"Generations" Power of the Primes Liege Maximo with Skullgrin Decoy Armor Toy Review
Release Date: November 2017
Price Point: $4.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Claw weapon, Liege Maximo Decoy Armor
Official images above are from Hasbro. The official text below in italics are from Captured Prey:
The next installment in the Generations series is Power of the Primes! The new series combines elements from both Titans Return and Combiner Wars. Leige Maximo suits up for battle in his Skullgrin armor, and can serve as a power core or weapon for larger figures as well!
For Power of the Primes, all deluxe class figures become combiner limbs, all Voyager class figures become combiner torsos, and all leader class figures feature an Evolution mechanism, letting you evolve the character from their earlier incarnation to a more powerful form! Each Leader class figure includes a unique Matrix and Matrix core, and each Voyager figure also includes a Matrix core of their own that can be interchanged! Finally, each Prime Master figure includes one of the original 13, who can become a new core and lend their power to the larger figures, or can go into battle armored up in their Powermaster armor!
The trilogy that began with "Combiner Wars" concludes with "Power of the Primes". This line focuses on the original 13 Primes themselves returning. However, instead of gigantic beings storming the battlefield, the Primes have distilled their essence into Sparks that can be used by Transformers to gain all new powers. Depending on which Spark the Transformer takes on, they are powered up in different ways. From a play value standpoint these figures are an extension of the Titan Masters from last year. Instead of coming with beasts or vehicles, these mini-figures now come with "Decoy Armor" based on the designs of G1 era Pretender shells. The idea is that the Primes do not want just any Transformer to take their power, so they are "pretending" to be other Transformers, a wonderful play on words and concepts.
The Liege Maximo was a character first introduced in the "Generation 2" Marvel Comic book back in the 90's. His origins were a bit of a mystery, but he led the armies of "second generation" Transformers who fought the combined forces of the Autobots and Decepticons. In time, the character would be retconned as one of the original 13 Primes who was an expert at manipulation. In "Power of the Primes", he is one of the original 13 Primes hiding out in the guise of the Pretender Skullgrin!
The packaging for the Prime Masters is similar to last year's Titan Masters. The figures are in a blister attached to a small card. Unlike last year however the card art on the front features Liege Maximo in the Skullgrin armor in a very dynamic pose with all sorts of energy around him. This is a far better choice than last year where Fortress Maximus' head was on all the packaging for the Titan Masters. The back of the packaging shows a CG render of Liege Maximo and how he interacts with the Decoy Armor. On top it shows the weapon mode. The side shows a cosell of Vector Prime.
The basic structure of the Prime Master figures share the same core design as the Titan Master figures. They have the same tab on the back that allows you to attach them to vehicles and playsets from "Titans Return" and "Power of the Primes". The heads are also square in shape and while these figures do not form heads, you can attach them to the larger figures from "Titans Return".
Keeping with the premise of Liege Maximo "pretending" to be Skullgrin, his robot form is based on the G1 Skullgrin toy. Among the design elements the two share are:
- The head design features a central crest with an angled section on top and antennae like pieces on the sides.
- The chest has two rectangular sections on either side with small rectangular shapes inside.
- The center of the chest sticks out a bit.
- The waist/hip area has two raised rectangles on either side, similar to details found on G1 Skullgrin's thighs/hip area.
- There shoulders have raised oval shapes on them.
- The inner legs have a ridged design, similar in shape to G1 Skullgrin's robot legs.
- The sides of the legs have treads sculpted into them. This is a callback to details on G1 Skullgrin that became the treads of his vehicle form.
I think of all the details the treads sculpted into the legs shocked me the most. I had not expected that detail to make it through since Liege Maximo does not transform into a vehicle, yet there it is! This really shows how much the designers wanted to emulate the "real" Skullgrin when designing this figure.
Liege Maximo is cast in grey and a bright purple plastic. The torso and lower legs are grey while the rest of the robot is purple. The helmet section of the head is painted grey, helping to match the figure up with its G1 counterpart in appearance.
The Prime Masters all have five points of articulation. This includes the head, arms, hips and knees. The legs move together since they are fused together. The joints on my copy of Liege Maximo are nice and tight with no issues.
Transformation to Spark Mode:
The Prime Masters all transform in the same fashion as the Titan Masters from "Titans Return". Swing the hips up and fold the lower legs in.
The Spark mode is basically the same as the head modes from last year's Titan Masters. Instead of a "face plate" however, there is panel with Liege Maximo's ancient Cybertronian symbol. The symbol looks like a face with a toothy grin, appropriate for a trickster. The symbol itself is painted green. This is a reference to Liege Maximo's other appearances in fiction. For instance, when he was revealed in "Generation 2", he was mostly green in color. Later interpretations of him as one of the 13 original Primes were also green.
The Prime Master Spark modes are designed to attach to Voyager Class figures directly or connect to the "Prime Armor" included with Deluxe figures in the "Power of the Primes" line.
Decoy Armor Mode
The Skullgrin Decoy Armor is based on the design of G1 Skullgrin's Pretender shell. This Decoy Armor has many of the key elements of that shell's design. These include:
- The head is a gigantic, demonic looking ram skull, complete with teeth on the bottom and horns that curve upward. However, on this Decoy Armor the head looks more mechanical than organic as it does on the G1 toy.
- His shoulder armor has spikes sticking up on top.
- The center of his "belt" area has a skull as a "belt buckle".
- The knees have spikes sticking out.
- The feet are divided into two "toes". While these feet are more mechanical looking, the "two toes" call back to the two toes on the G1 Skullgrin's Pretender shell.
- The belt "buckle" leads to two armor panels that overlap the thighs.
Clearly in this fiction the Decoy Armor suits are mechanical constructs, without an organic component, but I do wish that this "Skullgrin shell" looked a bit more organic with the head design. That said, the rest of the figure has plenty of curved parts such as the arms and thighs that could be interpreted as having more organic components and I appreciate that. I think the original Skullgrin was one of the creepier figures to come out at that time and it is cool to see some of that creepiness show in this design.
Like the inner robot, this shell is cast in purple and grey. There is a lot of paint used to match up the look of the shell with the G1 Pretender shell. Plenty of light grey is used to paint the head, "belt buckle" and thigh armor. Dark grey is used for the chest, matching it up with the G1 shell's colors.
The Decoy Armor has two points of articulation: the arms. The weapon accessory included with the figure can be held as a giant claw weapon (relative to the size of the Decoy Armor) or attached to the back for storage. Interestingly, the fist holes are 3mm, allowing you to attach Cyberverse weapons too!
Transformation to Weapon Mode:
- With the weapon attached on the back, swing the claws forward.
- In between the feet, swing the peg down.
- Attach Liege Maximo in Spark mode to the small pegs in the back.
Unlike his wave mates Vector Prime and Micronus Liege Maximo transforms into a melee weapon, not a blaster. I love the look of the three giant claws in front and one could easily imagine having Liege Maximo's Spark powering up the weapon would make it even more deadly!
The 5mm peg in the back allows most modern day Transformers figures to hold this weapon, but it is likely he will be more stable with figures from Deluxe Class and up.
Both the armor and inner robot look great in this set. I also love that the figure becomes a melee weapon, a savage choice that fits the look of the Skullgrin Decoy Armor shell. Highly recommended!
- Both the Armor and inner robot are great homages to a G1 character.
- Kudos for the extra tank tread detail on Liege Maximo.
- A wonderful modern take on the Pretender concept that some considered goofy in the 80's.
- Weapon mode is not just another blaster. It is fun to have a variety of weapons, including melee weapons.
- If you are not a fan of the Pretender concept, this likely won't change your mind.
- The Spark "panel" is connected to the figure by a pin instead of a screw. Fans who liked to customize these figures with fan-made head panels will not be happy about this.