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.