Cliffbee.com: Alternators Nemesis Prime Toy Review

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Name: Nemesis Prime
Series: Alternators
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Dodge Pickup Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 22cm Width: 10cm

   A jet black American pick-up truck with a distinct "sports" feel about him, Nemesis Prime is a Dodge Viper truck. The black plastic is shiny in most areas - the notable exception is inside the rear tray. The windows are transparent red while the grille and hubcaps are painted silver. As you'd expect the head and taillights are colourless plastic, the front indicators are backed by orange paint and the taillights by red paint. There's very little colour here, which I guess suits the evil concept of this toy, which is a repaint of Alternators Optimus Prime. While the colour scheme is very simple, the sheen of the black plastic does make for a rather cool truck mode.

   Whilst I haven't really sampled too many Alternators toys, Nemesis Prime's plastic feels better than the plastic on those I have had a good look at. I suspect the black helps in this regard - but whatever the reason, I'm happy. As you'd expect the tyres are soft plastic. The doors open and the tailgate swings down, while the spoiler just above the tailgate stays in place. The side windows are open (wound down) which is pretty standard for the Alternator toys. While on the subject of play value, the front wheels are on a rack and pinion and the bonnet lifts up, taking the grille with it. I'm not sure if the grille lifts on the actual Dodge truck, but it seems to fit with the shape of Nemesis Prime's front.

   As you'd expect the detailing here is pretty good. There are ridges inside the tray, mag wheels, windshield wipers, fog lights nestled inside the front bumper, door handles, a fuel cap on the left side and rear vision mirrors - which _are_ chromed, unlike those on many early Alternator toys. Inside the cabin there are two moulded seats, a radio console, a steering wheel and dashboard meters along with a gearstick between the seats. Incidentally, he's left hand drive - which makes sense for an American toy based on an American vehicle. Along the same lines, there's a California license plate at the back with the word "NEMESIS" printed on it.

   There aren't too many flaws here - although the engine under the hood is hard to actually see. It's a shame since it's a pretty nice engineblock with silver sides with the word "VIPER" sculpted. The doors can be a little tricky to close - they have a tendency to stick out to the sides a little more than they should.

   The black looks better than the red on Optimus Prime, the dark scheme looks nice and sinister while the sheen on this toy is a nice touch. The detailing is good - and comes out fairly well considering how dark this toy is. The red windows won't please everyone since they're hardly realistic, but they fit the theme here. A good car mode than looks a lot nicer than most of the plastic Alternators.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   I'm not going to go through every step, rather cover the main aspects. The tray becomes with legs, with feet folding out from underneath the tray. The feet are somewhat difficult to extract and for some reason there are panels underneath with rotate to form the front of his legs - I can't see why they need to rotate. The arms are hidden underneath the seats while the bonnet folds down to form the chest with the grille flipping over as a groinplate. The front bumper splits and the halves sit above the shoulders as sort of pylons (think Ultra Magnus). The doors end up hanging out from the shoulders, along with the shoulder pylons they become visible kibble.

   Conceptually the transformation is simpler than most Binaltech/Alternator transformations, although there are some trivial complications. Some of them (such as the rotating leg panels) seem to be there merely to keep things complicated. The gun's transformation is quite clever, as is how the bonnet forms the chestplate without protruding. The thighs don't extend so easily - excessive force is never a good thing, but it's required here.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 23cm Width: 20cm

   The shiny black is still the dominant colour here, joined by some teal on his legs and forearms. The mouthplate is red while the eyes are red, and the face is of course the traditional Optimus Prime. There are small stamped Decepticon logos on his shoulders, providing some colour to a very dark colour scheme. Hasbro seems to like the black, teal and silver for toys called Nemesis Prime, although on this occasion there's almost no red - and very little silver. To be honest this colour scheme probably needs a little more silver, if only to bring out some of the robot mode details a little better.

   The bodyshape isn't quite right - although it's by no means bad either. The thighs are very short and the boots are very tall and wide, which looks a little weird and ends up dominating the shape thanks to the bulk. The arms and upper body are fine - even the shoulder pylons don't detract from the bodyshape, instead forming an aesthetic feature.

   The poseability isn't what you'd expect of an Alternators toy, primarily because the huge boots get in their own way. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees bend and rotate. The feet are on ball joints, but there's not much poseability in the feet since there's so much boot behind them. Oddly, the spoiler halves actually push down into the tray, forcing the tailgate halves out slightly - forming weird heelspurs. None of this adds poseability, only stability. The effective poseability in the legs is limited to the knees - and even then it's mainly the rotators. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides, there are two hinges per elbow but no rotators. The Wrists do rotate while the index fingers are on single hinges and his other fingers share a hinge. The head is on a restricted ball joint and the waist turns - although it's limited by the groinplate.

   While there are some highlights here - such as the gun and the well formed chestplate, there are more flaws. The legs really don't look right and the kibble is, well, kibble. The Binaltech originating moulds generally handled their extras better. The seats sit awkwardly on the back of his forearms - and while they don't get in the way the location is clumsy. The doors don't really form wings or a cape, they just sort of hang there. The shoulder pylons work well enough - even if they're still kibble, but the total amount of kibble is a problem here.

   While I still like this robot mode, it's a level below many equivalent toys. The legs aren't well formed and there's a lot of junk hanging around his arms. The colours are a good combination, but Nemesis Prime would have looked better with a little more variation. The poseability isn't what we've come to expect - and most of the limitations are a by product of the leg problems. On the upside, the gun is above the standard of the Alternators.

VARIATIONS

   None as such. This toy saw a limited distribution in the USA, primarily through the 2006 San Diego Comicon and Hasbro themselves. It was released in stores here in Australia, and was relatively common here.

OVERALL

   Some inelegant aspects hold back a toy that really should have been better. The truck mode is pretty good, the colour scheme works - although Hasbro are starting to rely too much on the colour set. The transformation has some dramas - the force required to extend the legs is worrying while the leg panels seem redundant. The robot mode isn't so good thanks to a fair serving of kibble and badly shaped legs. Whilst I do think this guy is better than the Optimus Prime toy of the same mould, I'm not sure that hunting him down is worthwhile - and he's rare enough that you'll probably have to do just that - 6.5/10

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