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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Firestrider57's Review: Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
Faction: Autobot
Function: Commander
Alt Mode: International Semi Tractor

"Freedom is the Right of All Sentient Beings"

Optimus Prime has always been THE classic leader of warriors in the comic universe. He is stalwart, honorable, courageous and strong. He will sacrifice himself for his men (over and over) and can put more than a dent into Megatron's power-hungry carcase. Is there any better fictional leader than the character of Optimus Prime? Well, maybe, since there are good " human" comic "universes" out there as well, but in the world of the Transformers, there is no more respected warrior ever than Optimus Prime.
I have been a fan of Optimus Prime ever since 1984. I was 10 at the time-- yeah, I almost missed the entire TF phenomenon the first time around. Since that time, I have collected almost any storable version of the red-and-gray 'bot I could get my hands on-- many of them Legends. I was a big mini collector at first, then branching out to deluxe or supercon figures later. My crowning achievement to my collection is TWOW First Strike Optimus Prime (2007). Some time recently, however, I was able to get my hands on the spotlight figure of this review. Due to the previous review in this forum, I knew what to expect , and I was satisfied with what I saw, because it was exactly what I was looking for. So, let's review, shall we?
Transformation:
G2 Prime is one of the most ingeniously designed TF Deluxes of all time. Why? Simply in the possitioning of his chest and arms during transformation from truck to robot. At first glance, I was not a huge fan of G2 Prime ( I will go in to that in the following two points), but after several transformations of this dude, I am again a very satisfied collector.
I have seen elements of his transformation before, primarily from two previous figures-one of which I have currently: Cybertron Defense Hot Shot and Classics 2.0 Roadbuster. Although I love my Roadbuster, and won't give him up, yet the whole shoulder thing didn't come as a complete surprise to me. It is all upper body-- Legs transform differently. He carries his weapon between his legs in alt mode, which is similar to the weapon for Roadbuster. I must say that Roadbuster's transformation makes this guy almost" old hat" to transform. The most aggravating part of the transformation is Prime's hands-- there's literally no place to put them and no way to conceal them. They look rather misplaced compared to the rest of the figure.
The most aggravating , yet most iconic of this transformation is in the arms. I like this rendering, because in the end, Prime really comes out strong. First, you must contort the arms outward and rotate the forearms to let the "doors" droop downward. Secondly, you must split the hood section so that you don't sacrifice any paint. I really don't want to complain about this figure, because it is the arms and shoulders that make this figure so unique. The head transformation also conjures up memories of G1 Prime.
Overall, I haven't seen a more imaginative transformation in the Generations line.
Robot Mode:
As mentioned before in the first review, this guy is no titan. My answer to that is that it is all in what you are looking for. Although he is not the best scale in comparison with any of the Autobot cars ( Sunstreaker and Prowl are both larger), yet he is totally in scale with HFTD Ironhide , Ratchet, Cyclonus, any of the Decepticon Seekers and **drum roll** WTC Megatron, Soundwave, and Classics 2.0 Galvatron. So there are uses for the guy after all!
With his sword, he also looks very knightly , especially with that head sculpt, which is more angular than many of the other Primes. The head is not in any way the best (I reserve that prize for WTC Prime). The neat thing about his sword is that it has a sliding hand-guard ( haft?). The only thing I don't like about this mode is the lack of an actual gun. What is Optimus Prime without his ion blaster? It would be much cooler if this sword could convert to a gun as well. I wanted a blaster, but then I would probably have to settle for the actual G2 version. As mentioned before, the "laser rods" on the shoulders are the main features of this figure.However , in the articulation aspect, the "joiner piece" for the arms gets in the way of some rotation. It gives him a physical "leader" quality. The legs are not my favorite blue color and the feet look a little cheezy. Oh, and this is about the only Prime I know , other than movie versions , with calves. Just something to mull over.

Alt Mode:
I don't get this. Why , of all of the macho, totally awesome big rig fuelers out there, did Hasbro choose the International Harvester semi over-- say a Kenworth, Peterbilt, Freightliner, Autocar or Western Star ? All the latter designs are totally DA BOMB! International--meh. I know it's current design, but Prime's supposed to be heavy duty, right? The hood of the truck pretty much predestined this truck to be a shade disappointing in both stature and prestige ( the original G2 truck was a Peterbilt, If I'm thinking right. ) Lest one think I am being overcritical of this design, it just isn't what I would have picked. I've ridden in one of these trucks, and they're not the best I've ridden in. The paint job is a totally different story. I love this flame job. It is so moviesque without stealing from the movie line. The paint has amazing quality ( I wish my Prowl were painted like this). The only downer to this is that the doors look mismatched compared to the whole of the body. Another minor docker is the fact that you must have both legs snapped to the sword in order to keep the rear section together.
Overall: I am a huge Prime fan. This-- although not the greatest of all time-- is one of the greatest deluxes of all time. Put him next to those you know that he can match in scale , and he's not bad at all. Switch him out with a Classics or Movie Voyager and you have a great line overall. I think all TF's have shortcomings, not just G2 Prime. Deluxe Primes are easier to find now. There are deluxe Primes in almost every category. Not all are aesthetically equal. Personally, if you are looking for a good "smaller" Prime, I would say that this is my #2 choice behind Armada Prime. He's better than "Ultimate Battle " Prime.The only one I don't recommend , for aesthetics alone, is DOTM deluxe Prime. Overall, he's above average in the line of the Deluxe Primes. This is such a versatile mode, they could paint another two paint schemes-- say white and blue (Ultra Magnus) , or Black and gray (Scourge).

Marks out of 10 for the following:
Transformation: 9 Ingenious! One of the best deluxe transformations ever!
Aesthetics: 7 I am used to Red, Gray and Blue , not Black, red and silver.
And at least get the alt mode brand right- C'mon! We want Peterbilt!
Durability: 7 The wrists and feet worry me. Neither look like they could endure hard play. The "calves" also look suspect.
Articulation: 9 Great articulation from head to toe, but the "joiner pin" for the shoulders looks like it will break after a few transformations.
Price:3 I bought mine for $8 second hand. The running price is anywhere from $15.00 to $19.00 . Rather exorbitant.
Packaging: 10 I love the packaging of the Generations figures, especially with their artwork.
Fun: 8 With certain scales, he's great, but He's more or less a "commando" rather than commander , when he has no troops to command. Great poses. Great weapon. No ion blaster (ugH!).
Overall: 8 All kinds of ups and downs can be said about this figure, but if you are in the market for a deluxe Prime, I highly recommend this one.
 
 
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