Hasbro Transformers Generations War for Cybertron Earthrise Deluxe Arcee Action Figure Hasbro, 2020
Day #2,238: October 13, 2020
Transformers Generations War for Cybertron Earthrise Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. E7120 No. E7159 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Blaster, car kibble Action Feature:Transforms from pink car to robot Retail:$19.99 Availability: September 2020 Other: Redecorated as Lifeline
At Toy Fair I was pretty taken Arcee - she seemed to be a nicely scaled deluxe robot being held by Scorponok's claw in a display, with a car mode that's - let's be honest - as boxy as boxy gets.
As a genuine 1980s toy was never released, Arcee remains something of a "lost" toy despite there being several transforming toys inspired by the original cartoon design. Animated and Cyberverse have some very G1-inspired toys, plus Generations has the Thrilling 30 toy, the Headmaster, and there's also a Masterpiece coming up - just to name a few. Depending on your needs, you've got a lot of options.
In short, the robot is impressive-ish and the car is not.
For all intents and purposes, Arcee is a great action figure and a poor "transformer." The robot has a stunning 28 points of articulation, and absolutely none of the robot makes up parts of the car. You can pop off a chunk of her car kibble and use it as a hoverboard, and with the right tools you could knock out a pin and have the complete car and the complete robot standing side by side. Hasbro could just as easily have put out a "pretender" type toy here - and may have saved money doing so.
Getting that out of the way, she's amazing. The level of articulation is comparable to Hasbro's 6-inch action figures, with double-jointed knees, rocker ankles, pivot wrists, multiple thigh swivels, and a better-than-expected range of movement on the shoulders and elbows. It's like someone took the 1980s G.I. Joe figures and said "we can do better than this." She stands well thanks to larger feet with big heels, and the joints are tight enough that I don't need to get her special support. Any goofy pose I want to try, she can just stand. Or sit. Or sit cross-legged. I buy a lot of action figures, and most of them can't do that.
Once the extra backpack chunk is removed, she's not as impressive to look at as the Thrilling 30 figure, but the proportions are a little more streamlined (but generous in spots, with a rather silly butt) and I'm able to more easily pose her than my human figures. Everything moves smoothly, and everything looks pretty good. It was also shockingly easy to get her to balance on one foot. Again, my other toys can't do that.
I'm not fond of the white face/white helmet look - I would have loved some face paint here, or a little more color on the body. It's rather plain to look at, with lots of great sculpted detail work on the helmet and body. The open-finger hands are cast to fit your 5mm weapons, but the included (hideous) clear milky blue pistol isn't a peg, but rather a normal-looking hand grip. There's a tab in the side which can plug into slots in the figure's back, which is the car's hood, and those slots are something of an eyesore.
In short, you'll probably never have a $20 Hasbro figure with a better center of gravity or a better range of motion. But you will find ones with better transformations and better deco.
Looking at the others, each has unique elements making it better. Thrilling 30 hides the metal pins and has overall more color - the painted face with decorated lips makes a big difference. The Headmaster/Titans Return toy is bulkier and more armored. This one has a ton of articulation, but that makes sense given the nature of the design.
The transformation process basically squeezes the figure down and puts a car shell around it. It would be disingenuous to call it a transforming toy, so much as a contortionist puzzle robot in a car shell. And the car shell is rather limited in how it looks given how it has absolutely no demands placed on it by the look of the robot mode.
Did you ever see that movie Crazy People? "They're boxy, but good" Dudley Moore's character wrote of Volvos. Arcee's boxy... but not good. Hasbro's photography took care to not show you the back of the vehicle, which is rather incomplete. There's no backside - it looks like a piece is missing that you should plug in. I bet there will be an aftermarket piece here. The figure is also missing some deco, grey panels on the renders are missing from the final figure.
The car is really unimpressive - the seats are too shallow to put in other figures as drivers, there are few C.O.M.B.A.T. ports, the sides look unfinished and flat, and it's just not as sleek as some of the other designs. You also have to work at massaging panels in place, which can be difficult. On the bright side, the blaster pistol plugs neatly under the car and the size looks nice relative to other toys in this line.
It doesn't look a lot like the cartoons or other toys, nor does it seem convincing as an Earth mode. It is by no means a dud, sized similarly to Sideswipe, but it is certainly not particularly inspired. The robot is so good, the car mode suffers a bit - if you had Cybertron Thunderblast, this is similar, but not as well-executed as a vehicle.
If you see this figure, you're probably going to buy this figure. It's Arcee! She's pink! She's $20! If you don't have one, she's a great find as a top-notch robot action figure contortionist with a boxy shell that could be better. It's not a fun transformation, but if you want the character it's a decent pick-up. I assume there will be mods with a better car shell down the road, but we'll see. I think I prefer the Thrilling 30 mold because of its better car mode, but the robot in Earthrise is surprisingly well-articulated and will spoil you for other Hasbro action figure toys. The dropped deco and weak car mode make sense given just how much better the articulation on the robot is over, well, just about anything I've ever bought from an American toy company.
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