Vector Prime is one of the first Transformers. A powerful, wise and incredibly ancient warrior, he has served as protector over Cybertron since its beginnings. Pulled out of the shadows of time by a distress signal broadcast by his damaged planet, he arrives too late to save Cybertron without assistance. Arising from an era in which all Transformers lived in harmony, he is unaware of the conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons, a fact that Megatron uses to trick him and steal the map to the lost planets and the planet keys. Realizing his mistake, he joins Optimus Prime and pledges his knowledge and skill to the desperate quest to retrieve the planet keys before Megatron.
Vector Prime, though his own character, bears homage to two previously established characters in robot mode. The first being the mythical Last Autobot from Marvel's Transformers comic series, the second being Alpha Trion from the G1 cartoon. Vector Prime conveys a sense of age and dignity in his robot form, looking like an armoured knight from the crusades. The heavy detailing of his surfaces, along with the sword and his basic layout, contribute to that impression. His posability is quite excellent and the general design of the toy is good. I'm not a hundred percent satisfied with the quality of his solar panels and sword, as they are relatively soft rubber, but that is a forgiveable sin.
A very simple transformation turns Vector Prime into a futuristic space craft, which also bears a certain resemblence to the Last Autobot from the Marvel comics, who had a similar mode. Vector Prime's detailing depth is even more apparent in this mode, though the white paintjob hides it a bit. Hasbro might have been better served to leave the slightly darker paintjob of the Japanese original intact, but that is another discussion. The jet looks solid and realistic (as much as a fictional design can), at least from the front and sides. Don't look at it from the back, because its robotic origins are quite apparent there.
Partners / Add-Ons:
Safeguard, a Minicon, comes as partner to Vector Prime. Transforming from a nicely posable Minicon to a hybrid weapon/jet, Safeguard is definitely one of the better Minicons from the Armada/Energon/Cybertron franchise.
Vector Prime (and Safeguard) bring my collection count up to 222, so a special hug to them right here. There has been a lot of discussion about this toy on the net, more specifically about Hasbro's decision to tone down the detailing from the Galaxy Force original and give it a white paint job. While I agree that it does diminish Vector Prime somewhat, he is by no means a bad toy and his few flaws can be overlooked. Being one of the primary characters from the cartoon, Vector Prime is a must-buy for any Transformers fan.