#2116: Optimus Prime

OPTIMUS PRIME

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

Okay, so I usually do a better job of spacing out the Transformers reviews, but…well, I have a lot of Transformers these days, and they’re piling up ever so slightly.  I know, what a terrible problem I have.  How can I free myself of the terrible shackles that are this problem?  And how in god’s name do I now own three separate Optimus Prime figures?  That’s the realest question right there.  For today’s review, I’m going back to the thing that broke me into Transformers in the first place: Bumblebee.  I picked up the title character in his movie form, but had as of yet not gotten anyone else, preferring to stick with the Siege stuff for the most part.  Nevertheless, here I am looking at another Optimus Prime figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Optimus Prime is a Voyager Class release, as part of the Transformers: Studio Series line-up, where he’s figure 38.  He started hitting shelves right around April/March, arriving with the comparatively far less in-demand Constructicon Rampage.  In his robot mode, the figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 22 practical points of articulation.  Optimus is an all-new sculpt and is certainly heavily inspired by his G1-based design from the film’s opening battle on Cybertron.  He’s not a pitch-perfect recreation of the final film design, generally being a little boxier than the one seen on the screen, but he’s not too far removed, and it’s certainly clear which version they’re going for, especially in the robot mode.  Where the Siege Optimus was going for an animation accurate model, this one instead serves more to upgrade the original toy, albeit with some more movie-ized details, making him look a fair bit more “real-world.”  He’s not as clean or sleek as the Siege Optimus, and he has a few more spots of kibble, with the back and forearms being the most prominent.  The back doesn’t bug me quite so much, but the forearms are a little frustrating, especially since they aren’t as clean as the corresponding kibble on the Siege figure, and they have a tendency to start unfolding during posing.  That being said, the overall appearance of the robot mode is pretty cool, and he makes for a solid action figure.  Optimus’ alt-mode is the source of even more inaccuracy compared to the film because while Bumblebee turned into an officially-licensed VW Beetle, Optimus instead settles for an unlicensed equivalent to the Freightliner he turns into in the film.  It’s not quite accurate, but it’s admittedly not a bad design all things considered.  Additionally, while it’s definitely very fiddly and packed with false shell pieces for the final mode, the transformation’s not too bad on this one, making transforming back and forth pretty easy going.  Optimus is packed with his Ion Blaster he’s seen using in the opening battle, which is a nicely scaled piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, this Optimus is officially my “patience is a virtue” Optimus.  As one of the most demanded and sought after Studio Series releases, this guy came and went pretty quickly at All Time Toys, my usual spot for Transformers.  As such, I didn’t get one at the time of release, and in fact gave up the chance to grab a re-stock later down the line so that another customer could have him.  When a loose figure was traded into the store a few weeks back, the owner handed him over and said “your patience paid off.  Happy Birthday,” and just like that, I had an Optimus.  Like I noted when I reviewed Galaxy Force Optimus, the Siege Voyager remains my go-to, but there’s a lot I like about this figure.

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#2070: Optimus Prime – Galaxy Upgrade

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.

I grabbed my Galaxy Upgrade Optimus from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1933: Optimus Prime

OPTIMUS PRIME

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Oh wow, what’s this?  Another Transformers review?  On this little old site?  But it’s only been a day since the last one!  Is that enough of a waiting period?  I wouldn’t want people to think I might be some sort of *shudder* Transformers fan…

Well, if I’m gonna commit to this potential Transformers fan thing, I’ve got one pretty big hurdle I’m gonna need to overcome.  You see, in my over two decades of collecting, I have never once owned a single figure of the most definitive Transformer of all time, Optimus Prime.  Yeah, I don’t know how that happened either.  Well, I mean, I might; it could possibly be related to me exclusively buying figures of Soudwave.  That might have done it.  Whatever the case, I’m striving to make up for this horrible gaping hole in my collection.  So, without further ado, here’s Optimus Prime!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Optimus is part of the first wave of Voyager Class releases for Hasbro’s new War For Cybertron: Siege line, where he was paired off with his Decepticon equivalent Megatron.  In his robot mode, Optimus stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 26 practical points of articulation.  This figure is sporting a brand new sculpt, patterned on the original G1 Optimus, or at least a very idealized version of it.  This Optimus aims to be the figure Transformers fans *remember* playing with, rather than the one the actually did…unless your me, and this figure actually *is* the figure you were playing with.  That’s not the point, though.  I was quite impressed by the implementation of the articulation on this figure; it’s easily on par with Legends and the like, at least in terms of range.  All of the joints are free and clear to do as they please, and a lot of them are very cleverly hidden on this guy.  His sculpt is boxy, and very full of small detail work, but not so much that it ruins that nice clean-lined feel of the classic Optimus design.  I particularly dig the rivets on the upper arms, as well as the transparent windows of the cab.  And, though there is no separate Matrix of Leadership included with this figure (thought he shape of one is hinted behind the windows when he’s in vehicle mode), the torso is clearly designed with the possibility of housing one in mind. Part of the slickness of this particular figure’s robot mode comes from how it handles the kibble on the back.  The remnants of his truck cab fold up into a rather compact and manageable back pack piece, and the headlights on the arms, though a bit more noticeable, still can be passed off as forearm guards.  Optimus’s alt-mode is a smoke-stack-sporting truck reminiscent of his original incarnation’s freight truck.  It’s been slightly Cybertron-ized, since I guess these figures are technically supposed to be pre-Earth, but it’s still very clear where the influence lies.  I find the cab of the truck in particular to be the most convincing piece.  The back looks a little more like it’s just his legs flipped around, since that’s kinda what it is and all.  I will say, that although there are technically more steps to the process of transforming this guy, I did find it as a whole a much easier experience, and am much more willing to swap Prime back and forth on a frequent basis.  He’s still going to be staying a robot most of the time, of course, but I see this one being a figure I pick up and fiddle with more frequently.  Optimus is packed with two accessories: a blaster and an axe.  The blaster is pretty straight-forward piece, and can be held in his hand in robot mode, or mounted in one of the handful of 5mm ports when in truck mode.  The axe is slightly more complex, with a transformation of its own.  Out of the the package, it’s an axe, but you can also fold it up into a shield, which, like the blaster, can be mounted in one of the 5mm ports.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I blame Max.  No, really, it’s all Max’s fault.  I wasn’t into Transformers, I swear.  Okay, so, it’s a little bit Max’s fault, and a little bit Bumblebee‘s fault.  Max was really up-selling this figure to me, and I was trying to hold out.  And then I saw Bumblebee, with it’s classically-styled Optimus in all his classically-styled glory, and I thought “man, I need an Optimus.”  I was at All Time, I’d just traded in a bunch of stuff for store credit, they only had one of this guy in stock, and I was sort of having a bad day, so I just sort of grabbed him.  I don’t regret that choice for a second, because man is this a cool toy.  Like, even overlooking the transforming feature, he’s just a strong base figure, and a ton of fun to mess around with.  The only downside is that now I really want a bunch more.

As mentioned above, I picked this guy up from my friends at All Time Toys.  The first wave of Voyager Class Siege figures have sold out, but the Deluxe figures are still in-stock, and they’ll be carrying all of the new releases as they come.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.