Thomas received the Ben 10 Alien Force Ultimate Omnitrix for Christmas last year, and to be honest it’s been pretty much forgotten about until yesterday and that’s why I have neglected to write a review until now.
Yesterday we spent a good hour in the Ben 10 aisle of Toys R Us, whilst Thomas decided which of the Ben 10 Alien Force Figures he wanted to take home the most. His choice was confounded by TRU’s BOGOF offer on the Ben 10 figures. We left eventually with 4 10cm figures, which for £10 was amazing value for money.
3 of the figures he bought came with the mini transparent alien’s that connect onto the Ultimate Omnitrix, and so that’s why it got searched out and played with for the first time in months.
To be honest Thomas has never really liked the new Ben 10 series. He identified much more with Ben 10’s younger incarnation than the older Alien Force version. I think this is the real reason why the new Ultimate Omnitrix has not been played with, not due to the quality of the toy but rather Thomas just didn’t recognise it as Ben 10’s watch.
We actually went to try and get some of the original Ben 10 aliens like Benvicktor and Vilgax, but were told that Bandai have discontinued young Ben 10 and it’s now Alien Force only (well until the next incarnation Ben 10 Ultimate Alien comes out at the end of the year!)
Even though he doesn’t watch Ben 10 Alien Force, Thomas does play the games on his PSP so now knows all of Ben’s new alien forms, so he decided to take the plunge and buy into the new series of figures. When I reminded him he already had the new version Omnitrix he was thrilled, he’d forgotten all about it.
The Ultimate omnitrix looks exactly like the version that Ben wears on Alien Force, it’s been designed really well and will be instantly recognisable to Ben 10 fans.
With Ben’s old Omnitrix you never saw on the watch which alien form he wad choosing, but with the evolved version you get to see ben scroll through holographic images of the aliens which pop up from out the top of the Omnitrix. The transparent mini figures which come with the 10cm alien form action figures do a great job of replicating this new feature.
Pop an alien figure onto the Omnitrix base, and then slam it down just a Ben does in the series. You will get a short transform sound and then a brief soundbite where the alien will say it’s name and usually a short sentence which sums it up nicely. The soundbite is all in the aliens authentic tv show voice, and you also get a snazzy green light which looks especially good in the dark. Echo Echo is my favourite alien that Thomas has bought, his unique computery voice sounds great on the Omnitrix.
We now have 4 of the transparent mini figures, Swampfire which comes included with the Ultimate Omnitrix, My fave Echo Echo, Brainstorm and Alien X.
Now although I think the Omnitrix is a well designed toynfull of great Ben 10 role play opportunities it’s not without it’s faults. As I said I’ve only really used the Omnitrix over the past day but have already found a niggly problems which could have made the toy better.
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For starters there are two push pin buttons, one on either side of the Omnitrix. Apart from mere aesthetic value I don’t know what these are supposed to do. I seem to remember in the instructions that pushing them in should release and pop out the sometimes troublesome to remove mini figures, but this doesn’t work.I have however found a use for them, my son always has trouble inserting the figures without the base activating early before the alien is in properly. however If you hold the two buttons in the base isn’t able to engage, so you can place the figure in correctly without it going off early. I don’t think that’s what they were made for, but this works for us.
However the main problem is the main selling point of the toy, the original alien voices! You just can’t understand what they are saying half the time apart from their names. Swampfire is pretty recognisable and I think that’s why he was included with the watch, for information he says “Swampfire, eww whats that smell?”. Echo Echo is easy to understand as he just says his name in his distinctive electronic voice, but when it comes to the others it gets a bit harder to figure out.
I defy anyone to fathom what on earth Brainstorm says after his name, it’s just a garbled noise. I’ve also managed to hear the other aliens noises too thanks to a couple of cocktail sticks holding down the relevant places inside the base (thanks YouTube), and I have to say that it doesn’t get any easier. It’s a bit of an oversight that the pleasure of having the original alien voices is overshadowed by not being able to tell what there talking about.
Another disappointment is the distinct lack of features, apart from the lights and sounds of the mini alien figures it doesn’t do anything else. With the original Ben 10 deluxe Omnitrix there was a few different modes like the beat Vilgax game and the leader board, but with the Ultimate Omnitrix it’s just the Mini figures or nothing. A few Ben, Gwen or Kevin soundbites added when you spun the outer wheel round or something would have been an idea.
And my final problem is not with the Ultimate Omnitrix itself but at the sheer abundance of Ben 10 toys currently on the market, to be honest I think that it’s all got a bit much! I’m annoyed because Thomas bought the Alien X defender 10cm figure which also comes with a transparent mini figure identical to the rest of the ones we bought, only to realise that it doesn’t actually work with the Ultimate Omnitrix you need a brand new DNA Searching Omnitrix. Ben 10 hasn’t got a collection of 10 different Omnitrix’s in his draw in the Rustbucket, so why has my son got to have them all?
In conclusion I think that the Ultimate Omnitrix is a great Ben 10 toy, if your prepared to buy all the figures to collect the transparent mini ones to use with it. If you don’t you’ll just have a watch with Swampfire, which really isn’t all that great. Of course it’s not perfect and could be made better, but how many toys out there right now couldn’t be improved in some way. If you would have planned to buy all of the 10cm figures anyway then it’s well worth getting the Ultimate Omnitrix too, however it does depend on which figures you buy as the new DNA range will need the new Omnitrix I mentioned before.
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