Tuesday, 6 September 2011
V is for Vector Prime
The Winning Toy
"Vector Prime is one of the first Transformers. A powerful, wise and incredibly ancient warrior, he has served as protector over Cybertron since it's beginnings. Pulled out of the shadows by a distress signal broadcast by his damaged planet, he arrives too late to save Cybertron without assistance. Arising from an era in which all Transformers lived in harmony, he is unaware of the conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons, a fact that Megatron uses to trick him and steal the map to the lost planets and the planet keys. Realizing his mistake, he joins Optimus Prime and pledges his knowledge and skill to the desperate quest to retrieve the planet keys before Megatron."
Generation: Unicron Trilogy (but all by extension)
Size Class: Voyager
Vector Prime's robot mode is actually quite reminiscent of the G1 series as he is quite bulky and box-like in design, but he actually makes it work quite well (this was from a pre-Classics toyline remember). Vector Prime is mostly white, with brown, gold and green highlights across his whole form. He also features sculpted details that shows panelling and fine detailing. The most distinguishing feature of this torso is the red orb inside the green disk on his chest, which could be seen as his Spark Chamber, and is also neatly hidden behind his Cyber Planet Key when it's clipped in (the port is just below the dish). When inserted, the Cyber Planet Key just activates some sound bytes....let's just pretend that a forcefield goes up or something, 'kay?
Vector Prime's arms are connected to the upper portion of the torso by a stiff hinge-pivot joint that clicks when it's rotated. The lower arms are connected by a pivot-hinge combination that enables the lower arms to be rotated fully and flexed 90 degrees forwards as well. Vector Prime's hands are sculpted with fingers and have peg holes for him to hold his sword and other similarly sized weapons. His shoulders are hidden behind two large shoulder pads that can be lowered up or down if you desire (as part of his transformation sequence too), the shoulder pads can be removed as well if you want to with no damage to the toy. Vector Prime's lower arms have a sliding panel that can mostly hide the hands and also holds two of the three Mini-Con hard-points, designed so Safeguard can be posed as a blaster if you want him to.
The legs are connected to the lower torso/groin area by another pivot-hinge joint that leads to a knee joint created by a pivot-hinge combination again, enabling it to rotate around and be placed in a seating pose. The feet are connected by a stiff hinge that can be folded backwards as far as possible (almost 3/4 the way) though it's not that necessary to put it that way. His feet are sculpted with blasters as "toes", so I guess he can shoot you whilst kicking you too.
Vector Prime's head is a brown and silver helmet with green face and red eyes. He is sculpted with eyes, nose, mouth, chin, cheeks, forehead chevron and other such things. Now I shouldn't have to tell you this, but Vector Prime's face is actually design to resemble the Autobot Insignia, so you might think it looks familiar because of that.
Vector Prime's vehicle mode wings are folded down into a cloak-like appendage that can be raised upwards or opened up for whatever reasons you have (like pretending it's a flight mode or shield generator or something), but it is designed to look like a cloak. The bulk of Vector Prime's vehicle mode is folded back and hangs off his back, which adds to the cloak look of his physique. His third Mini-Con hard-point is located in the middle of the recessed area just above his Autobot insignia, and he also has a rubberised clear blue plastic sword hidden inside the right hand side of this area which can be held by Vector Prime.
Vector Prime's Cyber Planet Key is designed to look like a gear (keeping the theme alive) which, rather than having just one Planet's symbol, actually has all four, plus a small Autobot insignia as well. Since Vector Prime comes originally from an era before the war, this could imply that there was no Decepticon faction in the distant past.
Vector Prime's vehicle mode is a mostly white ancient Space Shuttle covered in finely sculpted deatils, most of which being gear-like in design, just to show how old he is.
Vector Prime has a pair of translucent wings that I'd assume are meant to be Solar Wings of sorts, especially since he's from an ancient era when they would have been using more natural resources, and with what could be small thrusters on the rear ends of the wings as well. What adds to my belief that these are Solar Wings and small thrusters is that he doesn't have any other thrusters unlike on most other aircraft Transformers.
The forward section of the vehicle is mostly just a long protrusion that culminates in a missile firing gimmick at the very tip of it (must resist phallus comparison....). Underneath the protrusion are two pairs of non-firing guns. Vector Prime has a translucent green cockpit window about halfway down the protrusion (though there's nothing inside it to look at, which is a missed opportunity). Just above the cockpit is his tiny Autobot insignia (it's odd that a Prime would have just one tiny insignia like that). Behind the cockpit is a recess designed to hold Safeguard in Vehicle mode, so he can act as an extra weapon, or as an escape vessel or captain's yacht or something.
Vector Prime has a Mini-Con! YAY!!!
As I mentioned in an earlier review very few new mold characters from the Cybertron series came with a Mini-Con, so Vector Prime stand out for a good reason because of Safeguard (not that Vector Prime isn't cool on his own anyway). An interesting thing to mention however is that, when you compare the two, Safeguard and Vector Prime are actually quite similar in terms of transformation sequence and general appearance.
Safeguard is a mostly white figure with black upper limbs, green highlights and face. His Mini-Con socket is located on his stomach area and is sculpted with pecs and some mechanical parts integrated into his body. His head is encased on a helmet with two points at either side and a recessed chevron on the forehead. Safeguard's face however consists of a green face mask and a pair of unpainted white eyes.
Safeguard's arms are connected to his upper torso by a pivot joint that leads to his ball joint elbow. His hands are purely sculpted with fingers that are (obviously) not articulated. He also has a het wing on the forearm as well.
Safeguard's legs are connected by a bar to his groin area which enables them to move independently of one another. His lower legs are connected by a small pivot bar each creating a knee joint, then enables him to bend them backwards by about 75 degrees, and his feet are able to fold back fully as well at about 180 degrees. The lower legs have his two smaller rear wings/fins attached to them. Interestingly Safeguard seems to have shoes on, since his feet seem to have soles and heels.
Safeguard's vehicle mode is of a long nosed Space Jet, which can also double as a robot mode blaster for Vector Prime to use by clipping him into one of his Mini-Con hard-points.
Since his introduction into the franchise in the Cybertron series (2005), Vector Prime has been used quite a lot (especially since he's a character introduced in a series that isn't G1). As he was introduced as one of the first Transformers, and extremely old, he was one of the first characters to be placed into "The Original Thirteen", the very first Transformers to be created by Primus on Cybertron along with Prima, Megatronus Prime (The Fallen), Liege Maximo and Alpha Trion, and later being joined by Nexus Prime and Solus Prime (with the others still needing to be named/identified).
Vector Prime's primary function in the franchise is to watch over time and space, meaning that he's been present at some of the iconic moments in the history of the Transformers, including when the Beast Era Megatron killed G1 Optimus Prime (with Vector Prime weakening the damage caused) and when Octopunch accidentally woke up Primus, which in turn alerted every incarnation of Unicron to Primus' location.
In the Cybertron TV series, Vector Prime was introduced when he arrived through a time rift above Cybertron and alerted the Autobots to the dangers of the Black Hole and makes them search for the Cyber Planet Keys to restore the balance and wake up Primus in this universe. Vector Prime helped them until just after Galvatron stole the Omega Lock and the four Keys, after which Vector Prime used his time/space powers to manipulate events so the Autobots could chase him (they were trapped in an alternate universe after the theft) after which he disintegrated into nothingness, seemingly dying. His spirit later appeared to help Optimus in his final battle with Galvatron, and then later appeared in the astral plane fighting Galvatron's spirit as well. Vector Prime also appeared in the Collector's Club's companioning comic that showed how he arrived on Cybertron ad also showed him fighting with Ramjet before being forced to Earth by Over-Run so he could let things continue at their natural pace in regards to the Nexus Prime Quintet.
Elsewhere, Vector Prime appeared on the Hasbro website as the one who answered the viewer's questions in the "Ask Vector Prime" segment, and also was mentioned in the Allspark Almanac books for the Animated series where he described some events and even did a special "Ask Vector Prime" segment as well. Vector Prime is also set to appear in the Aligned continuity through the novels, as are most of the Original Thirteen.
Vector Prime's toy has been repainted twice into updated versions of himself (both golden-based repaints) one under the name of Galaxy Force Vector Prime in the Cybertron series, and the other just being as a representative of himself for the Universe 2.0 series, both of these has similarly recoloured Safeguard's as well. His toy has also been repainted and remolded into the Botcon 2007 figure Alpha Trion, whom is meant to be the first version of the G1 character as an official toy, and was also later recast as the Shattered Glass version of the character (that's right, two members of the Original Thirteen who use the same mold!) the Mini-Con who came with Alpha Trion was repainted and renamed as well as Beta Maxx, most likely as a nod to the G1 character from the Quintesson Era of Cybertron who was part of Alpha Trion's resistance cell.
Vector Prime's over all design is quite clearly based on the comic-only character, The Last Autobot, whom was revealed right near the end of the Marvel comic series. The name Safeguard was later used for the combined form of the Jet Twins from Transformers Animated.
Is he Cool?
Vector Prime is a very cool toy, he may be getting on in years nowadays, but that doesn't matter...in fact it kind of helps with his image as an elderly character that his toy is looking more aged now than it did back then!
I mean lets just face the facts here, his vehicle mode looks fantastic, he has some great accessories (his cool Cyber Planet Key, Safeguard and a bendy sword!) and can also interact with them all quite well. Also his knight-like appearance and the fact that he's one of the Original Thirteen helps things along as well.
The only real complaint I have about this figure is that his Cyber Planet Key and Mini-Con don't unlock any other features, unlike with the other figures who feature either one of the other. But then again, that's a very minor complaint.
If you can find Vector Prime (or one of his repainted nakesakes) in the shop, then I'd say he's fairly worth having, he's a decent figure and can fit in nicely with the updated Classics series'. Also, it's fun to get him to fight with your ROTF or Titanium "The Fallen" or with Universe Ramjet.