Arcee was part of the new generation of Transformers that were introduced in the 1986 animated Transformers movie. I’ve talked about the film plenty in older posts when I reviewed other new characters that were introduced in the film such as Cyclonus, Unicron, Kup, Quintesson, and Wheelie, so I won’t rehash it again. But in case you haven’t read those posts or seen the movie basically all of the Transformers from the first few years of the brand were killed off and a bunch of new heroes and villains were introduced to replace them. It was quite jarring at the time and it took a long time for me to embrace the new characters. The comic books published by Dreamwave and IDW have helped me with that. In the comics all of the new and old characters interact together. Even baddies like Galvatron and Scourge are unique characters now instead of being reincarnated versions of old characters as was the case in the animated universe. Once the “new cast” was no longer the “replacement cast” it was a lot easier for me to accept them. Now, some of those next generation (not to be confused with generation 2 ) characters have become favorites of mine.
Back when the movie came out the toys available in stores reflected what we saw on screen. Gone were the race cars and airplanes, replaced by cybertronian spaceships and whatchamacallits. The reason for this was because many of the new characters had never been to Earth and therefore never adopted Earth vehicle alt modes. I never owned too many of the next generation/movie toys as a kid. I had a Sharkticon and Doug had a Rodimus and Wreck-Gar but that was about it. However, if you were a fan of the new characters almost all of them were available in toy form. There was no Unicron figure in the 80s but a transforming planet was kind of tough to pull off so his omission was understandable. The Quintessons were also absent from toy stores, but again, since they were basically just hovering eggs I can imagine that Hasbro didn’t think they’d sell all that well and they were probably right. But there was another omission from the movie based toy line which was much more appalling…Arcee.
It’s not hard to figure out why Arcee didn’t get made, she was a girl, and a pink one at that. But still, as the first and, at the time, only female Transformer I feel that Hasbro could have taken a chance and released a figure of her. Who knows, maybe she would have sold like hot cakes because boys and girls would both have wanted her. I mean, there was one girl in Voltron, one girl in the Smurfs, and probably one girl in plenty of other toy lines geared towards boys, but those characters got made. Hasbro’s other major 80s property, G.I. Joe, had 5 or 6 major female characters by this time. The fact that Arcee never got a toy back in 1987 seems crazy to me.
What’s even more crazy is that to this day we still haven’t got a decent Arcee figure. She’s been released as a spider, and a big clunky car and while they may have got the colors right, those figures were a far cry from the G1 accurate Arcee that fans like myself wanted. Arcee appeared in the second live-action Transformers movie and got a toy based on that but the toy was just as brutal as the flick itself. The Arcee that I have on display on my Transformers shelf is her blue motorcycle version from PRIME. I actually like that figure but I only bought it because it seemed like I would never get a decent, cartoon-accurate one.
I should mention that there have been some nice busts and statues of Arcee released and some cool non-transforming PVC figures as well. But those aside, I think this recently released KRE-O version is the best transforming Arcee toy ever released. Granted, these KRE-O figures don’t actually transform, you need to disassemble them and rebuild them as vehicles, but that’s close enough. I picked up this blind bagged figure along with a handful of others on a recent trip to Toys R Us. Once I got her all snapped together it just reminded me what a crime it is that there are no decent figures available of this character.
I’m always surprised at how well Hasbro is able to capture the unique look of a character in Lego..er…I mean KRE-O form. I’ve built up a decent sized army of KRE-O figures these past few months and each one is unique despite them all having the same basic block body. A simple paint job and a couple of add-on pieces goes a long way in differentiating them. As you can see, Arcee has the basic block body as a base, nothing fancy, but the pink and white color scheme immediately make her identifiable as Arcee. The white helmet isn’t completely accurate to the animated look but it’s a decent approximation and the little red lips really sell it as the lone female Transformer. I like that she’s got dual pistols; I believe she wields them in the IDW books. Her vehicle mode is pretty damn cool when you consider the limitations of such a small block toy. I say hats off to Hasbro for making them “transform” at all. I’m amazed at how many variations they’ve come up with to transform one of these figures into a vehicle or an animal. This is a very cool little figure. A must-have for any Transformer or block collector. 8 out of 10.