Name: Sentinel Prime
Alternate Mode: Pickup Truck
Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Sentinel Prime for this review (I have since acquired Sentinel Prime).
Height: 6cm Length: 14cm Width: 6.5cm
A royal blue pickup with black tyres and windows, Sentinel Prime also sports an orange plow at the front, an orange lightrack behind his cabin and orange on his spoiler. For some reason his head and taillights are painted black, although the front indicators are yellow. There's a red Autobot logo on his hood, the bumpers are grey and there are yellow floodlights on the plow. The finer details of the colour scheme are a little off, but overall this is a surprising good colour scheme for an Animated toy - it actually feels realistic rather than just stylised.
Sentinel Prime reminds me of Mr Plow from The Simpsons - he's a high pickup with a plow on the front, and while that truck was red, the vehicle is a great match. The detail here is fairly low, although typical by Animated standards. I can live with the relatively low detail here, but I'm not so fond of the play value.
The plow can extend forward a little, but that's just for the transformation. The wheels roll, albeit not very well. While these aspects disappoint me, it's Sentinel Prime's weaponry which I really dislike. The robot mode's weapons can be stowed on this mode - in theory. You can place the shield and lance above the tray, but they look ridiculous there. Aside from the fact that they're aqua against blue and orange, they don't fit in at all. Why would a plow truck carry a lance? It's not like you'd get very far jousting while clearing away last night's fall. Why does it need a shield on top? You get the option of leaving them aside, something I strongly recommend. Still, it's annoying that a modern toy such as this deals with the weaponry so poorly.
Taking away the weaponry, this is a nice pickup truck. I like the snowplow here - for the originality as much as the Simpsons reference. Sentinel Prime feels far more credible than many Animated toys do in alt mode - even if the detail is still fairly low. While it's not awesome, this is a worthwhile truck mode, if a static one.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Pivot back the roof over the tray, lift up the rear and split to form his legs. Pull the doors out and swing them back, then swing the rear wheels forward, clipping them into the front wheels to form shoulders - with the doors as arms. Stand him up, flip up his head, split the plow and fold the halves down as chestplates. Attach the shield and lance in either hand.
It's an innovative transformation with some unusual angles, and Sentinel Prime is better for it - even if it doesn't really offer a decent place to stow the weapons.
Height: 15.5cm Width: 12cm
Sentinel Prime is again based on royal blue, with his wide shoulders being all black tyre, his long arms are grey and black while the groin is black and his face grey with green eyes. The orange plow halves sit on either side of his chest, flanking the red Autobot logo on his chest. While this logo resembles that on the hood of the vehicle mode - and has some bumper details and yellow lights below it - it's _not_ the same one as on the hood - which sits on his black. The colour scheme here isn't quite as nice as in vehicle mode, purely because there's more black and grey breaking things up, but it's not a bad set of colours either.
As with many Animated toys, the bodyshape is very stylised. His shoulders are very wide while his waist and groin are awfully narrow. Sentinel Prime has long arms and big boots - the upper body is huge, the middle section tiny and the boots just large enough to support the upper body weight. I'm not really a fan of the over stylised designs of Animated, but the style is unified here. He has a huge chin, complete with what looks like a screwhead in the middle. The head sculpt is very good, in fact, with a smirking mouth and tiny black compound antennae. While the shape is unusual, the layout of truck elements works quite well - the plow on his chest, itself a false hood and the wheels on his shoulders both look quite good. FortMax Reed informs me that the head and robot proportions take cues from The Tick.
As much as I dislike the poor use of his weapons in the truck mode, they're useful here - if still a little garish. The lance is held upright while the shield is held facing forward, and there's enough movement in his arms for them to be quite useful. There are no gimmicks in this mode, or on Sentinel Prime at all, in fact.
The poseability here is good. His head is on a ball joint although his waist is fixed. The shoulders swing on ratchets and lift out to the sides while each elbows has two joints. The plow halves sort of get in the way of the arms, but the joints allow his arms to clear these pieces quite well - the design is very clever in fact. His hips are ball jointed while his knees are hinged and the feet fixed, while the lightrack - split in two - makes for excellent heelspurs. I'm amazed at how well this toy poses with the limited articulation in his legs and top-heavy look.
A very well engineered robot - the effort has gone into making Sentinel Prime truly playable rather than loading him with gimmicks. The colour scheme is good, if not quite up to the standard of his truck mode, while the weapons work well here. The odd bodyshape won't please everyone - I'm not a fan of the idea - but the articulation ensures it's not a liability and the visual elements are well balanced, so he's by no means awkward.
None that I'm aware of.
A very well designed toy, Sentinel Prime's design focus is on his engineering rather than silly gimmicks. While the weapons are pointless in vehicle mode, the rest of that mode is pleasing - the colours, relative realism and unusual choice of vehicle are all positives. His transformation is quite innovative and the robot mode's articulation is useful despite its limitations. The robot mode shape is typically unusual - a feature of Animated - but lacks the awkward lack of balance seen on some figures. If you're a fan of the Animated toyline, I'd strongly recommend this toy - 9/10