OPTIMUS PRIME — GALAXY UPGRADE
TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)
A major selling point of War For Cybertron: Siege is its throwbacks to the franchise’s older incarnations. The vast majority of the line is very definitely very G1-inspired (sensible, since that’s the incarnation most people know and for which they have the greatest nostalgia), but there are some throwbacks to more modern incarnations. Perhaps one of the most modern is the latest incarnation of Autobot Leader Optimus Prime. The first Optimus went back to the original design, where as the latest, dubbed “Galaxy Upgrade,” is pattered after Optimus from 2005’s Transformers: Cybertron (Galaxy Force in Japan). That’s the figure I’m taking a look at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Galaxy Upgrade Optimus Prime is one half of the second wave of Leader Class figures from Siege, with the other half being a re-issue of last wave’s Shockwave. Its our second (and as far as we know last) Optimus for Siege, serving as something of a mid-season-upgrade (or “Magical Girl Power-up” according to Super Awesome Fiancee, and then she said “Auto-Girls, roll out!” accompanied by an assortment of whooshing sounds). In his initial robot mode, he stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation. As pretty much everyone had expected as soon as Ultra Magnus showed up with an all-new mold, this Optimus is built on the same base body. For the purposes of his fully armored up mode, there aren’t quite as many shared parts, with the only truly lifted parts being the “boots”, and even then they’re slightly modified, in order to streamline them a bit more from what Magnus was sporting. As a whole, streamlined is a good description for the armored up appearance. It’s fitting, seeing as it’s clearly meant for flight, what with the wings and all. The wings have been scaled down a bit from their prior appearance, likely in an effort to keep him within the new Leader Class scaling, but they’re still sizable enough to make the proper impression. The large cannons are permanently affixed to the wing pack, and I was initially expecting them to be a little bit restricting, but they actually have a decent range and fold up rather nicely on his back when they’re not in use.
In terms of alt modes, Optimus follows the trend set by Ultra Magnus, with three distinct ones. The first is the core bot mode, and this is the one where the Magnus re-use becomes the most evident, as they’re virtually the same. The only sculptural (but not functional) difference is the tooling on the front of his torso, as well as a swapped out front to is pelvis piece. Neither are overly different; the pelvis in particular is easily missed, but the new torso is slightly more pointed and, following the trend of the outer armor, more streamlined when compared to Magnus. It’s a subtle change, but one that really sells the differences between the characters. A less subtle change is the color scheme, which swaps out the monochromatic look of Magnus for something more in line with Optimus’ usual primary colors. This, coupled with the change in sculpt, makes the figure undeniably Optimus Prime, rather than Prime-inspired like it was before.
The next mode is the basic truck mode. Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty similar to Magnus, but with the expected changes to the front of the cab. There’s some slight partsforming that goes on for this mode, with the forearm pieces from the armored up mode becoming the front grill of the truck, which I actually think works out a little better than the permanently attached piece from Magnus. This base mode is the starting point for his final mode, which adds back in his armor from his super mode, to make a more involved truck. There’s even more partsforming going on here, moreso than we saw on Magnus, and by and large I found this transformation a little more complicated, though it certainly picked up as I moved through the process. Like Magnus, Prime is packed with two “W-30 Magnetic Inducer Launchers” (the pistols), and also gets a “JF-15 Gravity Force Laser” (the rifle).
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
After becoming thoroughly hooked on the line and starting to survey the upcoming releases, there was one figure I felt I could pass with utmost certainty: this guy. I already had the Voyager Optimus, I already had the Leader Ultra Magnus, so why would I need this? To add to that, I’m really not *that* much of an Optimus fan, so I’d rationalized that this guy was definitely non-essential. And then I saw him in-person, and well, I kind of caved. Yeah. I’m weak. I’ve got no excuse. Ultimately, Voyager Optimus is still going to be my go-to Optimus, and Magnus is still my favorite Leader, but I can’t deny that this guy is a lot of fun.