"Transformers Universe 2.0" Nemesis Prime Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: 2008
Price Point: $24.99
Retailer: San Diego Comic-Con 2008/Hasbrotoyshop Exclusive
Accessories: Smokestacks/"Stellar Converter Cannon", Wind vane/"Disruptor Cannon"

Tech Specs:
Broken by a nightmare eternity of torture at the hands of Straxus, Nemesis Prime does not remember what he was before he was this. He is the culmination of a grand plan never realized by Straxus before his destruction; a lowly warrior reconstructed to be the very image of Optimus Prime. Imprinted with memory engrams and combat algorithms recovered from hundreds of sources, he possesses much of the knowledge of the Autobot leader, but without any framework by which to organize it. Despite his incredible power, he is deeply unstable, a threat to Decepticons and Autobots alike. He cowers in the shadows of Cybertron, living only to stalk and destroy his fellow Transformers.

Strength: 10 Intelligence: 8 Speed: 6 Endurance: 9 Rank: 3 Courage: 9 Firepower: 8 Skill: 5

The name "Nemesis Prime" has applied to a few Transformers in history but conceptually they trace their origins back to the concept of an "evil" Optimus Prime (seen very briefly in the "Generation One" episode "A Prime Problem") and years later in the "Car Robots" series where Convoy (aka Optimus Prime) was "trans scanned" along with a truck by a Destronger (aka bad guy) to become "Black Convoy" (whom we knew as "Scourge" in the U.S.). After that we got to see a version of "Nemesis Prime" in Armada. Even the Alternators toy line had a version of this character. While his origins vary widely, the look of the character with his black and green colors is fairly consistent.

Nemesis Prime is a redeco of Classics Optimus Prime. This figure will cover the changes made to the mold for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
The idea of most Nemesis Prime figures is to produce a figure that "looks" evil. Usually, your best visual shortcut for that is to use the color black, and that's what this figure does in spades. The front half of the vehicle, the smokestacks and wheels are all black plastic. The rear section is mostly a very dark shade of teal. The front end uses light grey plastic for the grille and bumper. The windows are cast in translucent blue. The designers were aiming for "dark" here and they succeeded!

The deco pattern on this mode is largely borrowed from Optimus Prime's. Most notable of these details are the silver lines painted onto the sides and the wind vane on top. Light metallic teal paint is applied to the headlights with silver outlining the edges of the headlights. On the left side of the vehicle is a tampographed Decepticon symbol in purple and silver. Unlike Optimus Prime, Nemesis does not have painted smokestacks. Instead, they have been left solid black. While this color scheme may not be the most original, it is a very striking one in its simplicity. By allowing the bold silver lines to dominate, the vehicle winds up with a very clean, almost sleek appearance.

All the parts on this figure fit just fine, including the smokestacks and wind vane. There's no sign of any mold degradation even though this sculpt had been used multiple times by this point between U.S. and Japanese releases.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the wind vane and smokestacks.
  2. Fold the two smokestacks together to form a gun, swing out the back piece to reveal the peg Prime will use to hold the gun.
  3. Swing the halves of the wind vane down, then swing out the center part forward and swing the gun barrel up.
  4. Swing out the panels on the sides of the truck (under the red section).
  5. Swing the rear of the vehicle down.
  6. Flip up the ends to form the robot feet.
  7. Swing up the squares to form the knee armor.
  8. Swing the side panels of the truck out to the sides.
  9. Swing the fender section with the two front tires down.
  10. Swing the sections the panels are attached to up, and flip out the robot fists.
  11. Swing the robot arms out to the sides.
  12. On the top of the vehicle mode, swing back the hinged piece in the middle and swing the robot head up. Fold the hinged piece up behind it.
  13. Rotate the top section around 180 degrees so the windshield faces the same direction as the robot feet.
  14. Rotate the robot arms so the parts on the shoulders face forward.
  15. Swing the arms down and turn the lower arms around.
  16. Fold the panels against the lower arms.
  17. Place one weapon in each hand.

Robot Mode:
Those who were hoping for a bit more "brightness" in the colors on this figure get their wish with the robot mode. The base plastic colors still heavily lean towards dark teal and black. however, the upper arms, waist and thighs use light grey plastic, helping break up the potential monotony of one dark color after another in this form. As if serving as a "bookend", the head is cast in the same dark teal as the legs, offering a nice color "break up" on the figure. In a welcome move, the eyes have been cast in translucent red plastic, giving him the classic "evil eyes" of a Decepticon. The designers could've taken the easy out and just used the same translucent blue plastic as the windows but I'm glad to see they didn't do that.

The paint details in this form are similar, but not exactly like those on Optimus Prime. There is liberal use of metallic teal here. You'll find it on the head, shoulders, forearm, waist and knee armor. This color is bright but it works beautifully against the dark plastic colors. A bit of dark teal paint is used in the middle of the hip area, matching nicely with the plastic color of the legs and head. A dark silver color (almost gunmetal) is used on the mouthplate, the mid-section and the lower legs to provide additional color. I also love this color as it is very industrial looking and reinforces the machine aspect of the character. A final detail is found on the left shoulder in the form of a Decepticon symbol in purple and silver. It's the perfect finishing touch to a cool deco.

All the joints on this figure are nice and tight. The weapons connect to the hands without a problem and they can still combine and attach to his back as "shoulder" cannons. There were no design changes to the figure for this release.

Final Thoughts:
Nemesis Prime is a very cool redeco of Classics Optimus Prime. He looks great in both modes and definitely says "evil" from the first glance. He's definitely highly recommended but be warned, he is relatively difficult to find at a cheap price. Around the time I'm writing this review he averages for $80-$120 on the after market so be warned.

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