Originally posted at slangards.multiply.com on Jan 9, '09
Repaint happy Hasbro seems to love this mold.
It wasn't enough that they repainted the original Scout Class Energon Arcee Blue in the Transformers Movie line, they had to do it again in the same year, in the same line with Elita One. Corporate money grubbing? Maybe. I prefer to think that Hasbro recognized a good thing when they saw it and decided to make the most of it.
The two movie repaints came packaged in their vehicle modes so we'll start there. Arcee and Elita both turn into rather nice street bikes, something you're likely to see in any Ducati showroom. The scale is just under 1:18, so they're not quite big enough for the 3.75" Joes. If you sit Snake Eyes on one, it kind of looks like he's riding one of those mini-bikes you see on TV shows as comedic relief. If he's standing next to it and you tune your camera correctly though, you might be able to fool people into thinking differently.
The transformation is a fairly simple one, as most scout class toys are. It's rather more satisfying then the old days of "pull legs and arms our and you're done", but even a novice should be able to figure it out without the instruction sheet. In fact, the transformation is such a great example of toy design that they used a variation of it for the deluxe class movie Arcee (though the rest of that toy's design sucked).
As a robot, Arcee and Elita have a few proportion issues. Their hips and thighs are huge, and they have this weird barrel sticking out of their stomachs (more on the purpose of this later). Still, considering that this is a fairly small toy, it's amazingly well done. The robot looks FEMALE, unlike the Binaltech Arcee, and even has high heeled boots, just like the original female Autobots from the cartoons.
Articulation wise, she's fairly poseble for this class of toy. She's got double hinged knees and ball-jointed hips for excellent leg movement. Her head is also ball-jointed. Her arms however, lose some of movement thanks to an odd choice of joint for her "elbow". Instead of hinging it to move up and down, the designers put a swing joint leting it go in and out. It lets her "pull the string" of her energon bow, but limits her arm.
Speaking of the "bow", she comes with the typically oversized accessories that the Energon came with. Blue Arcee's accessories are opaque black, but Elita's and Energon Arcee's are translucent. Broken up, the bow parts attach to the sides of the bike, one on either side. I prefer to attache them together on onside so it looks more like a sidecar.
When combined, the parts become an "Energon Bow" with a firing projectile. It's ridiculously huge, but with the standardized posts of Energon/Classics/Universe weapons, she can hold it off to the side pretty well. She can even be balanced to stand in an attack pose.
She also comes with a weird Energon piece that attaches to that aforementioned barrel on her chest, but again, it looks ridiculous on her. Take it off and throw it in a tin somewhere in case you want to use it for modding.
The thing I love about these toys the most is that they actually look like "scouts". They're small, light, and have something that looks like it could be a jetpack strapped to the robot's back. It's mainly just kibble from their vehicle modes, the two halves of the back wheel, but rising up above Arcee's and Elita's shoulders, it looks like they can fly circles around the big Decepticons!
I found Elita One at Toy Kingdom (retailed for about P500.00) a few months after the movie came out, and the Blue Arcee from a fellow collector who had an extra. I've seen them since at Great Toys once in a while or online. I was lucky enough to find Energon Arcee at the 2008 Christmas Toyfair for P300.00 because it was missing the projectile and the Energon Chip (the two things that went into my bits box right after I purchased the first two).
If you see any these for sale for fair prices, be sure to pick it up. Unlike most of the scout toys, the great posebility and likeness to the original Arcee makes it a great addition to a collection. The fact that it's frankly the best transformable/poseble toy of her is just icing.