Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Transformers Dark of the Moon: Sentinel Prime

Presenting Sentinel Prime from the Transformers Dark of the Moon toy-line.

I remember the first time I laid eyes on Sentinel Prime waaay back before the movie was released and the first wave of DOTM toys had hit the market. And I remember that all I could think of was "He's pink!"

For the retail price that the stores were asking for him? Pass.

I kinda regretted not getting him especially after watching how critical a figure he was in the DOTM Movie. But I still didn't feel like paying retain for him. He became rare and I did not want to pay black-market rates for him especially since other Leader class surpluses were now being retailed at half-price. A few months back, there he was, standing on the top shelf all alone. And I grabbed him.

Still pink.

At first I thought that it was because of the type of firetruck that he is. Universally, red is the accepted international color for Firetrucks and other emergency vehicles. But sometimes all you need to do is cross over to the next county - or country - and you'll find blue, yellow, white, black and even green firetrucks. But I haven't seen a pink firetruck yet.

So I popped the Transformers DOTM DVD and realized that Sentinel Prime was not pink. He was red. Firetruck red. He only appears to be paler than Prime's flame red because he was corroded and beat up. He was old.

So this color is really an injustice.

Sentinel Prime transforms into a Rosenbauer Panther 6 x 6 Fire Truck - a product of Rosenbauer Firefighting Technology. The Panther was designed primarily for use in airports - which explains it's more closed exterior (Can't have firemen - or dogs - or any debris for that matter, cluttering up an airport)

Sentinel Prime's Blister card reads: "Sentinel Prime is a legendary warrior, thought lost long ago. The strength of his will and the power of his sword are spoken of in reverent whispers by Autobot and Decepticon alike. Now that he has returned, the final defeat of Megatron and the Decepticons is assured." Obviously Michael Bay vetoed all the spoilers - except that I do believe a few weeks later we all knew that Sentinel Prime killed Iron Hide.

It also lists Sentinel Prime's statistics as follows.... let's throw in Optimus Primes' for comparison:

  • Strength 10 versus Optimus Prime's 10
  • Intelligence 10 versus Optimus Prime's 10
  • Speed 10 versus Optimus Prime's 7 - the old man is much faster apparently
  • Endurance 10 versus Optimus Prime's 10
  • Rank 10 versus Optimus Prime's 10 - although since he did acknowledge Sentinel Prime's superiority, I suppose we can bring Optimus Prime down to 9
  • Courage 9 versus Optimus Prime's 10 - I suppose that 1 point difference made the difference between Optimus' belief in a better world versus Sentinel's willingness to compromise.
  • Fireblast 10 versus Optimus Prime's 10
  • Skill 7 versus Optimus Prime's 9 - Optimus has almost perfected his fetish for decapitation and face tearing (Watch the movies, it's his favorite method of killing).
So What's to Like about the Transformers Dark of the Moon Leader Class Sentinel Prime?

Let's start with his truck mode.

Just like the leader class Optimus Prime's Peterbilt 379, Sentinel Prime's Rosenbauer Panther is a finely detailed and solid vehicle - which is just as challenging to transform as Optimus Prime (But if you're one of those that can't transform him, then this is a negative for you).

Sentinel Prime's Boom Arm works - it can be raised, extended and turned - and there is a flip up nozzle at the front of the truck.

Note that Sentinel Prime's Shield (In the Transformers Animated Series, this was called the Skyboom Shield that was capable of generating force fields. This is not to be confused with the Skyboom Shield from Transformers: Armada. You can view the Transformers: Armada Skyboom Shield here.) can be stored underneath his truck form but doing so will raise the back of his truck a bit so not all his wheels will touch the ground - and a bit of it sticks out on both sides and the back. No clearance whatsoever. His sword - the Primax Blade - folds and is stored within the truck underneath the light-gray panel. 

Now the Rosenbauer Panther is supposed to have working side panels for equipment and other fire-fighting knick-knacks. Unfortunately none of these panels exist. Sentinel Prime's Panther form does however have a secondary Transformers "Stealth-Force" style form though involving some of his rear panels opening up and the mounting of his Primax Blade and shield - which is also placed in it's secondary mode:

There is a small gray discrete behind the passenger (I assume that this is a right-hand drive vehicle because it's European) or left side of the Panther that activates a siren and flashes the blinkers on top of the cab of the Panther. There are two mech-tech slots there and one of them - the one on the right - is loaded. Attach a mech-tech weapon to the loaded slot and you will be rewarded with.... well the noise of something opening up or deploying - accompanied by lights from the blinkers. Remove the weapon and you get the "transformation" noise.

This form makes Sentinel Prime look like an alien grass-cutter but I think it's still pretty cool. Here he is next to the Striker Optimus Prime

Sentinel Prime has a body that rivals Optimus Primes in terms of stature and bearing. But with the dignified years etched on his face, there's no mistaking that Sentinel Prime could wrest leadership of the Autobots at the drop of a hat.   

Sentinel Prime's face was modeled after Sean Connery's. I have a feeling he was probably asked to voice him as well but turned it down. But thankfully Leonard Nimoy provided the right amount of raspiness, authority and the strength of years of experience to Sentinel Prime's voice. 

Sentinel Prime is quite stable and pose-able:

I'm particularly fond of the way his "cape" flares. Pressing the icon on his chest activates lights in his eyes and Sentinel Prime utters "I am Sentinel Prime!" If you place a Mech-tech weapon in the loaded slot on his right shoulder, he will also utter "Good to see you alive Optimus!" (Riiiigggggghhhttt), and; "What has happened to the Allspark?"

Sentinel Prime looks better with his Primax Blade and shield:

Sentinel Prime is so poseable, he can actually hold his Primax Blade over his head:

Speaking of which, you can actually store that Primax Blade at the back of his cape:

And if you wish you can even bring his boom arm into play:

So What's NOT to Like about the Transformers Dark of the Moon Leader Class Sentinel Prime?

There are several problems with Sentinel Prime other than his being pink:

  • Despite the high level of pose-ability - and like most Leader Class Transformers - Sentinel Prime cannot twist his torso. 
  • Despite the ability to declare himself to be Sentinel Prime, the Leader Class DOTM Sentinel Prime is NOT voiced by Leonard Nimoy - disappointing. 
  • That shield is just too small for him - just like Optimus Prime's Striker shield is too small for him. They're both bucklers more than full fledged shields. 
  • Sentinel Prime has difficulty gripping both his sword and shield. They tend to both be held rather loosely. 
  • His sword. In the DOTM movie, Sentinel Prime first used the Primax Blade as a single blade (While threatening to scrape Optimus Prime's face off). While the Primax blade does fold, he can't hold it while it' folded. Though when extended, the Primax Blade reflects the kind of fighter Sentinel Prime is: Bold. With both blades extended, Sentinel Prime either slashes down with the Primax Blade or uppercuts with it. It's arrogant, powerful and simple. The scarier thought is that he slashes down once, then stabs down with the opposing blade as a finisher. Still quick, arrogant and simple. 
Sentinel Prime is available on Amazon for US$ 45 (Roughly PhP 1,935 plus shipping - he's heavy so it'll be expensive). I purchased him at retail for PhP 2,000 (Roughly US 46.51). 

Definitely worth it (Even if he's pink). 

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