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Knightdramon's Review: MMC R10 Salvia Prominon

Name: Salvia Prominon
Function: Ancress
Subgroup: N/A
Size Class: N/A

MMC started out with a line of figures dedicated to the long-forgotten Hearts of Steel 4-parter from IDW, where the Autobot/Decepticon war did not resume in the 80ies, but rather in the steampunk era.

The line was met with mixed feelings, and after 3 unique moulds and many repaints of them, gave way to the current Reformatted Line.

The Reformatted line is MMC's love letter to IDW comic book fans with their current release, but also offers updated G1 designs of fan favourite bots.

The first fembot in the line was Azalea, a take on the cybertronian mode IDW Arcee. Very true to Alex Milne's design in the comics, it featured feminine curves, a distinct sci-fi angular alt mode and the characteristic swords and handguns that the character is now associated with.

While many praised the sculpt and the articulation, a lot of fans were not pleased with the complex transformation or how fiddly the alt mode was.

Despite those criticisms, the mould has joined the ranks of Seekers and Datsuns----easily repaint-able and retool-able into a variety of characters. Such repaints so far include an obligatory black repaint, a green "paramedic" repaint, a blue exclusive repaint, an Elita 1 retool with a new gun but missing the swords and last but not least, the Salvia Prominon release with a new head, shoulder armours, more paint than all the rest, all the accessories of the base mould AND a unique melee weapon.

Salvia [Prominon being the equivalent of Prime, as evidenced by the upcoming Seraph Prominon/Nova Prime] is indirectly based on Solus Prime, aka a female Prime goddess wielding a hammer that's primarily used for creation rather than destruction.

Of note is that this release includes two additional "flap" pieces for the green Azalea repaint, which were omitted from the original release.

Let's take a look at how this figure fits in with the rest of your collection, and the rest of the MMC line...

Vehicle Mode

Admittedly there are no less than 4 variations on how you can transform this figure, all involving a different placement of the aforementioned flaps and the orientation of the legs/translucent wings.

The "official" transformation for this figure has the flaps as a jet nozzle and the legs/wings splayed out to the side like a slightly deformed sci-fi jet.

As another fan accurately remarked, the vehicle mode [regardless of the configuration] resembles the futuristic racers from the mid-90ies videogame Wipeout.

There is enough paint and colour moulding separation on this figure to make it pop visually, which is not something that could be said for the Elita 1 repaint released at the same time. The base colour is a creamy warm pink, with a lot of surface and detail work done in a very nice shade of gold [mostly painted], some additional parts are moulded in a darker pink and a lot of the remaining details and parts are cast in clear green [a very very light shade]. The overall combination is very pleasing to the eye and the colours compliment each other very, very well. There are instances where the clear green plastic blends seamlessly into the gold paint, or where clear green adjourns the pink surfaces.

The moulded detail is plentiful on this mode, comprised of vents and ridges throughout the "nosecone" of the vehicle, regal shoulder pylons decorating the sides and breaking up the colour while meeting the pink/gold edges of the "wings". I would say that most of the detail and unique moulding is found on the cockpit/main body area, which looks like it is made of various inter-lapping layers of gold and green and finished off nicely by two small boosters are the back. The handguns and swords of the robot mode can be attached on the sides of the legs/wings and serve as additional energy wings and boosters. The way the wings work is that you unfold a clear piece from the shin of the robot and the swords can be attached almost parallel to that and opened in the same direction, enabling a very interesting dual energy wings scheme.

The jet mode is roughly 12 centimetres long [if you include the flaps and install them as a nosecone] and about 5 cm tall excluding the wings and their orientation. Do note that the height takes into account the display stand included, which basically slot onto the underside of the vehicle and keeps it "hovering" in the air. All accessories have a designated slot and tab on vehicle mode, including the hammer which breaks in two pieces and stores away. While it's neat that everything has a storage space, I find it a bit annoying that you have to detach and re-attach 9 parts no less [8 if you exclude the stand] and that's no optional armament, that's bits that make the vehicle mode look more complete.

I was involved with some correspondence with an MMC representative last May about this figure [as I used it as a comparison for some flaws on another, similar sized figure] and it has been confirmed that the figure uses rough, strong plastic, even for the thin delicate parts. With the exception of the swords which have a sort of a bendy plastic blade, everything else is built to last despite some sharp edges.

Overall the vehicle mode is passable, this release marked above all the others due to how well the clear plastic and paint compliment each other. It is -not- the main course on the table, as it is mostly the robot parts folded up with some bits stuck on them to fill out some details. I will say that it displays well among other MMC figures and any cybertronian mode transformers, and the display base is a very nice touch.

Robot Mode

The transformation process from vehicle to robot can only be described as easy. Basically detach all extra parts, set them aside, casually unfold the limbs, rotate the jet cockpit, lock everything together, start attaching parts back. The exercise in frustration [even if you have mastered the motions] is getting all the parts in place and locking them in for vehicle mode, then attach all the extra bits without knocking something out of alignment.

To its credit, the figure has multiple tabs on the arms and legs but that's more of a guideline on keeping them together, not finding the proper spot for them in vehicle mode. As you can imagine, the multitude of ball and swivel joints does wonders for the robot articulation but leaves you frustrated in trying to align everything for car mode. As soon as you attach an extra bit on, a leg/wing moves out of place.

Salvia stands 14 cm tall in robot mode and features a new head and shoulders to differentiate her from her sisters, in addition to her solus hammer. I'd be lying if I said she's not a gorgeous figure to look at; the gold on her armour and some joints interacts very nicely with the pink for her main body and the green of the clear parts breaks up the monotony of those two.

Sculpted detail is plentiful. Each limb has got detailing running up and down---particularly impressive is the detailing on the legs, which evokes a very powerful and slim warrior-look for her. Additional pieces of armour compliment her nicely, as this appears more like a humanoid with armour rather than a figure with kibble. The thigh armour in particular is gorgeous and blends in very nicely with the two waist flaps just above it. The wings of the alt mode recess into the shin and form very striking clear green knee pads, which compliment her golden...sandal-like armour for her feet.

The upper body features a nice layered torso with a gold with green plastic breastplate and two regal clear green shoulder panels, round on the shoulder with elaborate lining and pointy bits at the top. These pieces are remoulded from the other versions of the mould. Her arms are simple enough with some elaborate golden wrist gauntlets that are able to rotate around to customize her look even further. The two back armour/jet nozzle flaps admittedly aren't that detailed on the inside, but the golden part on their lip is eye-catching. The headsculpt is impressive, with a faceplate that takes to her looking a bit more avian than I'd like or is intended, and an impressive crest/crown that is picked out in gold. Her eyes are picked out in glossy blue/green. The headsculpt and helmet design evoke helmets usually seen in Norse mythology.

Articulation is pretty impressive and it is very, very clear that this figure was designed as an ultra poseable robot mode and then as a transforming figure. Each leg alone has 7 points of articulation, with toe and ankle tilts, double knee joints, swivels above and below the thigh and a ball-jointed hip with a very wide range of motion. The torso alone has two ball joints, one at the waist and one just below the breastplate, which make for a very impressive and natural range of motion. Each arm has 6 points of articulation, with two ball joints for the shoulder, an upper arm swivel, double jointed elbows and a freely rotating wrist that ends on splayed open fingers. Lastly, the head is on a ball joint with a very good range of tilt and motion.

The armaments of the figure coupled with the very expressive range of articulation mean that the display options are limitless. Do you want your Norse Goddess dual wielding handguns in scenes out of stylish action films? Are you one for dual wielding sword action? Perhaps a sword and gun combination? How about some two handed or one handed action with the mighty hammer, while you are using the swords clipped on the backpack and opened up as light wings? The display base from hovercraft mode can be clipped on the back of either ankle as a support base, enabling some daring one-legged action poses.

The only new accessory from the base Azalea version of the mould is the Solus Hammer, cast in bronze [same as her, um, crotch plate] and painted over in the same shade of gold as the rest of her armour, with many details and part of the hilt painted in gunmetal gray. The hammer looks comically small in the hands of bigger figures [aka pretty much every Ultra Magnus out there] but just right for her. The sculpt and detailing is top notch with tons of crafty details all over and two ornamental spikes coming out of the sides. The hammerhead can be popped off and stores at the back of the alt mode, while the shaft ends up being attached underneath the figure. Not detailed in the instructions, but you can actually tab the hammer on her back-armour as some sort of very awkward coat tail.

With this figure being the 6th use of the mould, there is -some- mould wear, particularly where the headplate attaches to the breastplate in robot mode. The connection is not as secure as Azalea and can be undone fairly easily when handing the figure. Beyond that, every joint is very tight, with the hip ball joints being exceptionally tight and squeaky. Despite many of the painted parts coming into direct contact and/or tabbing together for vehicle mode, there is no paint wear whatsoever.

Overall this is a mixed release. Bang for the buck, this is the best release of the Azalea mould, especially seeing as it was released with the Elita 1 version that only came with two handguns and her own unique bow, and had the entirety of the vehicle mode shell unpainted. As a bare poseable figure, she is very, very good and her 5 weapons can ensure that you are never bored. One you start tabbing things on you will find yourself fidgeting with bits and pieces that might pop off or be knocked out of place [this goes for both modes]. However, there's no denying that the figure looks great and poses great in robot mode, and it is one of the rare times where any company attempts to homage a member of the 13 Primes besides the Fallen.

If you are into complex transformation schemes resulting into sci-fi vehicles and very poseable robots, this is for you, otherwise there are other figures in the MMC range or beyond that might hold your attention a bit longer.

Transformation Design: 2. This is basically a "curl robot limbs around torso and then re-attach the bits you took off" transformation, and not a very easy at that. Aligning everything from robot to vehicle is challenging.
Durability: 8. She looks frail but actually isn't. Very strong plastic, especially considering all the tiny bits that have to tab to each other for vehicle mode. Just be careful with the clear blades of the swords, but other than that, you're ok.
Fun: As a figure? 9. As a transformer? 3. The alt mode has a sci-fi vibe that appeals to me and the robot mode can be a stoic goddess or an action heroine depending on your mood and pose, but the fiddling needed to get all the pieces to stick and stay on can alienate some of that fun.
Aesthetics: 10. Can't deny it. She just nails it in both modes. Just her palette of pink, green and gold works, she looks stoic and regal in bot mode and like a proper sci-fi vehicle with running lines of different colours throughout.
Articulation: 10+. She's basically a deluxe-sized bot with over 30 points of articulation. This was clearly designed as a super-poseable figure first and a transformer second.
Value/price: 7. Her retail was around 60 USD, which is cheaper than any of the other MMC releases, and she comes with all the accessories of the base mould + her own + her own tooling + flaps for Zinnia. Cynicus is of a similar size, is arguably a worse figure, and costs 20 USD over her. At the end of the day though, it's still a lot of cash for a relatively small figure.
Overall: 6. I got her as a companion piece to the upcoming Nova Prime/Seraph and had to talk myself out of selling her multiple times since May 2015. I have not messed with her as much as Hexatron or Spartan, but prefer her to Cynicus. If you want something more iconic, go for the standard Azalea version.
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