To quote the great Bob Dylan, “How many roads must a man walk down, before he gets an official figure of a Quinesson Judge from the original Transformers movie?” Well, if we equate those roads as years, the answer is 34 roads. While Hasbro once dabbled with the idea by releasing the horrifically terrible Alpha Quintesson in the Energon line, it really has taken us this long to get a proper Quintesson Judge. I’m not sure if it’s because they were convinced it had to have some kind of transforming gimmick, and up until now couldn’t come up with one, but more on that later. For now, let’s just see if it was worth the wait!
The Judge conforms to the Voyager price point, and he comes in a window box with all the typically awesome artwork that I’ve come to expect from Siege and Earthrise. You can get a good look at the figure inside, but he does require a little bit of assembly as two of the Five Faces of Darkness are detached so he can better fit in the package. I don’t think I can adequately stress how amazing it was to finally hold a toy of this guy. The Quintessons blew my little mind back in the day. They epitomized the new direction that the art and design would take in the movie, and also represented the new direction for the Transformers lore that would go on to characterize the third season of the Sunbow series. They were a prime example of the kind of look we would get into the Universe that the Transformers lived in, and introduced a whole new backstory to the series canon. So yeah, getting this toy is kind of a big deal.
Here he is out of the box and sure enough, he is indeed a proper Quintesson Judge! These things were so damn weird, that it’s hard to believe they were actually incorporated into a Western released cartoon. The Judge is characterized by his egg shaped, eh body? levitating on a stream of energy, with tendrils coming out the bottom, and the fabled Five Faces surrounding the middle of the egg. The body itself features some basic panel lining and features a lever, which can rotate the heads as they were apt to do in the cartoon. The tendrils are bendy, but they pretty much hold just one configuration, although they can be positioned up or down thanks to some jointing where they meet the body. The levitation beam is translucent plastic and can be removed from the bottom. The above image shows my favorite of all the faces, Death, and it is a fantastic sculpt. A lever on the bottom allows the mouths on some of these faces to articulate.
Next up we have The Face of Wisdom. Not nearly as creepy as Death, but still pretty cool. It really shows off the more organic types of faces that the artists were starting to design for the robotic life in the Transformers Universe. Heck, even a number of Transformers were starting to get much more organic looks to them.
For number three we have The Face of Judgement. This one strays a little bit from what I remember the orginal design looking like, but after consulting some pictures, it’s really no that far off. Maybe just a bit more stylized. I love the long face and those tapering sides of his “helmet” The spikes on top are pretty cool too.
The fourth face is The Face of Wrath, and it is a pretty nasty looking piece of work indeed. The yellow teeth and the beady red eyes are great. Once again, I dig the way they did the “helmet” with the sides protruding from an outward angle away from the face. The pointed chin gives the face a severe look. I’d also like to point out here how Hasbro went overboard with the coloring on this figure. Lately, we’re lucky if we get a handful of colors on a Deluxe or Voyager, but here we get greens, reds, oranges, grays, everything is colored the way it should be.
And finally we have The Face of War. I always thought this was the goofiest of the faces, and an unlikely candidate for being War, but it’s still a remarkable sculpt, with the bulbous lips, the circular cheeks, and the angled slits for eyes. We also get the coloring that suggests a mustache, along with a beard. What was it with Transformers and facial hair? I remember first seeing that on Alpha Trion back in the day and even my little mind, full of wondrous imagination, couldn’t comprehend it. Either way, there you have a tour of all the Faces and I think they look great. Indeed everything about this toy registers as a direct hit in my book.
The Judge needs his throne, and Hasbro included a little green chair for him to sit in, or in this case levitate on. It’s a nice reference to the throne that the Judge was sitting on in the movie, but it’s very basic and lacks the pomp and circumstance of the one seen in the movie. Honestly, I think this was included solely for the transformation gimmick.
Oh yeah, he also comes with a little gun that can be pegged into any of the tendrils. The gun also has a regular peg handle so it can be used by any of the other figures. Cool! I’d be perfectly fine with ending the review right here, but of course, Hasbro had to give him a transforming gimmick, because… you know… Transformers! So let’s see what they came up with!
Yup. That’s certainly a thing. Hasbro has made it a habit of dropping in a few figures here and there that transform into playsets for the tiny figures, and that’s the direction they went for here. Conceptually, I’m not all that clear on what they were going for here. It’s basically a tower and a jail cell. The cell is designed for the little guys in this line, but I just had a Titan Master handy, and he works pretty well. Honestly, I don’t know if the person who designed this alt mode deserves a commendation for originality or to be laughed at. On the one hand, I guess it’s impressive that they were able to get any kind of alt mode out of a Quintesson. On the other hand, you can be sure that this will be the first and only time I’ll ever transform the figure.
I have one rule about bad and unnecessary transformers: If they don’t mess with the figure, I don’t care, and that’s most definitely the case here. Sure, I would have been fine if they had just left out the transformation gimmick altogether, but since it doesn’t effect the figure I can just pretend that it doesn’t exist. And this is a really great little figure! Hasbro did a beautiful job bringing this creepy guy to my collection, and yes, I will be hunting down a couple more. Now I can’t wait until the rest of the Quintessons start turning up. Oh, and I wouldn’t mind a Deluxe Class upgrade to the Sharkticons either!