"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Nemesis Prime Toy Review

in 2020, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generations, Voyager, War for Cybertron: Siege

Generations

War for Cybertron: Siege

General Information:
Release Date: March 2020
Price Point: MSRP of ¥6,480 (about $59.95 USD)
Retailer: Takara Tomy Mall Exclusive (Also sold by EB Games and Zing in Australia)
Accessories: Rifle; Sword

Nemesis Prime

Official images and text below in italics are from Takara Tomy Mall:
"SIEGE" is a realistic battle scene with a wide range of joint motion that reboots popular characters from TF history, effects parts, weathering, 3mm bosses and 5mm holes that can be equipped with weapons and effect parts. It is a completely new series that reproduces the battle of super-robot life forms unfolded on their mother planet, Cybertron stars, with the new TOY concept! Nemesis Prime is transformed from robot mode to vehicle mode (trailer type). In addition to the gun that came with SG-06, two new swords are included.

Nemesis Prime is the name often reserved for Optimus Prime's evil counterpart, usually portrayed as some type of clone or even a twisted version of Optimus himself. Not too long ago Hasbro and Takara Tomy released a really freaking awesome version of Nemesis Prime, but for fans who have wanted a more recent update Takara Tomy released a new version of Nemesis Prime in 2020, a redeco of the Siege Optimus Prime figure. Unlike other recent Takara Tomy Mall excusives, this figure is a bit of an outlier. First revealed in September 2019, the figure was not sold by Hasbro Pulse or most familiar online retailer sites. When it did come out (mostly on ebay) it sold out fast and prices went up very fast on the secondary market. Even stranger, Takara Tomy Mall took down its product listing for the figure, something they do not do often.

This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. Please check out my original Siege Optimus Prime review for my detailed thoughts on the sculpt.

Packaging:
As if his short release window and vanishing listing on Takara Tomy's site wasn't enough, Nemesis Prime's packaging is kind of odd too. The figure is packaged in the same style of box as Siege Optimus Prime complete with the same style of artwork and color tones. The odd part is, the artwork on the side just recycles Optimus Prime's artwork. There was not even an attempt to digitally repaint it to better resemble the figure! My guess is that this was a rush job and the packaging was one of the last things on their mind when manufacturing this. Even stranger? Because of this the box winds up labeling him as an Autobot! That said, you're not here to read about boxes. Let's get on with the figure itself.

Accessories:
Nemesis Prime includes two accessories. The first is his rifle, which is the same as the one included with Siege Optimus Prime. The other is not the shield/axe included with Optimus but rather a redeco of the sword that came with Alpha Trion with Sovereign. The sword is now cast in translucent pink plastic. The hilt and handle are painted black which contrasts beautifully with Nemesis himself.

Robot Mode:
While the Power of the Primes Leader Class Nemesis Prime opted to give that Prime a new head, this figure is a straight up redeco of Siege Optimus Prime with no tooling changes. Unlike most Siege figures, Nemesis Prime is "clean", meaning there is no battle damage deco on him, which will please many fans who were not crazy about that particular design choice. Nemesis is mostly black and silver plastic with translucent red on his chest windows. True to the Nemesis Prime colors seen in the past, his paint colors include silver, red and teal. The deco pattern is relatively simple, but it looks great thanks to the black serving as a canvas for the other colors to shine.

There are twenty six points of articulation on this figure. This includes six on each arm (including wrist swivels!) and even ankle tilts on the legs! Even better, the joints are all tight, feeling about the same as those on my copy of Optimus Prime.

Nemesis Prime has twelve 5mm ports: two on the back, four on the arms, two on the legs and four on the bottom of the feet. Then throw in two more ports in his fists. This allows for a remarkable number of combinations with the Battle Masters, Micromasters and Weaponizers from "Siege". You can really load Nemesis up with weaponry and armor. Similar play patterns have existed with Transformers figures before, of course ("Armada" and "Energon" for instance) and I have always liked it. This figure is no exception. This figure features an additional bit of functionality in the form of four hard points (one on each shoulder and leg) which allows you to attach Fire Blast effects. This makes it look like Nemesis Prime is being hit with weaponry and it is both dramatic and looks great.

For fans of Primes with Matrix chambers built into the figure, he chest panels can swing open, revealing a compartment in the chest (even Nemesis gets an evil Matrix, you see). This is actually where the head folds into in vehicle mode. However, in this mode it is actually just the right size to fit a Matrix from Power of the Primes! It takes quite a bit of effort to get it to sit "just right" (but it is doable). The panels on either side of this compartment actually have Matrix handles sculpted into them! This is a fun Easter Egg feature and I appreciate the extra bit of thought that went into the sculpt of a "hidden" feature.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the chest panels open.
  4. Swing the head forward and down into the chest compartment.
  5. Swing the back panel up and rotate it around.
  6. On the back panel, swing out all the collapsed panels.
  7. Swing the panels on the knees up.
  8. Swing the robot legs (including part of the hip area) back.
  9. Pull the wheels above the hips out, then swing them down.
  10. Swing the back panel over the front of the torso and fold the chest panels over it to lock it into place.
  11. On each arm, swing the lower sections of the forearms forward, then swing up the panels that form the side windows of the truck mode.
  12. Tilt the front wheels down a bit, then swing the arms back and the forearms forward to form the sides of the truck. Push the various panels from the arms against the sides of the vehicle.
  13. Swing the front wheels back up.
  14. Fold the two halves of the feet together.
  15. Rotate each lower leg around.
  16. Swing the panels on the sides of the legs out and forward. Push each panel into the sides, then swing the grey panels against the underside of the truck.
  17. Swing the wheels out on the legs.
  18. Push the lower legs together.
  19. The accessories can be attached to the back of the truck by flipping the left knee panel out, revealing a 5mm port.

The transformation is easily one of the most satisfying parts of this figure. It is intuitive and fun without being frustrating at any point.

Vehicle Mode:
Nemesis Prime looks great in robot mode, no doubt, but this is one of those rare cases in a Transformers figure where I actually prefer the deco in vehicle mode! The base colors are the same: black, silver and translucent red plastic. However, thanks to the panels and bits that form the front and sides of the vehicle, we get a ton of deco in silver and metallic teal colors. These really add a powerful combination of details that makes this vehicle mode look exceptional. Also a huge shout out to Takara Tomy for also painting the sides of the wheels (using the beautiful metallic teal color). It really pops and helps elevate what could have just been a boring void of black color.

There are nine 5mm ports in this mode: two on top, four on the sides, one on each smokestack and one in the back. You can attach a pretty crazy amount of weaponry to this mode and I encourage you to mix and match parts from Battle Masters, Micromasters and Weaponizer parts for maximum fun! Some people have said that Optimus should not have wheels if you want a "true" Cybertronian form. Well, with this figure you can! Swing the front and rear wheels down and they sort of form "hover engines" to create a "hover mode" for the vehicle! This is unofficial but it's fun.

Final Thoughts:
If Nemesis Prime were not such a limited release, I'd be telling every fan of Siege to run out and buy one. However, its suggested retail price was already twice the retail price of a Voyager Class figure. Add on top of that the import costs and so on and at the time of this writing you could easily spend $80-125 on it depending on who you buy it from. The figure itself is a beautiful piece. It represents the character well, it's fun and the deco is outstanding. However, given the cost it will mainly be limited to the super hardcore fans of the character or completists.

Pros:

  • Fantastic sculpt in both modes.
  • Fun and intuitive transformation.
  • Plenty of connection points in both modes for other figures.
  • Cool and fun accessories.
  • Beautiful deco.

Cons:

  • Some fans will want the smokestacks to be longer.
  • This figure is NOT cheap.