Posts tagged with "sentinel prime" - 1
Posted July 10, 2016 at 4:30 am

Optimus Prime once just used to be one dude's name.  But then Rodimus Prime happened and then the franchise decided that there were a bunch of _____ Primes that came before Optimus, and that "Prime" was a title.  Thanks, Rodimus!  I'm not sure how facetious that thanks is.  Generally when the mythos is "grown" like that, it can be kinda irritatingly obtuse.  But I think I'm fine with it.  Usually.

It was decided in the Marvel comics, in the same brush stroke that decided that Prime was a title that we learned that the guy who came before Optimus Prime was called Sentinel Prime.  It was just a series of name drops, but there was a panel from the UK stories a while prior that showed a yellow and orange and red robot handing the Matrix to Optimus as the former was dying.  So that was probably Sentinel Prime.  Years later, the Dreamwave comics would show us Sentinel Prime's forearm as he died, defeated by Megatron.  It started to look like "we only get to see Sentinel Prime as he dies" was going to be a thing.  

As Animated, the IDW comics, the War for Cybertron video game, and then later the third live-action movie gave us Sentinel Primes, it became obvious that Sentinel Prime, as he was forced to have an actual characterization, had to live in contrast with Optimus Prime.  Optimus is the hero, and he kind of sucks up all the heroism in a room, and so Sentinel Prime became the jerk or the ineffectual leader or the secretly-kinda-genocidal-facist grandpa.  Y'know, pick something that Optimus does really well, make Sentinel the opposite of that, and demonstrate why Optimus needed to show up and replace him.

The Titans Return toyline, much to my inner 12-year-old's boggling, now has a sweet G1-style Sentinel Prime toy.  Despite having gone through so many iterations -- and despite obviously being Astrotrain painted to hopefully look like somebody else -- this toy still has a through-line to that first Marvel UK panel of the later-to-be-named Sentinel Prime.  He's still orange and yellow and red, though the ratio of orange to yellow's been flipped, and he still has those three rectangles on his lower ribcage.  That was one of the few bits of character design that managed to make it into the IDW reimagining of the original Sentinel Prime, those three rectangles.  Artist Alex Milne made them into a cockpit window split into three, and here on this new toy they're no longer a cockpit window, but that detail remains all the same.  The head (which now transforms into a tiny robot, Infinitus) harkens entirely to the IDW design, which covered up the mouth with an Optimus-esque mouthplate, albeit retractable.  The rest is, well, an orange and red and yellow Astrotrain.  

Despite essentially being a Voyager Class retry of the 2007 Deluxe Class Astrotrain, the larger toy feels less ambitious.  Its transformation, at its core, is pretty simple.  He's a robot, and then he pins his limbs together and he's a shuttle, and then he spreads out and he's an armored train.  There's some small panel flipping here and there to cover up what you don't want to see (along with covering up the entire torso in train mode with a giant pile of shuttle wrapped around it like foil on a potato), but it feel perfunctory.  

The packaging renders and early convention sample appearances led us to believe that his feet in robot mode are supposed to be train parts instead of the shuttle nose, but in practice this possibly not the best solution, as the instructions warn us to try the shuttle nose halves as feet instead.  Otherwise, the angle of the feet makes it rough to stand the robot on on uneven surfaces like carpeting, but the train feet are generally fine on a very flat surface.  I like trying to use those feet because they look "eviler."  Just lots of sharp angles.  The shuttle nose halves look like tap shoes, and as we all know tap shoes are benevolent.

As stated above, the head transforms into the tiny Infinitus.  I feel like his name and future Astrotrain's head partner, Darkmoon, were switched at some point.  Like, Sentinel Prime was in Dark of the Moon?  Doesn't "Darkmoon" make more sense for him?  And "Infinitus" could be a play on how Astrotrain is a space man, a la Buzz Lightyear with his infinity and beyond.  Anyway, Infinitus pops off the shoulders, becomes a dude, and is meant to pilot Sentinel Prime in vehicle modes.  He can do this either from the translucent orange cockpit on top of either vehicle or from the seat inside the wider of Sentinel Prime's two weapons.  Other Titans Return toys have a smattering of tiny pegs to apply your tiny head dudes to, but Sentinel seems completely devoid of them, unless I've missed one tucked away.  As such, he's missing a little play value.  I like sticking those little head dudes on the bigger dudes' shoulders and whatnot.  

Anyway, in the IDW comics, Sentinel Prime is gonna come back somehow and restore Cybertron to its former greatness probably.  They never should have let him host SNL.

Posted August 28, 2012 at 11:21 pm

So, you may be asking yourself, hey, webcartoonist guy, why would you buy a Reprolabels set that mostly enhances a fire truck that a) is a bitch to get the toy into and b) results in a winceworthy sea of unaligned panels when you make the attempt?  Because I'm insane, that's why.  And because in theory I like big accurate fire trucks that happen to transform into robots.  And I really like that field of stripes that's now on the rear.

This thing had probably fifteen billion stickers, half of which were tiny millimeter-wide lights.  It took me a while.

But I like it.

Here's the Sentinel Prime toy unstickered, photographed way back.
Posted May 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm
It's Optimus Prime's dad!

The live-action Transformers films have been making the craaaaaaziest stuff super-mainstream.  Not that I'm complaining, no.  It's actually crazy in the awesome way.  Kids know who The Fallen is. That is absolutely insane. And suddenly it's gonna get kinda Sentinel Prime-y up in this bitch.

A Sentinel Prime was just in Transformers Animated, to be sure, but he was a far cry from the original concept of the character.  Such as it was.  Since, well, the original Sentinel Prime wasn't really anything more than a namedrop.  He was mentioned in a list of Primes once or twice in the old Marvel Comics.  He's the guy that preceded Optimus Prime as bearer of the Creation Matrix.  His job was to die offpanel so that Optimus could gank his jewelry and become important.   In Transformers Animated, that definitely wasn't the case.  Sentinel Prime was Optimus Prime's buddy/rival.  The jerk friend.  A contemporary.  And, I might add, my favorite character in the series.

But in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Sentinel Prime seems to be back to his roots.  He's the former Prime, the one that preceded Optimus, and he's gone missing or whatever and I guess his ship's on the moon.  He's the shipwrecked guy everyone saw in the first teaser trailer, beardin' it up.  We learn more about him in IDW's prequel comic series, Foundation, where he's a father figure that marched the planet into a new Golden Age and set up Optimus and Megatron as co-rulers of the planet.  But Megatron knew Sentinel liked Optimus more, what with knowing that he was a Secret Prime, and so, well, war happens.  (How Sentinel Prime ends up on a ship on the moon hasn't been covered yet.)

You may need Scotch tape to pull this off.

So, woo, yeah, I was excited about a toy of Sentinel Prime.  Like The Fallen, he's a character that builds the history and mythos of Transformers.  And he's in the first wave!  And Target employees don't often read street date notices on case assortment boxes!  Or they do and, dude, who the hell cares if some nerd has his $50 toy fifteen days early.  (Sentinel's DPCI# is 087-06-2294, btw, if you want to chance it.  That's right.  I just typed that from memory.)

But oh lord, this toy.  This toy.  I spent an hour trying to get him into vehicle mode last night.  And what a really fucking awesome vehicle mode this would be, if it were a bit easier to get into!  It's a friggin' fire truck.  Fire trucks are awesome.  Especially ones with all the little nozzles everywhere.  The attention to detail on the fire truck is great.  ...if you can get the damn robot mode into it.  Picture the most annoying Transformer you've ever attempted.  This guy might be worse.  I tried again this morning, meticulously examining each step along the way in the instructions, and still it was not incredibly enjoyable.

The instructions have gone through an overhaul.  Instead of a series of Illustrator drawings or whatever, a series of photographs are shown.  Which, you would think, would be an improvement!  In some respects it is, but... it's also pretty damn incomprehensible at times, regardless.  Some of these photos are reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally tiny, and it's hard as hell to discern how things are supposed to be oriented in such tiny pictures.  In a toy such as Sentinel Prime, where an arm rotation being a fraction of a millimeter off can cause disaster, this is a real annoyance.  Nothing like holding the instructions right up to your damn face, trying to figure out which side of the forearms are supposed to be facing which way, via an image of the toy in half-transformation that's probably no more than an inch tall... not a good time.  Not a good time.

Seriously, what the heck is this thing supposed to be?

And, yes, after a half hour or so,  you finally find out exactlyish where everything's supposed to go, and all you have to do is fold the big silver lid on the top of the truck down on top of everything, sealing it.  Ahahahaha.  No.  It doesn't want to stay there.  The lid doesn't want to seal.  And it's not because you friggin' missed a step, it's just that the tabs are too shallow.  And so it pops up at a slight angle like a bad Tupperware lid, giving you an eternal peek at the casserole inside.   This is your reward for your time spent.


Sentinel Prime comes with two handheld weapons.  The first is the "Primax blade," which is a double-bladed sword.  It folds in half and can store under the aforementioned silver lid in truck mode, if you want the lid to shut even less.  Sentinel also comes with a big Mechtech shield thing.  If you press a button on the face of it, it springloads out into an X shape.  It can store underneath the truck or mount on the top front of the truck, combined with the Primax blade in some unholy configuration that I don't understand the purpose of.

There are electronics, which are neat.  If you press a button on Sentinel Prime's sternum, his mouth opens and he says, "I AM SENTINEL PRIME!" in a voice that can vaguely pass as Leonard Nimoy if you're forgiving.  In vehicle mode you press a button on the roof of the fire truck and sirens blare.

He will spend his time in robot mode.  And when I decide my life is too happy, I will attempt to transform him, to knock myself down a few pegs.
Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:01 am
SP! avatar wallpaper

So as we were debuting the new site this weekend, Frumph says to me, hey, guess what, this is awesome.  See all those folks with no avatars?  Well, what if I told you that if you uploaded your own avatars to a certain directory and did some Comicpress magic, they'd be randomly assigned to unavatared users?

So I says, holy balls!

And so after crankin' out a handful every day since then, there are now a total of 24 avatars in the pool.  If you don't have an avatar and you post, you'll get randomly assigned, say, Sodomuffin.  And then every time you post, you'll keep that Sodomuffin avatar.  (... at least until I upload a new image into the pool, which restarts the math and they all get switched around again)

Since I have so many, and I put so much work into them despite being tiny 64x64 things, I thought I'd show them to you big as a wallpaper.  You are also free to crop them out and make your own avatars on other boards, so long as you give me credit.  I am also wondering if maybe I should try to do this a print or a poster or something in the meager number of hours I have remaining before C2E2, but we'll see.

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