Monday, August 6, 2012

Transformers Prime: Airachnid

Presenting Airachnid from the Transformers Prime Toyline.

I still really haven't figured out why a race of robots should have genders. I do believe we've talked about how Transformers reproduce in the past and somehow they apparently do sometimes reproduce like carbon life-forms - should be pretty loud and disturbing.

Airachnid is a psychotic big-game hunter with a fetish for collecting body parts from endangered species. To her credit she doesn't just go after lumbering beasts, she also goes after challenging sentient species who can provide her with a worthy challenge.

Airachnid is also a triple changer. For the longest time she transformed between her robot form and a half-spider/half-woman form till she was overwhelmed by the forces of Earth's Agent Fowler and scanned his Bell Huey 212 helicopter to escape - but somehow transformed instead into a Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche Stealth helicopter instead.

Unfortunately this particular Transformers Prime Airachnid only shuffles back and forth from her helicopter and robot modes.

The Decepticon Airachnid's blister card reads "Conditioned to battle and hardship by her years spent hunting rare creatures across the depths of space, Airachnid is a primed and powerful warrior. She has returned to the service of Megatron after her long absence, determined to prove herself as a leader - no matter who she has to destroy to do it."

And she means that - having once tried to usurp the leadership of the Decepticons in the absence of Megatron - unfortunately for her, Soundwave's loyalty proved to be quite unwavering and he dealt her a most humiliating defeat - yes that quiet uncharismatic bore can kick-ass.

But I sincerely doubt that this will be her last attempt at grabbing power - though she's currently trapped in a stasis pod having lost to her primary nemesis - the "other female Transformer" Arcee.

What's to like about Transformers Prime's Airachnid?

Airachnid has a very finely sculpted face reminiscent of Maleficent from Disney's Sleeping Beauty.

Her Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche Stealth Helicopter form is also pretty solid - though she sadly lacks landing gear. I'm particularly fond of the very finely detailed cock-pit.


That's about it. Sadly.

What's NOT to like about Transformers Prime's Airachnid?

Unfortunately, a LOT!!!!

Where to start?

  • Airachnid's Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche Stealth helicopter not only lacks landing gear, she's also lacking rear stabilizing tail rotors. The craft has the vestiges of one, but no way are those big enough to keep her Helicopter form from spinning in circles. If we were to compare Airachnid with the detailing of previously reviewed Transformers Prime figures like Bulkhead, Arcee, Soundwave and even Optimus Prime, then we will find Airachnid's detailing sadly not up to par.
  • Airachnid comes with two "Electro-Stingers" which clip on to any of the mech-tech ports on her arms, hands or on the body of the RAH-66 Commanche. The Stingers are non-cannon and they look awkward on Airachnid in either of her forms - though I like the fact that you can place them almost everywhere and in various positions:

  • Airachnid also suffers one of the problems that arch nemesis Arcee has: uncompromising high-heels - which makes her difficult to pose - especially with the additional back weight of her rotor blades. If you want to pose her, it may help to have a stand or a wall that she can lean against. 
  • Further, unlike her cartoon counterpart, Airachnid can barely use her rotor blades as weapons - an opponent would have to be really close to be hit by them. If would have been nice if her blades didn't just fold, but folded out to increase their reach, be used as extra arms and deadly spiked weapons. And, no, despite the fact that her packaging says that she comes with a sword, unless you can rip off two of the ball jointed blades (Which she wouldn't be able hold), she has no sword. 
  • But her biggest problem - if you haven't noticed yet is that Transformers Prime Airachnid CAN BARELY MOVE!!! Her shoulders, thighs and even her head have extremely limited ranges of motion thanks to that huge cockpit behind her that blocks all movement - which is a shame considering that her shoulders and thighs are ball joints. No she can't kneel, no she cannot extend her arms, no she cannot even turn her head past around 30 degrees to either side. What you see above is about the full extent of her articulation. The only thing she can do that most other Transformers Prime figures is cross her legs like a girl. 

So I have to say that I'm quite disappointed with the Tranformers Prime Airachnid. It falls waaaaay short in comparison to all the Transformers Prime characters of the same series in the Dungeon. She doesn't even look feminine. The Vehicon looks more like a woman than she does.

So why is she worth US$36.95 (PhP 1,589 plus shipping) on Amazon? My theory is that despite the fact that she's a crappy figure, if you're a customizer of toys, you'd get two of them. Once you do that, you can scrap the cockpit off her back and build her spider mode. I don't have two of them, but this should give you an idea:

Transformers Prime Airachnid was purchased from Toys R'Us Philippines in Galleria at the retail price of PhP 699.75 (US$ 16.28).

We close this review with Transformers Prime Airachnid's most inspiring pose

Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

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