Numbat's Review: Year of the Snake Omega Supreme
Year of the Snake Platinum Edition Supreme Class
Omega Supreme is an iconic G1 character. With his ability to transform into a battle station (with a tracked tank) and space rocket, he was often pivotal to moving the story forward in the cartoon show. He was also the largest Transformer until the Autobot (Metroplex) and Decepticon (Trypticon) cities made their appearance in later series. So, this guy is likely to have made a big impression on a lot of older Transformers fans. In fact, Omega Supreme and Sixshot are the only G1 figures I have ever seriously considered buying as an adult – but the sheer brickiness always puts me off in the end.
Before dedicated homage lines like Classics, Universe 2.0, Generations and Reveal the Shield (for simplicity, let’s just call all of these as Classics from here on in!), Omega Supreme was also subject to one of the first dedicated G1 homage figures for a character other than Optimus Prime, and what a toy that was – Energone Supreme Class Omega Supreme! However, while this massive toy was designed to nod to the G1 character, the colourscheme was certainly far from his predecessor. Still, the mould was a remarkable homage, and so it comes as no surprise that he has now been repainted and retooled as a more G1 accurate collectors’ edition homage.
Oh, erm, wait a second – this actually comes as a Hell of a surprise!
For starters, this is one huge and expensive figure to release aimed at a limited market. Armada Supreme Unicron also recently received the same treatment, and he is far more iconic, yet the toys did not shift the way Hasbro or Takara had intended... So why think Omega Supreme will fare any better? Well, at least to his advantage is the fact the character appears in the popular War for Cybertron computer game (not that I’ve played it – I’m way too behind the times for that!), so at least there is current advertising to tie into and the video gamer market. So perhaps he’ll do better... Although I have my doubts, especially with the Generations Titan Class Metroplex hitting stores at a similar price point.
I don’t normally care about packaging at all – I chuck/recycle 99.9% of it – and rarely mention it in reviews, but Omega Supreme is a special case: he comes in a gorgeous box. It’s huge, as you’d expect, and very solidly built, as it needs to be, but is totally covered in beautiful artwork. The front has a glorious cartoon of Omega Supreme himself, while everywhere else is printed with gold Autobot symbols filled with an intricate snake design. The front also opens (it’s fixed shut with Velcro), to reveal a window and Omega Supreme himself. A few points to note though: Platinum Omega Supreme’s newly moulded G1 head and arm are not pictured on the cartoon and the ‘working crane’ feature has been lost with the arm remould. Well done Hasbro.
Anyway, how does this figure do? How well does the Energon Supreme Class Omega Supreme mould hold up in the modern day (let’s not forget, the original toy was released almost 10 years ago, way back in 2004)?
Well, if you can’t be bothered reading on, I’ll sum it up here: this guy’s a brick – but he’s a beautiful
Omega Supreme comes packaged in robot mode, which is definitely a good thing. A lot of folks probably will never transform this guy. And that might not be too much of a pity...
Unlike his G1 counterpart, Energon Omega Supreme did not transform into a base, tank and rocket combo. Instead, he transformed into a space battlecruiser and crane (interesting combo...) which could combine into a Cybertronia supertrain. So, while not identical to the G1 version, he retained the multiple alternate mode components which combine into a single robot – which kinda fits with the whole ‘SuperLink’ thing Energon was doing.
As the only differences with the Year of the Snake Platinum version of Omega Supreme are his head, right arm and colourscheme, he is lumbered with the same alternate mode(s) as his Energon forebear.
I’ll run through them quickly for completeness as, frankly, this is not why you buy Omega Supreme...
So, crane mode. This is really quite weird, and looks like half a robot body, including leg stretched out, with the arm pointing skywards: which is exactly what it is. With a bit of imagination (ok, lots of alcohol aided imagination) it looks like a futuristic locomotive with three funny little cranes/fingers pulling a crane trailer. But, thanks to the newly sculpted arm, the crane doesn’t work anymore. This crane is mainly grey, with a red and grey locomotive, with silver, red and black detailing. You can put a small Mini-Con in the crane control compartment if you’re so inclined and two cannons flip out to fire forwards or sideways. This ‘vehicle’ measures a not insignificant 15 ½” (39cm) in length.
Space battlecruiser mode fares a little better, but that’s kinda because it isn’t trying to look like anything in the real world. Instead it looks like some kind of futuristic dreadnought come aircraft carrier. With a hand poking out the front (funny, this looks like an arm with an aircraft carrier hanging off the end in robot mode – bit of a fail here). The cannons are great fun, as the front three turrets are linked and turn in unison. Maybe not so useful in an all-out space melee with Decepticons though... There’s also one rear-facing turret, and two cannons can flip out to fire sideways or backwards. Colours are similar to the crane, but less red is on show. Grey is definitely the dominant colour here. Measuring 17 ¾” (45cm) long, the battlecruiser is even bigger than the crane, but that’s because it doesn’t have the arm on top of it.
And there’s the combined Cybertronian supertrain mode. Measuring 31” (79cm) long, it is bloody huge, but looks totally ludicrous. And I just do not understand why the foot which looks just like a futuristic locomotive slots into the space battlecruiser that has no wheels and looks nothing like a locomotive thus hiding the only train-like part of the alternate modes, and leaving a hand-come-aircraft carrier to pull the ‘supertrain’ onwards. Yup. This thing might be big but it totally sucks beans.
Oh, and I won’t even bother with the half-baked ‘artillery’ modes you can also contort his body parts into.
This is where’s it’s at.
This is why you buy Year of the Snake Platinum Edition Omega Supreme.
But before we get to the robot mode, let’s just reflect on the transformation. It’s really
easy. Incredibly simple. The crane makes one half of his body, the space battlecruiser the other. They clip together up the middle of his torso. There are a few twists and turns to get there, but it is seriously not very engaging at all. Compared with Supreme Unicron or Supreme Primus, Supreme Omega Supreme really is a letdown on the transformation side. (That said, he is more complicated than you might first think, and the instruction sheet misses out a step to turn him in to the space battlecruiser, but don’t worry. You really don’t need the instructions anyway!)
But do not feel short-changed! The robot mode is absolutely beautiful, and looks awesome alongside Classics figures.
Measuring a whopping 14 ½” (37cm) tall, Omega Supreme is incredibly imposing. While not quite as tall as Armada Unicron, he is actually much bulkier. The proportions capture the lumbering might of the G1 character very well, and the asymmetry gives the impression this thing is a walking industrial estate – that sounds a bit weird, and isn’t quite what I’m looking for, but you know what I mean...
It’s really a very different look to most Transformers, and it suits Omega Supreme (who always was an oddball, being pressed into service when Hasbro licensed a Toybox figure, meaning he really looked quite different from the other Takara toys making up the G1 line). But, at the same time, his style blends in to the Classics aesthetic.
Make no mistake though – Omega Supreme is still a brick – he’s just a super-detailed and gloriously painted brick.
The dull grey plastic, multiple tones of red plastic and paint, metallic copper paint, metallic silver paint, metallic gold paint, and black give Omega Supreme a more ‘real’ look than being a straight G1 homage (which would, let’s face it, involve garish red and yellow, and come off as tacky). The gold plastic is a little tacky looking, though, it must be said, but I’ve never been a fan of metallic plastics – they remind me of ‘80s and ‘90s knock offs. The transparent yellow plastic (which comes off looking more green in a lot of photos – don’t worry, it is actually quite yellow in real life) on his right shoulder and left hand is also a bit weird. In fact, that Mini-Con storage thing on his right shoulder could easily have been lost from this update.
The notable differences are, of course, the right arm and head.
The new head sculpt is a glorious homage to the G1 character. Beneath a transparent yellow visor is an unusually biological looking gold face, with glaring blue eyes. Turn the head around, and a canon is revealed, just like the G1 character (which stores in a recess flush against the head normally, making it difficult to flick out, but certainly a welcome improvement on the orginal design). The head is quite small in proportion to the body, which gives Omega Supreme a much bulkier look.
The right arm is heavily detailed, infitting with the rest of the mould, but also tipping the hat to the rocket panels of the G1 original. It also looks very much like the arm in the War For Cybertron design. However, as with the computer game design, the claw has four fingers – one more than the G1 original. But I can live with that. In fact, it looks really cool. Instead of garish G1 orange, the claws are black plastic with copper paint detailing. Each finger has two points of articulation, and the entire claw assembly can rotate. Combined with the solid ratcheting joints in the arm, this allows endless fun posing Omega Supreme manhandling Decepticon enemies, including Fall of Cybertron Bruticus, with ease.
Omega Supreme is of course heavily armed, with two spring-loaded missile launchers on his left shoulder, and twin laser turrets on his left shoulder, left forearm and left leg. His right side is clearly dedicated to simply physically crushing his opponents, lacking any munitions whatsoever.
There are of course two glaring omissions in this homage though: the arched tracks on the G1 character’s back are not present in any way. This does not actually bother me as much as I thought it would – Year of the Snake Omega Supreme’s back is actually supremely detailed, making him interesting to look at from any angle. Plus I’m glad he doesn’t have the tracks in alternate mode – I mean, what use is a tank that needs tracks? And what a pants component to your alternate mode.
And, that left arm could have done with a new sculpt as well, to match the G1 laser canon arm. Instead it looks as if someone has moulded something to look simultaneously like the front of an aircraft carrier and a hand, whilst not really convincingly representing either... The lack of articulation means his hand is permanently frozen open, and the lack of electronics means you can’t even light up the clear yellow plastic part (begging the question as to why it just isn’t moulded grey like the rest of the forearm...).
Articulation-wise, well, Omega Supreme is a brick. But he’s capable of a fair number of imposing power poses, which is probably how you’d want to display him anyway. I can’t imagine a robot of his side being particularly graceful! He’s a powerhouse – the artillery or gamechanger you get out as a last resort. He’s a Guardian. But, to aid with his displayability, he has thirteen points of meaningful articulation (mostly ratcheted, meaning they can easily bear his weight as well as that of other Transformers he may be lifting), plus nine on his claw, seven on his gun turrets, two on his crotch canons, two on his ass canons and a whole bunch on that weird hand thing on his crane leg. This guy is a playset as well as a giant robot (that would benefit from ankle articulation...).
Due to his origins, Year of the Snake Omega Supreme retains the linkup points for Energon (or Year of the Snake Platinum Edition) Optimus Prime’s (AKA Fatimus Prime) weird vehicle things – again, a feature I’d happily have seen dropped, but Hasbro even went to the hassle of ensuring it was integrated into the new right arm sculpt. He can also combine with Fatimus Prime, giving you Omega Supreme with Optimus Prime head – an utterly pointless concept back in Energon days, and even more-so in this G1 homage. (If Omega Supreme sells poorly, Optimus Prime will sell much less, mark my words!)
All in all, Year of the Snake Platinum Edition Omega Supreme is a glorified Action Master Elite / playset, rather than a Transformer. But that’s exactly what his G1 original was, and this version is such a beautiful homage that you’d be daft not to add him to your Classics shelf if you can afford to. He is awe-inspiring looming over your Classis figures, and gives a real thrill.
Year of the Snake Platinum Edition Omega Supreme is a brick: a beautiful beautiful brick.
Marks out of ten for the following:
0 – Did you think I would score it any higher? There’s nothing much to it at all, and the alternate modes are a joke. But hey, this was true of the G1 toy also. ‘Advanced’ transformation level though? Seriously? This is easier than any Legends of Cyberverse figure I’ve ever encountered (except maybe DOTM Legion Topspin...), but several orders of magnitude larger!
9 – Omega Supreme is a brick – the only slight worry is with the cannon on the back of his head, which can pop off easily and could become lost. Fortunately, it reattached easily as well.
10 – Supreme Omega Supreme is a playset and a giant robot all rolled into one. Cast in G1 colours and sporting gorgeous new right claw arm and head sculpts, this is one of the most fun Transformers anyone who grew up with the original ‘80s show could ever own despite not really having a transformation or alternate modes to speak of.
9 – Omega Supreme really looks the part – the G1 paint scheme, new arm and head are gorgeous, while the superb detailing brings him in line with other Classics toys. However, the transparent yellow shoulder and weird left arm are minor detractors which are easily overlooked with the guy looming on your display shelf, but warrant a mention and knock a point off.
7 – I struggle to score articulation on huge Transformers. By nature of Omega Supreme’s size and weight (he is easily the heaviest Transformer I own), articulation is going to be limited compared with a Deluxe or Voyager (or even Leader) Class figure. That said, Omega has a load of useful joints for striking power poses or manhandling other Transformers. As most of these are ratcheted, he holds his positions ad infinitum. However, he would really benefit from some ankle articulation.
6 – If you live in the USA, you can pick this guy up at around $110 USD. If you live elsewhere in the world, the postage costs will really add to the price. Mine cost me $158.89 including shipping (about £100 GBP at the time), which is a lot of dosh, but still doesn’t seem too bad for a collector’s edition Supreme Class figure. He may well end up on sale in some places, as I don’t think he’s shifting as well as may be hoped.
9 – Year of the Snake Platinum Edition Omega Supreme is simply awesome. An amazing display piece that looms over your Classics figures. He has a few minor short-comings (ignoring the simple ‘transformation’ and joke alternate modes), and is costly (especially if you don’t live in America) though. Still, if you can afford him, I highly recommend buying the guy – he is awe-inspiring.