The Autobot Matrix of Leadership

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Night Flame, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Reach way back into the past and remember. . .

    In October of 2005 rumors began to circulate that a particular piece of Transformers memrobilia was going to be created by Diamond Select. It was something of legend. Something beautiful, spectacular, and wonderous in Transformers mythology. Sometimes loved, and sometimes cursed as a lame plot device, but nevertheless remembered fondly by those of us who saw the original Transformers movie in the theater. That item?

    The Autobot Matrix of Leadership.

    The first mention of it on these boards was this post in the news forum, which has since had all attached comments trimmed back during one of the board cleanings. I remember the general feeling of excitement and wonder going on in that thread though. People both fearful and excited by the prospect.

    We got our first pictures clear back in January of this year, announced in this thread which also suffered the trim effects of the board cleaning. The excitement increased tremendously when the first pictures arrived, and the fear began to subside. The pictures have since been purged, but if I remember correctly, these pictures were of a resin prototype which had the look of a hand-painted test-shot. Some paint apps were sloppy, but it still was abundantly clear we were going to get something special here.

    On February 10th of this year, the pre-order went up at BBTS announced here. The original price announcement was $234.99. Most fans scoffed at the price, but the excitement over such an item being produced remained.

    I, as I'm sure many others did, placed my pre-order almost immediately. This marks the longest pre-order cycle I've been a part of outside of a custom guitar order. And the wait felt every bit as long as it was. At some point during that time, the price was lowered to $159.99, which is something I don't remember ever being discussed around here. And pictures began to turn up other places over the ensuing months, the best of which truly caught my eye and made the wait even more painful for me.

    Finally, today, tonight, it is here. In my hands.

    As with any long wait, there's good and bad at the end of the tunnel. Does the good outweight the bad? In this case. . .well, best to cover it in full.

    First impressions are important. And taking this thing out of the shipping box gave me a very good first impression.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    It's very old-school packaging, with a hint of flair. And an excellent bio-type summary on the back of the box.

    But the packaging only deterred me from my real quest for a few moments. The box itself was not taped, but the foam inner packaging was. A few minutes of tearing into packing tape, slicing it open, pulling plastic wrappers off, and putting things together revealed something like this:

    [​IMG]

    And the back of the entire assembly, with the Key to Vector Sigma removed from the stand, looks like this.

    The details are very good on both the Matrix, and the stand that holds it, as well as the Key to Vector Sigma. All of them are covered in technical looking details in various shades of gold, silver, and black. There was obviously a lot of work involved in putting this sculpt together, and it shows when looking at it for any length of time.

    The most interesting feature of the entire assembly is the light up feature. It's not actually built into the Matrix itself, which was a bit of a disappointment to me, as I had hoped to "Light my darkest hour," or at least my living room with the TV off, but it's going to be tough to re-enact that scene with the Matrix firmly planted in the base. However, it is interesting how the light is activated.

    There's a battery cover that requires one screw to be removed on the bottom of the stand. It takes three double A batteries. There is also an on-off switch located on the bottom. Turn it on and there will be no life, yet.

    But, put the Matrix on the stand, and mount the Key to Vector Sigma in it's proper place and . . .

    [​IMG]

    The light is actually mounted in a tube that protrudes up from the base and into the Matrix itself. On the back of the Key to Vector Sigma is a small magnet. This magnet activates a switch inside the base which turns on the bulb in the base, and you get a light show.

    The light cycles through several colors. Here's just a few of them

    http://www.theleehousehold.com/pics/2006-08-31shoot/Light1.jpg
    http://www.theleehousehold.com/pics/2006-08-31shoot/Light2.jpg
    http://www.theleehousehold.com/pics/2006-08-31shoot/Light3.jpg
    http://www.theleehousehold.com/pics/2006-08-31shoot/Light4.jpg

    In a way, this was another disappointment. It's nice and pretty, and sort of fun to watch from a distance, but at the same time, I imagined the Matrix having a flickering light for its "idle" time and a bright, blindingly white light for its "power up" time. Neither of which are possible without some fancy photo/video editing.

    The entire statue is very lightweight. It's a cold-cast, and the workmanship on it is pretty decent. Though there are several
    rough patches in various places on the assembly. Oddly enough, looking at the pictures on the box itself shows exactly the same roughness in exactly the same places. There are also some minor alignment issues here and there on the seams of the Matrix itself. There are also places where the various shades of gold and/or silver are not kept in their "space," where they become patchy in spots. In the end, this is a mass-production piece, and these minor issues are where that tends to show.

    In fairness to the designers, with all the technical detail on this particular piece, it would be nearly impossible to sand it smooth without fear of removing large chunks of the greebles all over the surface of every square inch of the thing. Even the inside bits of the Matrix have technical detail etched into them.

    In summary, here's a quick run-down of highlights, and lowlights on the Transformers Autobot Matrix of Leadership Statue with base and the Key to Vector Sigma:

    Highlights:
    1) Cool light up feature activated with a key gimmick.

    2) Awesome detailing. As someone who enjoys modelling and occassionally scratch building very small pieces, the detailing on this thing makes me insane imagining sitting there building and carving the prototype.

    3) Very showy. This is something that I would have no problem displaying in a prominent place in my home or office. It's bright and shiny and extremely classy looking.

    4) It's the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.

    5) A brave person, or a complete tool, could easily go down to the hardware store, buy a length of chain and a couple clips, and hang this bad-boy around their neck, then walk around town in a purple shirt and tell people to call them Galvatron. It's lightweight enough for it. But it does feel delicate enough I'm not sure I'd use it as a weapon.

    6) The Key to Vector Sigma makes a KICK ASS fridge magnet.


    Lowlights:
    1) The finish job isn't absolutely perfect. The metal sheen is sort of dulled a bit, and the rough patches really detract from the overal look of the Matrix when you get up close. From a distance, it may look real, but up close no one would ever mistake it for actual metal.

    2) I'm not sure what the precedent is for the Key to Vector Sigma to activate the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Vector Sigma/the Oracle, sure, but the Matrix, not so much. It's a cool feature, but may be a tough sell for hard-core storyline buffs.

    3) It's probably too delicate in whole or in part, to pack around. It may not even be worthy of an office unless you can lock it in a case. The paint feels like it could easily scratch or wear off, and it feels like it wouldn't be extremely difficult to break it.

    4) The price. For the size, it may be a bit too much to swallow for all but the hardest of the hardcore.


    So, is it worth it?

    Well, let me tell you, I don't write reviews about anything. Ever. EVER. Yet, I couldn't imagine not writing a review about this. And even with my minor quibbles, there's still an increble amount of glee in me every time I glance at it. And the light up feature brings back memories of the seventies and bad lava lamps sitting on TVs in all my friends houses.

    It's a very cool throw-back to an odd bit of Transformers history that all started with the original animated movie. And I'm happy to have it in my collection.

    Now, light our darkest hour:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. NotoriousBIC

    NotoriousBIC Prime Suspect

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    Great review! How big is it actually? Can't seem to find that info.
     
  3. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Oh crap. The one picture I forgot to add was a comparison shot.

    Here we go, side-by-side with everybody's favorite new basic:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Paper Mariowned

    Paper Mariowned Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review, that thing is Godlike. My wallet is not worthy for it tho =/
     
  5. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Banned

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    That looks sweet. Not something I'd buy but looks great none the less. Any chance we'll get a picture of someone holding it?
     
  6. Orodruin

    Orodruin @deathformer TFW2005 Supporter

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    That does sound pretty sweet. I wouldn't mind having one, but I'm not turned on enough to spend that much on it.
     
  7. Deefuzz

    Deefuzz Beard On! Beardmaster! Veteran

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    very nice...still waiting for my preorder from AFX
     
  8. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Probably, some day. Though it seems kind of pointless if it doesn't open or light up to spend much time holding it off the stand.
     
  9. j3

    j3 Kiefer is my Big Boss TFW2005 Supporter

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    Got mine this week. It is quite the awesome little display piece. Not sure if it was really worth the $175, but I like it. And that's all that really matters.
     
  10. Hook

    Hook Out of Options Veteran

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    I concur! THat would truly give us a good idea of its size!
     
  11. Liokaiser

    Liokaiser Super Mod

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    Great review. That looks great.
     
  12. PrimeConvoy

    PrimeConvoy ShickaBAM!

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    What a amazing piece, someday soon I hope to make it a addition to my collection.
     
  13. Brave Magnus

    Brave Magnus Hecho en Argentina

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    Great review. :thumb 
     
  14. Ogami Daigoro

    Ogami Daigoro Blue Lantern Bearer

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    *waits for a thread of hot chicks holding the Matrix pics*
     
  15. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    *GOES LOOKING FOR BABY CHICKENS*
     
  16. Kupp

    Kupp Ford Fanboy TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hot Topic may be selling Hot Rod shirts soon...
     
  17. Renidragon

    Renidragon Toys on my table!

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    Will it say "whiny bitch" on the back?
     
  18. getoninja

    getoninja 1# Porno Moderentor

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    whats are the mesurments of the Matrix, or is the Matrix Human size scale where you can hold it and is it removable from the base?
     
  19. Gears

    Gears buh-buh-body ya Veteran

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    Man that is so SWEET.:rock 
     
  20. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    ::waits for it to go on sale:: clearance price :lol  too expensive to not come with a life size Rodimus!
     

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