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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's review of: Sentinel Maximus

Name: Sentinel Maximus (Official Transformers Collector’s Convention 2004)
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Armoured Transport
Sub-Group: Herald of Primus / Headmaster

Quote: ‘… ‘til all are one.’

One of the Heralds created by Primus when it first withdrew its consciousness to the core of Cybertron, Sentinel Maximus has emerged from the shadows of Time to serve as a guardian over Cybertron during its darkest hour. With direct access via interdimensional data link to the nearly limitless knowledge of Vector Sigma, he is a master battlefield tactician and an ideal leader. His perfect synergy with his Mini-Con Ape-Linq is driven by a totally unified consciousness; the two ‘bots act as one in all things. The vast processing power at his disposal allows him to download holographic items into reality, and the power upgrade granted him by Primus prior to his ancient battle with a diabolical and long-forgotten entity from the southern polar regions of Cybertron make him a nearly unstoppable force on the battlefield.

Well, Sentinel Maximus… The toy certainly has a history, which demands attention before any serious review can begin.

The figure was originally advertised as a convention exclusive at the 2004 OTFCC (as BotCon was known briefly [2003-2004]). Artwork and even a bio were printed in the convention booklet. However, due to ever dreaded ‘production delays’, the figure was not physically available at the event, and could only be pre-bought. Shortly after the convention, 3H (the company who ran the conventions and provided the figures until 2004) folded and lost the Transformers license, leaving good ol’ Hasbro to deliver this promised figure. And deliver they did! Although not in the advertised packaging, with new artwork, and a new bio, there is no indication as to the fact this was a convention exclusive. But I’ll forgive them – its is such a beautiful box! And with a double plastic clamshell design, it can go on protecting Sentinel Maximus forever!

The bio and function above have been taken from the official box, but the tech-spec is from the original booklet. I’m not deliberately trying to be confusing. The final release did not come with a tech-spec, and so I felt including the original would be preferable to none at all. Still, I personally consider the final release bio to be as close to canon as possible for a character with such a convoluted past.

Plus, I’m a fan of the whole Herald thing, and feel he goes very nicely with Vector Prime.

Of course, it’s impossible to ignore the use of the name ‘Ape-Linq’ for the Mini-Con component. 'Apelinq' was a BotCon 2000 exclusive repaint of Optimus Primal – and the original profile did state that Sentinel Maximus is the combined form of Primal Prime and Apelinq.

But Sentinel Maximus appeared in the Transformers Collector’s Club comic as a Herald of Primus, and I’m very happy with that. (Besides, why would Primal Prime give up having his own head? That’s just silly!)

The toy is a remold of Armada Overload. This is a figure you either love or hate. I very much love it! Sentinel Maximus makes my second of the mold, also owning Costco Overload. However, this release offers an unparalleled level of painted detail, with brand new paint applications and an inspired colour scheme.


Alternate Mode:

Being an Overload remold, the alternate mode is still an armoured transport (as his function points out!) (measuring around 10” [25.5cm] in length). However, there is no designated Transformer for this guy to carry (although the instructions still suggest Armada Jetfire). I find the colour scheme works surprisingly well with Galaxy Force Vector Prime, and I feel that this combination is rather appropriate.

The main colours used are a metallic blue, cream and deep metallic red. Details are brought out in silver (just look at the guns at the top of the ramp – applied to perfection!), gold, black and a lighter red, while metallic blue brings the cab's windows to the fore (along with the myriad guns studding the front!). On the underside, a silver wash highlights two turbines that become the shoulders in robot mode – adding a great deal of mechanical depth to an otherwise random feature, tying them in to the whole. Finally, the front also has some grey speckled plastic, similar to that used in some of the Star Wars figures to give a ‘dusty look’. I’m not quite sure of the purpose here, unless they are heat vents when Sentinel Maximus is in weapon mode, but it looks nice – and it’s pleasing that such a touch is given to an individual component of the figure. It really exemplifies the attention paid to getting this guy right.

The ensemble gives an impression of Diaclone Powered Convoy (Ultra Magnus). However, the robot mode waits, and we must press on…


Robot Mode:

The Armada Overload mold has one of my all-time favourite transformations. It’s not too complex, but it is perfectly thought out and nicely inventive. And it’s almost as much fun with Sentinel Maximus. Almost. The missing detail is the sound when you slide Ape-Linq into place. To cut costs, the sound box (which had the original G1 transformation sound effect) was dropped. Ach well…

The resulting robot stands 8 ¼” (21cm) tall, and is bulky. (And he nicely fits in comic scale alongside RID Prime and Magnus, as well as Dark Scorponok [allowing epic bruiser battles!].) The molded detail is just as superb as ever, but with a far more detailed paint job the mold springs to life in a manner I had not imagined possible.

The colours realign themselves in such as way as to give the perfect homage to Diaclone Powered Convoy. This colour scheme can actually be seen on Ultra Magnus in some of the Japanese Transformers: The Movie trailers (my Maverick G1 Season 1 has it as an extra), and the G1 figure was released as a limited edition Movie Preview Ultra Magnus figure in Japan (2001). I’m fairly certain this is unintentional, and perhaps the Overload mold can’t help but look like Ultra Magnus, given half the chance – but it pleases this simple Transformers fan, nonetheless.

Washes have been applied beautifully on the shoulders, while so much detail is picked out in a lovely gold paint. The Autobot symbols on the shoulders are displayed on a silver background, with a black rim, and are a subtle metallic red. However, there is also a smaller silver insignia printed on the left of his torso, and a fourth can be found on a blue panel painted on the inside of his right wrist. Sentinel Maximus lucks out over Costco Overload, having baby blue tipped missiles under the shoulder insignia covers.

Aside from the radical new colour balance, the most obvious and significant change to the mold has been the creation of a new head. The result is something of a new Prime / Convoy design, with great minutiae of detail. Five colours are used, with a deep blue base, mouth plate and golden grills. The eyes are classic blue, with silver around the edges. It has to be among my top few Transformer head sculpts.

Of course, articulation is just as limited as it was with Armada Overload. The guy is, frankly, a brick. But he is a very pretty brick.


Weapon Mode:

Sentinel Maximus’s instructions do draw attention to his weapon mode combination with Armada Prime. Of course, the mode would be there even if they didn’t. I would expect it to go best with the original Armada Prime, but as I only own the Costco Energon repaint, I have avoided the combination (I think it would hurt my eyes).


Ape-Linq:

Rollout has been remolded as Ape-Linq for this release. As with the carrier section, he has been blessed with far more colour than ever before. Of particular note are the metallic blue weapons on the nose of the cab, and the pale blue wash applied to the maroon wheels. Unfortunately, though, the green on the top of the vehicle does look a little garish – but could be viewed as some sort of light assembly.

The transformation is great fun for a Mini-Con even, and the result is a rather revamped robot. The colours add a lot (I love the blue on the knees!), and the head introduces a new dimension to the mold. The nice traditional and simple Rollout head has been replaced with a stern and carefully crafted miniature version of Optimus Primal’s / Apelinq’s. Black is the way of things, with yellow eyes and the green crests (seen on Apelinq). And, at 3 1/2” (9cm), he’s as tall as ever!

Of course, the chap doubles as Sentinel Maximus’s head and chest, and can also form a gun. Still the most multifunctional Mini-Con mold going!


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 10 – I just love this transformation! I do think it is probably my favourite amongst my collection (perhaps next to G2 Clench).
Durability: 9 – He is very well put-together. The only niggle I have is that Ape-Linq’s chestplate is a little on the loose side.
Fun: 9 – He is amazing fun – another of the original 13 Transformers! He would be perfect with the missing sound box. In fact, he’d be perfect if I hadn’t known it was ever there before! (But Overload was a whistleblower…)
Price: 2 – He’s expensive. Even without his sordid history, Sentinel Maximus is a convention exclusive of years past. He ranges wildly, but expect to pay upwards of £60 ($118). If you find him for this or less, grab him (if you can afford it!).
Overall: 9 – For me (a fan of the Armada Overload mold, and compulsive Herald of Primus collector) he is a must own. He is a rather unique figure, steeped in real history and integral to Transformers mythos. Plus, he’s really nifty and beautifully detailed! A great addition to any serious collection.

 
 
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