Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Transformers - ARIEL!

Transformers Legacy Evolution - War Dawn Erial & Dion (SDCC) - Hasbro 2023

In the Winter of 1985, just six short weeks after we were introduced to the concept of "female Autobots" in Transformers episode The Search for Alpha Trion, we got a surprising backstory of Optimus Prime and Elita One in the episode War Dawn. In this story, the Aerialbots travel back in time and discover a peaceful Cybertron before the war between Autobots and Decepticons had begun. They meet Dion, Orion Pax, and his girlfriend Ariel (voiced by Samantha Newark, aka Jem). A surprise attack by Megatron and his Decepticon warriors catches the pacifist trio offguard and they sustain serious injuries. The Aerialbots search for help and find a young Alpha Trion in a workshop/lab trying to make defensive warrior robots as he predicted that violent conflict was inevitable. They convince him to help their wounded friends and soon we learn that Alpha Trion has completely rebuilt Orion Pax into Optimus Prime. Then he mentions that Ariel will become Elita One next (but we never see her final form).

Obviously Disney played a part in Ariel being renamed Erial for this SDCC Exclusive box set, but it's an understandable new spelling at least. This is one of those characters that I had been vocally wishing for for years (mostly in response to the steady supply of Orion Pax figures), but I honestly never expected to see her actually made. The inclusion of the oft-forgotten Dion was a fun treat as well.

This figure looks good overall, but I am still just not a fan of this blocky Legacy body. My biggest annoyance is that several major connection points on her body are weak because there are no tabs to lock her in place. The waist is a ridiculous example. The abdomen and pelvis are just loosely touching with no connection mechanism. It makes the whole figure unstable. I want to attempt headswap onto the Earthrise Arcee body.

There are a thousand different ways to display her kibble.  It's pretty bulky and hard to make look good. I've seen some people pose her like Flamewar, with her front bike tire split in two and displayed at her shoulders. In the cartoon, Ariel did not transform and didn't not display any obvious vehicle characteristics (like Orion's big windshield on his chest), so having wheels prominently displayed at her shoulders seems very out of character.

Her ponytail can rotate freely FYI.

Erial's only true accessory is a small blaster gun.

Although not detailed in the instructions, Erial shares a body with several other recent fembots who sometimes show the front motorcycle wheel removed and split into an odd
twin-turbine weapon.

Erial's motorcycle form has a retooled front and side panels to give it a sleeker Cybertronian look.

Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!

Here is Erial/Ariel with her final form, the recent Elita One.

Here are my War Dawn figures so far: Alpha Trion, Erial, Orion Pax, and Dion. 
There is also a blue repaint of Omega Supreme as the Guardian Robots seen in War Dawn, but it's too pricey and large for me.


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