"Generations" Power of the Primes Novastar Toy Review
Price Point: $16.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster, Prime Armor, Prime Armor cover
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
The Autobots and Decepticons use Prime Masters to wield the incredible powers of the most legendary bots in the universe: the Primes. Prime Masters carry the spark of a Prime, allowing them to share a Prime's godlike ability with other bots. How will the infiltration/rescue specialist wield this epic power? Anything is possible and everything is at stake when the Power of the Primes is unleashed! Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Deluxe Class figures are 5.5-inch-scale figures that come with a Prime Armor accessory. Insert a Prime Master figure (not included, each sold separately) into the accessory, attach it to the figure's chest, and imagine Autobot Novastar wields the power of a Prime. Figure Specs: Deluxe Class Autobot Novastar Modes: robot, racer Converts in 14 steps Includes Prime Armor accessory and collector card Also works with Prime Master figures (Not included. Each sold separately. Subject to availability) Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The Autobot known as Firestar was introduced in the Generation One episode "The Search for Alpha Trion". She was one of the "female Autobots" who continued the Autobot fight against the Decepticons on Cybertron led by Elita-1. Years after her introduction, I had hoped to bring this character to the Botcon 2005 boxed set "Descent into Evil". However, due to trademark issues, the figure wound up being named Flareup instead (and was written up as a different character). You can see the details in my "Timelines" Flareup review. Now years later the character finally gets a mass retail release with the new name, Novastar (due to trademark reasons). This figure is a retool and redeco of Moonracer so you will want to check out that review. This review focuses on the changes made to the figure for this release.
Novastar includes a blaster with a wide barrel and a big targeting scope on top. There are some really great line details sculpted into the weapon which look fantastic. The weapon is cast in black plastic with the barrel and targeting scope painted grey. You may be wondering why the barrel end is so wide. This is to allow the weapon to connect to Moonracer's weapon forming a larger blaster! You can see Elita Infin1te using it here. This was unexpected and very cool.
The other accessory is the Prime Armor. Underneath the headlights are rectangular areas with a series of horizontal lines inside. This is the same sculpt as the Prime Armor included with Jazz. Remove the clear panel in the middle of the armor and you can attach a Titan or Prime Master. The sculpt for this accessory is designed to look like a rocket pack. There are machinery details in the middle and towards the bottom are two thrusters. Indeed, the Prime Armor winds up looking extra chunky if you attach it to the front of the robot mode (it attaches via the tabs on the thumbs connecting to the corresponding vertical grooves on the chest). Unfortunately on this figure you cannot attach it to the back as a rocket pack (my preferred use for the accessory).
This accessory also forms a fist for the Combiner limb mode. Unfortunately it has two thumb pieces and neither can tuck away, so as a hand it looks a bit odd. If this design is similar to the Dinobot "hands", it can also be able to connect to a foot piece to form a heel for extra stability. This piece is cast in red with orange plastic used for the fingers. The cover on the top of the hand is clear plastic.
In "The Search for Alpha Trion", Moonracer and Firestar had two distinct designs. However, this figure shares the same basic sculpt as Moonracer with a new head. The head sculpt is based on Firestar's appearance in the G1 cartoon, featuring a large crest on top of the helmet section with angled sections sticking out to the sides. The "star shape" of the G1 cartoon model's head is subdued slightly so the head can actually fit into the slot in the chest during transformation but it has enough of the detailing that it looks faithful to the G1 character. The rest of the body is mostly based on Moonracer's detail but one design element that echoes the G1 Firestar animation model is the back pack on the figure. The way parts of it stuck up in the back resemble a similar "back pack" on the G1 animation model. Overall the sculpt looks good despite being a retool.
Novastar is mostly cast in red, orange and silver plastic. The red makes up most of the figure with orange making up parts like the fists and thighs. Smaller parts such as the feet and head are silver plastic. Interestingly the torso panel appears to be cast in clear plastic, with copious amounts of red paint used to help it match parts like the arms and lower legs. Silver and orange paint are also found on the torso. The middle has a red Autobot symbol painted on it. The face uses a light yellow color with blue eyes and an orange mouth, matching the animation model from G1. The front of the crest section is orange. While there are not a lot of tiny details painted on to the figure, there is plenty of paint on the torso and it matches up fairly nicely with the animation model.
All eighteen points of articulation on this figure are still nice and tight. The Prime Armor still attaches firmly to the torso and you can use the weapon storage in the back.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the feet up.
- Push the feet together to form the front of the vehicle.
- Swing the torso/arms/head section forward.
- Push the head back, revealing a piece with a 5mm port.
- Push the torso/arms/head section back.
- Rotate the top half of the body around.
- Swing the "back pack" forward.
- Move the arms up.
- Swing the white panels by the rear wheels up.
- Bend the arms at the elbow, then swing the fists inward.
- The Prime Armor and weapon can be connected, and then attached to the 5mm port at the back of the vehicle.
In the G1 cartoon, Firestar transformed into a Cybertronian pickup truck. However, this figure is designed to transform into a vehicle that looks kind of like a Cybertronian Dragster. With the vehicle form so different than her G1 counterpart, Novastar's deco is unique to this vehicle. The plastic is mostly clear and red with red paint on the clear parts. Aside from being a bit extra shiny the parts with the red paint match up very nicely with the red plastic. Silver paint is used on certain sections like the back and (surprisingly) the sides of the wheels. Orange and blue paint offers some nice contrast on the top towards the front. On each side of the vehicle are light yellow stripes, matching the color on the robot mode face. On top of the yellow are red Autobot symbols. Overall I really like the deco on this mode. The small touches like the orange and blue lines on top really help give the vehicle some life.
Like Moonracer, this mode allows you to attach the Armor to the back. You can attach her weapon to either the sides (behind the rear wheel wells) or the Prime Armor. There are also two Head/Prime/Titan Master pegs on top.
Transformation to Leg Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):
- Push the front of the vehicle mode down and swing it back. Connect it to the thighs using the tabs from the front of the vehicle and the attachment points on the thighs.
- Swing the middle section of the vehicle up, swing down the 5mm port under it, then swing it back into place.
- Swing the robot fists back.
- Swing the Combiner connection piece up.
- Attach a foot piece to the bottom.
*Note: The Prime Armor accessory included with Novastar does not transform into a foot. It only becomes a fist. For the photos in this review I borrowed a foot piece from Grimlock for this review.
Novastar's leg mode is a good shape with a good thickness to look like a limb that can support a Combiner. It really helps that the front of the vehicle folds back, making the base of the leg nice and solid looking. The Combiner peg is nice and solid both on the hinge and swivel joint. You can also utilize the ports near the rear wheel wells to attach additional weapons if you want. Since Moonracer and Novastar share the same basic shape, they make for good "left and right" limbs, offering some symmetry.
Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):
Detach the Prime Armor if attached.
- Swing the middle section of the vehicle up and against the back.
- Rotate the lower half of the vehicle (the robot legs) around to one side or another (depending on which arm you want it to form).
- Swing up the Combiner connector piece.
- Transform the Prime Armor into its fist form and attach it to the 5mm port at the wrist.
Arm modes are not always the easiest ones to pull off. Depending on the form of the figure's vehicle or robot mode, they can wind up looking too chunky or obtrusive. However, Novastar's arm mode works out perfectly. The top part of the arm is nice and thick, like a powerful looking bicep. Then the forearm is smaller and more narrow. Sure the fist is kind of big (but not comically so) but I think overall the arm mode looks good.
Since the rear wheel wells wind up towards the top of the arm it gives you the clearance to attach additional weapons. You can also attach another weapon to the weapon storage section from the robot mode. In a fun coincidence (or is it?) Combiner Wars fist/foot/weapon pieces can connect to this section to add even more firepower!
The joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight but if you want it to hold up a Legends Class weapon like Powerglide you will need to bend the robot knees/elbows a bit to support it.
Novastar falls in the category of Transformers toys I never thought I would see outside of convention or store exclusives. I would have preferred a brand new sculpt, of course but at least the new head sculpt looks fantastic. Recommended!
- Head sculpt is G1 accurate.
- Good deco.
- Fun play factor.
- Good limb modes.
- Robot mode sculpt is a bit weak in some parts such as the lower legs.
- The large "back pack" may turn some fans off to the figure.