Arms Micron Nemesis Prime with Giza Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Arms Micron, Decepticon, Prime, Voyager

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: April 2013
Price Point: $55 (Import Stores, prices may vary)
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Accessories: "Giza" Micron figure/weapon

General Images:

One of the challenges in having a toy line that exists in multiple countries is making those toys unique somehow between countries. This is especially true between the United States and Japan, which traditionally take different tracks on marketing their figures. In the case of "Transformers Prime", Takara has engineered an entire campaign that centers around Microns (a.k.a. Mini-Cons) being included with each figure. Unlike traditional Mini-Con figures, these Microns are being included as small model kits that the buyer assembles. Another interesting feature is the use of stickers for details instead of paint, which is almost the antithesis of the current Generation One "Encore" series where old details that used to be stickers are tampographed onto G1 figures.

Nemesis Prime is a redeco of "Arms Micron" Voyager Class Optimus Prime, who himself was a redeco and retool of "Prime" Voyager Class Optimus Prime. This review will focus on the changes made to the Optimus Prime figure for this release.

Tech Spec/Packaging Translation (courtesy of Doug Dlin):

Nemesis Prime Profile:
AM25 Virtual Soldier

[main section, clockwise from top right]
Combo Weapon
Nemesis Fake Saber
This combo weapon greatly resembles the legendary Autobot weapon known as the Star Saber. Fake though it may be, it possesses power on a par with the genuine Star Saber.

Arms-Up Nemesis Prime (Berserk Mode)
Not only is this a perfect copy of Optimus, it can arms-up to increase its attack power. In this mode, it assaults Autobots as a massacre machine piloted by Silas. It is difficult for the Autobots to fight this opponent, simply because it has Optimus's form.

["Arms-Up example" text omitted]

Arms Micron Gul
*Comes with AM07 Autobot Starscream (sold separately)

Arms Micron Igu
*Comes with AM16 Jet Vehicon (sold separately)

Arms Micron Giza [from "nokoGIriZAme", or "saw shark"]

[lower left block]
Nemesis Prime Profile
Nemesis Prime is a virtual soldier created as the result of Project Chimera, which was established by the antigovernment organization MECH. By equipping Starscream's T-cog into a machine built based on Optimus Prime's data, a phony Optimus lookalike was born. Its weapons and abilities are all copies of Optimus's, but as a remotely operated drone, it feels no pain. Disgracing Optimus's name through vicious acts of destruction is also one of MECH's objectives.

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Arms Micron

Energon Crystal

Giza Micron Review

Giza Images:

The "Arms Micron" figures included with the larger robots in this line were all small model kits, using sturdy plastic and relying on stickers for details. These pieces snap together so you don't need any glue for assembly. "Giza" was included with Nemesis Prime as his "partner" in place of the sword and blaster that came with Voyager Optimus Prime.

Beast Mode:
In this form, Giza has the unusual form of a Sawshark. Indeed, his name is formed from syllables from the Japanese word for a Sawshark. Like that creature, he has a rather sleek looking form, complete with a long snout that has serrated blades on the sides, fins that sweep back on the sides and smaller fins with "teeth" on the sides. Like the real shark, his back has two vertical fins on it as well. Unlike the real life creature he has a single, rather unnerving looking eye in the center on his head and on the underside of the beast is a trapezoid shaped section with a clear plastic piece over a Decepticon symbol sticker. He also has some mechanical details such as turbines at the base of his fins and vents on the top of his fins.

Giza is cast in silver plastic. His eye is colored with a metallic red sticker. On the sides are stickers that use black as the base color with smaller purple and red details. The silver works nicely not only for a "robotic shark" but also as a robotic version of the real life shark who features grey as one of its colors.

There are five connection points for 5mm peg weapons on this figure. Under the saw blade is a hole to connect a 5mm weapon. Also on the underside of the figure are four separate pegs that could also be used by a larger figure to hold him or attach other weapons.

Transformation to Weapon Mode:

  1. Swing the fins up.
  2. Swing the back/head piece forward.
  3. Push the peg in the middle of the figure down to form a handle for a figure.

Weapon Mode:
Giza's weapon form is based on the blade that Optimus Prime can from his forearm. Indeed, the base piece is designed to actually cover the hand thus making the larger Nemesis Prime figure look like it has "transformed" into the blade. The blade does a good job of replicating the look of Prime's weapon including the grooves and indentations on the sides of the blades.

The silver color makes up most of this form, which is appropriate since that is the main color of the weapon as seen on the TV show. The edge of the blade has silver stickers on it, enhancing the edges. The Decepticon symbol now features prominently on top.

Giza has six connection points for 5mm weapons in this form. This includes a hole at the base and top of the blade. Pegs are also found on the sides, top, back and bottom. This really gives a lot of possibilities for creating weapons with Giza as the center or for him to act as a blade attachment to another weapon.

Final Thoughts on Giza:
Giza is a fun figure and I enjoy Microns based on beast forms. Thematically he really doesn't match up with Nemesis Prime in beast form, but he more than fits in weapon form. He's a fun figure for sure!

Nemesis Prime Review


Nemesis PrimeIntroduced as a non-sentient clone body built by "M.E.C.H." in the "Transformers Prime" cartoon, this iteration of Nemesis Prime was controlled by the evil human character of Silas. The theme of an "evil Optimus Prime" has existed across many different Transformers toy lines including (but not limited to) Car Robots, Alternators and Armada so it's not shocking a version of this "Prime" appears in well, "Transformers Prime".

Robot Mode:
In "Nemesis Prime", the "Transformers Prime" episode featuring this character (I'm using the term "character" rather loosely, I know) the CG model was basically black and dark grey version of Optimus Prime. There wasn't a whole lot of color or detail to speak of which was fine since he was meant to represent a "lifeless" Transformers body shell. For the purpose of this toy release however, Takara Tomy knew they'd have to do something to jazz the figure up a bit and give it some visual appeal so this figure wound up being cast in black, dark grey, dark silver and translucent red plastic. The black, grey and silver colors make up a bulk of the figure, with the translucent plastic used on the chest panels, forearms and light piping parts on the eyes. The red is really what gives a splash of color to what would otherwise be a rather unfinished looking figure. What I will say is that if you take a look at the black parts they have a nice matte style finish to them and the silver parts are nice and metallic looking. He definitely has a "gritty" look much like his on screen counterpart.

They're not plentiful, but there are some paint applications on this figure. The lower legs have silver in the middle, the section under his chest has two yellow dots where his "lights" are located and parts of the chest and head are painted silver. You'll see some silver on his back (more on that in the vehicle mode review) and the smokestacks are soft silver plastic.

Extra detailing for this figure comes in the form of stickers. These stickers in general are metallic teal in color, some with black lines running through them in patterns. These are basically "optional" stickers, so much so that they didn't even have a numerical placement in the instruction sheet. They just kind of vaguely show you "This sticker goes to roughly this area" and you have to figure it out based on the black and white picture and how he looks on the box. Not really the best way to do it in my opinion, but you'll figure it out. The teal gives him a splash of color and has its roots in the Car Robots "Black Convoy" figure who featured similar colors. A Decepticon symbol sticker goes on his right shoulder adding another bit of color, though the CG model on the TV show featured no such symbol.

This version of the Optimus Prime sculpt features a couple modified parts the U.S. release did not. The panels on the forearms have been retooled to include holes on the sides. These are attachment points for 5mm peg weapons such as those the Microns form. There are also holes on the panels on his back, allowing for weapons storage. In addition the sculpt also has weapon connection points on the legs, allowing you to plug up to eight weapons to this figure directly! Giza fits perfectly in his fist in weapon mode and slides right over the fist, hiding it. This effectively makes it look like he has "transformed" his forearm into the blade weapon which looks great. All the joints on the figure are nice and tight, so no worries about stability here.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Pull the chest panel out and swing it down.
  2. Swing the robot head down, revealing the vehicle mode grille.
  3. Move the robot feet into the insides of the lower legs.
  4. Connect the two legs together.
  5. Swing the armor piece over each lower leg up.
  6. Swing each fist up.
  7. Swing each arm back at the shoulder joint.
  8. Adjust the forearms so they form the front of the vehicle.
  9. Move the front wheel wells on the sides up, this allows the clearance for the arms in the last step to fully come together.
  10. On each shoulder armor piece, swing the small crescent shaped piece down, then connect the two together to form the wind vane.
  11. Swing the wind vane down over the top of the chest piece.
  12. Swing up the side sections that have smokestacks on them.
  13. Swing the robot legs up to form the rear of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Nemesis Prime's vehicle form condenses a lot of the black plastic together, mostly in the front to the middle of the vehicle. The dark silver color is found on the front grille and the rear section. The wheels are black and the smokestacks are soft silver plastic. The windshield is translucent red outlined by silver. The vehicle looked a bit more "worn" in the TV show, but the "spirit" of the dark colored vehicle form definitely comes through here.

Silver paint is the most heavily used color here which you'll find on the section outlining the windshield and the side view mirrors. It's also found on the steps located on the sides under the smokestacks. The rest of the details on the figure are filled in by stickers. These include a tiny Decepticon symbol on the grille, headlight stickers in silver and yellow and of course the teal stickers which come together here to form sweeping patterns on sections like the hood and wind vane. A couple extra stickers not really visible in robot mode show in the from of thin teal stripes on the doors. There also some silver stickers with the word "M.E.C.H." on them. There was no "right" placement for these in the instructions so I just wound up putting them on the sides near the base of the smokestacks where they'd be easy to see but not obtrusive.

Thanks to the extra ports created for 5mm peg weapons, you have nine potential connection points for weaponry on Nemesis Prime. Mind you, the three that are at the back of the vehicle can't necessarily be used simultaneously, but they do give you options as to what position the weapon back there can take. The other connection points are all along the side from the front to the middle to the section over the rear wheels. That's a lot of potential destructive power!

Final Thoughts:
I have to admit that when Nemesis Prime was first announced I wasn't particularly thrilled. I kept thinking "Another one?!" but in the context of the show it made sense, and the final result is very nicely done. Recommended!