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Nemesis Prime

Transformers: Alternity
by yo go re

There are quite a few black Optimus Prime figures now, but this one is still unique - he's the only one who's actually the same as a previous version.

The Convoy who utilizes the Auto-avatar frame "Vector 704" is a unique being, one who joined the Alternity after being saved from being a disciple of evil. Replicated by the hand of Unicron from the Convoy of a certain demolished world, he was built into an assault weapon after being inflicted with millennia of torture that destroyed his mind. Defeated by the Cybertrons after a fierce battle, he was later inducted into the Convoy collective 900,000 years in the future, where the Alternity is located. Having the full power and compassion of a transcendent being healed his decayed mind, and having thus achieved reactivation, Convoy V-704 became a loyal bearer of the Alternity's commands and alighted on present-day Earth. Reborn, he behaves as a prudently mastered warrior, but owing to the difference between his combat experience and the other Avatars', he has unconsciously utilized unjust tactics. In addition, although he secretly hopes for a confrontation with the detested Unicron, he has sealed this deepest wish deep down inside in order to devote himself to his vital subordinate's mission: the battle with his natural enemy, Hytherion, and Megatron, who has acquired Hytherion's power.

Yeah, let's be honest - you probably didn't understand a word of that, did you? "Alternity" is Japan's followup to the Binaltech line, set over 9,000 centuries in the future. The stuff that happened in Arcee's chapter of the translated Binaltech story was the set-up for Alternity, which is about super-powerful TFs protecting the universe or something. It's all ridiculously big, high-stakes stuff. This is the "Super Black" version of Convoy - aka, Alternity Nemesis Prime.

Like the Alternators, the Alternity toys are based on officially licensed vehicles. In the case of Convoy, that car is a Nissan GT-R, an $80,000 sports car that's so advanced it could only be sold in other parts of the world after Nissan built specific facilities capable of performing routine service on the damn things. Amusingly, the real car was designed to look like a Gundam, so wouldn't becoming a Transformer be some sort of betrayal? It'd be like designing a car to look like the Batmobile, then painting it in Spider-Man's colors.

The Alternity toys aren't as big as their Alternator progenitors, sadly - at 5¾" long, the car is only about as big as a Deluxe class toy. It's still die-cast metal, still has rubber tires, all that. The doors open and the interior is detailed, but since this is a Japanese import, the steering wheel is on the right, not the left. There are even accurate disc brakes behind the wheels. Great toy car, I just wish it were Alternator-sized.

Converting between car and robot isn't a simple process - eveything fits together very well, so there isn't a lot of room to perform the necessary moves. Plus, there are several steps that invlove slightly repositioning some small flange that would be easy to forget or overlook, but will block your progress if you don't do it right. This is one where you'll really want to hold onto the instructions for a while. There are some Automorph-type bits, though it's called "Synchrotech." In robot mode, the hood behind Convoy's head reaches the 6½" mark.

The design aesthetic for Alternity walks the line between classic designs and the movie style, so while Convoy isn't a pile of exposed wires and gears, he's not covered in seamless plates, either. You get a lot of the "broken car armor" the movie 'bots had, especially in the legs and the way the doors fold in on themselves. The head is only vaguely "Prime-ish," but it's enough to be recognizable. Kind of like the shoe. You know this is Prime because you're told this is Prime.

Rather than having a removable weapon stowed in the engine, trunk, or somewhere else in the car, Convoy's weapons are built-in. They hide behind the seats, and fold out when needed. According to the layout on the instruction sheet, those are Anti-Hytherion Spacetime-Piercing Tachyon Blasters, "super-long-range armaments that can strike targets existing in the past, the future, or in other dimensions." Yeah, all of Alternity is like that. There's an entire schematic detailing all the wonderful and crazy things this body can do, and everything has a hopped-up sense of importance and an overblown name.

Nemesis Prime is, of course, mostly black. There's a small Autobot symbol on his waist, and a bit of metallic blue on his knees and head to break up the monotony. Basically, it's what we've come to expect from a Nemesis Prime by now.

So, that thing we mentioned about this Nemesis being the same as another? If you could make it through his translated bio paragraph at the start of the review, you saw the stuff about him being tortured for thousands of years. That's a reference to the bio for the original Nemesis Prime, the wooly mammoth one. This is the same guy, just given a chance at redemption and fighting on the good guys' side. How about that!

-- 10/06/09

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