Transformers Prime Prowl represents an interesting intersection between Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters — the toyline portion at least — and Transformers Universe, the
MMORPG MMOW MOBA video game being developed by Jagex.
Summer of 2011, we found out about this MMORPG set in the Transformers Prime universe. A smattering of news and huge delays pushed the release from 2012 to 2013. These news blips were followed by long periods of silence. Then we were told that it was no longer going to be an MMORPG, it was going to be battle arena style, or MOBA, like World of Tanks or League of Legends.
Why the massive change in direction?
“Transformers are about war; they’re about action. They don’t carry gold, bake bread, catch fish, cut down trees.”
Not exactly a promising sentiment from these stewards of the franchise. I mean, surely analogs for these concepts could have easily been found amidst the remarkably lengthy mythos of Transformers? This was then followed by another stint of silence, which was finally broken when the Beta opened in June of 2013. In July 2013 thirteen of the Transformers Universe team were let go as development of a proprietary engine was stopped. At this point Hasbro began “encouraging” Jagex to get Transformers Universe released by year’s end. Year’s end is coming up pretty soon and no word has been heard from the project since July.
Meanwhile, back in the more hopeful year of 2011, there were three huge standees in Jagex’s Transformers Universe area at that year’s BotCon. One that was not identifiable (later we found out he was simply a “Decepticon Fighter”),
One that most were guessing to be Barricade, which turned out be correct,
And one that took no guesswork at all.
The white and black colour scheme, the red crest on his head, the star on his chest, the stern face that just screams logical, reasoned, rational jerk; in other words, this design is so very “Prowl”. Given the status — whatever that might actually be — of Transformers Universe the possibility of this being any more than a future “Concept Art” footnote somewhere on the TFWiki seemed strong. That’s a pity, because the design is pretty awesome, especially the head.
Then that happened.
I don’t remember the first time I saw him, online or at a BotCon, but I do remember instantly loving that headsculpt. As I mentioned in my Botcon 2013 “Toys” post, seeing it in person in the cases reinforced what I was suspecting from the images I had seen: this had jumped to being one of my favourite headsculpts of the entire Transformers Prime toyline. It definitely didn’t hurt that this new headsculpt was put on top of a slight remold of Prime Smokescreen, a toy I very, very much like.
Staying as true to the original concept art as possible, they didn’t feel the need to add a bunch of colour to brighten him up. In fact, the only colour they did give him are the red crest, yellowish-orange eyes (thanks to some great light-piping), and blue lights and highlights on his torso of the concept image.
They left out Smokescreen’s “Shadow Quill” Armor and the “Electronet” piece from his launcher, but they did include his gun and missile. Without the net, the missile looks really odd.
Of course, it is the same mold after all so just because they left the armor piece out doesn’t mean you can’t still put Smokescreen’s armor on Prowl, but why would you that?
Because you can. That’s why.
Much like Hot Shot from the Robots in Disguise Bumblebee mold, I honestly think that as much as I like the original, Prowl actually does the mold better.
It may be because of the headsculpt, or because I’ve always been partial to the high speed police car deco, but the McLaren MP4-12C like design looks really good with the lightbar and the dark blue windows.
I especially like his “Sheriff of the Autobots” faction symbols
It’s a pity he didn’t make it into the show, he would have made busting Smokescreen for speeding into a fulltime job.