Energon Omega Sentinel

I am a sucker for giant robots. There is just something so appropriate about a robot that towers over other figures. Whether it is a combiner team, big model kit or the latest supreme sized Transformer. I gladly paid full price for Unicron when he was released and even had more than a few moments when I considered buying a second one when the prices started to drop for clearance sales. So of course it was inevitable that the release of the second supreme sized Transformer, Omega Supreme, would test my will and my wallet. Fortunately, like most of the Energon designs, I thought he was pretty ugly looking. But when Hasbro released a repainted version, my resolve weakened. And when I found the Omega Sentinel repaint on clearance following Christmas, resolve went out the window. So say hello to my not so little friend, Omega Sentinel.

Packaging - 7/10

A big figure needs a big box, and that is exactly what Omega comes in. He is packaged in his robot form in the box and pretty clearly visible through the large window across the front and top panels. The lower half of the front panel has photos of Omega's two vehicle forms and an illustration from Dreamwave of his robot mode. Hasbro did something different with the back of the box; it is printed sideways. The box is so large and therefore difficult for retailers to fit onto shelves that Hasbro print printed the back of the box sideways so that it could be placed on shelves more easily. The only real problem I have with the packaging is the twist ties. Not only are there a lot of them, but they are extremely thick and Hasbro made no attempt to try and hid them. The end result is a figure with so many restraints that Omega Sentinel that it looks like he was programmed with a bondage fetish. You are going to want a pair of wire cutters when opening this one.

Sculpting - 4/10

I've been generally disappointed in the Energon figures. The over the top vehicle modes don't really appeal to me. That is the case with Omega Sentinel. The robot mode isn't bad. He is appropriately bulky for such a huge robot but without going overboard and looking like a brick. Hasbro also managed to incorporate a lot of the original first generation's Omega Supreme's design into the new figure. The combination of one claw and one cannon arm is certainly inspired by the original design. And the head design is almost identical to the original.

It is the vehicle modes that leave a lot to be desired. Omega Sentinel splits into two vehicles: a battle ship and what is supposed to be a large crane. The design of the battleship is traditional enough to pass for an regular sea fairing ship with a wide deck full of guns and control tower. But the huge thruster on the back allows it to work as a spaceship as well. It is the crane that I truly find lacking. It is supposed to be a huge mobile crane, and to a limited extent I suppose it does when the arm is folded in as if for travel. But the crane functions are pretty laughable. The main arm isn't very flexible. It works well enough as just a boom arm I suppose. But the hand on the end makes it appear like the arm should be used as a bucket which it is not articulated enough to do. There is also a turret with three booms mounted on top of the front section. The entire turret can rotate to move the booms to the sides and the booms themselves are moveable. But they are so short that they barely clear the side of the vehicle.

I was treated to a surprising bonus with Omega Sentinel, he is a headmaster! (Fans of the show may be saying duh right now, but I was completely unaware.) Once removed, the head folds out to form a pudgy little robot. In this form he can serve as the operator of the crane. He can also be plugged into the tower of the battleship, though he looks a little strange that way.

While splitting into two vehicles is a pretty good trick, it is certainly not Omega's only one. Each of Omega's vehicle modes can be transformed to a second form. The mobile crane becomes a tower crane and the battle ship becomes a cannon. Both forms are designed for Optimus to use, with the lasers at the hips folding out to form handles. Both look pretty silly. The cannon is perhaps passable, but I can't help feeling like the crane just looks like what it is: a headless half of Omega balancing on one foot with his arm stuck out to one side. But Omega's bag of tricks doesn't stop there. Omega can link to Optimus Prime. Basically in this form, Optimus folds up and fits into Omega's chest while his four little vehicles connect to Omega's arms and legs. Finally, Omega's two vehicle forms can be combined to form an armored supertrain. This form is the most disappointing part of the entire figure. The train is formed by sticking the nose of the crane into the battleship's thruster. The resulting construct is a monstrosity measuring almost a yard long. But there are two problems with it. First, it is not very stable. There are only two very small clips which hold the two halves together. They are sufficient to allow the halves to be pulled, but of course it can't support the weight of the halves if they are lifted up. But the truly strange thing is the overall design. You have one vehicle with a front end that looks like a train engine and a second that has a large thruster on the back. Logic would seem to say that the two vehicles should be assembled with the train engine at the front and the thruster on the back. So of course Hasbro took the train engine and shoved it up the thruster! What is formed is an extremely long vehicle that doesn't really look like anything more than a mass of parts. Forming it this way was taking the easy way out on Hasbro's part and it shows.

Paint - 7/10

Omega Supreme and Omega Sentinel are great examples of how much difference the paint scheme can make. Omega Supreme's yellow and blue color scheme left me completely flat. But Omega Sentinel does away with the bright yellow for the crane half in favor of a matching blue. The resulting figure looks terrific. The quality is excellent as it almost always is with Transformers. The only thing holding the figure back is the lack of attention to detail. There are so many details in the sculpt that were left untouched. Fully painted Omega would look amazing.

Articulation - 5/10

In robot mode, Omega Sentinel has the equivalent of fifteen points of articulation: rotating knees, double hinged hips, rotating neck and shoulders, hinged arms at the shoulders and elbows and rotating forearms and the two halves of the right claw are hinged. Of course there are also the four rotating turrets on the battleship half and all of the joints used in the transformations. For such a large figure and bulky design, the articulation isn't bad. The only area I would have like to see improved is the mobility of the right arm when acting as a crane.

Accessories - 2/10

Omega comes with just two accessories, a pair of missiles. They fit into the launcher on the left shoulder/battleship deck. The missiles are nothing special and the launcher is not terribly powerful. Compared to the size of the figure, they seem woefully under powered.

Special Notes

The packaging list Omega Sentinel as being a level four transformer. Obviously size matters to Hasbro, because he didn't earn it for the complexity of the transformation. The figure is basically ripped down the middle to form the two vehicles. From there the crane half requires a mere quarter turn of the front and folding down the nose to complete the transformation. The battleship requires a bit more work to position the tower, but it is still far simpler than even most of the deluxe Robots in Disguise figures.

Omega Sentinel has an action feature in each arm. The crane arm has a button that allows the forearm to be extended. It also locks into place when fully retracted which keeps it from flopping around. The battleship arm has an electronic light up function. When the button on the side is pressed, LED's in the tip of the arm flash and make noise. The feature is unobtrusive, but not very effective. The combination of red LEDs with the translucent blue plastic is not very visible. It is a shame since the shortcoming would have been easily overcome. Proper blue LEDs could have been used or the cover could have been made of red plastic which wouldn't have looked out of place either.

Value - 5/10

This hefty figure carries an equally hefty price. Retail for Omega Sentinel is $50, though stores like Wal-mart may have it for a low as $45 and some online sites have listed it for as much as $70. While it is certainly big enough to justify that price, the lackluster vehicle modes (save for the battleship) really hurts the value. However, like Unicorn, Omega Supreme and Omega Sentinel have been hitting the clearance shelves from time to time, especially after Christmas. I found Omega Sentinel for half price back in January. (Yes, I am still several months behind in my reviews, but getting better.) But more recently I have heard of Wal-marts selling them for as little as $8. For that price, they certainly are a steal. But you may want to wait as there isn't that much here to justify paying full price.

Happy Hunting:

Omega Sentinel and Omega Supreme are fairly easy to find. During the summer off season, brick and mortar stores have been hit or miss about carrying them depending on the amount of space they have available. Toys R Us stores should be a pretty reliable source though. Online options are pretty common as well. Both versions are available from Wal-mart's website. The Omega Supreme version is also available from Target.com, Amazon.com and KB Toys.com.










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