Transformers Universe Sentinel Maximus Review

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Armada, Autobot, OTFCC Exclusive, Transformers Universe

Transformers Universe

General Information:
Release Date: November 2004
Retailer: OTFCC 2004 Exclusive
Price: $45.00
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3
Accessories: Missiles x 2, Ape-Linq Mini-Con figure

Few Transformers in recent history have garnered as much attention among hardcore Transformers fans as Sentinel Maximus. For the uninitiated, here's the sordid tale (well, by Transformers fan standards anyhow). Sentinel Maximus was originally slated to be one of the OTFCC (Official Transformers Collector's Convention) 2004 exclusive toys. The other was Megazarak. However, due to production delays, he was not available at OTFCC. When 3H closed up shop, Hasbro was forced to take it upon themselves to deliver the toy to those who had ordered it. However, they wound up creating their own packaging for the toy which differed from the sample box shown at the convention earlier in the year. The result was an interesting one: two profiles for the same toy. Both are transcribed below. In addition to that, no mention of the convention is made on Sentinel Maximus' packaging, making him perhaps the only official Transformers convention toy without some type of indicator as to what year/convention it came from.

The core sculpt used for Sentinel Maximus is the Armada Overload toy. This review will focus on the changes made to the toy for this release. For a more detailed look at the toy, check out Overload's review and for a bit more perspective, check out Ultra Magnus' review too.

Original Profile (from OTFCC 2004 Booklet):
Primary Function: Wreckers Commander
Motto: "...'Til All Are One."

Bio:
The Covenant of Primus foretells the coming of an Autobot born of beast and forged from the ancient fires of the cosmos. Possessing both the knowledge of those heroic leaders that have come before and the qualities that define a master battlefield tactician, Sentinel Maximus has risen in the darkest hours of Cybertron's past to protect its future. With a Spark fusion catalyzed by the ancient Cybertronian supercomputer, Vector Sigma, Primal Prime and Apelinq made the ultimate sacrifice to bind their fates together to save their fellow Autobots against the diabolical Cryotek. Now in a powered armored transport, the vast arsenal at his disposal is second to none. Able to download virtual holographic items into reality, in addition to his power upgrade make Sentinel Maximus a perfect balance between soldier and leader. When greater speed and stealth is required, Sentinel Maximus can transfer to his operating system into the auxilliary Autobot, Hyperlinq.

Weapons/Abilities:
In vehicle mode, stored Energon reserves can be redirected to his forward mounted dual-beam, quantum cannon. An aft-mounted digital ramp can be materialized for rudimentary launch pad for hard light constructs. In robot mode, wields shoulder mounted incendiary missile pods and hip mounted concussive blasters.
The extent of the former Apelinq's Transfer interlink has yet to be explored, although the size of these constructs seem to be constrained moreso than in previous times. The duration of their corporeal nature seems to have diminished as well. Sentinel Maximus' operating efficiency seems to have increased tremendously. Some of his troops still believe he has a direct link to Vector Sigma.

Weaknesses:
Sentinel Maximus has no known physical weakness. His speed is no the best over rough terrain, bis his only real fault is his great compassion for others.*

*Spelling errors are kept intact from original booklet.

Strength: 10
Intelligence: 10
Speed: 7.5
Intelligence: 10
Rank: 9
Courage: 10
Firepower: 9.5
Skill: 10

Final Hasbro Packaging Profile:
Motto: "...'Til all are one."
Function: Armored Transport
One of the Heralds created by Primus when it first withdrew its consciousness to the core of Cybertron, SENTINEL MAXIMUS has emerged from the shadows of Time to serve as guardian over Cybertron during its darkest hour. With direct access via interdimensional datalink to the nearly limitless knowledge of Vector Sigma, he is a master battlefield tactician and an ideal leader. His perfect synergy with his Mini-Con APE-LINQ is driven by a totally unified consciousness; the two 'bots act as one in all things. The vast processing power at his disposal allows him to download holographic items into reality, and the power upgrade grainted him by Primus prior to his ancient battle with a diabolical and long-forgotten entity from the southern polar
regions of Cybertron make him a nearly unstoppable force on the battlefield.

Ape-Linq

Ape-Linq is a redeco/retool of the Armada Rollout mold. He has the most extensive retooling as the trailer/body remains the same sculpt-wise as the original Overload figure.

Vehicle Mode:
At first glance it is easy to think that Ape-Linq is pretty much just the same colors as Rollout. However his colors are actually a lot nicer! The base color is metallic flake red. His windows, headlights and weapon ports are all metallic blue. The front fender is silver. What surprised me is a wash done on the tires of all places. The tires themselves are molded in dark red, the wash is blue. I love the colors on this guy. They are very well done and attention was paid to smaller details like the weapon ports. Fantastic.

Robot Mode:
Ape-Linq's robot mode reveals the first mold change made to the toy: the head. Based on the first Apelinq's head sculpt, this head is a bit less organic looking than Apelinq's was. The lines and angles are much more robotic like, but it still carries over some of the "Optimus" design from the source mold that began this character's existence: Transmetal Optimus Primal. The head has the central crest and protrusions on the sides. The head is black and the crest and sides are painted green.

The other parts that have been given new colors are the arms and inner legs. Both are a pearl white color, giving them a nice shine like the rest of the figure. On theknee area the inner legs are painted blue. Just like the vehicle mode the colors here work very well. The white contrasts very well with the red while still preserving the metallic look of the toy overall. Excellent work.

Sentinel Maximus

Vehicle Mode:
The trailer portion of Sentinel Maximus is very much influenced by the original Optimus Prime colors, but done in darker shades. The original story of Sentinel Maximus' birth had him start out as a fusion between Primal Prime and Apelinq, so this is no surprise.

Sentinel Maximus' primary color is metallic flake dark blue. Pearl white, metallic flake dark red and black make up other parts. Metallic silver is used for parts like the sculpted guns on the sides and the smaller dual guns on the sides. Attention was paid to painting sculpted details such as the U shaped piece around the Powerlinx points on the sides towards the rear and the triangular pieces on the sides towards the middle. These parts are painted red.

The base plastic colors are fantastic. I love the metallic flake plastic, it just makes Sentinel Maximus look like he is infused with some extra special power. And using it on dark colors makes them stand out even more.

Robot Mode:
Sentinel Maximus' robot mode reveals the other retool done to the figure. Rather than using Overload's head, this one is a take on the classic Optimus Prime head design. It has the central crest and circles on the side, with angled parts on the helmet and a mouthplate. The design is really sleek and is well detailed including triangular lines on the side, horizontal lines on the crest (and the parts to the sides of the crest). The head is black with gold, silver, blue and red detailing. I really like the color design on the face. The eyes are blue, then the area around them is painted silver. The mouthplate itself is red. Very well done.

The great thing about the new deco for this robot mode is that it doesn't follow the exact original color pattern exactly. Whole new decos have been added. On the chest, gold has been used to the sides, and a silver Autobot symbol is on the left side. On the insides of the lower arms you'll find the rectangular bits painted blue, with another silver Autobot symbol on the right. The cylinders on the top of the arms are dark red with silver wash over them. I'm a big fan of using paint washes for detail, and this is done very nicely. The upper arms are metallic dark red and the covers for the missile pods are painted silver with a black border while the Autobot symbols are painted red. The area underneath the covers are painted gold, which simply looks fantastic. Inside, the missiles are painted light blue.

The upper legs are pearl white while the lower legs are metallic flake dark blue. The feet are metallic flake dark red. Black is used on the upper legs, silver on the lower and black again on the feet.

In an effort to reduce the costs of the toy, Sentinel Maximus has no electronics. The button to activate the transformation sound is still there, but press it and nothing happens. Darn shame, but I understand the cost issues involved.

Weapon Mode:
The weapon mode offers few surprises, but Sentinel Maximus is able to Powerlink with Armada Optimus Prime (or any of his various redecos). But he looks best with the first Armada Prime as the red and blue color theme carries through both toys very well. The missiles he fires have been redone in black. While the packaging makes no note of this mode, it is good to know it is still available.

Final Thoughts:
Sentinel Maximus sold out in its initial run, so any extras out there are either being sold by retailers who bought extras or fans. That means if you're going to get him, you'll be paying a premium, roughly 30-40% of his original price if not more. Basically, this guy is primarily for hardcore collectors, not the casual fan. Either way, I really like this figure. A very nice reworking of the mold and colors.