Superlink Toy Reviews: Ariel (Paradron Type)

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Superlink

Transformers Superlink

General Information:
Release Year: March 2005
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $35 (Depending on Import Retailer)
Accessories: Energon Star, Exhaust Pipes x 2, Missile, Scope, Missile Launcher

Images:

Toy Dreams is a Japanese company that commissioned a small run of the Transformers figure Ariel (a.k.a. Energon Arcee) as a store exclusive. Limited to 3,000 pieces, this was one of the most limited runs of any recent mold in the Transformers line. This toy was a straight redeco and the packaging was only modified slightly to address the name change and incorporate a "Toy Dreams" sticker. The package art for the toy remained the same. This review will cover the changes made to the base toy for this release, for a more detailed review of the toy itself, check out Energon Arcee's review.

The Paradron Medic was a character who briefly appeared in one episode of the G1 series. Using the animation model of the Autobot Arcee, the animators colored her a bluish green color, and years later the Heroes of Cybertron line would produce a redeco of the Arcee figure known as "Paradron Medic". This is the first transforming figure of the Paradron medic, though her name is not exactly the same.

Vehicle Mode:
The deco pattern on this iteration of the Ariel toy is almost exactly the same as the one on Energon Arcee. The base color is white, with the front and wheels being black. A blue green color replaces the red/pink color of Ariel/Arcee. On the sides, a silver curved line pattern can be found on both sides, a detail also found on Arcee. A bright (almost neon) green is used for patches of color. In this form they can be found near the Spark Crystal and behind the seat.

The translucent parts have all been redone in green translucent plastic. This includes the windshield on the vehicle itself. The missile is black. This color (of course) works quite well with the blue green and white colors of the vehicle.

Robot Mode:
Like the vehicle mode, the robot mode pretty much follows the same deco pattern as Arcee's. The blue green and bright green colors are much more noticable now. The bright green can now be found on the ankle armor points as well as the lower arms. The entire "helmet" section of the head is bright green as well. The face is painted silver with blue eyes. The blue eyes are a nice touch as all Autobot eyes (in general) were blue in the G1 TV show.

The only part where the deco differs a bit is the chest. Here the chest plate is blue green with an Autobot symbol tampographed on top. On Arcee, the chest piece was part black and part red.

I did notice one slight construction issue with the toy. When you attach the Energon Star, if you turn the star, it actually winds up turning the entire connection piece (that the Spark Crystal rests inside of). A couple of times I would turn it, pop off the Energon Star and find the Autobot Spark Crystal twisted to the side. This is easily straightened out by putting the Star back on and turning it, but still, no other iteration of this sculpt (including the Botcon 2005 exclusives) appears to have this problem. However, with only 3,000 of these made, it's possible I simply have one bad one out of the batch when it comes to this lone issue.

Final Thoughts:
The attraction of this piece is twofold. One, it is another female Transformer to add to your ranks. Two, it is a limited edition, Japanese toy. I would not go nuts and spend more than say, $50 or so on this. This is truly one of those cases where
the individual's taste will be the deciding factor. The Spark Crystal turning is a bit disconcerting, but hardly a horrific flaw.