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Toy Review: Transformers DOTM Leader Class Sentinel Prime

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On May 16th, Hasbro released its new toy line for Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Thought lost to the far reaches of space, Sentinel Prime was on a special mission for the Autobots, one that would win them the war. But before his ship could exit the atmosphere of Cybertron, it was badly damaged by Decepticon Seekers, leaving Sentinel Prime to drift in the vast expanse of space. Many thought he was lost to the cosmos, until now. Sentinel Prime returns to fight alongside Optimus Prime and his fellow Autobots to try and rid the galaxy of Decepticon tyranny.

Sentinel Prime is a beautifully done figure that complements the movie design very well in both robot and truck form. His vehicle mode is of a Rosenbauer Panther 6×6 fire rescue truck. The figure can be a little back-heavy as that is where all the electronics in this figure are located. He has two sound modes in both truck and robot form.

In truck, you have the very basic siren sound effect you would almost expect from any fire truck. On the right side of the truck’s cab, there is a mech-tech port with a button inside. When you insert a weapon into this port, his sound effect changes from siren to what sounds like a blaster with missiles firing.

What’s really nice about this figure is that while most toys don’t store their weapons well, this is not the case with this figure. His sword stores inside of the rear of the fire truck, hidden from sight and safe. There is no worry about the sword disappearing if you keep it placed in the truck. Also, Sentinel’s shield stores into a slot under the truck. I especially like this as kids can sometimes lose accessories easily for toys if there isn’t a storage option. This helps prevent a child sending you on a wild goose chase for a weapon. Beyond these features, there isn’t much more to the vehicle mode. The shield can mount on top of the truck for a stealth force look but it isn’t too appealing to me.

I feel this figure truly shines in robot form. Sentinel Prime is a great representation of what you see in the movie. He has a lot of nice detail and the paint is really well done. Many small paint apps you wouldn’t expect are present on him, such as his fire engine number, light-up sirens, light-up eyes, cybertronian symbols on his shield and more. It is an exceptional figure, filled with many joints allowing for a lot of options for posing him. His head is on a simple swivel, but you get to his shoulders for full rotation, he bends and rotates at the elbows and even has some movement in his fingers.

The legs are equally efficient, with hip joints that swivel in and out and rotate. Knees bend with good articulation in the ankles and feet. There are a lot of ways I can see this figure being set up on your shelf to recreate some great moments from the movie and to let your imagination run wild. Lastly, he has two set of phrases in robot mode. His first phrase is a simple “I am Sentinel Prime.” If you mount a weapon into the mech-tech port on his right shoulder, it activates a second set of phrases for your enjoyment.

With all these great things it sounds like this figure would be a 10 out of 10, but unfortunately he does have his flaws. The figure can be difficult to transform. From truck to robot he’s fairly straightforward and not too difficult. There are a few steps that can be a bit complicated for a younger owner that will require some patience. The real complaint comes from transforming him into his truck mode. The figure is more a “panels-former” than a transformer when it comes to this aspect. This can make it difficult for a younger collector to transform this figure and will require a fair amount of patience both on the part of the child and the parent. I would suggest that parents do take the time to learn this figure’s transformation, more so than with other figures, to save time and aggravation.

If you are asking what a “panels-former” is, I will explain. To collectors of transformers, “panels-formers” are basically transformers that rely more on the use of large panels to cover most of the robot up in vehicle mode rather than actually transform the toy. These figures tend to have a bit more difficulty in transformation because you have to line up a lot of panels with one another and they don’t always stay together. A good example of a “panels-former” would be Revenge of the Fallen Leader Class Optimus Prime.

Don’t let this discourage you, however, because it is honestly not as bad as it sounds. With any transformer, practice makes perfect, especially with a “panels-former.” I would highly recommend finding his transformation on YouTube to help you along.

Overall I have to vouch for this figure. In his transformation Sentinel does have his flaws but don’t let that take away from the awesome detail, craftsmanship, and engineering put into making this figure. Hasbro really went the extra step making Sentinel Prime and it shows. I couldn’t be more pleased with a Leader Class figure. He comes full of great phases and sounds, a cool shield and sword, great paint applications, and hours of fun. Add him to your Leader Class collection to make for some great play and fun scenarios that were not seen in the movies. Let your imagination run wild and you will fall in love with this figure.

Leader Class Sentinel Prime is available now.

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