Mini Review - Takara LG17 Blackarachnia (Blackwidow)
A major Beast Wars character that has been sorely missed from my display, Blackarachnia has never had a screen accurate representation of her original body from the Beast Wars TV show. While this Takara retool of Transformers Animated Blackarachnia still isn't 100% cartoon accurate it is a heck of a lot closer than anything we've been given so far.
Alt mode is nearly identical to the original Animated toy with the exception of the color scheme. The new chest plates for LG17 Blackarachnia replace the fangs that were mounted to the front of the beast mode on the original figure. The spider mode can pull off a couple different poses but it is hard to get much going on other than a flat on the ground pose or some minor scurrying. The grappling hook weapon can mount under the rear end of the spider and you could hang her from a rod or another surface that you are able to clip her onto.
Despite being an animated figure, the incredible new head sculpt (and generous bust) really sell this figure as the original character from Beast Wars. I really can't say enough about that new head it is absolutely a masterpiece. Of course we have some major inconsistencies such as the fact she has hands instead of pincers, either you're going to be OK with it or you're not, there's nothing I can say to justify what's going on here. Everything else is the same as the original Animated toy including her rather frustrating legs. I would have liked if the "Chest Armor" (sure that's a thing... let's not kid ourselves here folks those are spider boobies) were painted solid gold the same as the face. The translucent yellow is a bit distracting and in the show her chest was a chrome gold similar to her face so I'm kind of surprised they didn't go with the same treatment on both parts. Articulation is fairly basic due to the base mold being from a line more focused on cartoon accuracy rather than poseability. She has no wrist swivels which is unfortunate as her default elbow position causes her to hold her hands palm up when you bend her elbows. The feet/legs can be a bit frustrating to deal with as well, they have a tendency to come apart and she doesn't balance all that well. The grappling hook weapon is very fun, it has an articulated claw and a spring loaded retractable cable. It holds up pretty well if you want to hang her from it as if she was swinging somewhere or dangling in spider mode.
Something very important to note is that there is a serious assembly issue with, as far as I know, all versions of this figure. When the toy was being assembled the black chest pieces were assembled backwards which prevents you from properly sliding the chest up during transformation. You have a few choices, you can leave it as is, which will lead to a large gap and hole through her torso, as well as what looks like an incredibly long neck. You can disassemble the figure and flip these pieces around, there are a few tutorials on YouTube but unfortunately it does involve popping some pins. Third option, and I absolutely DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS, I opted to force the piece up, which is a viable option but it takes a lot of force and there is absolutely a risk of damaging your figure so do this at your own risk. I likely will not be transforming my Blackarachnia back into spider mode so this was a risk I was willing to take.
If you want a questionably accurate Blackarachnia to add to your Beast Wars display I think LG17 is a good placeholder but in my opinion she is not the final answer when it comes to deadly arachnid femme fatales. That being said I doubt we will see a better, more accurate version unless the Masterpiece line for Beast Wars continues. I wonder if the new head could maybe be mounted on the original Blackarachnia figure for a more accurate hybrid. I don't have one to try it unfortunately. She isn't perfect, the mold can be frustrating to pose and balance and of course the faulty assembly is a very serious issue on a moderately expensive imported deluxe figure. The new head is amazing but it's hard for me to recommend a figure just based on a gorgeous new head, although I do feel that was enough for me to feel justified in adding her to my collection.
If you have any thoughts or comments please let me know down below!
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