"Timelines" Nova Prime Toy Review


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General Information:
Release Date: May 2015
Price Point: $59.00
Retailer: Transformers Collector's Club Exclusive
Accessories: Axe, Rifle

One of the first Transformers Collector's Club exclusives released in 2015 was Nova Prime. This figure is a redeco of the Transformers Collector's Club exclusive Lio Convoy sporting the same new head design. The base sculpt for both Lio Convoy and Nova Prime was the "Generations" Orion pax figure. Check out both those previous reviews for a detailed look at the original sculpt and how it was changed for the Lio Convoy release. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Nova Prime was one of the Primes that came before Optimus Prime. The character believed Transformers were the greatest life form in the universe and through a long series of events would eventually become Nemesis Prime, a being who carried an anti-Matrix known as "The Darkness". This is a character one can argue was never quite "good" despite having an Autobot symbol slapped on his chest but he is powerful all the same and not someone to be taken lightly in battle.

Nova Prime is one of the figures you can purchase from the Transformers Collector's Club, separate from the free figure for the year's membership and the subscription service. That means instead of a plain cardboard box, his box is much more upscale. It's a solid cardboard box with artwork wrapping around the top cover including art showing Galva Convoy, Lio Convoy and Nova Prime together (which makes sense since all three characters are represented by the same toy in "Timelines"). The inside has the figure in vehicle mode resting in soft foam. There is another slot that allows you to fit Lio Convoy (or Galva Convoy) into the box. It's a really nice packaging job.

Nova Prime comes with two accessories. One is a rifle cast in black plastic based on Optimus Prime's original G1 weapon. The second weapon is an axe cast in translucent blue plastic. The handle is painted black and the blades are translucent blue. The handle is 5mm wide and there is a 5mm peg on the side.

Vehicle Mode:
Nova Prime's vehicle mode is a long nose truck. While this mode technically comes from Orion Pax's vehicle form, it works really nicely for Nova Prime. His IDW Publishing comic book form suggests a truck from the details on his legs to wheels on his arms. When he appeared in the "Transformers Legends" mobile card game he was indeed a truck in his vehicle form, complete with armor plates that extended in the back (becoming wings in robot mode). In that respect this vehicle mode works perfectly for the character. The front is a long nose and the back section has four panels that extend to the rear of the vehicle. These distinctive details help solidify him as Nova Prime in this form.

This vehicle is mostly cast in black and white plastic, with translucent blue used for the windows. Unlike Lio Convoy, most of the vehicle is white with black plastic used for smaller parts like the wheels and the panels on the back. Black and white are two of the key colors on Nova Prime so this works well.

The paint colors used are gold, black, blue, silver and yellow. The black is the most heavily used color. It's used on the edges of the front section, under the grill and under the headlights. It also covers the section behind the front wheel wells as well as the design on the doors. The rest of the colors are used for smaller details. Blue is used on the grille sections in the front. Yellow is used for the headlights and the lights on top of the cabin section. Gold is used on small details on the hood, the sides and the small indentations on the flat panels on the back of the vehicle. Finally the rims on the wheels are painted silver. This is a very intricate color scheme, especially when you compare it to the original Orion Pax figure. Even better, this is a different deco pattern than you'll find on Lio Convoy, making it intricate and distinct.

The vehicle mode rolls on four wheels. You can attach the weapons to the area in front of each rear wheel well.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the middle section of the vehicle's front end up.
  3. Swing out each half of the vehicle's panels that include the front wheel wells.
  4. Pull the rear section up.
  5. Push the two front wheels out to the side.
  6. Swing the windshield section up. The back panels that move with it will form the robot arms.
  7. Push the wheels to the back now.
  8. Swing the robot arms out and in, connecting the groove at the shoulder section to the tabs sticking out the sides of the chest section.
  9. Push the panel on the top of the middle section to reveal the robot head.
  10. Rotate each forearm around then swing out each fist.
  11. Rotate the lower body around.
  12. Push in the panels from the side of the vehicle mode against the lower legs.
  13. Split the legs in the middle.
  14. Swing each foot down and rotate it around so the foot is pointing forward.
  15. Each weapon can fit in one of Nova Prime's hands.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode Nova Prime features the same head sculpt as Lio Convoy. Nova Prime's original head design was loosely based off of the "Big Convoy" head, and all these "Prime/Convoy" figures share certain common features including the crest on the top of the head, a mouthplate and antennae on the sides so this works just fine for the character.

Like the vehicle mode white is the central color in this mode, but black appears on more parts here including the thighs, the upper arms, the armor plate on his forearms and the base that his robot head sits on. The translucent blue plastic winds up on his chest. Once again the black paint shows prominently in this form. You'll find it right under the chest, on the knee armor, the sides of the legs and on the head. White paint is used on the head, the waist and the hips. The gold appears on the middle of the torso, the lower legs and the feet. The color really pops against the white plastic. The chamber inside his chest is painted silver with blue in the center. Laid over the blue is an Autobot symbol in white outline. Yellow paint is used on his head and right under the chest. Blue not only appears on his legs (a carry over from the vehicle mode) but also on his hip section and eyes. Like the vehicle mode the colors in this mode look great and they fill in a lot of details. Given the premium price of the figure I'm very glad to see such a detailed deco on Nova Prime.

All nineteen points of articulation in this mode are nice and tight, which is good to see considering this particular set of tooling has been used a few times already. The weapons also hold nice and firm in his hands.

Final Thoughts:
Nova Prime is a great looking figure. He represents the character nicely even though it's not perfect (he would need the wings on his back for that). It's also a fun figure with an intuitive transformation and really cool weapons. That said, I think more people may have an attachment to Orion Pax or Lio Convoy and given the premium price of this figure, your mileage will vary. Personally I'm happy to have him as part of my collection!

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