This could be a very short post. I really have no idea, but not only because the bottom is down there and we’re all still up here at the top. I just don’t know how much I’ll have to say about this particular subject, but I guess there’s only one way to find out.
Triple Combination: Transformers Go! occupies the same space as Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo. That is, it is a Takara-exclusive animated series starring a combination of molds previously released in the U.S. as well as all-new molds. The reasoning behind the two extra Beast Wars series was that the second season of Beast Wars hadn’t finished the localization process and Takara needed something to bridge the gap. Eventually they would air the second and third seasons as Beast Wars Metals, which is where they diverge from Transformers Go!. Transformers Go! was a direct sequel to Transformers Prime which introduced new characters and re-introduced repainted versions of the existing Predacons as new characters. It also gave a little more in-depth account of the new “Beast Hunter” forms for the existing Autobots and Decepticons such as Wheeljack, Optimus, Soundwave, Smokescreen, Bumblebee and Shockwave.
Having them already, I wasn’t really interested in the repainted Predacon molds, but when I saw some of the animation stills, I was very interested in the new molds of the Samurai and Shinobi teams.
That was, until I saw images of the toys themselves.
Maybe it was just bad photography? Maybe they were those toys that you can only really appreciate in person?
Then the reviews started rolling in. There was one key word used over and over. Regret. (Mostly regret over the high price importing these cost.
So I moved on and forgot about the line altogether. About six months later, I vaguely remember hearing and seeing something about an Optimus Prime toy exclusive to the line, something about a bullet train. As a big fan of the oddities, I checked him out, but at the import prices and having already soured on the line in general, I couldn’t pull the trigger.
Then I was wandering aimlessly across the BotCon 2015 dealer floor and came across this bullet train Optimus for… let’s just say an impressive discount. It wasn’t much of a gamble at this price so I grabbed him.
To be part of the combining theme that drives Transformers Go! Optimus comes with pieces that allow him to join, Energon Powerlinx style, with either of the two team leaders.
Like the rest of the line, the combined forms leave a lot to be desired, so those pieces won’t ever be used for that purpose but the dragon one adds some really nice details to his robot mode.
Setting that aside, I’m actually quite charmed with him on his own. Does he have flaws? Yep. Most of them he has in common with the rest of the line and all that was a pretty big mark against him for a lot people. Luckily for me, I never touched the rest of the line, so I can forgive them all in this one toy for a giant sword wielding, dragon-themed, samurai Optimus Prime.
The other combiner piece can be used as a mildly convincing shield.
As far as alt modes go, he’s a bullet train; it’s where he gets his name from. Like a play on “Express” (as in express train) he goes by Optimus Exprime and… well he looks like a bullet train.
There’s really not all that much else to say about his alt mode. Bullet trains, trains in general, are much more popular in Japan than in the U.S. so it is at least something we don’t see too often. You can connect both of his combiner pieces together and attach them to the top of his alt mode, but… why? One thing I didn’t know about Optimus Exprime was that he also has a beast mode. In the cartoon he shows up and transforms into a fearsome dragon.
Turns out that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know the toy has a beast mode. The toy itself doesn’t really seem all that aware of it. Following the general policy set by both the Samurai and Shinobi teams of the animation being G1 levels of false advertising, here’s the toy’s attempt at that mode.
I can’t… just… no. If Mach Kick’s other mode is the Unhorse, this is the Undragon. Seriously, that’s G1 Ironhide levels of nothing-like-the-animation-model. Let’s get back to that fun, double sword wielding robot mode.
Much better. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about another thing I didn’t realize: his electronics. Pushing the button does sounds and phrases, with lights flashing.
Like most electronics, they don’t really add a lot to the toy but they are pretty extensive. The lights are at his waist in robot mode, but have piping to shine through the headlights in alt mode, the phrases change based on which combination mode he is in, and there is an amusing musical bit and lights that happen when you press and hold the button which means he is ready to combine, which can be activated in alt mode too.
The music just plays over and over until you either hit the switch again or combine him. All that aside, there’s a bunch of great little details, like the awesome headsculpt.
Also, his feet are little versions of his alt mode; like he’s wearing adorable bullet train slippers.
Overall, I am very happy and I’m pretty sure I would have been even if I hadn’t gotten such a very good deal on him.