TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: KINGDOM (HASBRO)
Okay, it’s a new month, and it feels like a good time to knock out some Transformers reviews, doesn’t it? I happen to have this whole stack of them here, so I can just make a whole week out of it, can’t I? Oh, yes I can! We’re kicking things off in a decidedly not G1 fashion, and looking at one of this year’s big focusses for the line: Beast Wars. I looked at Cheetor last month, and I’m finally getting the opportunity to follow that one up with another figure, this time from the opposing team (well, some of the time, anyway). It’s Blackarachnia!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Blackarachnia is part of Transformers War For Cybertron: Kingdom’s first Deluxe Class assortment. She and Cheetor make up the Beast Wars-half of this particular assortment. Like Cheetor, Blackarachnia has multiple designs over the course of the show, but this figure goes for her original look, meaning she matches everyone else so far. In robot mode, she stands about 5 1/4 inches tall and she has 23 practical points of articulation. Movement wise, Blackarachnia is a little bit better than Cheetor, but still ends up feeling a touch restricted compared to other recent figures from the line. At least her elbows and knees have a fuller range of motion. At least the sculpt does a respectable job of replicating her design from the show, with notably less transformation induced compromises than we saw with Cheetor. There’s certainly less really obnoxious kibble this time around, and she doesn’t feel quite as slapdash as that release. She does still feel a little bit more…I don’t know exactly how to phrase it, but she’s just not quite as fun to mess with as some of the more G1-inspired bots. Blackarachnia includes her crossbow-looking weapon thing, which is actually kind of cool, and I do like how they implemented the hands to be 5mm compatible without looking it. That’s admittedly one of the better elements here.
Blackarachnia’s alt-mode is a black widow spider, which isn’t too surprising with the name and all. I’m not big on spiders myself, so I’m just gonna have that one single photo there to illustrate. I changed her once for the photo and then changed her back, because, again, not big on spiders. Her transformation’s a little fiddly for my taste, and I don’t feel super satisfied with the end result and how it all clicks together, but it’s an okay alt-mode overall. It maintains a good deal of posability on the legs, and does stay pretty well balanced, so those are all plusses. Not a plus? Remember how Cheetor had that issue with that one breaking peg? Well, I was able to avoid breaking that one on mine, but I was not so lucky on the recurring issue with Blackarachnia. There’s a peg on her chest, which is another pretty much guaranteed break. Unfortunately, unlike Cheetor, there’s nothing else to really hold this piece secure in the robot mode once it breaks, and it just swings up and down now, which is more than a little bit annoying.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Blackarachnia’s more of a pre-emptive addition to my collection than anything else. I’m a huge fan of Silverbolt, and in the event of us getting an updated Silverbolt (hopefully soon), I’ll definitely want her to go with him. So, I went ahead and picked her up. After being kind of disappointed by Cheetor, I held off on opening her up for a while, which is rarely a good sign with my figures. Ultimately, I opened her for this review, and she’s okay at best. Her robot mode isn’t bad overall, and is certainly an improvement on older versions of the character, but the fact that her transformation is pretty much guaranteed to break the figure is a major point against it, and the fact that that’s the second instance of such an issue in the line’s not a great track record.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.