Transformers Reviews: FansProject Shadow Commander (Rewind)


Intro:
            Hello Cybertronians, welcome to another exciting edition of Transformers Review. Today, I’ll be reviewing a very unique character called Shadow Commander. Why do I call it unique? Well, Shadow Commander is exactly a Transformer; it was made specifically for a Transformer. You see neither Takara-Tomy nor Hasbro was involved in the designing this piece, rather it was produced by an independent fan group called Fansproject Ltd, and was designed solely for a specifically for Classic Nemesis Prime. In fact, though the name Shadow Commander may be referred to as a product, it is actually referred to the armored form of Nemesis Prime. Shadow Commander as a product by itself would be completely worthless without a Nemesis Prime accompanying it, and having said that, I do not own a Classic Nemesis Prime figure – I’ll get to that a bit later.
            Anyways, Fansproject Ltd first came out with the idea to create a trailer, to be paired with Classic Ultra Magnus, in order to produce a G1 animation-like action figure, which they have done so perfectly. This was called City Commander. Initially, I’ve never even thought of purchasing either Classic Ultra Magnus or Nemesis Prime, since I already owned a Classic Optimus Prime figure, and I also have this certain rule of not buying the same TF mold twice, thus I wouldn’t have a reason to purchase either City or Shadow Commander.
            Or so I thought.
           Then came one day when I saw Shadow Commander in all its glory, fully attached to a Nemesis Prime figure, and needless to say, it looked awesome. My supplier at Teencom told me that there will only be one unit ever to be sold in that store, and that was the one that was standing inside the display cabinet.
            I was beginning to feel the itch – and that means 2 things: it’ll be good for the growing numbers of my collection; and 2, it’ll be bad for my bank account.
            Anyways, the itch was so great that I grabbed it anyway. And now, I ended up with no choice but to pair it with my existing Classic Optimus Prime. So, will the mismatch work? It’s like mixed-marriages – it will either work, or fall apart like a house of cards.

Bonus Ideas:
            Now this is an extra addition. Now in the official Fanproject storyline, a certain Nemesis Prime-ish character was the leader of the Lynx Team on Cybertron. On one mission, the Lynx Team was led into a trap and the leader of the team was ambushed, kidnapped and tortured. However, after being exposed to excessive amounts of Anti-Nucleon, he didn’t die, and was transformed into a dark version of himself, both physically and character-wise, and he calls himself Shadow Commander.
            So how do I justify my Classic Optimus wearing Nemesis’s Shadow Commander Armor suit? Easy, I create my own back-story.
            In my story, the trailer armor takes the role of the Creation Matrix, in the sense that the trailer is passed down from one leader to another, with each assuming his own suitable moniker. The trailer too serves as an ultimate weapon, to be used wisely only by the chosen leader of the Autobots. For your information, in my story, the color of the trailer is that of Ultra Magnus’s City Commander trailer. The trailer was first used by Prima (Autobot Commander), then Primon, then so on and so forth, until the reign of Ultra Magnus. In my story, Magnus, Nemesis and Optimus are brothers, with Magnus being the eldest and Optimus the youngest. Magnus took the moniker City Commander (reasons undefined). During his reign, Cybertron reached its highest point, followed by a downfall. It was during this time that the Decepticon began their rebellion. Having being at peace for so long, the Autobots were not ready for a well-organized machinery led by a powerful and ambitious Megatron. The Autobots were easily defeated and Ultra Magnus was murdered in one of the battles. With the passing of Ultra Magnus, Nemesis Prime was chosen to lead the remnants of the Autobot forces, with the moniker of Shadow Commander, to symbolize shadowy times. However, as strong as Nemesis is, he was ambitious, and also has a thirst for power, a weakness that Megatron would use to his advantage. Somehow, Megatron managed to trick Nemesis Prime to do his bidding with the promise of co-rulership, with the bonus of adding extra Decepticon power into the traditional Autobot’s ultimate weapon – the trailer. The trailer’s color-change from Magnus’s Blue to Black symbolizes the Decepticon taint. Though the power of the trailer was indeed increased, Megatron made also made sure that the powers of the trailer can never be used against himself, by creating a failsafe devices that only he alone controls. As Nemesis Prime emerges as a traitor to the Autobot cause, he predictably turned on Megatron. Unaware of Megatron’s failsafe device, Nemesis was killed. In his dying voice, he realizes the error of his ways and of Megatron’s trickery, he appointed Optimus as his successor. Optimus destroys the failsafe mechanism implanted by Megatron, but the trailer can no longer revert back to its traditional colors and a result of the previous Decepticon taint. Thus as Optimus assume the role of leader and inherits the trailer, he chose for himself the moniker “Cybertron Commander”, and he swears to reunite the entire planet and brings peace once again to Planet Cybertron.
            Now how’s that for a story? Interesting?

Alternate Mode:
            So at least, theoretically, the back-story above explains why my Optimus Prime has the Shadow Commander trailer, and you have to admit it, the story made sense and sounds good, doesn’t it? At least I think does. I hope…
            Anyways, how would the actual figure look like?
            Shadow Commander comes packed in trailer mode, in a window-less box, that contains absolutely no illustration of the product at all. On its own, the trailer doesn’t work; in fact, it can’t even stand properly without Nemesis Prime, or in my case, Optimus Prime. Pattern-wise, it follows the original scheme of Optimus Prime, with 2 white stripes curving upwards on each side of the trailer. The combination between these two looks okay to me, although others may ridicule it. Still I think it would’ve been worse if Optimus was paired the City Commander trailer. But who cares, I ain’t displaying it in trailer mode, it’s the bot mode that I’m interested in.  

Robot Mode:
            If you were hoping that the trailer was going to transform to an individual robot like Powermaster Godbomber, which then doubles up as the armor, then you’re in for a disappointment. But if you expect it to be simply an attachment, then you’ll love Shadow Commander. In order to transform him, you literally need to disassemble the entire trailer in order to form the head and chest piece; the shoulder armors; the arm and hands armors; the groin armor; and the leg & feet armor – reminiscence on how Victory Leo attaches to Star Saber. Attaching the armors on to Optimus is easy enough, though the leg and feet armors may give you a bit problem at first. I also find the groin armor to be a bit of a nuisance, as it tends to fall off often as the clipping mechanism has nothing to hold on to. But if you can somehow make it attaches to Optimus’s groin, then you are going to end up with one heckuva buffed up action figure. The combination may look awkward at first (because you keep on remembering how it looked on Nemesis Prime), but as time goes by, you would get used to the combination of colors. Besides, black looks good on anything.
            In robot form, articulation is excellent. The head rotates on a ball joint (though the head seems to be looking down often); the hand rotates at the wrists; the ankle tilts – it actually adds articulation to the entire figure.

Gimmicks:
            Shadow Commander comes with a pink colored sword, and also a BFG (Big F*@#!&G Gun) formed by the side walls of the trailer. The BFG also doubles up as a shoulder cannon. The weapon looks fantastic, and what surprises me the most is that Shadow Commander can still stand and pose perfectly even while holding suck a huge gun!!! Thankfully it didn’t end up like Masterpiece Megatron with his humongous arm cannon, which makes Megs stands awkward all the time, and makes posing Megs a nightmare.

Overall:
            Overall, if you are like me, and willing mix-marry your existing transformers with other attachments, then you could try being adventurous and get him.
            If you have Classic Ultra Magnus, go get the City Commander set.
            If you already have a Universe/ Classic Nemesis Prime figure, this trailer is definitely a must-have — although this doesn’t come cheap. This sudden itch of mine cost me a whopping RM390, which puts all the giants in my collections such as Primus, 20th Anniversary DVD Optimus Prime, my Voltron, G1 Metroplex, G1 Omega Supreme and even Masterpiece Megatron to shame. Shadow Commander now ranks as the single most expensive itch… err, I mean Transformer figures in my entire collection. Adding that to the fact that it is only an attachment makes the price tag even more preposterous. So if you asked me, did my bank account hurt, then my answer is, “Yes, definitely so.”
            But if you asked me whether I regretted my purchase, then I would say, “The thought never crossed my mind.”
            The end product looks fantastic. Adding to the fact that Fansproject Ltd theoretically shouldn’t have access to the advance designing technologies that are available to Takara-Tomy and Hasbro makes it even more impressive.

            Final verdict, I give Shadow Commander 9.5/ 10. (Would’ve gotten full marks if it wasn’t for the groin armor)

3 comments:

  1. Great storyline from you bro. You can incorporate your TF storyline in future TF comics or maybe custom 3D TF animation youtube videos. Too bad Shadow Comander was not featured in the DOTM film.

    Big Daddy

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  2. Mind to share how much u bought? initial of the figure will do, 'cause I wish to get a set of it now (shadow comm + nem.priem). Thanks!

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  3. I bought my Shadow Commander for about RM400, I'm not sure if u can still find him, or even Nemesis Prime (which I reckoned would cost a fortune now) in the open market, u might have to resort to eBay...

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