except for the fact that her spider legs are not very compatible with each other her beast mode is good as well. So weighing all the good points and bad points, plus the added bonus that there aren't all that many female Transformers in the first place, I guess I can just about call Black Arachnia a good toy. Besides, I don't want to get on the bad side of a giant spider that is three times the size of a tank drone (don't get me started on Beast Machines figure scale).

Rating: B-


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