Transformers Ironhide
Transformers Ironhide
Transformers Ironhide
Transformers Ironhide
Transformers Ironhide
Transformers Ironhide

I think a year or so down the line it's fair enough to spoil Dark of the Moon and note that Sentinel Prime turns out not to be a returning ally in the film but actually a great big space racist. I can't work out if his incredibly muddy motives and actions in the film are down to bad writing or due to Sentinel being a massive twat. He feels bound to an agreement made with Megatron aeons ago despite everything having been changed; he claims to be ensuring the survival of the Transformers race by initiating a conflict that wipes out a good percentage of the ones remaining alive (including Ironhide, who he shot in the back himself simply because he felt like being dramatic) and also comes up with the most violent way of saving Cybertron possible instead of working with Optimus and/or NEST to achieve the goal.

This paragon got three toys in the movie's compacted line - a Cyberverse Commander (meh), a Voyager (hah) and a Leader (yay!).


Transformers has done lots of fire engines - Inferno, Hot Spot, Red Hot, Pyro, RiD Optimus Prime - but this is the first licensed example, and the first one to make a really good fist of it. Being a Leader class figure (not quite in scale with the likes of Optimus and Ironhide, but close enough to the Deluxe cars to make highway chase scenes a viable target for recreation) the toy's peppered with details even if the solid black wheels are a shame.

But then some of the details work against the thing - a more opaque windscreen would have kept the back of Sentinel's head better hidden. Action-wise there are a couple of neat features tied into the electronics, the boom arm has decent movement and the figure's shield and a pair of flip-out missiles give him a passable Stealth Mode attack configuration. The biggest problem with the mode however is that it's a pin to get everything flush and compact, the rear end especially feeling like it's going to explode into a mass of robot parts at any time.


Sentinel has a very mixed transformation. There are some really nice bits of engineering in there and going from fire engine to robot is great fun. The other way requires lining up a lot of panels and plates just right and really isn't very enjoyable. I tend to keep him in robot form a lot of the time just because I can't be bothered with the frustrating process of transforming him - not an ideal trait for a Transformers figure. The good news is that he at least looks good in robot mode. Aside from the large electronics pack on his back the feel of the CGI model is captured well, with three different sets of panels moving onto the back and recreating the cloak-like on-screen look. They're all well-mounted enough to avoid getting in the way and it really lends Sentinel an old-fashioned look - it's easy to believe he has a few millennia on Optimus or Bumblebee. There are some nice touches as well - while the fake lights for the chest are a bit of a cheat the way the real thing and the windscreen fold away to near invisibility inside the chest is great and I do like the way the real side windows clip into position on the chest and line up with the aforementioned fake lights.

As well as more electronic trickery there are some other good features. He has a big unfolding sword that looks good when it doesn't flop around and the shield tops off the look nicely. The latter can deploy into a more vicious configuration too. The robot mode's biggest fault is probably the articulation. There are loads of joints but the odd layout of the feet and the top-heavy nature caused by the electronics restrict the poses Sentinel can actually hold. He is, at least, a decent size to interact with other Leader class toys like Optimus, Megatron and Ironhide while in simple poses he's stable enough to have Deluxe cars hanging off him in the style of the melee seen at the end of the film.


For a toy of his size and price Sentinel does fall short in too many areas. It can't be emphasised how irritating transforming from robot to fire engine can be and there's something very underwhelming about the statuesque robot mode. Still, he looks terrific in both modes, especially displayed with the Revenge of the Fallen Leader class versions of his main rivals. There's just a sense that he should have been a lot better.