Siege Optimus Prime

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Siege Optimus Prime

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:26 am

Name: Optimus Prime
Allegiance: Autobot
Size Class: Voyager
Accessories: W-50 Dual-Mech Energon Strikeshield, W-M3 RF Ion Blaster

Woo! An Optimus Prime toy I'm actually excited about! I find it hard to muster much enthusiasm for toys of the Autobot and Decepticon leaders, as they're so ubiquitous. There was just something about the design of this new Optimus that got the pulse racing. Having him in hand, it's easy to put a finger on just what it is – he's not massive and encumbered with a trailer accessory or armour no-one really wants (if they were honest). It's probably the first attempt since the 2006 Classics version to just give us a decent, well thought-out version of the Autobot leader at this scale. It's like Hasbro have looked at the recent successful Studio Series versions of the live action Optimi in this scale and applied that thinking to the Siege line. And it works!

Robot Mode: This is a lovely rendition of the Autobot leader. It's got all the obvious look of the old animation model, but a very high level of detailing that embarrasses Takara's recent Masterpiece figures. See, I think this is why I like the Siege figures as much as I do, even though they're just yawnsome retreads of beloved characters; they just feel like this is what the whole Classics/Henkei/Universe/Generations takes have been aiming for. Good, solid updates with the detail and precision of those lovely old Diaclone/ Microman moulds. The texturing on Optimus, with all his rivets and panels, is fantastic and really helps sell the idea of this being a mechanical being. I love all the techno-whatsits you can see on his chest pecs and all the chiseled details. These are the things that make a toy memorable. He does suffer from the bingo wings that nobbled the Classics version, but they're nowhere near as obnoxious on this figure and don't ruin the look. Likewise, he does have a fair old chunk of truck flap on his back, but I like that it works for him as a makeshift jetpack for short range flight. Nice. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the beautiful headsculpt. It's marvelous and I love the neatly applied paint and eyeliner, which helps make his sparkly blue eyes pop. The only minor dislike is how short his arms are. It's not immediately obvious, when you're posing him waving his gun and axe around, which is good, but its one of those things that once spotted, you can't help noticing.

Vehicle Mode: I quite like the vehicle mode. It's somewhere between diesel locomotive and tractor cab. It's not outrageously alien and reminds me of the alt-mode glimpsed in the old Marvel flashback story 'The Flames Of Boltax!' (Can't remember if that title actually had an exclamation mark, but it feels dramatic enough to sound like it should.). It's not my favourite Cybertronian design for Optimus (that still goes to Don Figueroa's awesome War Within version), but I've settled into Siege's tweaked versions of Earthern alt -modes to not mind the lack of envelope pushing. I like all the translucent blue going on at the front, but am not so sure about the choice to mix that in with some silver paint for the side windows. It just jars a bit, but it's better than them being painted up in an unconvincing blue. I also really like the design of the wheels, which have these nice chunky treads. And silver hubs. I like silver hubcaps on Transformers. The wheels are also pinned, so he rolls really nicely as well, of which I approve. There's still some useable 5mm ports in this mode, so you can attack mode him to your heart's content.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: This is a nice mix of the old Classics sequence and Masterpiece style touches to get you a great take on the Optimus transform sequence. There's some cheater pieces so the vehicle mode cab works, which I don't mind, as otherwise the cab would look weird. I like the way this is fairly complex, but not irritatingly so. It feels like learnings from other designs have been fused together to both impress and challenge. I love how clean the overall robot mode looks and the vehicle looking a bit like a train. I like trains. Good work. The only thing I don't like? His closed fists which means he can only wield his axe from the base, which looks awkward. 9/10

Articulation: Optimus has such an impressive range of motion – up there with stuff from Hasbro's Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black Series 6” figures – ankle tilts, wrist swivels, elbow bends and swivels, thigh rotation, hips, knees that bend and swivel. His head can't look up too far, but I don't care, because this all fantastic stuff. 9/10

Durability: A good, solid figure with everything pinned and clipped where it needs to be. Nothing feels like its going to pop off or loosen anytime soon. I must have transformed this guy hundreds of times and he still feels box fresh. 10/10

Fun: Of all the Siege figures, Optimus has been the one I've had most fun with. He's just a good size, great fun to handle and pose, has some brilliant weapons (I love his rifle) and excellent design choices. He's fast become my favourite version of the Autobot leader, even outshining my beloved Generation 2 version. 10/10

Price: £23.99 at retail. Good price for an excellent figure, in all honesty. I don't feel he's overpriced at all. 10/10

Overall: As you may have guessed, I really, really like this version of Optimus. It's just a thoughtful and well executed design. It's not the most imaginative, no, but I get that with Siege Hasbro are trying to pull off the tricky feat of throwing some Cybertronian stylings at characters they know fans want to see looking like their 1980s counterparts. Optimus really captures the look and is a really great fun figure. Love it! 10/10.
Siege Optimus 001 (480x640).jpg
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Siege Optimus 005 (640x480).jpg
Siege Optimus 005 (640x480).jpg (192.48 KiB) Viewed 1833 times

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Re: Siege Optimus Prime

Post by Warcry » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:45 pm

I can definitely see why you like the figure, and I've been tempted by it in stores a few times, but I am SO sick of Optimus Prime toys with 2 lbs of alt-mode parts hanging off the back and arms. This is obviously a great action figure but I just know that I'd want to throw it out the window in frustration the first time I looked at it from behind or tried to transform it.

Optimus Prime is THE simplest design in the entire franchise, and the hardest to screw up, and yet they screw it up CONSTANTLY by using fake parts and slapping huge chunks of unnecessary kibble in him. Can't they design a grille that works aesthetically in both modes? It would simplify the engineering so much and make it so much easier to tuck the rest of his alt mode bits away unobtrusively instead of giving him massive poofy sleeves and a cape. After seeing the creative new ways they found to make Earthrise Prime unappealing (eyes that you can't see because they're blue on blue, tons of grey on his lower legs, and a trailer that's just a featureless, undersized box) I'm starting to think they're making Prime a bit messy all the time on purpose because they're afraid no one will buy next year's Optimus if this year's doesn't have an annoying flaw for them to "fix" in the next version.

I'm sorry, that was a bit of a rant, wasn't it? :)

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Re: Siege Optimus Prime

Post by Tantrum » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:11 pm

There should be a word between "would" and "weird" in Transformation Design. Other than that, great review. I especially like comparing the vehicle mode to a train. It never would've occurred to me, but I get it. I have a more favorable view of this alt mode now that you've got me looking at it in a different way.

It's still not enough to make me want this figure, though. Like Warcry mentioned, this dude's got a lot of backpack for a square red box and rectangular blue box that turn into a boxy robot. I have enough Optimi now, and know there are more coming, that a merely good figure isn't enough to pique my interest. It needs to either seriously impress me (like SS-38's mix of G1 and movie verse aesthetics) or be a ridiculously good deal (Cyberverse Warrior with trailer for $5) for me to bite.

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Re: Siege Optimus Prime

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:01 pm

Thanks for that! I hadn't spotted that. Fixed :)

The kibble here really isn't as bothersome as it looks. I agree it should be possible to eliminate it entirely - the G1 figure is only a few joints away from being as articulated as a modern toy, after all. It's the pursuit of a robot mode that looks like the animation model that riddles figures with this sort of stuff. Frankly, I'd rather have a bit of kibble that's still attached to the robot so I can see it actually transforms than the 'just remove a big part of the vehicle mode' that Earthrise Cliffjumper and Arcee have gone for (although I do like the look of Arcee - shhh!)

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