Release Year: September 2005
Retailer: Botcon 2005 Exclusive
Price: Given away to Primus Package purchasers who attended convention
Accessories: Exhaust pipes x 2, Missile, Scope, Missile Launcher, Energon Star
Attendees who registered with the Primus Package at Botcon 2005 were given an additional figure to add to their exclusive set, Flamewar a redeco of Energon Arcee.
Way back in the beginning of the development of the Botcon 2005 toy set, I had envisioned that the Decepticon General (who at the time had not yet been chosen) was going to have three female Decepticons acting as his lieutenants. They would serve as his primary warriors as the Insecticon Clones were developed. The idea was to take the Arcee sculpt and redeco it three times over into wildly different schemes, but each one based on a "bad biker" type look, one being mostly black with silver and maybe skull like designs on it.
As the set evolutionized the focus for the Decepticons had to remain on the Insecticons, so the idea of multiple female Decepticons was scrapped. However, Fun Publications wanted a third redeco of the Arcee sculpt (on top of Chromia and Flareup so this gave me the opportunity to take my "bad biker" concept and consolidate it into one character.
Flamewar was a fun character to develop. First, her name was meant to be a fun nod to one of the favorite pastimes of almost any online fan-base, including Transformers. Inspired by Ravage's portrayal in Beast Wars' "The Agenda" three parter, I wanted to write Flamewar was one of G1 Megatron's original warriors recruited nine million years ago. She firmly believes everything she is doing is going to bring the Decepticon empire back. Having lived so long, I wanted to diversify her skill set. I hoped having her serve many roles throughout history made her a stronger character and not one note.
Having Flamewar serve the Council was a great way to show the differences in beliefs between her and Deathsaurus. While they both want the same thing, they clearly have different beliefs in how this goal will be achieved.
The key to Flamewar was to use the three colors historically associated with Decepticons: black, purple and red. Black and purple of course come from the classic Decepticon symbol. Red comes from the eye color that all Decepticons were given in the G1 cartoon (barring animation errors). The vehicle mode has all three of these colors showing prominently, along with extra details.
The base color of the vehicle is black. The windshield is translucent purple (along with the weapon pieces). A bit of purple paint can be found on the seat area. The sections which connect the main body to the wheels are red. The missile for the weapon is also red. A bit of silver shows on the area where the gas tank would be. The headlights are painted yellow. In keeping with her name, we added orange flame details onto each side of the vehicle. You'll also see smaller ones on the center, but those are meant to be emphasized in robot mode rather than vehicle mode.
I am personally very happy with the deco on Flamewar. She is unmistakably a Decepticon Transformer and the flames give her a distinctive deco pattern not found on any other iteration of this sculpt. The translucent purple weapons are a fantastic touch as they go perfectly with the rest of the colors.
Unlike Chromia and Flareup, Flamewar uses the original Energon Arcee head sculpt. This helped distinguish her from the other exclusive figures using the same base sculpt.
Flamewar is still mostly black of course. Her knees and waist are molded in red plastic. The "helmet" portion of her robot head is mostly red, with the central crest painted black. A flame symbol can be found right on the central crest, which looks awesome. The face is silver with red eyes. Small purple details are painted on the middle of the arms and the ankle area. Her chest has metallic silver on the "collar" detailing around the neck. Most importantly perhaps are the changed faction symbols. The symbol on her chest is a tampographed Decepticon symbol. Also, we were able to get the factory to switch out the Spark Crystal, so Flamewar has a Decepticon one!
All the joint are functional on Flamewar, there does not appear to have been any mold degradation. Her weapon functions just fine as well.
Flamewar garnered a great reaction from fans at the convention. Between the toy's deco and her portrayal in the comic book, I was very happy with this toy and character overall. It is nice to be able to bring back an idea you discarded early on and then turn that idea into something significant.
Updated Thoughts (4/19/18):
Over the years Flamewar has popped up here and there in Transformers fiction and the toy line. At Botcon 2014 she was upgraded to a Deluxe Class figure (again a redeco of Arcee). Two years earlier she appeared at mass retail as a Legion Class figure in "Transformers Prime". I never thought the character would go beyond the Botcon 2005 set, and she remains a character that I hold a deep affection for.
Some fans may be wondering about the version with the Autobot symbol. Whenever you plan an action figure, the factory sends a "test shot" for approvals. Back in 2005 when we received some of Flamewar's first test shots, she had an Autobot symbol instead of a Decepticon one! There were many frantic emails to correct this, and ultimately the final release had the correct symbols. However I wanted to give fans a look at the test shot as historical curiosity.