The Ark, the Autobots' spaceship, finally gets a Transformers toy

·Contributor
·5 min read
The Ark holds a 20-cent coin for comparison.
The Ark holds a 20-cent coin for comparison.

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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.

Box art for the Ark.
Box art for the Ark.

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 Ark's packaging.
The back of the Ark's packaging.

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.

Accessories for the Ark.
Accessories for the Ark.

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 Ark in spaceship mode.
The Ark in spaceship mode.

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 Ark
The Ark
The Ark
The Ark
The Ark
The Ark

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.

Landing gear of the Ark.
Landing gear of the Ark.

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.

The Ark's cargo ramp with the Optimus Prime microfigure.
The Ark's cargo ramp with the Optimus Prime microfigure.

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 Ark's iconic engines.
The Ark's iconic engines.

The landing gear can also be deployed in such a way that the spaceship is askew, to mimic the box art.

Box art depicting the Ark having crashed into Mt St. Hilary.
Box art depicting the Ark having crashed into Mt St. Hilary.
The Ark can be posed to look like how it crashed in the G1 cartoon.
The Ark can be posed to look like how it crashed in the G1 cartoon.

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.

The Ark in robot mode.
The Ark in robot mode.
The Ark in robot mode.
The Ark in robot mode.

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 legs are hollow but solid.
The Ark's legs are hollow but solid.

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.

Light piping for the Ark's eyes.
Light piping for the Ark's eyes.

He's also articulated enough to mimic the pose on the artwork of his box.

The Ark can pose the way he does on the box art, clutching Megatron (not included) in his hand.
The Ark can pose the way he does on the box art, clutching Megatron (not included) in his hand.

Mainframe

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.
Mainframe.

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.

Mainframe transforms into Teletraan-1.
Mainframe transforms into Teletraan-1.

Scaled for Deluxe Class Transformers, Mainframe's Teletraan-1 mode is perfect as prop for other Autobots to interact with.

Red Alert (not included) with Teletraan-1.
Red Alert (not included) with Teletraan-1.

Mainframe can also "transform" into the bridge of the Ark, sized for the Optimus Prime microfigure to issue commands to the other Autobots.

Mainframe transforms into the bridge of the Ark.
Mainframe transforms into the bridge of the Ark.

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.

Autobot Ark. (PHOTO: Hasbro)
Autobot Ark. (PHOTO: Hasbro)

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.

Autobot Ark. (PHOTO: Hasbro)
Autobot Ark. (PHOTO: Hasbro)

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:

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