Review by Tobias H:
Series: Botcon Exclusives When you look good, I look good
Categories: Deluxe Convention Exclusive
Elita-1's origins are a mystery to everyone but Grimlock. In fact, no one in the Autobot ranks even knew she existed until Grimlock first brought his newly formed crew aboard the Graviton. There she was, quietly working behind one of the ship's consoles, paying no attention to the inquisitive looks directed her way. Every member of the crew has a theory about her, but she isn't talking, and neither is Grimlock. A skilled fighter, Elita-1 is adept with the Circuit-Su form of combat. Her weapon of choice is a hyper-concussive missile launcher that converts into an EMP scrambler. Mimetic alloy armor allows her to blend into her surroundings and can also refract laser weapons fire into blinding bursts of light. While confident in her abilities, she feels that she has yet to fully prove herself to other, leading her to take unnecessary risks.
The long success story of the Transformers consists of many series and toylines, which gathered a large fan following for the plastic figures. So it’s not that farfetched, that fan conventions would pop up, some of them pretty huge events, made by fans for fans, where one can chat with the like-minded about our favorite hobby. Die best-known and largest of these conventions is the Botcon, which takes place annually in the United States.
Not only do the fans get to see the newest figures, films and comic books here, there are also workshops, galleries and many other highlights, which elevate this event above most others. One of the most prominent features of Botcon, though, are the annual sets of exclusive figures, available only at the convention.
One might remember the 2007 “Games of Deception” set, which finally brought us a full set of Classics Seekers. The following year “Shattered Glass” showed us a dark mirror image of the long-established Transformers universe, where our favorite hero Optimus Prime was the bad guy and our favorite villain Megatron gave a very convincing hero. This role switch worked pretty well for both these characters.
This year we get “Wings of Honor”, which isn’t exactly a new theme. Because the background for this story is actually a tale told by Kup, a rather prominent character from G1, for the Dinobots during a Decepticon attack.
This year’s set contains a few very special treats. One of them being Elita-1. Some might remember the tough leader of the all-female Autobot resistance on Cybertron, who made life difficult for Shockwave in a Season 2 episode.
Well, the Timeline continuity gives her a different, but equally mysterious role. In the 2007 Botcon comic book she was a member of the crew of an Autobot ship, which was caught in the machinations of the Decepticon Bugbite. Nobody but Grimlock knew anything about Elita’s origins.
If you’re wondering what that origin is? Beats me, I only know the story from hearsay. Elita-1 does not play a role in this year’s story, so it’s especially great to see her as part of this year’s special toy line.
Elita-1 is a repaint of Cybertron Thunderblast. For the robot mode this means a number of strengths as well as weaknesses. On the one hand Elita-1 is very posable. Especially the arms can move pretty much freely. But her legs, hip, and her head are equally bendy. With a slender figure like this it should mean that she can pull off a large number of cool poses.
There is a problem, though. Elita’s posability is very much limited by her backpack. Actually backpack isn’t the right word for the giant contraption on her back, a big shield with wing-like sides which reach all the way down to the floor. Which is good, because otherwise Elita would probably not be able to stand with this much weight on her back unless she’s constantly leaning forward.
All of this probably sounds more negative than it really is, because Elita-1 still looks very good. Only her posability is hindered by her design. Could a better job have been done here? Given her alternate mode, probably not.
But enough about her posability, let’s get to the looks. When I saw the first pictures of Elita-1 on the Internet, I first thought someone was having fun with me. The number one German TF fan board, NTF-Archive.de, features a thread called ‘Pinkoformers’, where users post funny pictures of pink-colored Transformers. Which includes some pretty scary sights. Can you imagine a pink Megatron?
Let’s put it this way: A picture of Elita-1 wouldn’t have to be digibashed in order to be posted in this thread. From those first pictures I figured they just dumped the figure in a bucket of pink paint and were done with it. I really didn’t like that look at all at first. But Elita-1 is one of those figures that look very different once you have them in hand, compared to pictures.
She’s actually colored two different shades of pink, which bring out the various nicely sculpted details of the mold. Highlights include some blue and a bit of black, too. All of which results in a surprisingly good color scheme, something no one who looked at those first pictures would have imagined, I’d say. So I have absolutely no complaints about Elita-1 on this front.
She carries a big missile launcher for a weapon, almost too heavy for her, but good looking. By way of her Cyber Planet Key she can make it even bigger, converting it into a rifle that launches a blue projectile. Because of the key and the bigger weapon, though, it is now pretty much impossible to get her into a cool pose. Something different might have worked better here.
But all in all Elita’s robot mode is pretty good. It could have been a bit better, though.
Just like Cybertron Thunderblast Elita-1 transforms into a heavily armed speed boat. Surprisingly the dominant color here isn’t the omnipresent pink from the robot mode, but rather black. The reason for that is, of course, that the deck of the boat, which was on Elita’s back in robot mode, now dominates the view. But don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of pink to be found on Elita-1 in this mode. Both the hull of the boat and its weapons are painted pink
Apart from the now stern-mounted missile launcher, which we recognize from the robot mode, there is also a small machine gun near the bow. It was probably inevitable that this weapon, too, would be painted pink. The sides of the hull also feature two small booms, where you can store the blue projectiles. You can imagine that as a sort of torpedo launcher, I guess.
Whatever the case, Elita-1’s alternate mode is unusual and I like it a lot.
The mold of Cybertron Thunderblast fits Elita-1 as if it was never meant for any other character but her. In my humble opinion this is the best incarnation of this character yet. Still, the figure does have a few weaknesses, some of them might have been averted. Chief among them the problem with her humongous weapon.
On the other hand, though, Elita-1 also has quite a few positive aspects. Her great paint job, the beautiful detailing and her good posability speak for themselves. So in closing I can honestly say that Elita-1 is a success overall.
I really wanted to give her a better rating, but considering her flaws she must be satisfied with a...