Saturday, December 24, 2016

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime
Welcome to our SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review!

First of all Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Please do also check out our Primo Vitalis Upgrade Kit Assembly Guide by clicking here.

To the uninitiated, this particular "look" of having a split chest and shoulder pads was conceptualized by IDW Comics for their Transformers Title.

We've since seen this design incarnated into the Legends Class Transformers Generations Optimus Prime, and; into Toyworld's Orion.

Neither Hasbro or Takara have come up with an official IDW Split-Chest Optimus Prime, but we're sure it's just a matter of time. Til then we have Shigeru Ningyo Do (SND) to thank for their Primo Vitalis Upgrade kit for the Transformers Combiner Wars Optimus Prime.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP.

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewThe SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit's blister card promises - in both Japanese and English - that/that this kit will:
  • Unlock your figure's true potential
  • Core components stay attached in all 3 modes
  • Improves articulation
  • Include upgraded weapons and combined mode battle mask.
The kit also comes with a small playing card that reads "As the war grows ever more brutal, a powerful new evil emerges. To fight it, Primo Vitalis must upgrade his physical form. Powered by the Genesis Forge, the machine code that brings metal to life, Primo Vitalis is ready to face the ultimate evil."

Here's how IDW depicts the Split-Chest Optimus Prime:


And here's the very close Primo Vitalis:

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

SIZE COMPARISON: After the Assembly Guide we were flooded with questions about size - because size matters apparently - so here's how Primo Vitalis stacks up to similar products:

A) Combiner Wars Optimus Prime:  Note that this particular Combiner Wars Optimus Prime bears both the PC-08 upgrade - which makes him taller than a regular CW Optimus when combined, and; bears a Reprolabel upgrade.

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
Well hello shorty!
Of course things turn around quite quickly:
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
Who's the shorty now?
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

Here are the two in truck mode:
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

And here's how much smaller a regular un-enhanced CW Optimus Prime would be in combined mode next to the Primo Vitalis Upgraded Optimus Prime.
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
And I can close my crotch!
Here's the slightly taller PC-08 Enhanced CW Prime. We feel that PC-08 wins out because of the solid hip and the back support - which we will discuss later. 
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

B) Hasbro Generations Optimus Prime:   And his KO version.


C) Toyworld Orion:   Specifically the TWO-02C Orion (Not Optimus Prime) 2015 BOTCON exclusive TW01C02C

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
Yes my rifle is pink, deal with i

You will like this kit or else!
WHAT'S TO LIKE ABOUT THE SND--01 PRIMO VITALIS OPTIMUS PRIME UPGRADE KIT?

FIRST: Well let's go by what the SND-01 Primo Vitalis Upgrade Kit promises: Does it unlock your figures (CW Optimus Prime) true potential?

We would say it does. Not taking into consideration its ability to combine with other figures, the CW Optimus Prime always looked to us like a brutish bridge troll - big torso, small head, bulky arms, short legs - definitely ugly, so this is definitely an improvement. The Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime looks like a leader. Someone the Autobots would gladly follow into battle.

It definitely helps that the Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime has a new head with eyes that like to reflect their baby-blue color with very little effort - they almost look lit:

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

The longer legs did bother us initially, but if you watch the cartoons, Optimus Prime has always been long-legged. 

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

SECOND: Do all core-components stay attached in all 3 modes? If you push the connecting hooks all the way in to his former groin-plate, yes, the Primo-Vitalis armor upgrade does not tend to keep falling off - in fact you'd be a bit hard pressed to get it off.

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

THIRD: Does the SND-01 Primo Vitalis Upgrade kit improve the articulation of the CW Optimus Prime? We're going out on a limb here and say no. The CW Optimus Prime articulation was already superb! It had one of the best articulations in the market - we'll discuss the articulation of the combined mode later on. However, we do have to give SND-01 a nod for creating an upgrade kit that did not reduce any of Prime's articulation:

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

FOURTH: Does the SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime come an upgraded weapon's set? Ohhhh yeah it does!!!! That Ion-Cannon is waaaay better than that pipe-gun that the CW Optimus Prime came with and while we're still on the fence on his sword, axe and knife - we'll talk about why later - they are definitely welcome.

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

All three weapons can also be attached to the ion-cannon - but we're not big fans of that:

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

The eyes on the battle-mask also catch the light and glow quite easily. We love how we do not have to remove his head to attach the battle-mask:


And with a little fidgeting, the Prio Vitalis battle mask can be used on the PC-08 enhanced CW Optimus Prime:
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THE SND--01 PRIMO VITALIS OPTIMUS PRIME UPGRADE KIT?

FIRST: Transforming the SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime intro truck mode is extremely difficult - it involves sliding plastic pieces along pins. The final result looks horrendous - what with the tiny wheels and over-extended rear-end. Horrible. We don't think we'll ever try that again.

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

SECOND: The Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Combined mode. Some people will love it because it's simply massive. Other like us hate it because it exacerbated a pre-existing problem, specifically: He's really top heavy.

Here he is in combined mode. Check out how big he is: 
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
Bad Kitty
And because of that the Combined form SND-01 Primo Vitalis is incredibly top heavy! The photo-shoot for the Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime was a challenge in patience. Take note that our shoot made use of the far more stable PC-08 feet. Imagine trying this with those tiny Hasbro feet.

Further, because you no longer have the solid lower-torso of the PC-08, you're back to trusting the mid-section joints to support all that weight - and the upgrade kit adds a new set of joints to the problem. Here's the best that we could do with it:

As long as he's straight, it shouldn't be a problem:
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

But when he bends, the weight makes him double over like he needs to really take a dump:
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

He can kneel, but you have to... spread his groin  bit to make this happen.
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

Take note that now his weapons are a tad too small for him:
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit ReviewSND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review

Another problem is his back. It looks like a separate robot on its own, unlike the solid back provided by the PC-08. Also the Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime upgrade kit does not solve the CW Optimus Prime 's tendency to need to spread its legs wide, or tightly closed together, to stand up. Either that or one leg will always be askew.


Overall, the SND-01 is a wonderful upgrade kit for the  CW Optimus Prime . But it's not the best choice for a combiner - unless it's a display only piece, ad even then you should get him another weapon - and definitely not the best choice for a toy truck.

But he is a must have if you want to make your  CW Optimus Prime  look like the heroic Autobot leader he was made to be.

The SND-01 Primo Vitalis is surprisingly available on Amazon for US$ 70 (Roughly PhP 3,500 plus shipping). BigBadToystore is selling it for US$49.99 (Roughly PhP 2,500 plus shipping).

SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit Review
SND-01 Primo Vitalis Optimus Prime Upgrade Kit
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