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We live in the golden age of Transformers figures. Starting in 2013, Hasbro began releasing extremely large figures in the Titan Class size category, meant to represent the Transformers that turned into cities, bases and giant combiners. Classic figures like Fortress Maximus, Metroplex, Trypticon, and Scorponok all got a remake, and Titan Class figures were released on a roughly annual basis. Towering over all the figures, each of these Titan Class Transformers is approximately 50 cm or taller, making amazing centrepieces in any fan's collection.
In the classic Transformers animated series, the heroic Autobots crash-landed on Earth in their spaceship, named the Ark. Although it never transformed in the series, it has been given the Titan Class treatment — and has arrived in the form of a detailed spaceship that transforms into a 52 cm tall behemoth. It is the centrepiece of 2021's Transformers: War for Cybertron: Kingdom toyline, and will presumably appear in the Netflix series of the same name, out later this month.
The Ark comes packaged in a box with suitably evocative artwork, showing us the Ark in robot mode as it holds Megatron (not included), as well as the spaceship mode of the Ark having crashed into a volcano, just like in the original cartoon.
The back of the box shows us all the features of the Ark, such as the additional Transformer that comes with it (Mainframe) as well as the assorted accessories it has.
The Ark comes with the Golden Disks (the Sounds of Earth one, and the one from the Beast Wars: Transformers series), the Sky Spy satellite, and several blast effect parts. The navigation globe from Mainframe's bridge mode shown later can also be removed.
The Autobots' Ark in spaceship mode
The spaceship mode of the Ark has many details befitting that of a spaceship large enough to ferry the Transformers across the galaxy. While most of the details are painted on, there remain some unpainted sections (such as the towering bridge) that enterprising fans can custom themselves.
The bottom of the Ark is also surprisingly detailed, with more turrets for fending off attackers as well as landing gear. Most Transformers that transform into aircraft usually "hide" their robot mode parts in the undercarriage, so the attention to detail for the Ark is evident in how aesthetically pleasing it looks from above and below.
The Ark also sports a ramp for its passengers to disembark. It comes with a tiny Optimus Prime microfigure that can "use" the ramp, and is scaled to the Ark's dimensions.
And of course, since we mostly saw the engines of the Ark in the original series, it goes without saying that the engines are one of most detailed parts of the figure.
The landing gear can also be deployed in such a way that the spaceship is askew, to mimic the box art.
The Autobots' Ark in robot mode
The Ark transforms into a massive Transformer that is capable of picking up figures from the smaller Core Class size category. He doesn't wield any weapons in this mode, although the turrets are still visible in this mode. Given the copious guns he has that are moulded in, it's probably enough weaponry for the Ark.
Like most other Titan Class figures, his legs are hollow — although more effort has been put into the design to mask this fact, and the legs still feel pretty solid in his robot mode.
The Ark's head sculpt is based on a comics-only character known as the last Autobot. As a result, his face has a striking similarity to that of the Autobot logo. Due to his size, it is a little difficult to get the maximum effect for the light piping in his eyes, but it looks striking when you manage to get it right.
He's also articulated enough to mimic the pose on the artwork of his box.
The Ark also comes with a Deluxe Class Transformers, Mainframe. He's a homage to a character of the same name from the non-transforming 1990s Action Master Transformers line, and can be folded up and stored in the chest of the Ark.
Mainframe can be considered a Triple Changer, given that he can transform into Teletraan-1 (the computer mainframe for the Autobots) and the bridge of the Ark.
Scaled for Deluxe Class Transformers, Mainframe's Teletraan-1 mode is perfect as prop for other Autobots to interact with.
Mainframe can also "transform" into the bridge of the Ark, sized for the Optimus Prime microfigure to issue commands to the other Autobots.
Verdict on the Ark
The Ark is a bit of gamble, considering how it didn't have a corresponding toy in the original Transformers line (unlike the other Titan Class figures), and how it transforms into a spaceship. But to have a decently sized Autobot spaceship for your other Transformers is a dream come true for many collectors.
Since the robot mode is brand new, the nostalgia factor isn't as strong as that of its alternate mode. Nevertheless, the robot mode has good articulation and can be rather entertaining.
You're probably going to want to keep the Ark in spaceship mode rather than robot mode — space permitting, of course. It's an amazing addition to any fan's collection, and I'm going to be making whooshing sounds with the Ark in spaceship mode.
Autobot Ark retails for $299.90.
It is available at Toys R Us and specialty shops like Robo Robo. It can also be purchased on the following e-commerce platforms: