Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Spider Lady of the Transformers

Blackarachnia, I am never too sure of how to spell her name to be honest.  Quite a whacky thing.  I’ve always liked Blackarachnia as she got some good character development throughout the Beast Wars show, but never bothered with the toy as it didn’t look anything like her.
Now TakaraTomy have used the Animated Blackarachnia’s body with a few changes to make a BW accurate version.  Let’s check this femme-bot Fatale out shall we?

I find it interesting that the later Legends have used both the Japanese name as well as the English name.  For example, Blackarachnia here, the katakana has it written down as Black Widow (her JP name) and the English calls her Blackarachnia.  Nice!

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Blackarachnia (11)Her function is an Information Officer.  Lovely.  The box has some nice artwork, however, I see that the artwork pose is very similar to the Autobot femme-bots pose. Leg shape is almost exactly the same.  This artist seems to like this pose…

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The Blurb on the box says a bit of this:
The Crucial Female Warrior from Beast Wars appears with a new body!The female spider warrior, and impressive Predacon soldier has a new attractive body and a newly crafted classic head!

The back and sides have a shot of the toy just standing as well the art.  Depending on the side of course.
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Actually, if you have a look at the sides of the box, you can see that the poses match quite a few bots.  Check this out!
Wow, kind of makes me wished I’d kept Windblade’s box.  But oh well, the posters do the trick.  As well as showing that the posters are smaller too.

Anyway, BA’s poster folds out and has a bio and stats for her as well as a two page comic.  It turns out that BA works for Megatron’s company and is a tea lady…  Kind of insulting considering how many companies in Japan now won’t admit there are tea ladies anymore….  I guess that’s part of the reason that Megatron is a bad guy.
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Her Bio says this:
Black Widow, who survived the Beast Wars. Able to survive any place in time, any place in the universe and any situation, never misses a detail.  In particular, if there are any male-bots around, her self confidence and therefore survival skills increase dramatically, making her the ultimate warrior.
I do believe that in Japanese Beast Wars, she wasn’t portrayed as the strong tough lady bot that I watched during English Beast Wars.  So I guess it’s understandable her bio is a little different.    Anyway, Let’s get on to the toy!!

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She is packed in Spider mode and since it is a retool of Animated BA, comes with the same kind of flaws that she had back then too.  One obvious one is that there are obvious hands hanging off the legs.  She does also come with the grappling hook, which is cool and I’ll mess about with later.

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The legs can be a bit awkward to pose, especially the front two, as they are rather small.  Plus turning her onto her back destroys the illusion of a hiding robot somewhat.  The sculpting, coming from Animated is a little smooth.  However the paintwork and colour placement is pretty damn good.  I really like the colour of the spider eyes as well as the small details on her legs.
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One slightly odd thing that I’m not so sure about is the modelling change on the spider ‘fangs/mouthything.’
They become robot mode boobs and so have undergone an implant I guess and now they look very little like, well, anything really.

Blackarachnia (33)The grappling hook is pretty strong and has a great claw on it, with 3 prongs, that can work separately to each other.  The string is a bit shorter than I’d really like, but it’s enough to have fun.  The big gold thing houses a spring loaded retracting,  um, device….  It snaps back super fast!

But it’s soooo much fun!

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A little bit of messing about and flipping of boobs and we have Blackarachnia in her robot mode.  I still quite like the robot mode of this toy.  It’s very feminie and looks great.  I didn’t realise it until now however, that official robot mode has her ankles split, like in the middle photo.  Wow.  All these years I have been thinking her balance is bad due to her small feet, but the answer was there the whole time.  Slightly annoying as one of my criticisms of the first version was that the front of the foot didn’t clip in to the ankle section anywhere.

Boy am I an idiot.

Ahem, moving on rather quickly.  Now that this BA holds her feet together more firmly, I have to say that I still don’t like spreading her legs, calves. Sorry.  In a bizarre twist of circumstance, I dislike the way it makes her robot mode legs have that backwards insect-look to them.    Luckily this version has tighter joints for holding the legs together, so I juts put up with a small footprint for her.  Honestly though, I’ve barely had any issues with her standing before, even with the slightly floppy joints on my Animated one.

Once again the paint is pretty good and due to BW BA having pincers for hands, the  instructions say that you should keep her spikes extended.  Again, you can still rotate them around for a cleaner hand look.  Also the grappling hook doodad can be attached to 3 different places for varying degrees of fun! Yay!

To spikey hands or notTHWIP!??

The left image shows the spike hands as well as the most inconspicuous stowing of the grapple.  From the front, it’s barely noticeable and manages to fill a gap in her torso nicely.

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I actually had a lot of fun playing with BA and her grappling hook!  as you can probably see.  When clipped into her neck, it is firm enough to hold her without fear of her falling.  Very fun!

Sculpting is quite nice although sparse and paint is applied in all the right places.  Her boobs are massive though.  They do have the right details on them so that’s cool.  Her waist is really thin looking now though as on the original toy, the parts that are now her boobs were just a couple of little fang/grabber things and they folded very neatly in to give her a nicer waist.

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The design on her breast looks cool and spider leg like.  I actually really like the overall colour selection and character design for her.

As a bonus, after I took all these photos, I found out that you can eliminate the gap in her neck.  The instructions tell you to push up the chest section, and I did as far as I thought it would go.  However according to this youtube review, you can push it even higher.  I wanted mine to go higher, but was afraid of breaking it.  So, linking to the review and time section here.  Sorry about the guy.  I dislike video reviews but if you turn down the volume, its fine.  It actually makes a lot of difference and the joint looks tough enough, so shove those suckers all the way up.  Plus it lessens the saggy boobs look that was kind of plaguing her before.

So thanks annoying youtuber guy!! I’ll give him that one, but dang 22 min on a deluxe? 

For the record, I enjoy editing video. Not necessarily filming it ;)

Just a quick reminder.  That joint is incredibly tough and hard to shove up.  Push it until your thumb hurts!!!!!  It should end up looking like this:

The black chest piece should be higher than her shoulder joints and the tips of the “spider lips” should be higher than the torso section.

The head sculpt is new and therefore different.

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It’s really nice, and quite nicely detailed, even to the point of having spider eye bumps on the back, a really cool detail addition that I really didn’t expect.  She also has the same eye shape from the TV show as well. 

Which is made better by some AWESOME light piping!

Have I mentioned how much I love light piping in Transformers heads before?

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Looks awesome!

Posing options and general sculpt nature are both pretty good.  Not amazing by any means, but serviceable.  Just be wary about her small feel.  One thing that bugs me a lot though is her lack of wrists.  The way her arms are made she can dumb bell curl, but with no wrists, it makes her less expressive.  A shame as it would have added a lot I think. 

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I do rather like the way the insect legs are handled on this figure.  Old Shrapnel could learn a lesson or two…I also think the spider-butt manages successfully fit away quite nicely as well

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That lack of wrists makes it hard for her to hold hands…
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She still manages to fit in nicely with the other Legends figures as well.  I like to think that Blackarachnia would be a little bit taller than average. 

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She is also rather fun to mess about with along with other figures that aren’t Transformers too.  Yay!

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Hhrrrm, let’s just pass on this one shall we?

Zero is a curious fellow….
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There we go Ladies and Gentlemen.  This Blackarachnia figure is rather cool.  I like her a lot.  I also like the Animated figure a lot as well as it’s a pretty well done toy that makes a reasonably convincing spider, as well as nicely feminine Transformer.  Very cool.  The grapple is fun and adds a bit of extra playability to the spider as well as the robot mode and the robot mode is not a terrible mess.  My biggest complaint with this figure is that some wrists joints, either swivel (or if very lucky) some well designed ball joints would have made her a lot better.  As she is though, you can go far worse.

Oh and she’s probably the best representation of BA from the BW TV show around.


  1. I wanted to thank you for the underside picture! It always makes so much more sense when you can see it from that side.
    Also for the chest info! Mine wasn't moving up as much as Emgo or yours, but after a blast of heat from the hair dryer and some wiggling, it seems to move around alright now. My thumbs were not stronk enough :(

    1. Thanks for sopping by!
      You're welcome. Glad the chest blast did the trick for ya. Makes a huge difference, and yeah, felt really shakey when I was doing it.

  2. Thank You for sharing the valuable information.Its very helpful to me.


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