Monday, October 24, 2011

TRNS-01 Valkyrie - Transformers Arcee

Presenting TRNS-01 Valkyrie also known as the illegally produced version of the Transformer Autobot Arcee.

It's always bothered me why Arcee was never made by Hasbro after all these years. They clearly own the design, and Impossible Toys - the makers of TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie) have shown that the transformation is possible. So why have they neglected this key figure in Transformers lore?

My personal take on the matter is that, till today, there is debate as to why robots like the Transformers should have genders to begin with. And, if they do have genders, then do they reproduce sexually? Personally I don't care if they do or do not. What matters to me is the character and you cannot possibly be a Transformers fan without giving a nod to Arcee, arguably the most popular female Transformer of our time. So when the opportunity to acquire a TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie) came by, I had to grab it.

TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie) does not come with a blister card. In fact "Valkyrie" is not her name, it's her "Function" or job I suppose, so in Impossible Toy's world, she's either a medic or deliverer of the dead.

While the packaging makes no claim of a connection to the general Transformers lore, there is no denying the Transformers color scheme and even the image of the G1 Arcee which is an almost exact replica of how she appears in the comic books/animated series.

The packaging also grants her the same power evaluation that most Transformers receive. The box lists TRNS-01's strengths as Intelligence, Speed and Courage (All at level 8) but strikes her overall Endurance as a 5.

What' to like about TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie)?

It's ARCEE!!! Do you have a G1 Arcee? Most of those who read this blog will probably never see one of these up close. Take Sir Nicholas Chen, for example, who shot this incredible scene for Toy Photography (Click HERE to join the club and to see his work, MIND THE RULES). His comment description of this masterful shot reads "I need a better Arcee..."

Oh if he had only asked me in advance I would have been more than willing to lend him mine. Arcee is an icon that is a must have if you want to complete your G1 Transformer the movie collection.

And she fits in quite well I must say:
Despite her cheaper plastic - which we'll talk about later - TRNS-01 Valkyrie fits right in with the rest of her Transformers The Movie co-stars. It does make you indeed wonder how Transformers reproduce and which one of these guys ever got lucky with her.

My personal bet is Wreck-Gar:

Which brings us to another strong point of TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie), her flexibility. She can ride Wreck-Gar, and her legs will grip enough to keep her in place. However she cannot grasp the handlebars as a) they're too soft to slip into her hand-holds, and; b) Arcee's hand-holds are too small.

The extent/range of TRNS-01 Arcee's (Valkyrie) flexibility can be seen here:

Note, for some of these poses, you'll have to lean her against the wall as she tends to be quite top-heavy. Note the "muscles" of her thighs. Oh by the way, you can remove those pistols, but given the weaker plastic, I'd rather not. 

TRNS-01 Arcee's (Valkyrie) car mode runs on four embedded tires and is almost completely movie accurate - save for the fact that in the cartoons, the front fender runs as one piece towards the rear of the futuristic convertible. It does not act as a cowl for the rear fender.

Kinda looks like something Speed Racer would drive. I wonder if that's why Hasbro has been unable to create this design. 

What's not to like about TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie)?

Let's start with the aforementioned plastic. See this? Nuff said. 
And this was just on Arcee's way out of her packaging. You can even see the white residue of glue vapors on the paint. To make things worse, that entire fender popped off next. Both had to be glued back into place. 

TRNS-01Arcee (Valkyrie) has the consistency, weight and feel of the plastic of an assembled model kit, and her molding is no different as you can see at the side of her chest, neither the arms nor the chest itself locks into place. I don't want to push the matter because the plastic is not that sturdy.  I'm also pretty sure that she's coating my hands with lead or some other toxic substance so for God's sake DON'T EAT HER!!!!

There's also a limit to her flexibility. Her legs do not have ball joints, nor do her feet bend inward. which makes posing her a tad difficult especially since she's top heavy so expect her to keel over several times. To her credit though, those arms are really pose-able. Love those. 

My last problem with TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie) is the severe lack of detail. She's white, black and pink, that's it. No stickers, no detailing, nothing. You can barely see her face in fact because it's all white and the light is direct. She's practically begging for a make-over. Arcee kinda reminds me of Galatea from the movie Bicentennial Man.

I can get over the feeling of TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie) feeling like a model I personally assembled but only because she completes a classic collection - at least until Hasbro finally decides to design her. And she definitely looks better than her ROTF version.

I picked up TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie) off ebay via Victoyoyos for a whopping PhP 3,000 (Around US$ 69 plus shipping - which was  a bit more for me this time because I owed him money off a previous transaction) which is what you would expect to pay for it on TFSource (Currently out-of stock). I'd buy her again if I had to.

The Impossible Toys Website can  be found HERE

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