Sunday, May 27, 2012

Transformers Bot Shots Sentinel Prime (Super Bot)

Hasbro has branched the Transformers property out quite a bit in recent years with the addition of sub lines like Cyberverse, Stealth Force and Robot Heroes, one of their newest variations on the franchise being Bot Shots. Bot Shots are small, roughly two inch figures utilizing a spring-loaded automatic transformation system and integrating a simple game in the style of Rock, Paper, Scissors for added play value. The line features a variety of characters drawn from Generation One as well as the live action movies and each wave of single pack figures includes a "Super Bot" version of a character cast in translucent plastic, symbolizing the power coursing through their circuits. Super Bots also have different battle stats in the game than their normal incarnations and are packed in less numbers per case than other characters. The first Super Bot available in wave one is Sentinel Prime.

Sentinel's proportions are exaggerated to make him a cute lil' mini betrayer of his entire race with an oversized head perched atop a stumpy little body. Articulation is zilch due to the way the figure transforms.

Based off how the character's appearance in Dark Of The Moon, but with a more friendly G1-esque face, Prime is cast entirely in translucent red plastic with literally two paint applications, a silver face plate and Autobot blue eyes. His expression is determined with a slight upward quirk of the right corner of his mouth.

Transformation is as simple as folding down the arms, folding up the legs and pulling the bumper down to lock everything in place. Be careful because the front bumper is the transformation trigger and also where you are most likely to try grabbing him because your brain hates you. Sentinel's alternate mode in the movie is a Rosenbauer Panther 6x6 fire truck, frequently used at airports, and the Bot Shots figure is a scaled down, super-deformed version of this vehicle.

While the figure may be simple, the sculpt is far from it. The Panther has multiple grid patterns, ladders, panels and hoses molded along it's length and it rolls freely on four black plastic tires, the central set of being sculpted on and sadly unpainted.

The game aspect comes into play via a rotating wedge set in their chest of each figure with a different sticker on each face, representing the character's strength in a particular fighting style and a number exactly defining that strength. Seen here is the Blaster image, for skill in ranged weapons.

The wedge rotates freely and the idea is that two kids each pick a figure and secretly choose their attack type by rotating to a certain side. The two figures are then crashed into each other in vehicle mode and upon springing up, the winner is decided by which attack type beats the others and in cases of the same attack being chosen by both players, number value of an attack.

This Super Bot version has much different stats than the normally colored Sentinel Prime, having much higher values in Fist and Blaster strength, while his Sword strength is actually much lower lower.

At roughly four dollars, it's hard to dislike this little guy. When first announced, I had planned to avoid Bot Shots as the more gimmicky Transformers sub lines typically don't appeal to me and I cared not a whit for the game, but translucent plastic is my Kryptonite and I can see how the game would be a quick, easy way for kids to play. The low price point also allows kids to build up a collection fairly easily, as four bucks is much easier for a parent to swallow than the roughly twelve dollars Deluxe class figures cost these days. Sentinel Prime was the first Super Bot available in wave one of Bot Shots and as such, should still be in stores near you. If translucent red isn't your color, you can also get a movie colored version that comes in a three pack with Bumblebee and Prowl.

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