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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Kamen's review: The Tick Sentinel Prime

Name: Sentinel Prime
Fuction: Autobot Elite Guard Commander. Also, heís a jerk.
Subgroup: TFAnimated Deluxe Vehicles


ďWithout law, all is chaos.Ē

Graduate of the same class as Optimus Prime at the Autobot Academy, Sentinel Prime is commander of a squad of the best Autobots have to offerĖthe Elite Guard. Though he is a powerful warrior and cunning leader, he is also obsessed with following the rules to the absolute letter. He is unbending in his interpretation of procedure, and dislikes the way Optimus Prime and his crew improvise. If he had his way, that whole group would be sent back to Basic Programming.

Galactic Powers & Abilities:
Battle Lance fires energy bolts
Shield can absorb and convert energy into fuel
Thinks humans are gross, and may be contagious


Although he appears in many continuities, usually as a previous bearer of the Matrix of Leadership, Sentinel Prime has never before appeared in toy form. In the Animated continuity, however, Prime is not a unique rank and the Matrix doesnít seem to exist. Thus, Sentinel Prime is a far cry from the wise and just holders of that prestigious honor. Heís an arrogant, condescending, jerk, instead. Unfortunately, heís also incompetent, and spends the majority of his appearances on the show getting ďpwnedĒ by pretty much every Tom, Dick, and Harry who farts in his general direction. Interestingly, his lack of leadership/fighting ability is not reflected in his tech specs, and, frankly, I think he would be a much more interesting character if he were an condescending jerk who wasnít arrogant, because he really was a complete bad ass.

In other news, his voice actor Townsend Coleman, voiced the Tick in the 1990s animated series. Sentinel pays homage by being both blue and having an ginormous chin.

Alternate Mode:

Sentinel Primeís alt mode is a snow plow truck. Specifically, heís a heavy duty pickup with appropriately sized and treaded tires. He has a small spoiler on one end of the covered bed and a light rack on the other which peeks up over the rear of the cab. Like the rest of the Animated figures, Sentinel Prime doesnít sport a lot of fine detail, going instead for that more cartoonish look. He does have a few grooves at key points, in the bed, on the grill, and on the sides of the cab. Door handles, traction grooves on the steps, and an air scoop make up the majority of the rest of his detailing. The truck itself looks very squat, and he is actually slightly shorter (not counting the plow) and wider than other deluxes, adding to his overall animated aesthetic. Turning attention to the plow, itís basically a smooth piece of plastic with a few grooves where the plastic changes angles.

Blue is the primary colour here, covering pretty much the entirety of the figure. Burnt orange clocks in second, for this spoiler, lights, and most of his plow. The same colour is also used for arrows painted on his doors. Black, grey and yellow appear sparingly; the latter for his headlights, on the truck and on the plow; the median for his front and rear fenders; the former for those special details including his windows, which are opaque, his tires, and his front grill. Red and white mark his Elite Guard insignia on his air scoop.

As a truck, Sentinel Prime has rolling tires. As a snow plow, his plow can move slightly side to side (actually a function of his transformation, but Iíll give it too him). Otherwise, donít expect any other articulation. The one other thing this mode offers is ďstorageĒ for his weapons, which Iíll talk more about in the robot mode section. For now, the lance can slid through a ring mounted below the shield, and the shield can then attach to the truck by means of placing the shieldís peg in a hole in the rear of the truck cab. Depending on your tastes, this either looks cool or ridiculous. I fall in the latter camp, but I do like the effort at weapon storage, hating as I do to have loose parts when displaying a figure in alt mode, an I also thing the blatant disregard for the disguise element also fits with Sentinelís arrogant character.

There arenít any major problems with this mode. The snow plow has a rather obvious seam, but thatís easily forgivable. Otherwise, there is no kibble visible unless you look at the truck from directly beneath. His size might also put off some fans, as noted, heís somewhat shorter and wider than others of his size class, but he really has a pretty solid truck mode.

Robot Mode:

In robot mode, Sentinel Prime maintains the high level of toy-show accuracy that is expected from the Animated line; heís even sculpted with a condescending sneer! However, there are a few points where he differs from his animation model. His legs are the largest example. In the show, he has a shapely turn of the thigh, here his legs are quite a bit clunkier. The other main difference is his proportions. Like his alt mode, Sentinel is very wide, er, broad at the shoulders, and the stumpiness of his legs makes him appear shorter than he is. He also has very large forearms and hands. Sentinel avoids looking like a gorilla, though. Instead, he looks pissed off and quite tough.

The only bit of new colour is robinís egg or ďallsparkĒ blue. Before anyone freaks out, itís only for his eyes, and actually looks very good. Well, maybe I tell a lie (not about it looking good). The same light blue is the major colour of both his lance and shield, but both are supposed to be energy weapons so it works out.

Despite sporting only two balls joints, one in each hip, Sentinel manages to get some good articulation in. Aside from the ball joints, his legs get a hinge in the knee, and a swivel around the ball socket. His arms get four points each, and his head can look up and down as well as side to side. Unfortunately, his arms do not have swivel joints, nor can his waist turn, though this later is counted out by his transformation scheme. Additionally, Sentinel has a bit of a backpack, though he would be very top heavy anyway, so balancing him can be difficult, especially thanks to his stumpy legs. He can still strike some dynamic poses, however, just not quite as many as Iíd like.

For weaponry, in Animated style, Sentinel packs an energy ďlanceĒ (really itís a light saber) and a US Agent-esque (from Force Works) energy shield. They fit in either hand, and the shield can be worn on the side of his arm, or point forward. Really, itís the shield that makes me wish for the swivel in the arm. It also looks almost comically small, more like a punching shield than something designed to protect from projectiles. Even so, the sword and shield combo looks nice, and isnít something often seen in the Transformers line.

Apart from his articulation problems, Sentinelís arms also have some trouble staying pegged. Itís not a huge problem, but irritating over time. Another thing, this contributing to his balance issues, is that the bottoms of his feet arenít flat. In fact, both ends are slanted, throwing his weight forward or back. His paints apps are good, particularly the apps to his head, and his joints are an acceptable tightness, so thereís not much else to complain about.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: Although simple overall, there are a few tricky parts, like getting his shoulders to snap into place. 4

Durability: He feels pretty solid; however, lacking ball joints, a break will be pretty final, especially since he needs all limbs to transform. 7

Fun: Heís a massive jerk, but heís alright. 7

Price: $10 USD. Not bad, though donít go crazy trying to pick him up. 8

Overall: While Sentinel would say that he is perfect in every way, he has quite a few flaws that keep him from achieving greatness (like his massive incompetence). His vehicle mode is about as good as it gets. His robot mode, on the other hand, loses points for balance and articulation. That said, for a bot with a bit part, I have a feeling Sentinel Prime will be fairly popular. Grab him while you can. 7
 
 
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