Posts Tagged Optimus
Hunter. Hunted. I’m the guy with the guns and sword. Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Optimus Prime!
SPOILER ALERT for the very last moment of the last episode of Season 2 of Transformers Prime.
At the end of the final episode of Season 2 — appropriately named “Darkest Hour” — we are left with a stark image.
The damaged, lifeless hand of Optimus Prime jutting from the ruins of the Autobot base would have much more impact if it weren’t for the fact that:
- Optimus Prime “deaths” are somewhat commonplace in Transformers series. At this point, I’m starting to believe that when Hasbro hires a studio to produce a new series, the contract ends with “Oh, yes, one more thing: make sure to kill Optimus Prime at least once.”
- We’ve seen toys of Season 3 Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Optimus Prime. Not only does he survive his impromptu burying, but it actually seems to have done him some good.
Beast Hunters Optimus Prime is the bulked up, menacing looking version of Optimus that presumably somehow claws his way out of the literal mountain of rubble dropped on his head by the Decepticons. I was initially concerned that the armored versions of the Autobots might not make it into the cartoon itself, but going by the promotional material, it looks like at least Optimus will get his upgrade in cartoon form.
Speaking of Season 2, many fans have eagerly awaited the Star Saber in toy form ever since it made an appearance in Transformers Prime.
“Eagerly awaited” became “OMGGimmeThatSwordNow” when Optimus did this,
Some of us even got weak in the knees when he followed that up with,
This lead to many fans simply taking it on themselves to equip their Optimus with his blade including the talented 3rd party accessory maker, Dr. Wu.
Some fans were… less interested in the subtle details.
We did get a smaller, less impressive version of the Star Saber with the Robots in Disguise Optimus release.
However, the smaller size puts it more on par with the Star Saber that comes with the Cyberverse release of Beast Hunters Optimus Prime.
It didn’t quite meet expectations for the mighty Star Saber, and happily Hasbro didn’t leave us hanging for long, though they have traded the blue glow of the cartoon version for translucent green.
The green tint is reflected in the promotional material, but we will see if that detail makes it into the cartoon.
Despite the upcoming Ultimate class “Dragon Disc” Optimus Prime, you know some will buy the Voyager release as well just to get the sword. For me, the sword was appealing, but the bigger draw was the built-in “Jet Wing” mode.
His backpack has places to put his weapons, both of his guns — which form jet engines for his flight mode — as well as the Star Saber.
Optimus’ “Eaglefire Missile Launchers” are detailed in his instructions as:
- Compact size masks devastating power.
- Missile impact powerful enough to cause earthquakes.
- Double as rocket engines for limited flight.
Augmenting this powerful new Optimus is a powerful looking new alt mode.
This is your Robot in Disguise.
This is your Robot in no mood to deal with anyone’s crap any more, disguise be damned, thank you very much.
Disguise is officially gone from Optimus’ alt mode. Apparently now it’s all about brute force.
Though not from a completely official source, news has appeared that Season 3 or Beast Hunters will be the end of Transformers Prime with a new series coming (along with the fourth entry in the live action movie franchise) in 2014. If the toys and promos we’ve seen so far are any indication, it looks like Prime is looking to go out with a growling, angry bang, not a whimper.
For the longest time, the only version of his original toy’s mold in my collection was my G2 Optimus Prime.
Much like my G2 Bruticus, basically I skipped over all the reissuesof the G1. I especially ignored the 2008 release when it was attached to the rather ridiculous price tag of $75. Even with the included reprint of the G1 comic (of which I already have the original), the dvd with all three parts of “More than Meets the Eye” (episodes I have multiple times in multiples formats), and the Autobot symbol with sound effects, G2 Optimus and his big honkin’ guns of death was doing just fine for me, thank you.
But as it often goes with collecting, something can come along and change your mind about a piece. This time it was a combination of somethings. First: price drop. Apparently a lot of people weren’t happy with the $75 price tag and by the time I decided to buy him, he was already half that, a very reasonable price for everything that came with him.
Second: nostalgia. I decided that even though I still didn’t need the toy of Optimus Prime only in brighter colours, I did need that trailer. Despite the fact that it disappeared and reappeared auto-magically in the cartoon, Optimus Prime’s trailer is about as iconic as he is. Don’t get me wrong, I love the black, “Optimus Prime” emblazoned G2 trailer. There’s just something about the original that puts a smile on my face.
You’ve got to respect a Commander that carts around his team’s mobile headquarters.
Since it wasn’t included in the instructions for the original Hasbro release, as a kid I never knew about the trailer’s third mode, the “repair bay”. Originating in Diaclone years of the mold, the repair bay mode shows up at about :12 and then the very end of this absolutely awesome original Diaclone commercial,
For the record, I have no definitive idea where I came across the two little Diaclone pilots I own. I know I’ve had them at least as long as I’ve had my G2 Optimus (personally purchased off the Toys R Us shelves in 1993) and I think I might have bought them at a garage sale. Strangely the metal of their feet are not magnetized. In fact, I’m not sure how, but the metal pieces on their feet (or at least they certainly feel like metal) don’t even stick to magnets.
So knock-offs or not, they technically count as the only actual Diaclone-only pieces in my collection. Strange.
Speaking of “the only one in my collection”, Optimus is the only Transformer I bought in the Smallest Transforming Transformers line.
I don’t remember which Botcon I picked him up at, but I didn’t bother hunting down his shortpacked trailer.
Until my most recent move and re-organization of my display, I displayed the G1 reissue set in its box (hence the unapplied stickers) as it sufficiently showed off the trailer that I bought the thing for in the first place. When I went to set up my new Optimus Prime shelf, I decided it was time this guy came out of his packaging and I didn’t stop there. I had another Optimus Prime that had been on display in box.
In 2007, to coincide with the release of the first movie, the PepsiCo “Transform Your Summer” promotion caused me some alarm. I badly wanted the Pepsi Optimus Prime that Hasbro had been selling at certain conventions, but short of buying one off ebay or entering codes from bottle caps to try to win one in the promotion, I was out of luck. Turns out I wasn’t as out of luck as I thought. My core problem was that, Pepsi or Coke, it didn’t matter because I don’t drink soda; at least not soda that hasn’t had some form of alcohol poured into it. Given this, the quantity of alcohol to go with the quantity of soda I would need to drink to get enough codes to ensure a win wouldn’t have been doing my liver any favours. Luckily a friend up at work drinks unholy amounts of soda, specifically Mountain Dew at the time. A pile of bottle caps would show up on my desk throughout the day, untold amounts of codes were entered. Not only was it enough to win, I didn’t realize I had won and kept playing. Shortly after my first Pepsi Optimus Prime showed up in the mail, a second showed up.
Pepsi Optimus Prime owes his origin to a somewhatr roundabout homage. He is basically a release of the 2005 promotional “Pepsi Convoy” from Takara with altered Pepsi logos and decals as well as the shortened smokestacks that have been standard for Hasbro releases. The interesting thing about Pepsi Convoy is that he is presented as being a different character from G1 Convoy.
Hasbro’s version has some paintjob differences, such as the change to the logo on his shoulder. Also Pepsi Optimus Prime is the same Optimus we know and love, only now able to (and this is a direct quote from his bio), “hook up his fellow Autobots with some free Earth delicacies they rarely get to enjoy.”
So, Pepsi Optimus Prime from Pepsi Convoy back to the original Pepsi Optimus Prime.
Only released in North America, the “Pepsi” part only comes from stickers that could be applied to the trailer of what is otherwise just a standard Optimus Prime toy.
One of the things I didn’t realize about the 2007 Pepsi Optimus Prime until I opened him, is that he includes the original, thicker version of Optimus Prime’s gun.
It may not be the convoy (ha! See what I did there?) that some have, but I quite like my little three and a third Optimus Primes.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have just enough to display at least one in alt mode with that beautiful trailer full of nostalgia.
Abort! Abort! Abort! Retreeeeeat! (I told you this was a very bad idea.) Transformers Prime First Edition Optimus Prime!
Here’s what my Transformers Prime First Edition Optimus Prime looks like now in alt mode.
If you’re thinking it looks a lot like the last time I posted an image of his alt mode, you’d be right.
Ok. Yeah. I should just learn to trust myself. After painstakingly taping off the parts of Optimus I didn’t want painted, I began slowly — ever so slowly — applying Model Masters Insignia Red Enamel paint. The only part of this debacle I am glad about is that I was all of four paint strokes in when I envisioned the disasterous and inevitable end result. Literally sprinting to find a q-tip and the alcohol (the technique for paint removal I learned with my G2 Jazz project), I removed what little I had painted (while being very careful as to not remove any of his original paint applications) and admitted defeat. For now.
I have stated before I am not a modder or kitbasher. I don’t have any painting skills to speak of. Fundamentally this means I don’t actually know how to paint an even enough coat that is both thick enough to cover the plastic colour underneath as well as thin enough to not obliterate molded details. With just a few strokes I was able to see that I would need a number of coats to cover the brown colour and I was already starting to lose the details of the tiny rivets molded into the edge of the brown piece.
So that’s that. Until I acquire the skill necessary to paint him, get a second for backup just in case my painting doesn’t go so well, or otherwise swap him out for a fully painted version, he will remain in robot mode.
As a consolation prize, however, robot mode isn’t exactly shabby. In fact, what a beautiful robot mode that is.
Despite the missing paint application, I find it nearly impossible to be unhappy with Hasbro about him. They promised before to get limited release and/or unreleased figures out there to us and pretty much haven’t made good on those promises. Until now, until the First Edition and GDO toys. Therefore I consider it something of a minor miracle that I own the Voyager class First Edition Optimus Prime at all. Unlike Bulkhead, I had resigned myself to the Robots in Disguise Optimus release. Just like Bulkhead, this was a sad state of affairs as the Robots in Disguise release, an otherwise acceptable toy, just doesn’t measure up because of the existence of the First Edition release.
First, the annoyingly hollow legs. Second, the silhouette. Transformers Prime Optimus Prime has a very distinct silhouette that both the Robots in Disguise release and the previous Deluxe-class First Edition release do not do justice to. While not totally eliminating the issue completely, the Voyager-class First Edition release greatly minimizes the back panels that ruin the outline of both the Deluxe and Robots in Disguise robot modes. His Deluxe release has the back panel problem but doesn’t compound it, like the Robots in Disguise release does, by having misplaced smokestacks in robot mode.
Then there is the size issue. The Robots in Disguise release is smaller to accommodate two weapons: a ridiculous unfolding, gimmicky gun that is far too large and a sword that is far too small and insubstantial. I have gutted the gun in an attempt to make it somewhat more passable.
The First Edition release remedies this.
Although, for all the pointing out of flaws I might do about the Robots in Disguise release, at least that one doesn’t have a big, ugly brown section on either side in alt mode.
Granted, the First Edition one doesn’t have an obviously hollow cab when viewed from the back.
Oh, Robots in Disguise release, so close, yet so far away.
Beyond stocking my work desk by continuing the Legends class toys, the Cyberverse line also introduced the new playsets that I am definitely a big fan of. With the Dark of the Moon line came first Bumblebee and the Mobile Battle Bunker and Starscream with his Orbital Assault Carrier. They were cool, high on play value, but nothing too mind-blowing for display.
Then the next wave consisted of Megatron and Optimus Prime, both of which actually integrated with their action sets as trailers in alt mode and armor/flight suits in robot mode. Upping the ante for display, especially in alt mode.
In the following wave, Ratchet and Shockwave continued the integration with alt mode, but lose any real integration with robot mode.
Then came the brilliant Dark of the Moon release of The Ark. Rather than a made up (other than Optimus’ trailer, I guess) accessory, here we had an attempt to deliver a show-accurate representation of a piece of Transformers fiction that wasn’t actually a Transformer. My thoughts on the subject were pretty straightforward:
And Hasbro obliged. Not just once, but twice within the Prime Cybververse line we get Wheeljack’s spaceship, the Star Hammer (or Jackhammer if you prefer the show’s name) and a Decepticon Energon Driller.
However, they also decided to go in a completely different, larger-scale direction.
Optimus Maximus is intended to be a battle platform with two modes; the mech-like robot mode and a seated robot mode rolling battle station mode.
The intention, of course is to populate the battle platform with Cyberverse Legion and Commander Class ‘bots.
With missles and sounds and lights (even though, like most Cyberverse, the light-piping gimmick doesn’t work at all), Optimus Maximus provides plenty in the way of play value for the kids. With no fictional appearance, or for that matter basis for existing outside of his box text, I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with him.
Then I saw him in person and… don’t laugh… was drawn to how much he resembled a piece of “exploded view” art.
Especially when set against a single-coloured background, Optimus Maximus looks a lot like a deconstructive study of an Optimus.
And that’s not including the fact that at his scale, I can populate him solely by incarnations of Optimus just for the heck of it.
Even with how much I like the look of Optimus Maximus and despite having see the Bumblebee Battle Suit in person as Botcon, I am still on the fence as to whether or not I am going to get that one when it comes out.
Unfortunately, he looks a little less Deconstructive art and a little more Dadaism…
I hate missing out on a mold altogether, but will skip one if there is just no difference between it and a larger and/or better release. Once I get the proper coloration in one size for a character, I try to get any different molds/sizes for that same character with an alternate head if available or at least a repaint. In some cases, it’s darn near impossible — such as the many, many identically coloured releases of Movie Optimus Prime. In a… possibly exaggerated to the point of lunatic attempt to prevent this from happening with Transformers Prime, I have strategically designed my purchases. Just to add to the already confused First Edition vs. Robots in Disguise differences in molds, Takara has decided to release a mish-mash line using all of the mold types and adding in exclusive “Micron Arms” Mini-cons. This is basically going to leave me with a Prime collection that is part First Edition, part Robots in Disguise, part Micron Arms.
Here’s the breakdown of what I have figured out so far:
Arcee – Right off the bat, I had it figured out, I would own one First Edition, one Robots in Disguise mold and be done with it. My First Edition would be the pink San Diego Comic Con exclusive version. With HobbyLink Japan selling the Arms Micron versions for only $20, my Robots in Disguise version would be the Takara release so that I would also get the Mini-con. Then I saw her R.i.D. release at retail… and bought it. You can bet I am still keeping my pre-order with HLJ for the Takara version (I neeeeeed that Mini-con!) but, hey, it’s Arcee. You can never have enough Arcee in your collection.
Bulkhead – This one breaks my heart. Bulkhead is my favourite Transformers Prime character. Having completely missed the regular retail release of the Hasbro First Edition line, I thought I was being smooth with my pre-order for the Takara First Edition Bulkhead through HLJ. They had him $20 cheaper than everyone else! What I didn’t know is that because I made the order so very late, they would eventually mark him as “Discontinued” without fulfilling my order. In the meantime, I passed up an opportunity to get him for $60 plus shipping which is the limit on how much I am willing to spend on him, favourite character or not. With his First Edition mold going for $100+ regardless of Hasbro or Takara release on Ebay, I am resigned to just getting his admittedly-not-as-good-looking Robots in Disguise release when it hits retail. That and keeping my fingers crossed that Hasbro’s recent promise to get the First Edition molds released to us somehow actually means something. *sigh* Oh, they are going to have some explaining to do at Botcon.
Bumblebee – Another easy one like Arcee, only this time I am actually sticking to my plan. My First Edition is the Taxi-cab themed San Diego Comic Con exclusive and my pre-order for the Takara release with the Mini-con takes cares of the Robots in Disguise release. I actually owned the retail release of his Robots in Disguise mold but sold him to a friend (for the exact amount I paid for him, take that scalpers!) when I made my Takara pre-order. Except there’s going to be a repaint of his Robots in Disguise mold with a new headsculpt as Hot Shot. Which I will buy. So maybe I’m not sticking as close to my one version of each mold plan as I thought…
Cliffjumper – Oof. I don’t even know where to start with this one. Dude is only in three episodes and he’s caused me no end of consternation toy-wise. Robots in Disguise mold is easy at least. When I missed the $20 pre-order for him on HLJ — every other site has the pre-order for the Takara releases at $38, which is too much for a Deluxe even with a Mini-con — I bought the retail release. [SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN SEASON 1 OF TRANSFORMERS PRIME YET!] His First Edition mold, however, comes in two flavours: regular and undead. I went back and forth for a while but then HLJ made it easy by having the undead Zombie version or “Terrorcon Cliffjumper” for the $20 price. Now Zombie Cliffjumper, being mangled and generally zombie-like, isn’t exactly the same as his regular First Edition mold release but that, like Bulkhead, I’ll have to wait to see if Hasbro fulfills their promise. Also, pictures a purplish blue Zombie Cliffjumper has recently circulated. If this means the Takara release of Zombie Cliffjumper (a.k.a. the ONLY release of Zombie Cliffjumper) only comes in a strangely not-very-Cliffjumper colour scheme is unknown as far as I can tell. [END OF SPOILERS.]
Megatron – I already picked up the Robots in Disguise retail release. Another one that I missed out on the HLJ $20 pre-order for, if it eventually gets re-released as part of Hasbro’s attempt to get the First Editions back out there, I might consider it at a low enough price point. However, there’s not really a difference between the toy from Deluxe to Voyager size so I might not even get it then.
Optimus Prime – I missed out on the First Edition, and even HLJ’s prices on the Voyager sized Takara releases are too much for me (almost double the retail release price) which leaves me with the Deluxe sized SDCC exclusive Matrix of Leadership Optimus Prime, the Voyager sized Robots in Disguise retail release, and the hope that Habsro’s First Edition promise includes Optimus. It would have to… wouldn’t it?
Soundwave – Finally! Someone nice and easy. No First Edition to worry about. Just a retail Robots in Disguise release, which I bought, blogged about, and then sold; and a Takara release which I have a pre-order of through HLJ.
Starscream – Starscream is one of my favourites to deal with because his First Edition mold is being released by Takara with Mini-con and painted as Skywarp. Joy! I don’t know if I have said it enough times, but Skywarp is my favourite Decepticon. That only leaves his larger Voyager release to get when it hits retail as part of the Robots in Disguise line.
Vehicon – Unlike all of the ‘bots above, the First Edition mold in this case isn’t actually as good as the Robots in Disguise mold. Unless Hasbro re-releases the First Edition mold at normal retail prices, I have no interest in it. Retail Robots in Disguise release it is! Being army-builder compatible, if I can find the Takara release at a reasonable price I might pick that up too, mostly to get the Mini-con, but also to have a couple Vehicons that are at least slightly different!
Wheeljack – One release. Robots in Disguise. No Takara release announced yet. Bought. Blogged.
Transformers Prime, the toyline at least, might just reduce me to a gibbering, brainless mess very soon if Hasbro and Takara keeps this up.
Itsy Bitsy Teen Weeny Transforming fun! Optimus! Bumblebee! Barricade! Starscream! Megatron! Sentinel Prime! Bot Shots!
I didn’t imagine in a million years I would be writing this post. When I saw the first images of this new line called Bot Shots, I immediately equated them to the previous younger age range targeted lines like Cyber Slammers. Granted, that’s mostly because Cyber Slammers and Bot Shots share the run-them-into-things-to-transform-them play mechanic. As a *ahem* Serious Adult Collector, I tend to ignore the younger targetted lines for the most part. There are some exceptions, I bought Go-Bots Cheetor because he was essentially an adorable “chibi” version of the Beast Wars character. I also bought Rescue Bots Optimus when he was released last year. I bought him for my son, Wesley… despite the fact that he hadn’t actually been born at the time Optimus was released and even now isn’t old enough to play with him.
Yes, Serious Adult Collector. I initially became intrigued when the official Bot Shots website went up. First, it’s not just toys with simplistic auto-transformations, it’s based around a “Rock, Paper, Scissors” style game using fist, sword, and blaster.
Fist beats sword, sword beats blaster, blaster beats fist. A lot of the other “Serious Adult Collector” fans have gotten into “serious adult” conversations about how this is ridiculous. I say they are just overthinking it. After all, how could paper beat rock anyway? My favourite part is “NOTE: if neither figure converts, crash again!” That has to be the most fun sentence I have ever read on a piece of Transformers packaging.
Like I said, Serious Adult Collector. What small piece that was left of that facade of adulthood broke the moment I saw them in person.
Adorable. How do you even make Barricade adorable?
Even his alt mode is adorable. Pretty much all of them are adorable and all of them are tiny even the tiny, adorable Decepticons
Look! Airplane on wheels!
Starscream’s an airplane car and people are fussing over how fist could possibly beat sword? You know who couldn’t possibly be made adorable? Megatron.
Grrrrrr, widdle angwy warlord. So cute.
Both Megatron and Optimus came with trailers that combine with their alt modes.
These trailers then transform into bases and, more importantly, launchers which come in very handy while playing.
Optimus’ alt mode reminds me of the equally adorable alt mode of the Mickey Mouse Prime.
There are actually two Optimus Prime Bot Shots out right now, the darker shaded one that comes by itself and then a brighter coloured one that comes with the trailer. Though I own both — they have different attack strengths so they can actually play against each other — I took the brighter coloured one to sit on my shelves at work and forgot to bring him home for the shoot. They look exactly the same except for the difference in coloration. Due to his lack of a nose and mouth, Optimus is the least cute of all of them.
Then, of course, there’s the requisite Bumblebee, though with a wonderfully G1-esque headsculpt.
His alt mode is based on Movie Bumblebee’s Camaro, though the “super deformed” or compressed dimensions of the Bot Shot alt modes remind me a lot of the original G1 Minibot “Penny Racer” molds.
I still need to pick up the two box sets, which have three Bots in each, but so far my favourite of the first wave has to be Sentinel Prime. As the “Super Bot” of Wave 1, his single release has slightly higher stats and is done in beautiful translucent red plastic.
With no G1 head to work with, they went with the same headsculpt basis as Sentinel Prime’s Kre-O release, that of Animated Sentinel Prime. He does has Movie Sentinel Prime’s crash truck or airport fire truck alt mode.
Just in case you couldn’t tell, I’m hooked. They got me good with this line. These guys are wonderfully collectible and tons o’ fun.
I’ve already had two sessions in the floor with friends and family launching these little dudes at each other. In this case one shall rise…
From what has been shown, there’s supposed to be 44 Bot Shots planned for 2012. Good thing these little guys are also pretty cheap.
As proven by “The many deaths of Optimus Prime” (the Wiki article devoted solely to the topic) you can’t keep a good Optimus down. He may get killed, but he invariably returns and this holds true regardless of the country.
However, Japan went a different direction with the resurrection of G1 Optimus Prime, or “Convoy”, as he is called there. Rather than simply bring him back to life as the American version did, The Battlestars story pages — the fiction that goes along with the Return of Convoy toyline — returned him to life while simultaneously upgrading him into a more powerful form, as Star Convoy.
The original Star Convoy toy can go for anywhere between $300 to $1,000 on ebay. Along with the fact that he’s just a splendid display piece, this ridiculous disparity of cost is one of the reasons why this guy is one of my favourites of my entire collection. I was able to get an actual, official Star Convoy into my collection and pay less than $100, because in 2005 Takara reissued him.
The reissue actually improves upon the original by replacing his white pieces with silver and changing the yellow star on his chest to a shiny gold. His entire articulation consists of shoulder and elbow joints and, thanks to his transformation, a waist swivel (not exactly the articulated robot of his box art). You may remember from part 1 of my 2 part Rodimus post, included is the Micromaster version of Hot Rod
Star Convoy retains Convoy’s “truck” alt mode, but no longer of any real-world model.
The reissue also retains the original’s gimmick. The rear treaded section is battery-powered and can drive either alt or robot mode forward or backwards. The treaded section, called the Microcarrier, can be removed.
Following on from the Zone toyline, the Return of Convoy toyline focused mainly on Micromasters. In both lines, the larger Transformers all had a third mode that functions as a base for the smaller Transformers and Star Convoy is no exception.
The treads on the Microcarrier are faced up and, when activated, function as a conveyor belt to launch the Micromasters down the ramp. This toyline also saw the inclusion of Micro Trailers, a small tractor trailer with a spring-loaded launching mechanism. Star Convoy’s alt mode can carry two Micro Trailers and comes with the only Micro Trailer that doesn’t have a number on the side.
Star Convoy catches a lot of fan-hate due to the fact that his toy is a “brick“, but for me, frankly, he’s for display, not for playing. Besides, I’m the one whose favourite G1 toy is Powermaster Optimus Prime, it doesn’t get more brick-tastic than that.
Toy? What toy? Give me that packaging! “Matrix of Leadership” SDCC Transformers: Prime Optimus Prime!
Two days after the end of San Diego Comic Con 2011, Hasbrotoyshop.com put a portion of their remaining SDCC exclusives up for purchase. This promptly caused the website to grind to a halt. You could almost hear their server’s underpinnings literally bend and moan under the stress. Out of the twelve or so offerings, three were Transformers related. Out of those three their was one toy I wanted… no, needed to own; and for the first time in my collection, I needed to own it because of the packaging, not the toy inside.
I spent the better part of three hours attempting to purchase and it finally went through. It was well worth it though, because all told, after a Groupon from the previous week plus a 10% off code (combined with a website error that caused free shipping); “Matrix of Leadership” SDCC Optimus Prime cost me a grand total of $4.11.
This box, which is pretty grand packaging itself, holds the single coolest toy packaging Hasbro has ever created. Designed to emulate the chest of the toy inside, the windows that form Optimus Prime’s chestplate are held together by a large, round magnet. Removing the magnet and swinging the flaps open reveals Transfomers Prime Optimus Prime, encased in the Matrix of Leadership.
The toy is held in by plastic and some of the new paper-based ties, the Matrix is sealed only with tape. Basically, Hasbro has provided the ability to have your toy in package and transform it too. The picture above is actually after having removed the toy for some photos and then putting it back. The packaging alone holds him securely, making the ties both ugly as well as unnecessary so I threw them away.
As for the toy, an early release of the Transformers Prime Deluxe-scale Optimus Prime toy, I found it kind of underwhelming. I do like robot mode, which is mostly animation accurate and well articulated.
However, judging by the pictures, it pales tremendously in comparison to the upcoming Voyager Prime Optimus Prime. One thing that is missing in this mode is all the personality that is present in the cartoon version. It’s missing the detailing on the tall crest on his forehead and the “pupils” of the eyes, rather than all blue eyes.
Though in a toy of this size, the lack of small paint applications like that is somewhat forgivable. What I truly don’t like is that there’s something very… uninspired about the alt mode.
There’s just not enough detail to the front end, the rear is actually far more interesting to look at, which should never be the case. In the defense of the toy designers, this is really not their fault, Optimus’ truck mode in the cartoon is rather bland.
The toy’s weapon can be plugged into the trailer hitch on the back of his alt mode for storage.
Toy collecting can be odd sometimes.
This post was a week in the making. I seriously underestimated the effort necessary to “transform” Kre-O Optimus Prime from one form to the other. Optimus is the only set from the new Kre-O line that I had any intention of buying and that has been further reinforced after the amount of effort it took to assemble him, take him apart, and reassemble him. I’m a much bigger fan of pre-assembled toys, which is why this line and the Built To Rule line, the previous Transformers building block set don’t really interest me. (Of course, it didn’t help that the Built To Rule line was hideous to begin with.) Other than vastly improving the look of both robot and alt modes, they also did one other awesome thing with the Kre-O line. Included with all but the smallest sets are Kreons, little Lego-man versions of Transformers. I absolutely love the Kreons, far more than the actual buildable robots that they came with.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still glad I have Optimus and he will take his place on my Optimus Prime shelves. Being the highest pricepoint of the Kre-O sets, he is quite large. As a robot that doesn’t have to take transformation into consideration, he’s very flexible, though his head is too small for the size of his body. A head, I might add that is almost pulled straight from Classics Optimus Prime.
I also have to applaud the fact that, though this is clearly a movie related line, the Kreons that are included are all patterned on their G1 incarnations. In fact, the thing that moved this set from the “might have to pick that up” to the “MUST. BUY.” list was that included along with the Optimus Kreon was Skywarp, my favourite Decepticon.
As much fun as Kre-O Optimus’ robot mode is, the real greatness of this set lies in alt mode.
However, here’s where I have a problem with the Kre-O line. Stickers. I am not a big fan of stickers, it’s my least favourite part of getting a new reissue and I definitely wasn’t expecting them in a new toy. This set is absolutely sticker-tastic too. Following the instructions, there are seven Autobot symbols from his grill to the front cowl of his trailer alone. The result is quite comical and pretty much unnecessary so I left them off altogether.
Being a toy for kids, he comes with two extra little dudes as well as two motorcycles for the little dudes to ride. Here’s the little dudes.
…and that’s pretty much where they are going to stay. Squishy human folk are not generally welcome on my shelves. However, the motorcycles as well as the Bluestreak Kreon also included are very much welcome and still got put to use.
The trailer opens up and the rear section of the truck cabin comes off to form a “Command Center”. Overall, the truck and trailer have some great little details. The back cabinets on the truck have little opening doors.
The cab itself has a gear shift and a seat. Disappointingly, Kreon Optimus can’t be put in the driver seat because the wheels on his own legs won’t let him fit and his helmet is too tall for the interior.
Apparently Kre-O Optimus is not interested in hiding his identity. I’m pretty sure there’s not a state that has that many letters in their license plates.
Unfortunately I did this photo shoot backwards and now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to start the process of turning him back into a truck from robot mode. I’ll leave you with this nonsensical battle shot.