The Invasion Has Begun!
- Looks nice.<br>- Cool sword.<br>- Unique vehicle mode.<br>- Decent molded detailing.<br>- Articulated nicely, ratchet joints.
- Could use some paint.<br>- Back heavy.<br>- Frustrating transformation.<br>- Not 100% accurate to the movie.
The Bottom Line:
Not without it's flaws, Sentinel Prime does kick off Dark of the Moon nicely with an all around satisfying figure.
It appears Dark of the Moon is upon us! The toys dropped May 16th, but I still got Sentinel about a month early. At Target. Street dates? HAHA.
Anyway, Sentinel is a new character for the third Transfromers movie, titled "Transformers: Dark of the Moon". He is voiced by none other than
Leonard Nimoy! Not his first Transformer, fun fact, as he voiced Galvatron in the 1986 Transformers animated film.
Sentinel works as Optimus Prime's predecessor. For your consideration, I wouldn't spoil you.
Box - I as a little hesitant about the boxes at first, like first pictures. But I sort of got over it, and it actually turned out pretty nice! I do wish all the information (bio, stats, etc.) were on the back, as I like to keep that. So, I have to cut up the box, and tape the bio to the back of the card. That not as fun as just slicing the card off and being done. Sigh.
The front looks pretty nice. It's got a nice big window, displaying Sentinel in all his glory. It's shaped like the first movie line Leader boxes, so a rectangle with a curved edge. Exciting.
It introduces a new difficulty ratings. This time being 1 through 3, as opposed the 1 through 5 system of old. This was sad, as I like more complicated Transformers, but maybe they made it more broad. Either way, I kinda miss the 1 through 5 system. No huge biggie.
Not sure I care for a vehicle mode picture next to his name. I'd would have preferred a robot mode head-shot. This may seem petty, but I like my robutt head-shots! I loved how Revenge of the Fallen had some fully rendered head-shots (Prime, Starscream, etc.)! Too bad Dark of the Moon lacks that. Makes me rather sad, to be honest.
The space theme is pretty nice, though. Especially the Earth background. And the overall cooling was nice. No more eye-searing oranges and reds, we now have a nice blue and white. It's easy going, and I kinda dig it. Good stuff, Hasbro, good stuff.
The back is nothing we haven't seen before. Got some toy pictures, some action gimmicks labeled, more MechTech all up in your grill. MechTech, you ask? More on that later.
Vehicle Mode: Sentinel Prime transforms into a "Rosenbauer Panther 6x6" airport firetruck. I was pretty pumped for this particular vehicle, and it doesn't really disappoint. It looks pretty accurate to the movie, sans the lack of a stripped back.
The paint is alright, I suppose. It'll just barely do, but the whole top of the vehicle has no paint. Not a single paint application, sans the top of the hose arm. I kinda looks unfinished. Sadly, this is a common trend in the Dark of the Moon line. Crappy paint, smaller, simpler figures. I think the reason is to make room in the budget for the MechTech gimmick. Which leads us to...
Gimmicks! Being a Leader class figure, Sentinel Prime has lights and sounds. The first of which being just a basic siren noise, being a firetruck and all. The siren sounds, and the lights on top blink yellow. Nothing particularly interesting, but still nice to have. Under the vehicle, there's a shield-thing. If you plug that on top, and press the button, a little cannon pops up, and some panels spread open. There is a combination noise when it's plugged in, and the lights glow yellow. For further hilarity, open up the top, take the sword out, and peg it on the cannon. Now press the button again! Cannon noises! Yellow lights! Honestly, I'm not very impressed by this, and I pretend it doesn't exist. It may be fun for the kids, but I'm too mature for the newfangled "battle modes" or whatever. The hose arm is fairly articulate. Is that a gimmick? We'll lump it with gimmicks. The wheels roll, all six of them. This shouldn't be a gimmick, it should be the one thing a Transformer can do successfully.
The biggest falw is the fact that the huge grey flap on top has trouble staying pegged in place. And when it is, it's not totally solid. It can be, but one wrong move, and it'll snap back up. It's not as solid as I would've liked. Grrrr.
Overall, with a little paint, I think this Rosenbauer Panther 6x6 firetruck could be one of my favorite movie vehicle modes! It's still nice, movable hose arm, siren, it's all there. Plus, it's got the style. It's a very cool looking firetruck, and it transferred well into a plastic, transforming space robot. Good on ya, Hasbro! Solid 8/10. Paint issues, and that flap up top. The falp that makes up 2/3 of the truck roof.
Transformation - The transformation is pretty easy. Very easy, really. Getting it into vehicle mode? No. It's a pain. People complain about the Revenge of the Fallen Optimus Prime transformation, but that was actually fun, and not just a frustrating mass of panels. Sentinel's transformation is very smart, but a chore. Once you get the hang of it, it's alright. Brace for a rough few tries into robot mode. Try not throwing at the wall.
I got him into robot mode in duration of "Americana" by The Offspring. The title track. Back into firetruck mode will be about the whole album. I kid, about 4 minutes into robot mode, and about 7 into vehicle.
Robot Mode - We got a lot more to cover here, kids.
Articulation seems like a good place to start. He's pretty articulate, actually. The knee stops just short of 90 degrees, and that's a shame. The outward motion of his thighs is a tad limited, too. The rest is pretty good, and fairly average for a Leader figure. He is an old man, so I don't see the need for a bazillion joints, but what he has isn't half bad. And they're all ratchets. I love hearing them sing their clicky tune. His ankles. So many joints are crammed in there/=. You have three! You know the sad part of this? The slight irony? Good like getting him to stand with out bending his knees back a bit, or leaning him forward. He is very back heavy due to the battery placement. Sigh. Articulation is nice, though.
He looks much more painted in this mode. It ain't Buster Optimus Prime (gimmick: paying $90 (atleast) for a toy that has AMAZING paint.), but he'll do. As always, the grey looks bland. Most figures that feature this great look really unpainted. He isn't an exception, but he's counter acted by the pinkish red. I wish the red was a little bit darker. What we have is fine, and I'm not too mad, but I think a deeper red would be perfect. His face is covered in Hasbro silver, and it's great. Random, out of place thought, but just letting you know.
The molding is pretty nice. He's covered in little dips and lines and mechanical details. The movie line has had some amazing molded detail, and it has to to effectively brink the movie designs to plastic. This guy isn't entirely accurate to the movie model. He seems a bit round, around the torso. His head mold isn't the best. It looks a little squat.The rest is fine, and the way the torso comes together is brilliant. It does a decent job of invoking Sentinel. This is a common issue, toys based off of concept art. Oh well.
In the way of weapon, he comes with a shield, and a double bladed sword. The sword is neat. It has some Cybertronian writting on it, some red paint. It's all good. It folds in half for the transformation, and it loves to do just that. The shield Is okay. It looks rather bland, and it could really use some paint. It can still pop open, MechTech. Woot. He can hold them, the shield is a little loose in his grip. Come on, guys.
In the way of lights and sounds, you press the bronze bit on his chest, and he says "I am Sentinel Prime" in a voice that isn't Leonard Nimoy. I wish Nimoy throw us a bone and went to record the lines for the toy. If you plug a MechTech weapon into the MechTech port with a grey bottom, he says different things.
"What has happened to the Allspark?"
"Good to see you alive, Optimus!"
I won't comment on these further for spoilers. Still not Nimoy.
Overall, Sentinel Prime isn't that bad. He's has a decent vehicle mode, and very good robot mode. He has lots of playability with his lights and sounds, and the MechTech inter-changeable weapons gimmick. He benefits from having a more subtle MechTech gimmick, and isn't totally destroyed by it. He has stability issues, and paint problems (or lack thereof). Still not bad. Good job, Sentinel! You don't suck. Solid 8.5/10.
Now, theres are some little tricks with the shield that aren't labled anywhere. I'm sure you'll dig.
TRICK #1: There are a little upside-down triangle of pegs on the underside of the shield. Use on of the twins up top, and peg is onto the hole on his forearm. Now it pegs onto his arm! Secure connection, and a free hand. This works on both arms.
TRICK #2: Alright, this works best on the right side. You'll want to move his arm up, rotate the forearm so the peg is facing up. Take the shield, and using the one of the twin pegs at the top again, peg it into the MechTech port next to his head that activates sounds. Peg the lone peg towards the bottom of the shield into his forearm. Pop up the cannon, and you have what could be a make-shift rust cannon weapon.