Disclosure: This figure was provided to Ben's World of Transformers as part of a virtual unboxing event in 2020. I thank Hasbro for its kind consideration in providing this figure for this review.
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
- DISCOVER KINGDOM: Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever
- BEASTIFY THE BATTLEFIELD: Unleash the primal power of the beasts with this Blackarachnia collectible figure, featuring a detailed beast mode with intricate spider-inspired molded texture
- UNLEASH THE BEAST MODE: Blackarachnia toy converts into a Beast Wars-inspired spider mode in 20 steps
- CLASSIC BEAST WARS-INSPIRED CROSSBOW: Pose Blackarachnia figure with her classic crossbow weapon accessory inspired by the Beasts Wars cartoon. But watch your back! The rebellious arachnid has been known to aim it at enemies and allies alike…
- GOLDEN DISK CARDS REVEAL POSSIBLE DESTINIES: Includes a Golden Disk card that reveals a possible destiny of a key character. Collect other Kingdom figures to reveal all 3 alternate destiny variants for each character! (Each sold separately. Subject to availability)
Beastify the battlefield! Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever. Primal power floods the battlefield as the fierce beast modes of the Maximals and Predacons are unleashed!Unleash the primal power of the beasts with this Blackarachnia collectible figure, featuring a detailed beast mode with intricate spider-inspired molded texture. Toy converts to Beast Wars-inspired spider mode in 20 steps. Pose Blackarachnia figure with her classic crossbow weapon accessory inspired by the Beasts Wars cartoon. But watch your back! The rebellious arachnid has been known to aim it at enemies and allies alike…Includes a Golden Disk card that reveals a possible destiny of a key character. Collect other Kingdom figures to reveal all 3 alternate destiny variants for each character! (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.)
Blackarachnia was introduced in the Beast Wars episode "Double Jeapordy". Created from a Maximal protoform, she started as a Predacon but would eventually join the Maximals. Along the way she became a fan favorite character who even carried over to the Beast Wars sequel series Beast Machines. This made including her as part of Kingdom a natural choice.
Kingdom changed how the design of the Generations packaging. The shape is very similar to what has been seen with Siege and Earthrise, with a rectangular box that has an angled panel on the left. This time however the box does not have a window in front that shows off the entire figure. Instead, the window is much smaller and basically shows the figure from the mid-body up. This small window has plastic over it, but what this allows for is artwork featuring the character in both modes, something that is extremely uncommon for the Transformers line. Like previous Generations packaging the Transformers logo is set vertically on the right side with the Generations and Takara Tomy logos above it. On the lower part (under the window) is the Kingdom logo. On this box, Blackarachnia is shown in robot mode while the angled portion shows her in beast mode.
The back of the box shows Blackarachnia in both modes calling out a twenty step transformation. Towards the top is a modern day Predacon symbol. There is also a cool spider symbol towards the right that looks like it is carved in stone. In the corner is a nice, classic callback featuring the Transformers logo with the "More than Meets the Eye" tag line under it. Overall this packaging is beautiful and I think it is really going to pop on store shelves.
Blackarachnia includes her crossbow weapon as seen in the Beast Wars cartoon. This piece is made out of a gold/mustard colored plastic with the base painted gold. There is a 5mm peg on the bottom and the tip of the crossbow can fit a Blast Effect.
The original Beast Wars Transformers Blackarachnia action figure was a straight up redeco of the Tarantulas figure. However, when the time came to create her CG model for the television show, the CG artist who designed her referenced an exotic dancer instead. What this meant is that Blackarachnia's robot mode in the show wound up looking very human, but when she transformed into spider mode it was basically two giant oval shapes with spider legs. In animation, you can cheat such things but in recent years it took creating a Masterpiece level figure before Blackarachnia had a "show accurate" look.
Enter: Kingdom Blackarachnia, an attempt to create a "show accurate" look for the character within the budget of a Generations Deluxe Class figure. Amazingly, I really think the designers succeeded! From early promotional images I was stunned at how much this figure resembled its animated counterpart in robot mode. In person it is really something to behold. This figure's silhouette is spot on, featuring a curved body shape that was quite different from Tarantulas' form. Her head sculpt looks like it came right out of the cartoon (which was only loosely based on the "robot head" of the Beast Wars Tarantulas sculpt) down to having a small hourglass symbol on her crest! She even has smaller details such as the armor over her shoulders and the collar around her neck. The sculpt in this mode is absolutely remarkable.
Blackarachnia is made up mostly of black and gold plastic. Don't worry, it's not that kind of gold plastic. This is more of a non-metallic mustard like color. Thee base colors come right from the television show. The deco on this figure is impressive. The designers really tried to work in as much detailing from the TV show as the could. Black paint is used on several areas including the head and the claws. A tiny spot of red paint is used on the hourglass on her crest and her chest has the golden spider-leg like designs seen on the show. Yellow is used for faux spider eyes on her waist area. Indeed, the only part that is not particularly "show accurate" are the spider legs hanging off her arms. In the show these were gold, but here they are made of black plastic. In all honesty I don't have a problem with this. The black on the spider legs contrasts nicely with the gold color of the arms so visually it works out nicely. One of my favorite details is a Predacon symbol on her collar. Not only is this right out of the TV show, but, it's also a really tiny detail that the designers nailed.
There are twenty two points of articulation on this figure. If you want to count the spider legs, then add another ten (eight for the legs, two for the parts where they connect to the arms). Not only is this a solid number of articulation points, but it she also has a huge range of motion. As part of the War for Cybertron trilogy, there had to be some functionality with Weaponizers and Battle Masters. To that end, Blackarachnia has 5mm ports on the back of both lower legs and on the bottom of her feet. Each claw hand has a 5mm opening, allowing you to place her crossbow weapon in either hand.
Transformation to Beast Mode:
- Detach the crossbow weapon and set it aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Pull the back panel out gently, unfold it and swing it down.
- Swing the waist section (with the faux spider eyes) back, revealing the "real" spider head.
- Swing the robot head back and then the beast mode head up.
- Swing the lower legs back, up and against the back of the thighs.
- Swing the waist section (with the faux spider eyes) up. This forms part of the back of the beast mode.
- Swing the robot chest panel up.
- Move the back section from the robot mode forward, covering the chest piece.
- Swing the legs forward and press them up against the back piece.
- Swing up the pointed bits from the robot mode's knees.
- Swing the robot arms down under the beast mode head.
- Pull the section with the arms on them down, then rotate them around, then push that section back up.
- Swing the arms back, and push them up against the bottom of the beast mode.
- Rotate the claw hands around so you can see rectangular slots on them.
- The weapon stores on this mode by attaching the two tabs on the crossbow to the slots on the claw hands.
The robot mode for this figure is already quite stunning, but the beast mode really adds another incredible dimension. Instead of looking like a cartoon spider as seen in Beast Wars, this is meant to be more of a realistic looking spider, but it still has the same basic shapes as the animation model with a round body, a smaller spider head in front and long legs sticking out the sides. The head has a really creepy look to it, thanks in part to being based on a real life Black Widow Spider's head, featuring small round eyes the jaws with fangs in the front. The texture of the main body is also very organic looking, with a rough feel and several lines dividing different sections of the spider's body. The rear section of the spider has an hourglass like shape sculpted into it along with some other shapes that can be seen in some photos of real life Black Widows.
Now, are there some robot mode bits sticking out here and there? Yes, absolutely. You can still see the robot shoulders under the beast mode head. The pointed parts of the knee armor from the robot mode are visible in the front and from the back you can clearly see the robot mode claw arms and the waist section with the faux spider eyes. All that said, it really is not enough to take away from the overall creepy appearance of this mode and given the price point, I'm amazed there are not more robot mode bits sticking out.
This mode mostly shows off black plastic with some bits of the gold plastic sticking out here and there. Fans who want show accuracy won't like the legs being black, but if we are to see this as more of a "real life" inspired beast mode then the black legs make perfect sense. It's all about your perspective. Red paint details are used for the beast mode eyes and the patterns on the main body of the spider. Overall this is really nice looking beast mode.
All the articulation in this mode is focused on the spider legs. What amazes me is that the way the legs are designed, even though they rest on ball joints the spider mode stands up and doesn't just collapse onto its belly the way previous Blackarachnia figures did in beast mode.
I absolutely love this figure and I'm amazed by it. I really had no idea if the designers could pull this off. It's not just that the figure looks great in both modes, the transformation is unique and intuitive as well. Highly recommended!
- Beautiful sculpt in both modes.
- Nice deco.
- Good articulation.
- Intuitive and unique transformation.
- Bits of the robot mode do peek through in beast mode (though to me this is not a huge issue).
- Some fans may take issue with the spider legs not being gold, but I'm okay with it.