An Alternators logo? But Arcee only appeared in Binaltech! LOLOCAUST!!!!


Transformers Arcee
Transformers Arcee
Transformers Arcee
Transformers Arcee

Two years after Binaltech had morphed firstly into the vaguely disappointing Binaltech Asterisk and then into Kiss Players (the biggest shit-stain on Transformers' long history) Takara briefly reactivated the line in 2008. The 'new' figures were entirely recoloured, ranging from a reissue of Optimus Prime (Convoy to pedants) without a sexualised figure of an underaged girl to Jazz recoloured in a movie scheme to a... blue Prowl, for some weird reason. One new character was added to the range - Arcee.

She was based on the Honda S2000, originally issued as Overdrive in Japan and Windcharger in the West. The mould had been retooled with a head that looked like Windcharger (good work, everybody!) and a spoiler, and issued in America as Decepticharge. As this figure wasn't inspired by anything other than a desire to sling out a cheap retool, the Japanese skipped it (well, I think there was some random Lucky Draw release of the unaltered toy or something, but it was never given a proper release). Instead, the toolings were cracked out for Arcee. Thankfully, the planned second recolour - as a Paradronian medic (a reliable standby for recolouring Arcee figures) - completely failed to come out.


As I mentioned in my review of Overdrive, the S2000 is a girl's car. You can see Reese Witherspoon gibbering into a tiny mobile phone while driving this around for Legally Blonde 5. Arcee's white scheme with pink seats looks like something from a Barbie set. Considering the poor girl tended to serve as a tokenistic stereotype, moreso in Japanese-originated stuff, this isn't a bad fit for her. The scheme is surprisingly effective on its' own terms as well, the black and pink complementing the white nicely - a vast improvement on Arcee's usual pink with a little white.

The main difference physically is the spoiler located on the boot, which adds some additional variety compared to Overdrive, while once again fitting with the slightly dizzy peppy college girl vibe coming off the car. Personally I tend to also leave the roof off to further show off the pink seats, instead using the alternate folded piece; the white roof looks good, but I feel the top-down look just fits better (especially as the original Arcee transformed into an open-top car). The latter is black, while the roof itself is white - this is intentional, as the roof included with this version is a smooth number rather than the canvas-imitating ridged affair from then first version; Arcee's roof is based on a detachable hard top rather than simply a closed soft-top.


Obviously Arcee shares the same unspectacular transformation as Windcharger/Overdrive. It's not a great scheme overall, quite close to the disappointing Dodge Viper mould though the slighter body of the S2000 leads to a much less cluttered and clumsy robot mode and the arms are a lot cleaner. One drawback is that it's not possible to do much fiddling with the robot layout; one of the things I like doing with Alternators reuses is tweaking little bits of them so the robot is as different as possible, but the Honda just isn't versatile enough. The only difference to the original release is the Depth Charge head sculpt and the spoiler halves on the hips - though as a bonus for anyone who bought the Hasbro version of the original the long gun-barrel is included. Thanks to some careful paint applications that the face's resemblance to Windcharger isn't immediately obvious.

Arcee being a recolour of a male figure has led to a variety of highly witty shemale/drag jokes, which just goes to show how limited the minds of many Transformers fans are. To me, it's a turn for the better. It harks back to Tonka's largely random gender assignation from Gobots, where female toys looked pretty much the same as male ones - an approach that, coincidentally or not, led to a much stronger group of female characters. Is there any need for Arcee or any other female Transformer to be all tits and hips? Granted, it goes against her general history, but considering the character's past is nothing to be proud of this is surely a good thing? In some ways it's a shame the pink was kept, but then without that she'd have no links to the old character at all. Besides which it fits rather well. The bottom line is that if this had been the initial release of the figure no-one would have batted an eyelid at the body shape apart from the masturbating perverts.


All of which doesn't really make Arcee a superb figure, sadly. She is probably the best version of the S2000 mould, if for no better reason than the lack of overlap. The red version's always looked too similar to Sideswipe for my liking while Depth Charge was undone by the comedy decals. The white/pink scheme suits the vehicle mode very well and is a better fit for the robot mode than it has any right to be. But there's still nothing to elevate the mediocre mould to essential status.