Kool Kollectibles content

8 Feb 2021

Transformers Masterpiece MP-51 Arcee

It always seems to take forever these days for a new G1 TF Masterpiece to release, but luckily it's usually a good day when one turns up! This time it's the new MP-51 Arcee that as always with MPs in recent memory, comes with it's fair share of controversy.

Click the link below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. I go through what I think are the pros and cons, and overall it's another nice addition to the MP series! 

Packaging is the usual MP style, and accessories are enough to cover aspects of the cartoon movie and posing options. I particularly like the long rifle, where she evokes hints of Marvel's Black Widow in many action and crouching poses.

The car mode looks very nice, especially with the other characters from the 1986 movie such as Hot Rod and Ultra Magnus. The pink, which I thought was just plastic but it actually painted, is a perfect shade, and the overall styling is very cartoon accurate.

The wheels are quite thin though, and the clearance on the underside of the car is very tight. It was difficult for me to get things lined up perfectly enough to get the car rolling on all 4 wheels at once. I guess that's been a common problem with many of the carbots, including Hot Rod.

Luckily for the most part, the styling looks awesome, particularly with the sharp white and greys to offset the pink. It's strange that Takara did not include a Daniel mini-figure in this set, but I guess they've probably done enough of the human figures that came with Optimus, Bumblebee, and Hound.

The transformation sequence isn't as difficult as other MPs, but there still are a few scary moments. Three tricky areas stand out for me:
  1. Folding the rear head lights in on themselves was tricky, especially the first time when the joints are particularly tight. You need them folded flat and perfectly in order to fold and collapse the backpack as much as possible.

  2. Rotating and pushing the windscreen through the internal hole, which needs a specific rotation and angle to fit through. This part took a few goes to finally squeeze it through.

  3. Collapsing the front part of the car over the top of the backpack as the final part to completing the transformation. You really need to make sure the neckpiece is in place properly into its peg, and gently guide the outer part of the backpack so that it can be pushed down and tightly with the rest of the backpack.

But once all of that is done, overall she looks pretty nice. The backpack is sizeable though, and does present some balance issues. This is made more difficult with her small feet, but luckily the joints are tight and usually hold poses well enough. But similar to the Hot Rod that tends to fall backwards on its large backpack, you need to be selective in your poses so that she doesn't topple over too easily.

I have seen some pretty amazing poses over on the TFW2005 forums though, so she has some of the best MP articulation around. The torso area has a rather tight ball joint, but if you manage to loosen that a little bit, you can get some pretty natural poses to go with the leg and waist articulation.

The most controversial part of the figure is of course the horizontal level of her chest plate. I think many collectors incorrectly think that the horizontal level is too low, giving her the "saggy boob" look. But the horizontal level is actually anatomically correct as shown by the designers prototype art that showed the female anatomy on which it is based.

But the human female form doesn't necessarily translate literally to robot form all that well. That's where they made the mistake in making the incline of the top of the chest piece too steep, which leaves a large white area of her neck piece. If they had instead designed a way in which the slope was more gentle, and covered up more of the white neckpiece, it would look far better and not give the illusion of "saggy boobs". There have been photos of custom chest pieces that give this look, and show what a big difference it can make.

Aside from the chest piece, I think this is another great looking figure by Takara. The massive amount of articulation makes up for the less than ideal chest piece for me. In fact, inhand the chest piece doesn't even look that bad. It's strange how close up macro toy photography certainly makes it look worse than it really is. Either way, I'm glad to have another new G1 MP mold in the collection, and she definitely adds some shelf presence to the gang. Now I'm really looking forward to the new Starscream mold!

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