“The end of the age of Primes.”
The final moments of Transformers: Prime saw Optimus Prime, whose own spark had been inextricably merged with the Allspark itself, allowing his physical body to be destroyed as the Allspark was reunited with the core of Cybertron. Optimus explains that the resulting destruction of the Matrix of Leadership could very well bring about an end to the succession of Primes, meanwhile the planet is reinvigorated and the Well of All Sparks begins to flow again. As the fount of life bursts forth, Optimus offers up this sage advice,
“Above all, do not lament my absence. For in my spark, I know that this is not the end but merely a new beginning. Simply put: another transformation.”
The next time we see the planet Cybertron, it is abundantly obvious that Optimus’ sacrifice worked. It is revitalized. A planet reborn.
However, as proven multiple times in Transformers lore, you can not kill a Transformer by simply destroying their body if their spark remains active. On top of that, we soon learn that Optimus’ spark has been called to the Realm of the Primes.
For what exactly he’s training neither we nor he are told. When we last saw him, Optimus was sporting his much bulkier “Beast Hunters” body. Now he has a new, slimmer body and an upgraded Prime version of the Decepticon Hunter weapon.
It is in this form that we got our first couple of toys of Optimus. I normally don’t buy the Legion class toys any more, unless it is the only size a particular character comes in. When I started to worry that no warrior class Robots in Disguise Megatronus would be happening and I didn’t like the look at all of the overly-large “Mega 5-Step Changer” version, I decided that I would get tiny Megatronus just in case. Also, he’s a tiny god. Literally. So how could I not? As a Toys “R” Us “Clash of the Transformers” Exclusive, he came in a two-pack with an inexplicably white Optimus.
Like a majority of these little guys these days, he is actually a very good figure for the size. His alt mode has a very Nova Prime look to it, thanks to the primarily white and dark, dark grey with a splash of light blue.
Granted, if I had to have any version of this mold, I would much prefer the silly Toys “R” Us Japan exclusive Transformers Adventure EZ Class Optimus Prime with his Toys “R” Us/Geoffrey the Giraffe inspired paintjob.
The design of his alt mode, with the small cab and with the trailer that becomes his legs, is very reminiscent of Star Convoy.
After appearing somewhat sporadically throughout season one, it is in the final two episodes of the season, parts 1 and 2 of “Battleground”, that we get to see more of this intense training and finally get to know why. He is being trained in order to become strong enough to wield the combined power of a number of the Primes themselves.
Toy-wise, there are three choices from Hasbro to represent this new form, all three are exclusive to Toys “R” Us and the Clash of the Transformers subline, and none of them is good. First, there’s the warrior class figure. As a straight repaint of the previous warrior class, he only represents Optimus’ new look in colour, not in shape. The other two are variations on a 3-step design. Essentially, they look the part, but have virtually no articulation. At least the larger of the two, Mega Optimus Prime, has ports on him to use the toyline’s Mini-Cons. However, the smaller of the two comes with an orange version of Optimus’ amped up Prime Decepticon Hunter blade mode. While it was too small for the 3-step changer, I had to get my hands on it because it’s the perfect size for the warrior class mold.
Meanwhile, I’m left without a representation of what I assume Optimus is going to look like throughout Season 2.
Help us, TakaraTomy, you’re our only hope!
Much like Transformers Animated Blackout and Transformers Prime Breakdown, TakaraTomy did in fact come to our rescue, in July they released a strangely gigantic (think almost supreme class in size), entirely new mold version of Optimus in his pre-Prime powered form. He came with a slew of weapons: a larger version of the axe included with his warrior class toy; a small blaster; Bumblebee’s sword; Strongarm’s crossbow; Jazz’s lance; and Drift’s sword. These could be combined in various ways using the Decepticon Hunters that pop-out from his forearms. That’s nice an all, but I already had a serviceable, albeit much smaller version of this form. Luckily they weren’t done yet and hot on the heels — or rather an excruciating four months later — came Optimus Prime Supreme Mode.
In addition, he also comes with the myriad of weapons the first release came with, but eschews the pop-out Decepticon Hunters in his hands in favour of remolded hands and two standalone Decepticon Hunters.
Perhaps as a result of Micronus Prime being one of the Primes to share his power with Optimus, this version also adds a multitude of Mini-Con ports.
It will be interesting to see how/if this plays out in season 2. I have a strong feeling it will, given the introduction of a third Mini-Con type and the upcoming waves of new Mini-Con toys. It would be great to see Optimus leading an army of Mini-Cons in the cartoon.
One specific complaint some have with this figure, and the previous version, are the entirely hollow legs. I am willing to give him a complete pass on this point, since his legs — which become his trailer in alt mode — are hollow to allow for this,
He has electronics, including 200 sounds and phrases. Mostly, this appears to be accomplished by having him randomly string together another character’s name, a call-to-action, and a sound effect. There is also a somewhat menacing sounding laugh and an equally unsettling cry of pain. All of these noises (for as long as I keep the batteries in, which will not be long) are accompanied by flashing lights in his chest and eyes, which, frankly, make him look kind of menacing.
Another gimmick he has, in keeping with the symbol scanning app interaction of the rest of the Transformers Robots in Disguise and Transformers Adventure line, is a rotating piece in his left shoulder with not one but two scannable emblems.
From the brilliant transformation that includes a piece that auto-transforms from his chest to his alt mode windshield, to the quantity of weaponry for the entire team (I am most excited to give Strongarm her crossbow!), to his epic stature, if you like the Robots in Disguise line at all, I can’t possibly recommend this toy enough and, specifically, this version of the mold.