When Sentinel and Takara join forces, even a transforming PEN is amazing.
Producer: Sen-ti-nel x Takara
Price: Approx. $35 USD
Release Date: Sept. 2014
Item Height: Approx. 3 7/5″
Item Weight: N/A
WHERE TO BUY: AmiAmi – Item is long sold out with many counterfeits on the market. Please don’t inquire about where to purchase.
Nowadays we’re pretty used to companies (particularly 3rd party ones) producing solid, Legends-classed Transformers figures on a regular basis. However, prior to two or so years ago, that wasn’t the case and it was rare to see a really exceptional piece released at that size class. In 2014, a big one was the trio of Sentinel (Sen-ti-nel) Optimus Primes (also released in Ultra Magnus and Black Convoy color schemes) that actually transformed into functioning pens. I’m sure that the alt.-mode wasn’t anyone’s first choice, however it really does make for a nice pen and the the robot modes art pretty fantastic. The robot modes are pretty much the ultimate “desk bots” with a ton of articulation and solid feel. The sculpt and paint job are also borderline perfection. Even though the blasters (the only accessory) are the same color for each Optimus Pen variant, the boxes feature different coloring and promotional shots on the back with appropriate titling. Check out my video reviews above as well as additional thoughts and the gallery below then let me know what you think in the comments.
Unfortunately, the secondary market for this item has been absolutely saturated i with counterfeits to the point where I would say the ratio of sales listings is towards 9/1 in the favor of knockoffs. I’ve honestly never seen such a rampant influx of knockoffs, particularly with the vast majority of them NOT being properly listed as counterfeit. However, in the video above I tried to go over the two side-by-side comparing the boxes, instructions, and products themselves (be advised; many of the knockoffs are sold loose,) and here’s a written listing of some things to look out for with side-by-side pictures of the two:
– The Box for the counterfeit is more purple in tint with muted colors, blurred images, and inconsistent placements on the Takara-Tomy sticker on top (see video.)
– The stop layer of printing can be “off” on the counterfeit box. A good example is the placement of “Tomy” on the front, bottom-center. It’s noticeably more over to the viewer’s right than the legitimate (see video.)
– The instructions of the counterfeit are extremely saturated in color and have blurred images (see video.)
– The “face” (eyes and faceplate) of the counterfeit are misshapen and are longer. The face also sticks out farther from the helmet because it’s misshapen and doesn’t fit in correctly (see video.)
– the balljoint connected to the neck on the counterfeit is molded off-center preventing upwards and downwards head movement (see video.)
– The Autobot emblem on the counterfeit is orange where the legitimate is red.
– The right arm of the counterfeit is not molded correctly on the female balljoint connection on the bicep and the arm wobbles loosely and falls off (see video.)
– The pins on the counterfeit are not pressed in well and stick out from the molding (see pictures; the forearm one is blatant.)
– The silver paint on the counterfeit is generally more speckled-looking due to poor application and finish (see pictures and video.)
– The silver accenting on the blaster (gun) accessory on the counterfeit is poorly molded and does not have the sharp ridges or deep fit of the legitimate (see pictures and video.)
Note: Only the Optimus Prime-colored version has been knocked off at this time, so if you’re searching for the Ultra Magnus or Black Convoy variants you should be safe regardless.
Overall Score: 7.5/10 – These Optimus Pen variants are seriously a truck transformation away from being an easy 10/10 score. They’re great looking, quality-built, and well-articulated pieces that sold for a hell of a price. Honestly, the only unfortunate part is the insane knockoff influx.
Check out the gallery below, and keep an eye out for any news on potential reissues.