Dark of the Moon Commander Class Sentinel Prime Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Commander, Cyberverse, Dark of the Moon, Revenge of the Fallen

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: April 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Arm cannons x 2

Images:

The "Cyberverse" of Transformers is partly made up of figures that are somewhere between the traditional Scout Class in size and complexity and the old Legends Class of figures. In general, Commander Class figures in the Cyberverse (not to be confused with Commander Class figures in the Power Core Combiners line) have weaponry that can be utilized by the smaller Legion Class figures. In concert with the Legion Class and playsets being released, the "Cyberverse" forms a complete world of play at a smaller price point.

As long as the Transformers story has been told, there has been a key figure that mentors the Autobot leader. In G1, Optimus Prime had Alpha Trion, Rodimus Prime had the likes of Kup and Ultra Magnus to guide him. In the movie universe, this role falls to Sentinel Prime, who is credited as the Autobot that taught Optimus Prime to be the leader he is today. The name "Sentinel Prime" goes back to the G1 comic book, where he as mentioned as a predecessor to Optimus Prime. Since that time the name has been used for several characters in various continuities including Animated Sentinel Prime.

Robot Mode:
The Commander Class version of Sentinel Prime is my first "in plastic" exposure to the design of this character. His form has a very regal design, and in many ways has elements of another Prime: Vector Prime, the ancient Autobot portrayed in the "Cybertron" television series. Like Vector, Sentinel has some very classic design elements including shoulder armor that points out to the sides, a relatively long figure and parts on his back that resemble parts of a cape or robe. Since he is meant to portray a Transformer from the era before Optimus Prime, this makes perfect sense and adds a depth to the design of the character. There are some very classic "Prime" elements in this design as well. Like Optimus, he has a high central crest on his head along with antennae on the sides. His chest area has window panels from the vehicle mode on it as well. This combination of aesthetics makes for an interesting and cool looking character.

Even with influences from other Transformers generations, Sentinel Prime is still a product of the "Bay-verse" of Transformers and thus he has elements from that universe. For instance, the armor on his arms is designed to be very angular, with several parts sculpted as if they are overlapping. Similar design aesthetics are used for his leg armor. The torso has several panels that look like parts of the vehicle mode have bent and twisted to form that part of his body. Finally, the face design has plenty of little greebles on it as well, something most of the movie universe characters have.

Sentinel Prime is cast in red, silver and black plastic. They are distributed fairly evenly, but red and black are the main colors. The colors alternate nicely, with his chest panels cast in black but the rest of the torso cast in red. This pattern is also found on his arms and legs. Paint details are primarily done in silver, with some smaller details painted in black. The silver details are found all over the figure including the face, torso, arms and legs. The silver is largely used to accentuate sculpted details, which is how I like paint applications to be used most of the time. The black paint is found on his arms, where a stylized "R" symbol is painted. This is the symbol of the Rosenbauer company which produces the vehicle that Sentinel Prime's vehicle mode represents. More on that in the vehicle mode review.

There are ten points of articulation on this figure. This includes three points in each arm and two in each leg. The shoulder, hip and knee joints are all ball joints, but his hip joint articulation is hampered somewhat by the wheels on the torso, which block the leg from being able to move completely up. His accessories include a double bladed weapon and a shield, both very old style looking weapons that remind us of the era this Transformer came from. They're really nicely crafted looking accessories complete with circuitry patterns on the blades and Cybertronian glyphs on the shield. These weapons can be used by other figures in the "Cyberverse" line as well. I really like the fact that Sentinel has melee weaponry instead of more traditional blasters. There are plenty of those in this line, but with a toy sub-line devoted to weapons being swaped around, it's nice to have some variety.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach Sentinel Prime's weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing both robot feet up.
  3. Rotate both lower legs around.
  4. Connect the two legs together using the peg and hole sections on the ankles.
  5. Swing the "wings" on the back of the robot down.
  6. Swing the robot head back.
  7. Swing each forearm up and connect it to the shoulder armor.
  8. Swing the black chest panels up, then rotate the robot arms around so the "R" on the forearms faces out to the sides.
  9. Move the robot arms down to the sides to form the sides of the vehicle mode.
  10. Swing the black panel the wings are attached to over the robot head to cover it, then swing the silver "wing" pieces back to form part of the vehicle mode's top section.
  11. Take the shield accessory and swing the bottom half up, then swing out the hose piece.
  12. Attach the shield to the top of the vehicle by connecting the tabs on the sides of the shield to the corresponding holes on the ends of each "wing".
  13. The blade weapon attaches to the underside of the vehicle. Use the hole towards the top and bottom to connect it to the parts sticking out from the robot chest and legs respectively.

Vehicle Mode:
Sentinel Prime transforms into a fire truck in vehicle mode. He isn't a plain, vanilla truck. Instead, he becomes a licensed version of the Rosenbauer Panther, a rather futuristic looking fire truck that has been used as the basis for Transformers vehicle modes before. Like the Panther, Sentinel Prime has a very sleek look with the front of the vehicle designed with a curved windshield section that leads to a rectangular vehicle body. Unlike most fire trucks that have distinctive sections in the front, middle and back, this is one continuous piece with flat panels on the sides and a hose mechanism on th etop of the vehicle. Even in this small size, the designers were able to work in some of the smaller details of the real life Panther such as:

  • The sideview mirrors of the Panther hang down in the front of the vehicle, following the curve of the windshield. You'll find those details here.
  • Two circular headlights are found on either side of the front end set inside a rectangular shape.
  • Along the edges of the vehicle's top section are several curved bars, all of which are represented in this figure.
  • There are lightbars sculpted into the vehicle on top of the cabin section. Sadly they're not painted so you may miss them at first.
  • Like the real life Panther, Sentinel Prime has six wheels in this mode, two in the front with four in the middle/back area.

The Panther comes in many color schemes including a bright yellow version. Sentinel Prime represents a more traditional red fire truck. Like the real life vehicle, the front end is black andthe lower half of the vehicle's side sections is black while the top is red. Silver plastic is used for the top panels and hose section. There isn't a ton of painted detail on this figure, but what is painted on are the most significant details. Silver is used for the numbers "316" which are found on the real life prop vehicle. A silver Autobot symbol also graces the sides towards the back, but on the real life vehicle the Autobot symbols are much less prominent and are actually on the black section towards the front. Black paint is used to paint the Rosenbauer company "R" logo on the sides towards the front. Sure the color fidelity is not 100% true to the real life vehicle, but it definitely embodies the spirit of the vehicle and I was happy to see attention paid to the separation of red and black plastic sections.

Final Thoughts:
Sentinel Prime is a neat little Commander Class figure. I like his unconventional weapons and he looks like something out of Cybertron's past. Add to that a rather interesting transformation that incorporates his weapons well and I give this guy a recommended rating!