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Nemesis Prime & Spinister

Transformers Generations
by yo go re

There's one character for whom I have no trouble breaking my "only one mold" rule.

The silent assassin Spinister is more intelligent than most Decepticon lackeys. Subtle enough to keep his personal agenda a secret from his superiors, he was last seen travelling to Cybertron in the company of Nemesis Prime, dark clone of Optimus Prime and servant of the World Eater Unicron. Although the purpose of their alliance remains a mystery, their success can only spell disaster for the Autobots and their allies on Earth.

There was already one Nemesis Prime in this line (back when it was still called Universe), and in that review, we made up a reason why this dark clone could look like a robot he'd never seen. Nemesis Prime is designed to be an imitation, a copycat, and I like him so much that I'll buy black repaints even if they've got a different name. This figure is a repaint of this Optimus Prime, which will make writing this review super easy!

This Nemesis Prime is based on Optimus' appearances in the IDW comics. Granted, that just means it's a "busy" version of the G1 design, with a few cues from the Classics mold, but there are enough differences to set it apart and make it recognizable on this toy. But thanks to the window-boobs and the blue mouthplate, there's no question who this is.

The IDW-influenced elements include the panel in the center of the chest, the circles on the knees, and the angled panels on the shoulders. The figure is only about as big as a Cyberverse "Commander Class" toy, meaning he doesn't even break the 4" mark, but he has a swivel neck and torso, and balljoints at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. There are a few annoying things about the design, though: the head doesn't lock in its "up" position in any way, and though the chest panels are meant to be swung outward, there's nothing to keep them from folding back in when you move the arms. Frustrating, but not terrible.

Nemesis Prime converts exactly the way you think he would; the only trick to the process is that you have to turn the torso around to face the back, but that's becoming more common. The truck mode is pure IDW, with a slightly rounded cab and the big airfoil on the roof. The robot's feet are a pretty major piece of kibble in this mode, but it's such a small toy, what else could they really have done with it? All six of the wheels roll.

To keep the two figures in Wave 8 from just being plain repaints, their little Mini-Con partners have been switched: the Roller mold is now "Suppressor" and comes with Cliffjumper, while Bumblebee's helicopter buddy, Blazemaster, has been repainted purple and teal as Spinister. A Gatling gun sticks out the front of the chopper, and the rotors spin freely.

In G1, Spinister was a Targetmaster - but not one of the tiny guns, the full-sized robot partner! He's been downgraded for this release. Of course, his Tech Spec talked about how mysterious and secretive he was, and that not even the Decepticons knew his motivations, so there may be some reason for his ensmallening that we just don't know about. To turn him into a robot, you fold up the gun and the helicopter's tail, but that's more than some require. He stands about 1⅞" tall, and moves at the shoulders.

Apparently Spinister has been taking tips from his old Targetmaster partners, because he can turn into a gun. And unlike most of the weapons in this sub-line, it actually looks like a gun instead of a handheld vehicle! Nice! You can even remove the blades, and use them as a melee weapon in the bigger bot's off hand. Which is good, since while Nemesis Prime can apparently copy Optimus' body immediately, it seems that he's incapable of copying his gun. The set doesn't come with one (or maybe Cliffjumper just stole it from him).

Nemesis Prime is part of a phantom series, never appearing in stores. Just when Swerve and Cosmos finally began hitting the pegs, it was time for "Combiner Wars" releases (weirdly enough, the second wave rather than the first). So if you want Nemesis Prime, your best bets are either Amazon (where the price is definitely inflated, but not high), or catching him when he's in stock on Hasbro Toy Shop.

-- 03/31/15

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