Series: Impossible Toys
To get the legal stuff out of the way first: This figure is not a product of Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and therefore not an official Transformers figure. It was created by Impossible Toys as a homage to the Transformers character G1 Arcee, but for legal reasons it canít be called that, of course. And yes, I know that Valkyrie is not really the figureís name, but rather its function, but TRNS-01 alone sounded too mechanical for me. Youíll just have to live with it.
What we have here is quite simply a near-perfect replica of the Arcee we saw in the 1986 Transformers Movie and the G1 cartoonís third season. There are some minor paint differences, the missing Autobot symbol (for legal reasons, but thatís easily fixed) and I donít remember cartoon Arcee ever wielding two black pistols, but apart from that: Pretty perfect. The figureís rather small, equivalent to a small Deluxe or tall Scout figure, but that fits into the general size range of the G1 figures itís supposed to fit in with (Springer, Hot Rod, Blurr, Kup, etc.).
The figureís posability is good, if short of excellent. But seeing as weíre looking at whatís basically supposed to be a G1 figure, one really canít complain. Despite her rather small feet (with something thatís not quite heels) Valkyrie has a pretty solid stance, so no problems on that front. On the look-side of things Iíd have liked a bit more paint on the face and head, as the nearly all-white nogginí doesnít show a whole lot of details here. In total, though, a good robot mode thatís the closest weíve yet gotten to an actual G1 Arcee figure.
The third season G1 characters pretty much abandoned realistic vehicle modes in favor of Science-Fiction-style ones and Arcee was no exception. So Valkyrie here transforms into the same kind of white-and-pink convertible-style car Arcee did. The transformation is pretty simple, as Valkyrie pretty much lies down on her stomach and folds in her legs, but itís effective. There is a decent amount of detailing here, including two car seats and some kind of spoiler on the back. Not exactly an outstanding vehicle mode, but very show-accurate and without any visible robot parts. So thumbs up here.
The one aspect where this figure spectacularly fails is quality. I donít usually have a separate point for this, because most Transformers figures (and even most third-party products) usually adhere to a certain minimum quality standard that I can live with. In this case, though, I really have to elaborate on this point. To put it frankly: the quality of this figure is abysmal. Itís so rotten in fact that the simple act of taking it out of the packaging sufficed to break off one of the shoulder pods, which is connected to the torso by three very tiny, extremely fragile bits of plastic. Some superglue fixed that, but it was still a very bad first impression. The rest of the figure does nothing to change it, either. It is made of cheap, very fragile plastic. Now I know this is not a figure meant for playing with, but for an initial store price of 70 dollars one expects a certain amount of quality, especially considering the figureís relatively small size. Thankfully BigBadToyStore fully reimbursed me for this wreck of a figure. So the bottom line here is: If you really want this figure, handle it with kidís gloves, otherwise it will go to pieces on you.
For all that she was one a member of the main cast of the third season of the G1 cartoon series, Arcee didnít get a figure of her own until many years later (the first being the Botcon 2001 exclusive Arcee that was a repaint of Beast Wars TM2 Blackarachnia
) and never one that actually resembled her original appearance all that much. The closest Hasbro/Takara has come to that so far is the recent Animated Arcee
figure. This third-party figure here is to my knowledge the first G1-accurate toy Arcee ever had, so it does get some props for that, as I always had a soft spot for the Season 3 characters.
Iím really having trouble coming up with a final verdict for this figure, though. If I were to go by looks alone, it would get a very good rating. If I were to go by quality, though, the figure would be rated as a complete and utter failure. It does get some minor bonus points for a G1-style packaging, but this doesnít make up for the fact that youíre paying 70 dollars for a figure that has all the durability of a 2 dollar Chinese tourist shop knock-off. So while itís not a total fail, I canít honestly give it a good rating in any way, shape or form, especially since all it would have taken to improve this figure is better plastic and some more workmanship. The basic design is superb, only the execution failed.