Cliffbee.com: Galaxy Force Vector Prime Toy Review

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Name: Galaxy Force Vector Prime (sigh)
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Space Cruiser



SPACE CRUISER MODE
Height: 9.5cm Length: 26cm Width: 23cm

   A gold space ship with a tapered nose and twin solar-panel style wings, out to the sides on their own support struts (something like a trimaran). The wings are transparent orange with black struts. Both the transparent orange and black make appearances on the body of the ship, along with some orange blue and extensive silver paint. He's a (badly named) repaint of the earlier Vector Prime toy, and generally looks better than the earlier toy since the gold plastic brings out the excellent sculpt much better than white did. The paint mask is equally complex yet extensively changed.

   There's a lot to like here. The space ship is a good sci-fi ship - it wouldn't look out of place in say a Star Wars movie, and there are a lot of distinct design elements; the wings, nose and detailed sculpt are all quite obviously deliberate design choice. There have been quite a few Transformers through the years with alternate modes labelled as space ships by default, but the space ship concept is strong here, and the wings, shape and detail make this apparent. There is a bridge towards the nose, with an Autobot symbol stamped behind the transparent orange window panels. Behind the bridge is a docking place for Safeguard, which is shaped specifically for the included Minicon - while he attaches to a powerlinx port in this docking bay, the surrounding depression wont accommodate any old Minicon. This isn't a problem, mind you - there are two more ports on the sides of the fuselage, towards the stern, and there aren't that many Minicons in the Cybertron line anyway.

   There are moulded details all over this ship, with various cog and gear elements all over the fuselage and wingstruts. Some of these are painted silver and a few black. The wings have solar plates moulded onto them, and are roughly triangle shaped, with the pointy ends at the front. The sculpt here is nothing short of spectacular, only the Binaltechs (and similar toys) are in the same league - but Galaxy Force Vector Prime isn't specifically aimed at adult collectors. There are four small black wheels underneath the ship, along with four gold cannons and some transparent orange sensor arrays. Heck, there are moulded cog details under the fuselage, on what is destined to become the robot's back.

   There's quite a bit of play value here. Obviously Safeguard can plug into the toy, just in front of the bridge there's a well concealed black button that fires a single orange missile out of the nose. Two Minicons can clip onto the sides and there's a slot on top (towards the back) for his orange Planet Key (code: vz74). The Planet Key has an Autobot logo moulded underneath and four Planet symbols in silver _underneath_ the plastic on top. The key sets off a launching sound, although you'll need to source 2 AAA batteries first. The solar panels on the wings are two parts each and they can fold closed if you really want, adding to the play value.

   All told this is one of the best sci-fi alt modes we've seen in a while, and harks back to the 1986 & 1987 futuristic vehicles. The detail is fantastic, the play value is good and isn't based around a single crappy sound gimmick. Galaxy Force Vector Prime (I hate this name) very much looks like a space cruiser, and the gold is much, much better than the sterile white of the original toy. If only Hasbro had bothered to think of a better name.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove Safeguard if he's attached, unfold the legs from underneath the swing the wings in. Fold the nose section down underneath, flip up the feet and detach the sword from his backpack (it's along one edge of the nose section). Lift up the shoulderpads, slide back the wristguards, rotate the head, pose the toy, give him his sword and (optionally) attach Safeguard to either wristguard as an arm cannon.

   While this is a pretty simple transformation for a mega, it's quite effective and the weapon options are well done. At any rate, the simplicity allows the cruiser mode to be a success.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20cm Width: 17cm

   Again mainly gold, Galaxy Force Vector Prime has black thighs, feet and forearms along with a black head. The face is painted an attractive shade of metallic blue while his eyes are vermillion. The face is very well sculpted (which isn't surprising, really) and the head shape is vaguely reminiscent of Megatron's signature buckethead. There's a fair bit of silver paint on his chest along with some copper around his waist. The Planet Key on his chest and sword provide some transparent plastic, but both are optional. If you leave the key off, Galaxy Force Vector Prime has a blue orb in the middle of his chest, which looks better than it did on the original. Again it's a successful colour scheme - and again the colours do the mould far better justice than white plastic ever could.

   While I don't think this robot is laid out as well as the space cruiser mode, it's still good. The shoulder and wrist guards look good, the detailed face brings a lot and the small cannons on his toes are nifty. Safeguard looks good as an arm mounted weapon - although not as good as he did in white. The sword - at 15cm long - is impressive and well sculpted. The wings are stowed but still partially visible behind the arms & hips, and can be spread if you really want. Annoyingly, there's a mould defect on the left wing of mine - it doesn't _quite_ fold away properly. This same defect was present on my Vector Prime, so it might be a mould problem rather than an isolated defect.

   The sound gimmick is again available here, the missile launcher is not since the nose is now his backpack. Safeguard's dock is also on his back but the ports on his arm are fun, and another weapon Minicon would work well on the spare arm. Poseability is good for a toy with such a focused vehicle mode - the head turns and the feet hinge at the ankles while the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips are all double ratchet joints. The ratchetting joints ensure that Vector Prime doesn't need big heelspurs. There are panels which hang over the top of his thighs, and they're hinged so you get the armour skirt effect without hampered hips. While the poseability isn't fantastic, it beats the poseability of most Transformers with such well-designed vehicle modes (especially at this pricepoint).

   The space cruiser mode is stronger, but this is a good robot mode, which also benefits from the change in colour. The level of detail and well applied paint job make this a very attractive display piece, too. The play value is pretty good for such a simple toy, even ignoring the electronics.


Name: Safeguard
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Jet

JET MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 8.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A gold jet with black at the front of his wing, representing a simply colour scheme than his last incarnation. Safeguard doesn't really gain anything in the repaint, although he's not really any worse off either. He has twin tainfins and tailwings and in place of a cockpit, the front of the jet is basically a large barrel. Yes, in the tradition of Shockwave, this guy's a flying gun! There are actually two barrels, the right side one is longer and wider, and is roughly the same shape as Shockwave's barrel. The leftside barrel is smaller, shorter and rounded. I get the distinct impression that this guy's been specifically designed to be Vector Prime's gun - and while the jet mode looks unusual, it still works.

   The barrel section is painted gold rather than moulded, the paint is slightly darker than the rest of the toy - but not enough to ruin the idea. Safeguard pretty much lies on his belly - there are no wheels underneath, just the robot bits and a powerlinx socket.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip over the tail section to form his boots and flip up his feet. Fold the barrels onto his back and you're done. The wings are his arms, and while they're not secured in plane mode, the joints are tight enough. Pose the arms as you want.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 5.5cm

   Mainly gold with black shoulders and feet, Safeguard has black thighs and a red face. The wings off his forearms. The powerlinx socket sits on the waist, there are moulded fingers and the tainfins make for rather potent kneecaps. The face is pretty simple - especially compared to that of Vector Prime. The colour scheme here is simpler than it was last time out, but the gold and black come together well, and the gold looks a little nicer than the white did - although it's pretty close.

   Poseability is okay - the shoulders rotate and the elbows are ball jointed. The hips and knees are hinged, and there are some leg poses available since the barrels on his back act as a third leg. While it's not a bad robot mode, Safeguard's robot mode is a shadow of the vehicle mode, largely because the vehicle mode makes a nifty accessory for Vector Prime.


VARIATIONS

   None as far as I know, although this set is a repaint as mentioned.

OVERALL

   Two good modes and a Minicon that compliments well make this a good toy. The space cruiser mode is spectacular, and works much better in gold than it did in Hasbro's original white. Hasbro really stuffed up the original - Takara's original grey version highlighted the detail well, and Galaxy Force Vector Prime brings the mould back where it belongs. I'd strongly recommend this version over the white one - although whether or not you want to buy a repaint this size is up to you. For what it's worth I got the original in a half-priced two pack (yes, with Starscream, the half of the pack I wanted), and then got this repaint at half price as well, so I was quite happy to pick up this repaint. Vector Prime is one of the most detailed Transformers we've seen and while he's a relatively simple mega, the transformation works because it's supporting two strong modes. The name is so awful that it costs him half a point, but despite that he still manages 810

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