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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Familial October - Arcee, Chromia and Elita One

The Sisters

The Bike Trio are an interesting set of characters, and here they are:

"Arcee jumped at the chance to join up with Ironhide and the other Decepticon hunters on Earth. She proved such an effective warrior that she was quickly given command of her own strike team, made up of robots similar to her in attitude and design. Together with the Autobots she leads, she stalks the Decepticons in silence, creeping close enough to look them in the optics before she strikes.

Toyline: Revenge of the Fallen
Generation: Live Action Movies
Size Class: Deluxe
Faction: Autobot
Strength: 8
Intelligence: 6
Speed: 8
Endurance: 5
Rank: 5
Courage: 7
Fireblast: 7
Skill: 9

Robot Mode

Arcee's alternate mode is odd, she has a serpentine-style design where her upper and lower bodies are connected by a segmented connector similar to a snake's body.
Arcee's body is mostly pink with black added for the limbs, wheels and connectors. Arcee's body also features some silver detailing such as on her arms, upper body and face.

Arcee's torso is designed to emulate a woman's bosy with noticable abdominal areas and a feminine chest (if you mistook her for a male character then I feel sorry for you). Arcee's head is connected to the torso by a combination of a gear-based hinge and a ball joint that allows it to rotate to either side and nod up and down. Her face is silver and surrounded by a pink helmet and uses a lot of angular shapes, like triangles to create cheekbones, a chin, nose and chevrons, giving her a very feminine look (better than some other attempts). Her face features a light-piping effect that gives her pale blue lit up eyes.

Arcee's arms are connected to her torso at the left side by a ball joint connector that gives it great freedom of movement, which leads to an elbow joint created from another ball joint, again giving it a great amount of movement. Arcee's left hand to sculpted with dainty fingers, and the hand is able to fold in on itself, thanks to the transformation sequence she uses. This arm also features a black weapon created from her licence plate area from vehicle mode, which is flipped around by 180 degrees, and has a button that releases her translucent blue blade weapon.

Arcee's right arm is connected by a hinge connector that is hidden by her vehicle mode windscreen and surrounding area, creating a shoulder. Arcee's actual arm is connected to that by a ball joint that again gives it great mobility, and again leading to an elbow created by a ball joint connecting to the lower arm. Arcee's lower arm is surrounded by a chunk of her vehicle mode's shell that could be used as a shield or a make-shift bladed weapon if desired.

Arcee's snake-like connector is created by three black pieces that are connected to the upper torso by a ball joint and to the lower body by another ball joint and hinge combination. The inner piece of the connector is connected by a pivot joint and a hinge joint respectively. As can be assumed here, the number of joints in this section allows Arcee to be very flexible in this mode, allowing you to pose her in pretty much any pose you need, however, due to the excessive usage of the ball-joints, they do wear out pretty fast, so you may want to use some nail varnish to make them thicker and restrengthen them after a while.

Arcee's lower body is essentially her vehicle mode wheels and their gears etc folded in on themselves, creating a pair of wheel-based limbs for her (like what Sideswipe and Demolishor also have in this continuity) however, unlike those two,Arcee can use a stand in this mode to keep her standing upright (as seen in my pictures). However if you have a surface with indents made especially for her, or that has a malleable texture and can be reshaped as needed, then you can gte her to stand without it.

Vehicle Mode

Arcee's vehicle mode is a pink and black motorcycle with a set of Cyberglyphics on either side, and features some sculpted features like her windshield, translucent headlights, handlebars with brakes, twine exhaust pipes, wheel spokes, plastic tyres, licence Plate, gears, chains and seat, along with other smaller features.
Arcee's wheels are each capable of rotating on their axis' and she also features a working kickstand for her to being to stand upright (or as upright as possible for a two-wheeler).

Arcee's stand, which enables her to stand upright in robot mode is also used in vehicle mode in one of two ways, with as a pair of non-firing side-cannons, which clicks into the right side of his rear wheel, or as a side car that clips into the left side of his rear wheel. You can place a Mini-Con or a small Human figure from another toyline in there to enjoy the ride as well. In either of these configurations, Arcee doesn't need her kickstand deployed.

"Chromia is as tough as nails, and always spoiling for a fight. She's been friends with Ironhide for centuries, and their reunion on Earth was one of the high points of the war for both of them. Now they work side by side, hunting and destroying Decepticons. Neither of them has ever been happier. The two robots make great partners, and she, along with her sisters are an invaluable part of the team."

Toyline: Revenge of the Fallen
Generation: Live Action Movies
Size Class: Deluxe
Faction: Autobot
Strength: 7
Intelligence: 7
Speed: 8
Endurance: 5
Rank: 5
Courage: 9
Fireblast: 8
Skill: 4

Robot Mode

Chromia's robot mode is very different to Arcee's but in concept is actually very similar, her upper and lower bodies are separated by a snake-like connector (though this one is much more simpler than Arcee's)

Chromia's body is a combination of blue, black, grey and silver for her detailings. Her torso is very similar in design to Arcee's, but in a slightly different set up. Her head is connected to a hinge and ball joint combination like Arcee's and her face in general has the same basic design as Arcee (suitable for a triplet character) Chromia features a pair of blue painted eyes, but she also has a light piping feature, but due to the eyes being painted it's been neutered.

Chromia features a pair of shoulder pads above her arms that come from the bulk of her vehicle mode. Her arms themselves are connected to the torso by a ball joint each, giving them some movement. Her lower arms are connected by an elbow joint created from a pair of hinges on each arm that allows them to bend inwards and upwards about 90 degrees each way. Chromia's right arm also features a large cannon created from the bulk of the rear of her vehicle mode that features a firing missile, with the trigger on the underside of the weapon. Chromia features an immobile sculpted hand on her left arm, but not on her right.

Chromia's lower body is connected to the upper by a pair of grey connectors that form her snake-like inner body that can be reposed to allow her to bend forwards, lean back and much more. The lower body iself is made up of her rear vehicle mode wheel that can be folded inwards (along with the opening hatch on her vehicle mode) to create a wheeled limb, like her sister has. Again, like Arcee she comes with a stand that can be used to keep her from falling over.

Now in my case I position Chromia's movable kibble pieces differently from Elita's so as to differentiate between them easier. In my Chromia's case I keep the wheel found behind her head upright, as she is most commonly seen in this manner in fiction. For my version I also rotate her headlights to point forwards with her handlebars folded inwards. I also fold in her hatch opening and wheel so that the hatch is basically unseen and it looks like it isn't even there, but the wheel is fully visible. Her stand is positioned so it fully encases her wheel and the pair of guns are pointed forwards (the same direction as her large gun and headlights).

Vehicle Mode

Chromia's vehicle mode is a blue, black and silver motorcycle with white Cyberglyphics across her form. Arcee features working wheels and kickstand like Arcee does, but also features a moving handlebar, brakes and light segment, that allows it to rotate either way (as if you were veering to the left or right) and also has a hatch in the center that can open upwards for you to pretend to put things in there (like your helmet when leaving it or your lunch, like on a real bike). Chromia also has a firing missile between her exhaust pipes, although the actual trigger is hidden in this mode.
Chromia's extra sculpted features include a gas intake valve, gears, chains, twin exhaust pipes, licence plate that can be lowered to act as a wheel guard for the rear wheel too, sculpted wheels and other smaller pieces of detail.
Chromia's stand from robot mode can be reused here, like Arcee's could as well, but in a different way. In Chromia's case you can clip it onto the ports just in front of the rear wheels that allows her to stand there straight, with cannons beneath her, and due to the positioning of it, can also be made to look like she's performing a wheelie by just pushing down on the rear point of the motorcycle.
This stand can otherwise be inserted into the slots found on the two exhaust pipes and be used as a pair of extra weapons, including a pair of gatling guns. In this mode you need the kickstand open or hold her up manually, otherwise she'll fall over.


"Though she is a sister to Arcee, Elita-1 has more in common with Sideswipe. She and the swordsman team up whenever possible - especially if it means they can get away somewhere nice to do a little Decepticon hunting. This time, the two Autobots have found themselves up against Axor, who should present just enough of a challenge to make things interesting."

Toyline: Transformers 2010 line/Hunt for the Decepticons
Generation: Live Action Movies
Size Class: Deluxe
Faction: Autobot
Strength: 4
Intelligence: 9
Speed: 8
Endurance: 5
Rank: 6
Courage: 8
Fireblast: 6
Skill: 6

Robot Mode

Elita One's body is the same as Chromia's (SHOCKING!) but of course features her own colour-scheme or black, metallic purple, grey and silver. Her eyes feature a blue light piping effect.

As she shares the same design as Chromia, there's no point in me just repeating the previous review's robot mode section, I'll just mention my own changes in how I pose her kibble.
Mostly Elita is the same as Chromia, but I fold back the wheel from behind her head fully, mostly hiding it from forward view, and I also leave the lights and handlebars as they were in vehicle mode, with the lights pointing upwards (towards her face) and the handlebars outwards. I also leave her storage hatch opened up and kept in front of her wheel, and rests on the front of it.
An additional change I make is with the stand. I connect it in the opposite fashion to how I do with Chromia, so the guns are pointing out backwards, and could be missed when seen from the front. Remember, optical illusions are your friends when it comes to repaints!!!

Vehicle Mode

Elita-1's alternate mode is the same as Chromia's except for the colour applications. Elita's colouration is a combination of silver, black and metallic/chome purple that works very well, even if I do say so myself.
Elita comes with more Cyberglyphics across her form (same as Chromia's but in different places) and features all the same sculpting details and working features as Chromia.
Elita's major difference in terms of details is her Licence Plate, which features a "leet/1337" version of her name "3L 174" (ELITA).
Elita of course features the same stand as Chromia, and it can be used in exactly the same ways again, there's nothing new to add here.

Combined Mode

As I'm sure is very well know, the combined form of the sisters was abandoned officially by Hasbro before Elita-1 was created, and thus Elita was made into a pure repaint of Chromia meaning that any combined form you make from them will look just wrong. But the one I pictures above seems to work well (enough) and is pretty easy to make, you just fold out their connector pieces (found on their backs) and slide them into each other creating a small triangle between them, and then repose Arcee into a laid-back position and have the two mold mates standing up.

This combined mode isn't great, but it's something at least. She isn't able to move any easier or release any new weapons in this mode, but it'll do for it's might want to just ignore this mode and just look at the pretty motorcycles below....

there! Wasn't that a much nicer picture to look at that Abomination Gal? Yeah...just try to forget the previous picture..'kay?

My Thoughts?

The bike Trio are quite unique in that their toys were released across two toy lines (ROTF and HFTD) and on top of that, the third member, Elita-1 was merely made a repaint of the earlier Chromia toy (which led me to positioning her vehicle mode parts in different ways between the two to help differentiate between them). Also, because Elita-1 was hanged from an individual mold to a repaint, the combined form ISN'T what it was originally meant to be, but rather what I decided looks best, considering what I had available to me.

And interesting point I should make here is that all three of these girls actually had a counterpart in the first Movie's toy line as well. Arcee of course had her Deluxe class toy which was based on the concept created for her when she was intended to be in the movie originally, but the two Scout class Energon Arcee repaints in that line are actually very similar to the paint schemes on the other two toys (the blue Arcee toy as Chromia, and the black and chrome-like purple Elita One as he new counterpart, which ironically means that Elita was a repaint of Chromia AGAIN!).

The three sisters have been used in the comics and novels for the movies since the start and have been around for several key events (the launching of the Allspark, Starscream's Reign etc) but in the recent, pre-DOTM comics the Elita-1 character was killed off, and her sister's fates have been left unclear as of yet.

Arcee has been in the Transformers franchise since the G1 Cartoon Movie, where she was introduced as a female Autobot who could turn into a futuristic sports car. Very unusually for a main character in the series, Arcee never received a toy. However in 2001, Arcee received a Botcon toy of herself for the Universe line, and was a repaint of Transmetal II Black Arachnia, and later also received a Binaltech toy, which was a repaint of Decepticharge (who was also meant to have a repaint as Black Arachnia as well coincidentally). Arcee has also gone on to appear in the Energon TV series and Animated series, where she received a new toy in each (Motorcycle and Sports Car respectively). As well as the aforementioned Movie 1 Arcee toys, this version of Arcee has also been repainted as additional versions of herself, as well as receiving some smaller toys as well, in the Legends and Fast Action Battler sizes.

Chromia has actually been in the franchise longer than Arcee, though she has been used a lot less that the former female, she was introduced in the G1 TV series during Season 2 along with Elita One's G1 Counterpart as well. However unlike Arcee, Chromia has only ever received a toy in one other continuity. She received a toy in the Botcon 2005 set, which was a repaint of Energon Arcee (see some repetition here yet?). She has also received a Legends class toy, and the aforementioned re-purposing of Arcee's Movie 1 Scout toy.

Elita-1 premièred in the Transformers franchise at the same time as Chromia and was revealed to be the female counterpart/sister of Optimus Prime, both being rebuilt by Alpha Trion after being "killed" by Megatron. Elita's G1 counterpart received her first toy at Botcon 2009, where she was a mostly pink repaint of the Cybertron Thunderblast toy (at least she's not yet another bike!), and the aforementioned Movie 1 Scout toy of course.

Elita-1 was originally announced to be called Flareup, named for the Botcon 2005 character who shared a mold with Chromia, but this was soon changed when the toy was announced. Also, the toy itself looks completely different to the character seen in the movie and comics, in terms of colour and body type (not shockingly considering that she's a repaint). The colour change was most likely done to make her look more similar to her Movie 1 counterpart.

Over all, I really like this batch of toys, it was fun to collect all three over time, and despite the third member being just a repaint, I still think it was well worth it in the end. Their snake-like designs have been well translated from the character models to toy-form (within reason of course, it would be impossible to have made them look exactly screen accurate).

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