Howdy folks! Paul from PaxCybertron here.
I’m excited to bring you a review on the Perfect Effect DX-02 Aranea figure, Perfect Effect’s Motobot homage to Blackarachnia. Before we get started, I want to say that I have no ties to the Blackarachnia character, and I do not have any of Perfect Effect’s previous Motobot figures. My interest in Aranea had nothing to do with nostalgia. It was purely based off of the promotional photos. The colors…the articulation…all of those accessories! I just had to get one. When she finally arrived, I was not disappointed.
Out of the box, Aranea comes packaged in robot mode with an entire tray of accessories and a promotional comic book. The art in the comic itself is beautiful. The content is…pretty much what you would expect. It’s nice, but it’s nothing special. No one buys these toys for the comics anyway, right? Look at all of her wonderful toys!
One thing you should all know about me (I am new here, after all): I love weapon storage. I now have so many Transformers that if I didn’t have a place to store them, I’d lose weapons, and that would make me sad. A strange looking net-gun that plugs into the top of a racecar? Sounds good. Ridiculous energy scalpels that plug into the front-end of an ambulance? Fine by me. A sword that plugs into the wing of an F-35? Ehhh…fine. It’s better than losing the sword. Having said all of that, look at all of Aranea’s accessories and compare them to Aranea herself. Is there any way that she could store all of this stuff on her slender frame? Hell yeah, she can, and that’s one of the most impressive parts about this toy. It’s wonderfully engineered.
Let’s take a look at her spider drone. All of the pieces can combine into a pretty impressive looking spider. Aranea’s knives, shield, cape, and skirt all combine to form an impressively detailed spider.
This piston is one of my favorite little details. It doesn’t function, and unless you’re looking at the underside of the spider, it’s really only visible during transformation. The fact that they designed it and painted it with such detail blows my mind-hole.
The drone itself has some really impressive articulation. Here it is completely wrapped around poor Arcee. However, if I’m being honest, I will probably never use the drone on its own like this.
I prefer Aranea with all of her accoutrements attached. They turn her from a slender (albeit beautifully detailed) Fembot into a surprisingly well-proportioned and decked-out badass.
She can dual-wield her knives or she can plug them into her shield.
The shield itself doesn’t just peg into Aranea’s arm. There’s actually a bar for her to hold as it clips around her forearm!
This frees up her hands so that she can use her gun.
She can also hold the included pistol, but I prefer to leave it “holstered” to her thigh (there’s not an actual holster. It just plugs in). And have you noticed how her knee pads bear a striking resemblance to Blackarachnia’s faceplate? It’s a really nice touch.
There are tons of playability options with all of these weapons, but again, the thing that makes me smile the most is that I can put all of the weapons to use at the same time. It’s a bit of overkill for an actual battle, but Aranea seems very spry. I’m sure she could handle it.
In robot mode, my preferred usage of the spider drone’s legs is to use them as a sort of cape. I just love the way this looks. It (combined with her wonderfully sculpted face) just gives her a calculating…entitled look. It reminds me of The White Queen from X-Men. She doesn’t care if you think she’s a bitch. She’s better than you and she knows it.
Even with all of these accessories, Aranea has no problem standing or posing. Her legs have some die-cast in there to help weigh her down, but all of her extra articulation really helps too. Her shoulders are ball-jointed and her wrists rotate 360⁰ and swivel, while her elbows and knees can bend fully. The bicep swivel is really nice, especially as she has hand-held weapons. Perfect Effect even threw in a foot tilt for good measure, and as the heels move independently, you can get some really stable foot poses. Add to that a swivel above the knee, a thigh that hinges out and spins 360⁰, and a ratcheted ab crunch, and you can pretty much put this girl in any pose you want. While I do wish the head could move around a bit more, it can rotate and swivel, so it pretty much covers things.
I mean, when was the last time you had a Transformer who could shoot a gun from behind its back….and have it actually look natural?
One thing to note, the spider legs are all individually articulated. What this means is that they can go from being a cape to a spindly spider-pack. While I would normally dislike this kind of kibble, I think it’s quite appropriate for Aranea.
And now, Aranea’s bike mode. After a few folds and swivels, you get a pretty nice looking motorcycle. Here’s the basic bike. It’s nothing too special as it is. There is a bar in the middle that is used to peg in the back wheel housing. Pretty, but at this point, it looks like most cycle bots. It’s very reminiscent of Animated Jazz and his transformation.
Aranea’s motorcycle really starts to shine when you put on all of the accessories. In what I will call “amazing weapon storage,” all of Aranea’s accessories can peg together.
Once at this point, the entire accessory piece pegs into the bottom of the basic motorcycle. Her shield turns into the motorcycle’s seat and voila! You get this GORGEOUS motorcycle (seen here with her rifle clipped on). This is one of the few times where I’m honestly unsure of my favorite mode. She looks equally amazing in bot mode and in bike mode.
As you can see here, Aranea scales very well with other motorcycle Transformers. Here she is with Animated Prowl and First Edition Arcee.
Her paint and color scheme really stand out, even amongst other similarly-colored Transformers.
In case you couldn’t tell from all of this gushing, I am very pleased with my decision to purchase Aranea. As a 3rd Party toy, she has a relatively high price range, and some people might be a bit turned off by her relatively small stature. However, she scales well with other Fembots, and when you factor in all of the amazing, storable accessories, I think she is well worth it the 3rd Party price tag.
What do you guys think? Do you think I wasted my money? Do you think that your collection now needs a spider-based femme fatale? Sound off in the comments below!