- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
Ben 10 Omnitrix Watch – The Different Versions Explained
Ben10 is one of the hottest boy’s toys brands of the moment. The toy range accompanies the hugely popular Cartoon Network show which has been running since 2005. The second series, Alien Force, has recently finished screening and its related live action movie, Ben 10 Alien Swarm, is now out on DVD. The third series, Ben 10 Ultimate Alien, has just begun airing and is keeping die hard fans more than happy.
Ben 10 is all about a boy who can transform into aliens to fight evil. He can only do this because of the Omnitrix, which is a watch like alien device he found on a camping trip. When in danger, he dials up the alien he needs to transform into based on their unique strength or power, and smashes the dial down to transform. As the Omnitrix is so central to the TV show, it is the must-have Ben 10 role play toy. Throughout the years Ben 10 has been around, numerous Ben 10 watches have been sold, but not all of them are any good. To find out what the differences between them are and to see which one is the best, keep reading!
Ben 10 Ultimatrix
Recently launched to keep up to date with the latest Ben 10 series, Ultimate Alien, the Ultimatrix is sure to be the next must have Ben 10 toy. There are actually two versions available, the Vuescope Ultimatrix and the Disc Alien Ultimatrix, so don't get confused! Both are designed to mimic the holographic effect the 'real' Omnitrix gives off in the cartoon show when Ben transforms into his alien alter egos.
The Vuescope has two viewing cones each containing images of six aliens. These cones effectively stand on top of the Ultimatrix and show the chosen alien.
The Disc Alien Ultimatrix however is more of a two-in-one toy as it comes with a 4" action figure as well. The Disc Alien that also comes with the toy gets popped inside the Ultimatrix and once activated it pops up and brings the alien to life in 3D. It also has realistic voices and character sounds. You can get more Disc Aliens to complete your child's collection by buying more of the relevant 4" figures.
The Disc Alien Ultimatrix is the better of the two toys and gets our:
Overall - Thumbs Up
Ben 10 Alien Force Ultimate Omnitrix
In the latest cartoon series, Ben 10 Alien Force, Ben is now 15 years old and the Omnitrix has regenerated itself into a green watch with new features. The Ben 10 Ultimate Omnitrix watch is the toy Bandai made to bring their toy line up to date. It features light effects along with the new Alien Force aliens’ voices and favourite sayings. The LCD game from the Deluxe Omnitrix has been scrapped and replaced by the ability to attach a mini alien figure to the dial of the watch. This is supposed to represent the holographic image that projects itself from the Omnitrix in the new series when Ben chooses his alien life form. One of these mini figures comes with the watch and all of the others are included with the 10cm Alien Force figures sold separately. When the mini figure is attached, the alien’s sound effects are unlocked.
To stay up to date with the Alien Force series, this is another must-have Omnitrix. It is a great copy of the watch on the show and as such offers loads of role play fun for any fan. The strap has taken a backwards step from the comfortable fabric strap found on the Deluxe Omnitrix – we are now back to a plastic version which can be hard to get on until you get the hang of it. Sometimes it also has trouble staying snapped shut.
To increase the interest of the toy, you need to have more mini alien figures than the one you get free with the watch. As such you need to buy all of the 10cm aliens. These are also good toys to buy so you are not wasting your money, but being able to buy the whole set of mini figures in one go would have been more useful. The Ultimate Omnitrix can, however, be used with no alien figures attached as it does have lights and sounds on its own.
Attaching the alien figures to the watch dial can be tricky until you get the hang of it. You need to make sure they are facing the on-off switch (the little, black, left to right slider on the side of the watch). You then need to hold the figure directly over the watch, lining the plastic holders on the base of the figure with the holes around the watch face (this looks like a black circle at the edge of the watch when you are looking down on it). To take the figure off, hold the alien’s feet and tilt it towards the on-off switch until it unlocks itself.
This new Omnitrix is a robust and entertaining toy that will keep your Ben 10 fan's collection up to date.
Overall – THUMBS UP!
Alien Force Omnitrix Projector or Illuminator (in the US)
The second offering from the new Alien Force toy range is the Omnitrix Projector (or Illuminator as it is called in the US). As you might guess this Ben 10 watch projects images of the popular aliens and Alien Force scenes onto a wall or any other flat surface. Three projection disks are included with the toy, each of which contains five images. You put one of them onto the face of the Omnitrix, press a button and your aliens are projected. During projection or as an alternative game, the Ben 10 Omnitrix Illuminator can be worn like any other Omnitrix watch as a realistic role play accessory.
This Omnitrix toy is easy to use so is suitable for children aged 4 and over. Your child just needs to press the button to operate the light, twist the face to change the colour of the light to one of three colours, and click the disk around to change the projected image. This toy is best played with in dim light conditions to enhance the images which are not the sharpest. Even then the light is not strong enough to provide large images. The strap is of the plastic variety so not that easy to do up or keep done up and not that comfortable to wear for a long time.
Overall – ON THE FENCE!
The last Omnitrix to be made to accompany the original Ben 10 Series was the Deluxe Omnitrix. It is the best black Omnitrix on the market as it is a two in one toy. Not only does it provide a realistic role play experience, it also features a mini computer game on its built in LCD screen. The small LCD screen shows Ben’s original aliens – you can scroll through each of them by clicking the dial around. You are played various Ben 10 sounds as you go. You can also play a game in Battle mode where you play as Ben being attacked by his nemesis, Vilgax. The screen tells you which alien you need to transform into to win the battle. You have to find the right one by dialling through them on the watch. If you hit the dial to transform in the few seconds the game allows you, you get to see your alien fight the baddie.
This Bandai Ben 10 Deluxe Omnitrix is without doubt a top toy. It is entertaining in various ways so will keep your Ben 10 fan busy for hours. The build quality is far higher than its predecessors. It has a nice, thick fabric strap that fastens with velcro so is much easier for a young child to put on and take off. The main watch part is made of chunky plastic, which looks great but can sometimes be a bit large on a child's wrist.
The mini game on this Omnitrix version will not be suitable for Ben 10 fans who cannot yet read as they will not know which alien to find. They may also get frustrated and lost moving between the battle mode, the normal mode (where you just look at the aliens) and the status mode (where you see how many battles you have won). For older children, who play on the normal gaming consoles, such as the Nintendo DS or Wii, the graphics on the black and white LCD screen will be a bit weak as will the limited game play. However, for those children who love role play and want to imagine themselves as Ben 10 this is a must have toy.
Overall – THUMBS UP!
Progressing on slightly from the Alien Viewer, the Ben 10 Omnitrix FX does feature flashing red and green lights and transformation sound effects taken from the cartoon. There are no longer any disks to insert – instead you turn the dial to choose one of the 10 aliens from the original series. You can then see them in silhouette on the face of the Omnitrix, which is backlit for an easier view.
Once again this black realistic Omnitrix is great for role playing as it will stimulate your child’s imagination into believing they are Ben 10. It is well made and can stand up to the rough treatment it is likely to get from young boys. Children seem to love copying Ben’s transformation process – they chose their alien by turning the dial, they hit the dial to transform and get to listen to authentic sounds along the way. This Omnitrix option is probably suitable for Ben 10 fans under 5 years old as they do not need to do much to make it work. Beware though it is not much cheaper than the far superior later versions, but all it does is make some noises, flash some lights and show some alien pictures on the dial. The strap is also a bit cheap and plastic, making it difficult for young ones to strap on and can be a little big for the smaller wrist.
Overall – THUMBS DOWN!
Omnitrix Alien Viewer
One of the first attempts at a Ben 10 Omnitrix watch role play toy was the Omnitrix Alien Viewer. It looks like the watch 10 year old Ben Tennyson found on his camping trip. It is black with a grey and green Omnitrix shape on the dial. This version comes with various disks which you slide under the dial. On the disks are 8 animation cells containing scenes from the TV show. You can see still images of Ben transforming into different aliens. There are a range of disks available – three come with the Alien Viewer and more are included with the Ben 10 10cm Collectible Action Figures which you can buy separately.
Although this is very realistic to the cartoon version so when worn it does encourage imaginative role play, in truth it doesn’t do much else of interest. There are no lights and sounds that you get from later models. If you collect the disks then you extend the interest slightly, but the viewing screen, at only 1cm in diameter, means the pictures are tiny. Trying to see the alien images from the disks is very tricky as there is no back light. You need to point the viewer at a strong light source and get the angle just right to see anything at all. Changing the disks can be fiddly and the disk storage is limited, so keep track of them as if they get lost, this toy really is useless.
Overall – THUMBS DOWN!
If you have a Ben 10 fan, you need a Ben 10 watch. To stay up to date with the current Alien Force series, go with the Ultimate Omnitrix. If your child prefers the original series aliens or you want to offer them a little mini game, choose the Deluxe Omnitrix.
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