"Alternators" Nemesis Prime Toy Review


General Information:
Release Year: July 2006
Retailer: San Diego Comic-Con, Hasbrotoyshop, Mastercollector exclusive
Price: $25.00
Accessories: Engine/weapon

When it comes to the Transformers universe, think of "evil" and you may picture Unicron or Megatron (in any of their incarnations). However, when the Transformers: Car Robots series was released, evil gained a new form with a familiar face: Black Convoy (who would later be renamed Scourge in the US). This was a redeco of the Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime toy - now an "evil" version of Optimus Prime. As time has gone on, more characters based on this archetype have been released including Armada Nemesis Prime. The first Decepticon Alternators release in quite some time takes the form of another Nemesis Prime, this time one set in the "Alternators/Binaltech" universe.

Only 3,000 of these figures were made for limited release between the Hasbro store at San Diego Comic-Con 2006, the Hasbrotoyshop.com and the Mastercollector shop. The tale of the difficulty fans had obtaining this figure are the stuff of fan legend (and frustration) but suffice it to say this was a limited, much sought after figure.

As part of the marketing of the figure for Comic-Con, Hasbro marketing commissioned the following bio note for Nemesis Prime with the intent of placing him (and the Alternators line) in Binaltech continuity:

For years, Dr. Arkeville has labored during his rare free moments in a laboratory hidden even from his DECEPTICON allies, as well as the prying eyes of Concurrence agents. He has painstakingly built this shell with his own hands, made out of parts pilfered from DECEPTICON repair lockers over a period of months. It is the most powerful of the Binaltech bodies created: a near perfect melding of robot technology, Earthling construction and miniaturization techniques, enhanced with the improvisations of one of Earth's most brilliant technical minds.

This plan was hatched years ago when Arkeville had the opportunity to remain close to OPTIMUS PRIME long enough to acquire a near-complete scan of his programming using a subspace-impulse cloner of his own design. Years of hacking since has brought Arkeville to a level of understanding of TRANSFORMERS programming decades beyond any other on Earth. Housed within this deadly shell is a near complete clone of the great OPTIMUS PRIME, reprogrammed as a tool of destruction and a scion of command. If MEGATRON cannot be trusted to destroy the AUTOBOTS and leave Earth in his hands, then Arkeville will provide the DECEPTICONS with a leader more than fully capable of doing so. His NEMISIS PRIME is more than a weapon; he is the ultimate military commander - ruthless, efficient, calculating and above all wise. He is a consummate warrior, a perfect fighter, a victory engine.

One thing only remains: to provide a motive force, that thing the TRANSFORMERS refer to as a Spark. Recent experimentation with the
subspace displacement technology of the AUTOBOT Translink Project has revealed an extra-spatial power source of unheard of proportions. Linking this power source to his creation should be a simple matter of constructing the appropriate subspace conduits. And once this is done NEMESIS PRIME will rise, and all who stand against him will be laid waste.

At first glance, you'll notice that this tough pick-up truck has all the details - right down to the flip-down tailgate, detailed interior and side-view mirrors. A twist here, a turn there and you'll find this Dodge Ram vehicle changes into an amazing robot with a secret weapon!

Nemesis Prime is (appropriately) a redeco of Alternators Optimus Prime. Read that review for a more detailed look at the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
Nemesis Prime is a Dodge Ram pickup truck in vehicle mode. He is primarily cast in black plastic (one of the staple colors of all Scourges/Nemesis Primes). His windows are cast in translucent red plastic. The headlights and rear lights are primarily cast in translucent clearl plastic with orange parts underneath the outer layer. The sides of the wheels are cast in silver along with the underside of the vehicle showing mechanical parts and tubes.

Nemesis has several of the same printed details as Alternators Optimus Prime, specifically the ones that brand the vehicle mode. On the front grille is the distinctive four sectioned front end (meant to evoke large tractor trailer trucks). On the top of the grille is the Ram head symbol Dodge used for their pickup truck line. The hood has the "Viper" logo stamped on both sides of the air intake. On each door is the "RAM SRT-10" text also found on Alternators Optimus Prime. Like Optimus Prime, Nemesis' license plate places him as being "from" California. Instead of "Prime" and an Autobot symbol however, the license plate "number" is the word Nemesis. Commemorating its limited nature and release date simultaneously, the text "July" and "2006" can be found on either side of the word "California" on the license plate.

I haven't had the same problem with the hood on Nemesis Prime as I did with Optimus. Indeed, upon messing with Optimus a bit more I discovered the problem can be corrected (with a ton of adjustments to the robot shoulders in vehicle mode). Here the problem simply is not as pronounced although why that is the case is hard to say. I could imagine it having something to do with plastic flexibility but that's just theory.

Nemesis Prime rolls on four "Cybertronian Radial" tires, the same types that came with Optimus Prime.

Robot Mode:
The robot form is where Nemesis Prime is most dissimilar from his predecessor. Almost the entire robot mode is cast in black plastic with the exception of the upper arm sections that are cast in silver. This even extends to the hands, which are cast in black as opposed to another color (Optimus' were cast in blue).

On each shoulder is a tampographed Decepticon symbol with a silver border around the purple parts. The crest is painted metallic blue (another staple Nemesis Prime/Scourge color) and the eyes are dark red. The nose and mouthplate are painted silver. The metallic blue color is also found on the lower arms and on the legs. However, the pattern used on these parts are different than those used on Optimus. Optimus' forearms did not have additional paint applications over the middle sections like Nemesis. On the legs, the outer edges of his knee sections are painted blue as opposed to just the top on Optimus. The vent like details on the middle of each leg are painted at the top and on the bottom there is an "H" section painted metallic blue as well. Finally, some silver paint is used on the gun barrel.

While it is very basic, I was happy to see a different color scheme used for Nemesis Prime as opposed to the one used on Optimus in this mode. The one thing that I did notice is that Nemesis Prime's joints are much more loose than Optimus'. I don't have other Nemesis Primes to compare this one to, nor have I heard reports of others saying anything about the joints. He's not "floppy", just not as tight and stable as Optimus.

Final Thoughts:
Nemesis Prime is based off a good sculpt and has a nice "evil" looking color scheme. If he was easily purchased at any retail shop I'd recommend him more strongly. However he will cost you $50 minimum on the secondary market (if not more) so I will recommend this only to hardcore completists.

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