Release Date: November 2017
Price Point: $4.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster/weapon barrel, Metalhawk Decoy Armor
Official images and text below in italics are from Captured Prey:
The next installment in the Generations series is Power of the Primes! The new series combines elements from both Titans Return and Combiner Wars. Vector Prime suits up for battle in his Metalhawk armor, and can serve as a power core or weapon for larger figures as well!
For Power of the Primes, all deluxe class figures become combiner limbs, all Voyager class figures become combiner torsos, and all leader class figures feature an Evolution mechanism, letting you evolve the character from their earlier incarnation to a more powerful form! Each Leader class figure includes a unique Matrix and Matrix core, and each Voyager figure also includes a Matrix core of their own that can be interchanged! Finally, each Prime Master figure includes one of the original 13, who can become a new core and lend their power to the larger figures, or can go into battle armored up in their Powermaster armor!
The trilogy that began with "Combiner Wars" concludes with "Power of the Primes". This line focuses on the original 13 Primes themselves returning. However, instead of gigantic beings storming the battlefield, the Primes have distilled their essence into Sparks that can be used by Transformers to gain all new powers. Depending on which Spark the Transformer takes on, they are powered up in different ways. From a play value standpoint these figures are an extension of the Titan Masters from last year. Instead of coming with beasts or vehicles, these mini-figures now come with "Decoy Armor" based on the designs of G1 era Pretender shells. The idea is that the Primes do not want just any Transformer to take their power, so they are "pretending" to be other Transformers, a wonderful play on words and concepts.
Vector Prime was introduced during the Unicron Trilogy. It would be revealed in time that he was one of the Thirteen original Primes, so it makes sense that he was introduced into this line as one of the Primes-in-hiding. The character he is pretending to be is Metalhawk, an Autobot first introduced in the 80's "Masterforce" series. The character returned years later as a Botcon exclusive and most recently appeared in the "Siege on Cybertron" boxed set.
The packaging for the Prime Masters is similar to last year's Titan Masters. The figures are in a blister attached to a small card. Unlike last year however the card art on the front features Micronus in the Metalhawk armor in a very dynamic pose with all sorts of energy around him. This is a far better choice than last year where Fortress Maximus' head was on all the packaging for the Titan Masters. The back of the packaging shows a CG render of Vector Prime and how he interacts with the Decoy Armor. On top it shows the weapon mode. The side shows a cosell of Micronus.
The basic structure of the Prime Master figures share the same core design as the Titan Master figures. They have the same tab on the back that allows you to attach them to vehicles and playsets from "Titans Return" and "Power of the Primes". The heads are also square in shape and while these figures do not form heads, you can attach them to the larger figures from "Titans Return".
Keeping with the premise of Vector Prime "pretending" to be Metalhawk, his robot form is based on G1 Metalhawk. Among the design elements the two share are:
- The head design features a curved helmet section with a distinct shield shaped crest in the center. The sides have antennae sticking up.
- The chest has a raised section in the middle with the sides of the chest flattening out.
- The forearms have an "L" shape to them similar to the G1 figure.
- The top of the thighs have a series of horizontal lines.
- There are two notches near the knees.
I love the use of these details on the figure. The design is great, though my only wish is that the lines on the head were a bit more well defined.
Vector Prime is cast in blue and grey plastic, with most of the figure being grey. The face is painted silver, which is a nice touch as most of the Titan Masters were unpainted.
The Prime Masters all have five points of articulation. This includes the head, arms, hips and knees. The legs move together since they are fused together. While the arms and head are nice and tight on my copy of this figure, the knees are not They are rather loose so I cannot get the figure to stand straight.
Transformation to Spark Mode:
The Prime Masters all transform in the same fashion as the Titan Masters from "Titans Return". Swing the hips up and fold the lower legs in.
The Spark mode is basically the same as the head modes from last year's Titan Masters. Instead of a "face plate" however, there is panel with Vector Prime's ancient Cybertronian symbol. The symbol looks like angled lines connecting to dots. The Spark mode's "plate" is blue plastic with light blue paint on the line details.
The Prime Master Spark modes are designed to attach to Voyager Class figures directly or connect to the "Prime Armor" included with Deluxe figures in the "Power of the Primes" line.
Decoy Armor Mode
The Metalhawk Decoy Armor is based on the design of G1 Metalhawk's Pretender shell. This Decoy Armor has many of the key elements of G1 Metalhawk's shell design. These include:
- The helmet has a thin crest on top.
- Near the shoulders are two vertical rectangles with horizontal lines inside.
- The shoulders are angled with a vertical panel on top.
- The forearms have distinct panels on the sides, like an extra layer of armor.
- The chest has a shield shaped area in the center flanked by two raised rectangles on either side.
- The waist/hip area has a "T" shaped layer of detailing on it, almost like extra armor or even part of a belt.
- The knees have a six sided design on them. Inside are a series of horizontal lines based on the stickers found on G1 Metalhawk.
- The lower legs have a raised vertical line in the middle.
The sculpt for this shell is absolutely amazing. I never thought I would see Metalhawk even recognized outside of Japan. The Botcon exclusive was awesome, the Metalhawk from "Siege on Cybertron" was amazing but having a true "Pretender Shell" version of Metalhawk (or someone pretending to be him at least) is incredible.
The shell is cast in blue and grey plastic, just like Vector Prime himself. The chest has red, yellow and silver paint, matching a lot of the designs on G1 Metalhawk's Pretender shell. There is also silver on the knee armor. An Autobot symbol is painted in silver in the middle of the chest, emulating the placement of G1 Metalhawk's Autobot symbol. I love the deco on this figure and the sheer amount of paint used is great for a figure at this price point.
The Decoy Armor has two points of articulation: the arms. The weapon accessory included with the figure can be held as a giant cannon (relative to the size of the Decoy Armor) or attached to the back for storage. Interestingly, the fist holes are 3mm, allowing you to attach Cyberverse weapons too!
Transformation to Weapon Mode:
- With the weapon attached on the back, swing the cannon forward.
- In between the feet, swing the peg down.
- Attach Vector Prime in Spark mode to the small pegs in the back.
Vector Prime's weapon mode is basically a modern take on Targetmasters. Instead of a regular weapon however, this one is partly powered by the Spark of a Transformers God! The weapon barrel is a huge single barrel with greebles running along the sides. The barrel is cast in blue plastic and mostly painted silver. The rest of the weapon looks like it is one powerful energy generator. The Spark attaches to the top. The back has a 5mm peg, allowing larger figures to hold it. Keep in mind as weapons/accessories go this weapon is pretty heavy so be selective about which figure you have holding it.
Vector Prime in Metalhawk Decoy Armor is a fantastic figure. I love the modern day take on Pretenders and the choice of character is super cool. Honestly if it were not for the loose knees this would be highly recommended, but that may just be on my copy of this figure.
- Both the Armor and inner robot are great homages to a G1 Japanese exclusive character.
- A wonderful modern take on the Pretender concept that some considered goofy in the 80's.
- Really fun and impressive weapon mode.
- If you are not a fan of the Pretender concept, this likely won't change your mind.
- The Spark "panel" is connected to the figure by a pin instead of a screw. Fans who liked to customize these figures with fan-made head panels will not be happy about this.
- The face sculpt could be a bit more sharply defined.
- Knee joints are loose on my copy of this figure.