Transformers Legends LG 17
Item No.: No. ??? Manufacturer:Takara-Tomy Includes:Grappling weapon Action Feature:Changes from spider to robot Retail:3,100 yen (or $21-$30 at importers) Availability: October 2015 Other: Recolor/remold of Animated Blackarachnia
If you loved Beast Wars on TV, you probably dug Blackarachnia (the character) as much as you didn't care for Blackarachnia (the Tarantulas toy repaint.) The original toy looked very little like the TV show counterpart - the spider mode was good, but the robot? Not even close. The mold had been repainted several times with some applying a heck of a lot of gold to a black robot to result in something that still wasn't very good. The body type was wrong, and the head was not even close. Rather than try it again, the Japanese designers had another idea - take the Animated Blackarachnia toy, give it a new head, chest, and clear gold bra, and see what happens. The results, while not a perfect match, hit the "good enough" bar. "A" for effort, and for creativity - as exploiting old tooling goes, this was pretty brilliant. I mean, it worked on me!
While mostly a cybernetic spider, this new Blackarachnia has slightly more organic spider eyes plus pedipalps that fold up to her chest to form a bra in robot mode. This raises numerous questions, not the least of which would be the functionality of said anatomy for a race of transforming robots who seem to be more or less forged and scanned from alien life. But hey, whatever - it's closer to the cartoon model. The Predacon choker and the unique head are created here nicely, but Legends Blackarachnia lost the show mode's claw hands and changed up how her robot limbs and spider limbs were configured. What you get is a robot that looks a lot like what probably exists in your imagination, but it's not entirely true to the show - and the robot neck is a little awkward. A visible gap between the base of her neck and over her chest is really obnoxious, but if you put the spider pincer weapon on her as a backpack you probably won't notice it as much. The Animated version had a similar problem.
The figure is, functionally, pretty much the same as her purple and gold Decepticon forebear. The arms have a slot to plug in her retracting string weapon. The arms move in two places. She's quite tall at a hair over 6-inches high, which places her a head above her fellow deluxe toys and her boy pal Silverbolt. If you look at the animation model posters, she's actually one of the shorter characters on the TV show.
The only area in which I would say the execution lets me down would be the head. The clear yellow eyes seem rather lifeless compared to toys with opaque painted peepers, and the gold deco on her head stops when you reach her ears. There's a gold halo that should go all the way around, but stops thanks to the entire back half of the head being completely unpainted. Slipstream has the same design choice.
Transformation from spider to robot is fairly simple - you probably won't need instructions. The folding of the legs and twisting of the claws on the arms are quite clever, but there's no doubt that you're left with either a spider with some exposed Predacon parts or a robot with some exposed arachnid parts. Any way you slice it, it's a little awkward - yet still better than the 1990s toy.
As a spider, she's a spider. Eight legs, and goofy pedipalps that you can't not see as a bra mustache. I defy you to visualize the clear yellow pieces as anything else. In order to achieve the desired look for the robot, I assume there's really no better way to do this - no matter what, there will be some awkwardness. The legs all move a tiny bit and if you want, you can attach the weapon to her backside and pretend she's on a web. It's so short, it's really not worth the effort - it's too bad there are safety rules. With only a couple of inches of string, it serves little actual purpose.
Since the Universe line started revisiting Beast Wars in 2009, we've received all-new molds of Rattrap, Rhinox, Cheetor, Dinobot, and Waspinator! Blackarachnia is closer to their new style, but they aimed to be much closer to the look and feel of the TV show. This Blackarachnia is close in terms of coloration, head, and torso but still sticks out as something of a sore thumb when viewed as part of a larger collection of characters. Since we get so few figures from Beast Wars I'd still suggest getting her if you're a fan - she's not disappointing or terrible, but she is the very best 1990s-style Blackarachnia you can get based on a completely unrelated spider toy from 2009.
Additional Transformers Legends October 2015 Wave Images
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