Galaxy Force Toy Reviews: Vector Prime

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cybertron, Galaxy Force

Transformers Galaxy Force

General Information:
Release Year: December 2004
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $45 (Depending on Import Retailer, purchased at Image Anime)
Accessories: Force Chip, Sword, Missile x 1, Roots Micron

Images:

Sounds:

Tech Specs:*
"This ancient warrior appeared after crossing the time and space in order to save the planet Seibertron. He explained to us the function of the Force
Chips, which make Transformers even stronger, so we could activate the Ignition powers that transcend us beyond what we were. His ability to
control space-time will doubtless become an enormous force for saving the universe."

Strength: 8  Intelligence: 10  Speed:Endurance: 9
Rank: 10  Courage: 8  Firepower: 8  Skill: 9



*Tech Specs translated by Doug Dlin.

As Transformers lore has grown over twenty years, certain ideas and themes have been created that reverberate to this day. One of these themes has been the Transformers God Primus, the source of Transformers life and mortal enemy of the Dark God Unicron. As one version of Transformers history goes, Primus created thirteen initial Transformers, and from there a race grew. According to the upcoming Transformers Collector's Club comic, Vector Prime was one of these thirteen, making him rather unique in the history of Transformers figures.

Roots

Vehicle Mode:
Roots' vehicle mode is an interesting one. From a distance you look at it and you think "Oh, it's just a jet". But then you look a bit closer and realize that he's sort of a jet/BFG (Big Freaking Gun) hybrid. The rear and sides of the vehicle are definitely parts of a jet, with vertical and horizontal fins and wings. However, the front end look like two big gun barrels, one round, one rectangular. For a Micron, there's quite a bit of detail happening here, especially on the gun barrels which have a lot of tech details ranging from circles to rectangles to cut lines.

Roots uses the same primary colors as Vector Prime, grey and metallic blue. But he also utilizes black on the wings and on the hinge joints. While grey may sound dull, it works because it is plain enough of a color that it allows you to see all the various sculpted details.

The Powerlinx point for Roots is on the bottom of the jet. This allows him to attach to Vector Prime's arms to act as an arm mounted cannon. He looks really awesome like this and the wings just make him look even better, a weapon that is sleek and powerful.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the rear section of the jet back and down.
  2. Flip the black foot pieces up.
  3. Fold the gun barrels back.
  4. Swing the robot arms forward.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode Roots is nicely sculpted as well. Here his whole design is aimed at being sleek. His head is very angular, with the helmet portion sweeping back. His shoudlers come to points and his vehicle mode wings are on the sides of his lower arms. His main body is sculpted very nicely, not bulky at all.
On other side of his chest are weapon barrels, and tubes run down his sides. An excellent design.

This mode shows more black thanks to the upper arms, upper legs and feet. His face is metallic blue and the rest of the body is grey. Roots has eight points of articulation in this form, which isn't bad at all for a Micron. Of particular note are the lower arms which are on ball joints.

Roots is one awesome Micron and a great addition to your Micron army.

Vector Prime

Vehicle Mode:
If you're a science fiction fan and find Vector Prime's vehicle mode's general shape somewhat familiar, you're not alone. In the initial design sketches for Vector Prime, he was largely based on the Star Wars Sith Infiltrator.
However, that was only a starting point at which point the design was refined into a flatter, more aerodynamic looking design. The long front and panels on the sides remained and it is interesting to see what influences work their way into Transformers toys.

Although this is pure speculation, I also see a tiny similarity between the Marvel Comics G1 "Last Autobot" and Vector Prime. His vehicle mode was also a ship with a long front and panels on the side with a bulk of the main body at the back of the vehicle. Granted this is a description that would fit many Transformers, but the Last Autobot and Vector Prime also share similar roles in that both are guardians appointed directly by Primus. Interesting coincidence perhaps, but a neat one to note.

No matter the influence, Vector Prime's vehicle mode is a spaceship. Just from this mode alone, you realize that you are looking at what is possibly one of the most detailed Transformers ever released. The sheer amount of sculpted detail here is insane. Vector Prime has the standard details you would expect from a Transformers ship. He has vents, thrusters, some angled line details and tech details resembling wires and tubes. However, the really impressive details come in two primary forms. One are piles and piles of gears interconnected all over the surface of the vehicle. This really gets the point across that this is an ancient Transformer by taking such a classic mechanical feature and incorporating it all over the design. Not only are these gears seen from a top view (on both the top and underside of the toy), but you even get a side glimpse of some when looking at the ship from the right side where the sides of gears can be seen running across the front section. The other primary details are a series of curved and intricate cut lines that bear more than a passing resemblance to the mysterious characters found on Beast Machines Optimus Primal's chest. This too could be coincidence, but these details add to Vector Prime's ancient appearance. It's as if he has writings of Primus all over him.

Other details that I love are the lines on the side panels which look like solar panels. He also has small gun ports on both the top and bottom of the front of the vehicle. On the underside he has four guns, a radar dish and a sensor pod. Another great detail can be found in front of the cockpit, where a section is shaped like a sword, alluding to his primary weapon in robot mode. Very nice.

Vector Prime is made up of four primary colors: grey, blue, metallic flake brown and gold. A bit of orange appears for details as well. Grey is the primary body color, gold is used for a lot of the sculpted details including the gears and curved lines. The blue is split between metallic blue on details like the "sword" detail in front while translucent blue is used for the cockpit window and side panels. The metallic brown is used for larger parts such as the area surrounding the cockpit and the edges of the side panels. The use of brown and gold on grey was a brilliant one as these are colors often associated with "older" objects such as classic clocks or antique devices. Gold is one of those colors that can easily be overused, but since it's just being used for smaller details here, it works very well.

Among the features that are being phased out from Transformers in Galaxy Force are Mini-Con Powerlinx points. Fortunately, Vector Prime has Powerlinx points on him, three to be exact. Two are on the back section on the sides. The third is made specifically for Roots as it is in a section molded to fit him in vehicle mode. This is located in the front section. By attaching Roots to this section you add on another bit of firepower for Vector Prime. At the very front is a missile which can be launched by pressing the button in front of the cockpit window.

The Force Chip included with Vector Prime is most likely going to be unique to him. His Force Chip continues the "gear" theme found on his body details. The general shape is of a gear, but at the top is a small dial that resembles something you'd find on an old style pocket watch. It even has bolts on the edges! Whereas all other Force Chips so far focus on either the affiliation of the character or the world they come from, Vector Prime's has all the symbols including the sun/cloud one for Earth, the lightning pattern from Speedia, the claw from the Beast planet, a gear (presumably unique to Vector Prime, at least so far) and finally an Autobot symbol. That's a lot of symbols crammed into one Force Chip! A very impressive design.

The Force Chip connects to the slot towards the middle of the ship. This activates a sound that sounds like metal hitting metal and then a humming engine. Very cool. An awesome, awesome vehicle mode.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the sword from the front section's left side.
  2. Flip the vehicle over and swing the bottom of the ship back and straighten the robot legs out.
  3. Flip the robot feet up.
  4. Swing the front section of the ship back.
  5. Swing the side panels down on the black hinges and then fold them back.
  6. Turn the robot head around.
  7. Flip up the shoulder panels on the robot arms.
  8. Slide the lower arm panels up.
  9. Move the arms out to the sides a bit.
  10. Place the sword in Vector Prime's hand.
  11. Roots can be attached to either arm as a weapon.

Robot Mode:
As classic looking as the designers tried to make the vehicle mode look, the robot mode really pushes things up a notch. The first, and to me one of the most exciting, design features is the robot head. Take a close look at it and you'll see something familiar. That's right, Vector Prime's robot head is the Autobot symbol. From the center crest to the mouth and chin piece. Granted he has more detail than the symbol including vent lines on the crest and small rectangles and lines on the side pieces.

As with the vehicle mode, the robot mode has small line and curved details everywhere along with the gear details. His chest design has a concave section in the middle with an orange circle in the center and lines coming out from it. This (like his line designs) resembles the chest of Beast Machines Optimus Primal a lot and I'm sure it implies his connection with Primus.

Vector Prime's basic body shape has the feel of a Knight from tales of the Middle Ages. His shoulder and lower arm covers look like armor pieces, and the three pointed parts on his waist area resemble armor pieces. This effect is enhanced by the front of the ship and the side panels being on his back. The three pieces basically work together to make it look like he has a cape of some sort on.

This is one of the few cases where an accessory deserves an honorable mention. Vector Prime's sword is just as intricate as its owner. At both ends of the blade you'll find a lot of sculpted detail and raised surfaces. It's not a simple sword design by any means, an enhances his "ancient/classic" appearance.

The color scheme carries over from the vehicle mode, with more metallic blue showing and the addition of silver on the legs and robot head.

Vector Prime has eighteen points of articulation, many of which are ratchet joints, which helps keep him steady for posing. One thing I love is the fact that his waist panels can swing forward to allow his legs to bend that way. Also, I was glad to see his lower arms and legs can turn to the sides. His fists have standard Energon Weapon peg sized holes, so he can use weapons from Energon.

Attach the Force Chip to Vector Prime in this mode, and swinging his left arm causes a crashing sound, like he's using his sword to smash something. It then follows up with the same noise that you hear when you first insert the Chip. Move the arm without the Force Chip, and the sound of lasers firing activates.

Final Thoughts:
Quite simply, Vector Prime is a must have. He is highly detailed, looks fantastic in both modes, draws influences from various sources and he appears to be a key series character. He also comes with a very cool Micron figure too. Highly recommended!