Saturday 12 February 2011

Galaxy Force Vector Prime.

vector head
Oh Galaxy Force, how I love your ways.  It started a while ago now and after the awful toys that categorised Armada and the hit and miss of Energon, we were blessed by the joys of Cybertron.   Sure the cartoon never justified it’s existence in the ‘Unicron Trilogy’ (of Armada, Energon and Cybertron) until TT said it was.  That cartoon series was a little poor anyway.  However, the toys were all pretty Shmick!  Vector Prime here was in the first lot released and is special as he was the first toy made of one of the original 13 Transformers.  Making him very old. 

The old theme runs through Vector Prime’s spark like a little fat kid in a lolly shop.  That’s why I like him and decided to dig him out of his box and do….

A review on Vector Prime!!!
I would like to point out from the start that this is actually the Galaxy Force version of Vector, which means that it is the Takara version from Japan.  Hasbro named the GF series Cybertron and there is a few differences between the two.  Later on they rereleased Vector under one of the universe lines (there have been a few…) and gave him a golden colour and named him Galaxy Force Vector Prime ( I think).  This is not that one. 


Vector Prime is supposed to be one of these eternal ‘watching’ type characters.  Outside the normal laws of time and space, he showed up in the first episode of Galaxy Force and produced a map to Galaxy Convoy to lead them to find the Force Chips that would save Cybertron from the black hole that was about to consume it.  He has a nice sword which can cut holes through space ( and time as well) and has the ability to turn back time for a while, although it does consume large amounts of energy.  He is also one of the original 13 Transformers created by Primus, others being Alpha Trion and Megatronus and a bunch of others.

Vector Prime is a voyager toy, and Galaxy Force was the first series to use this scale.  At the time I find it most annoying, as I had only just gotten used to the sizing they had used from Armada and Energon, still it meant that a new size of toy was able to be fitted in and it was Voyager.  It is also a little interesting to compare the voyagers from this line to some of the other voyager toys and they seem quite a bit smaller. Case in point, Classics Optimus Prime and Animated Bulkhead easily come to mind.

The toy itself consists of a simple transformation, as well as simple colours.  Mostly grey plastic, copper paint with golden hilights and a bit of aqua colour in places.  I like the look he exudes, when I look at him, it makes me think of an old clockwork watch, especially the copper colours.  The other reason I think about clocks is because he has a strong gears motif about him.  Well, it’s strong enough in that his mould is covered in little gear looking bits all over.  Appropriate for a timeless character really.  I love the moulding, although the transformation is really simple, the vehicle mode and robot mode are covered in the gears and all parts have some texture or another to looks at.  No Boring bits here.


The robot mode looks very regal, the wings of the space ship fold back and the nose of the ship fold down the back, forming a cape effect.  His head is inspired by the Autobot symbol, and apparently was originally going to be the symbol, but was changed.    The articulation is reasonably good.  Knees can twist and bend, shoulders can move in/out/up/down  and the elbows bend as well as a twist on the fore-arms,  his feet have a bit of movement, but that is from the transformation process.  No waist movement as he has a speaker in his chest that makes a variety of noises. 
A small laser blast noise that is activated when you move his left arm up, a kind of power-up hum when the Force Chip is inserted and a power-up hum then a weird smash kind of noise when you move his arm with the Force Chip inserted. Not entirely sure what it is supposed to be at this moment.  Energon and Galaxy force were renowned for having stupid sound chips in the toys that were large enough to be awkward but not powerful enough to make some decent/cool noises.  It also requires 2 AAA batteries, just for the 3 different sounds…  Luckily VP manages to avoid being unbalanced due to the batteries, so his only loss is waist movement.  The noises do go off at the drop of a hat though, so after putting in some batteries for these photos to remind me of what the sounds were, I soon remembered why I took them out…

The Force Chip (Planet Key in Hasbro’s Cybertron) was used to activate various powerups for each toy.  Any chip can go into any figure, but they were decorated by which planet the character came from, so for example Transformers who found their power on Earth, got an Earth Planet key, Velicitron got a different key etc. etc. VP here, has his own clockwork key that ha the symbols of all four planets featured and also has the Autobot symbol in it as well.  I like this key, as it looks like a wind up toys key, which keeps in with the clockwork theme.  It plugs into his belt and makes for a nice bit belt buckle and covers the blue spark looking part of his chest.  I can’t actually remember when VP uses his in the cartoon to be honest, but I am sure he does. 


VP also comes with a sword (cleverly named the ‘Vector sword’), that rather nicely forms part of the ship and can be stowed in the same area when in robot mode.  It ends up mounted on his back and he can almost reach over his back to grab it when needed.  the sword has some nice flowing details on it and towards the hilt, it goes for the old cog theme and it looks like an English styled long sword, the type that King Arthur would whip out on the battlefield.  I like the way that his weapons are stored in both modes on this figure.  Oddly enough though, I have noticed that the handle of the sword is a touch too large for VP’s fists. I wonder if it is just mine, or all of them, I have found that I have had to apply a bit of force and a semi-screwing motion to get the sword into his fist, so now the handle has a tiny bit of relatively unnoticeable damage.


He also comes with a Minicon who goes by the name of Roots and has the same coloured plastic and aqua paint. Roots transforms into a little plane, with a really huge barrel  Obviously designed as a weapon first, space ship second.  He plugs in nicely into the nose of  VP’s vehicle mode and look like part of him.  He can also stay there for VP’s robot mode for some weapon stowing action, or he can be plugged onto VP’s gauntlets for some blammo!  Roots doesn’t look as old as VP, but he still has some nice detailing on him and a pretty good whack of articulation for such a small figure, although balance is bad if you take one of his feet off the ground.  Although designed as a gun first, it still looks good as a small ship, obviously a gunship (badaboomtish!).


The vehicle mode is a rather cool looking long nosed space ship of some sort.  The wings look like they are based on sails and are translucent blue plastic border by copper paint.  Hasbro’s version doesn’t have the paint on the wings.  They have a couple of options for placement with the wings and a hinge joint on them that doesn’t actually need to be there.  On other figures of this series, there appear to be parts that look like they may have been made for some extra bits, but were never used.  I wonder of VP is in this group (Another was Hotshot/Excillion, he looks like he has a joint just behind his spoiler).  I like the way the cogs can be seen easily in this mode and even though it is very chunky, it manages to carry and air of age upon it.  The feet and legs clip underneath and the feet have a couple of blasters off them, and there area couple of radar dishes in blue plastic that connect to his ankle in robot mode here.  The arms of the robot are just covered by the gauntlets and shoulder pieces, and the back of the head is visible.  Pretty much all of the robot can be spotted in vehicle mode, but it doesn’t look out of place and still manages to be a good vehicle mode.


The nose of the vehicle has some nice paint detail on it and the blue that is there looks like a sword and conveniently points to the place where the missile can be launched from as well.  the missile is the translucent blue colour of the radars and manages to fit in nicely when mounted in its spot.  The vehicle also manages to avoid looking out of place without the missile as well.  The launcher for the missile is located under the barrel of Roots when he is on top, so it can be hard tor each sometimes.  Still, its a nice effect that is finished well with the paint on top.  The sword clips nicely into the side of the nose cone and the hilt forms a bit of the ship, which is symmetrically copied on the other side, although the colours are different.  If you decide to send Roots off on his own separate missions, there is a gap in the top of VP, but it allows for the cockpit to be seen and has more cogs moulded in there for viewing pleasure.  Now, if we assume that VP is large enough to fit humans in the cockpit, that would make Roots about the same size as a human fighter jet, which would make him one very large Minicon.  but I don’t think scale applies here, as Roots seems the same size as the other Minicons, which manage to fit humans in them, despite the fact that their robot mode was about the same height, if not only slightly taller than humans, unlike Armada, where they were small all the time.   ARRRRGH! The dilemma of Transformers and mass/size/physics.


Ok, to sum this baby up.  VP is a nice large, simple figure, with both modes managing to fit extremely well with his role, excellent moulding and a solid vehicle mode that stays with simple, but effective transformation just add to the extra bits such as weapon storage and overall look to make this toy a very enjoyable fellow.  The only real downsides are the sacrifices made to the waist for the sound options.  Even those aren’t enough to detract from the overall coolness of this toy.  I prefer the Takara one over the Hasbro one, mainly due to the extra paint applications and the plastic colour, which is a nice grey on Takara’s and a white on Hasbro’s which is just a touch wrong.

More Pictures of this awesome toy!

In Vehicle mode.

And robot mode.


Minicon and VP weaponed!!

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