Sunday, June 8, 2008

Images & First Impressions: Transformers Animated Blackarachnia

I have yet to shoot unpackaged shots, so all I have to share right now is the in-box pics. (This will, of course, change.) After appearing in Beast Wars, the character Blackarachnia has seen a number of toys. Three toys were made for the USA from her Beast Machines mold, and her Transmetals 2 toy was legendary for a short period of time. There's even a Robot Heroes version coming-- but they're all from a different continuity. This Blackarachnia is an entirely new character.

"My sting will be the last thing you feel." (Quote from back of packaging.)

The bulk of the deluxe ($9.99) figures in Animated seem pretty tall in robot mode, giving them a slightly nicer feeling than other recent toys. Blackarachnia feels designed as a robot first, with her spider mode coming second. This isn't a complaint-- if anything, most fans display their toys in robot mode, so this is a great sign of Hasbro and Tomy putting their priorities in the right place. (Did I mention that the toys now say Hasbro and Tomy on them, and not Takara? Well, I just did. It's the end of an era, folks.)

This evil arachnid includes but one accessory, a claw grappling hook. You can pull out the translucent red claws, and the string will extend as you hear a "click" sound. Press a button on the base, and the string retracts instantly. It works well, and the only complaint I really have about this one is that the string is very short-- just a few inches.

Also, it's worth noting the string weapon attaches to either forearm, her back, or her beast mode's... uh... large butt. If you have her hanging from this rear portion, the hinge will bend and it will look somewhat like a skunk raising its tail to attack. It's weird, and a bit of a design flaw. I think.

Blackarachnia's robot mode is pretty stunning. She has quasi-ankle joints, two joints at each hip, jointed knees, ball elbows and shoulders, an articulated waist, and an articulated neck. She's very quickly approaching perfection, but her "fangs" tend to pop off quite easily and are capable of flight. As such, be careful when you play with this one-- they will escape.

PROS: Amazing color scheme, top-notch robot mode, surprisingly awesome articulation. This is probably Hasbro's best Blackarachnia toy to date.

CONS: Decepticon logo doesn't match animation model. Easily lost fangs. Half of robot head is clear red plastic which should allow the eyes to light up in the right conditions, but this really doesn't work. As such, it just looks bad. Robot mode has a hole below her neck due to how the transformation works.

VALUE: The toy's size and accessories are par for the course when it comes to $9.99 Hasbro Transformers. You won't feel like you got taken here.

OVERALL: Fans of the character and show need to get this. Fans of female Transformers need to get this, just because it shows they can engineer one and have it look great.

Oh, and I got this at a Wal-Mart in Los Angeles, by the way.