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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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HotShot81's Review: Legends Class Optimus Prime and Roller

Name: Optimus Prime & Autobot Roller
Class size: Legend
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Autobot Commander & Support Vehicle/Weapon
First Appearance: None

Where to start? Where to start? Let's start at ground zero so to speak and work our way up.

New and old fans have got to be wondering what is a Legend sized figure, and what is so big (or small) about it. For all us oldersters out there, Legend class sized figures are about as big as old the individual Transformers who made up the scrambler city combiners back in the 1980s. Which is ironic since those Transformers were made to work with the original Metroplex, and the current batch is being made to interact with the new Metroplex.

I can see several dozen fans saying why does Optimus Prime not have a first appearance. Well he does, and I'd list the games & books for the Generations franchise. The problem is he comes with Autobot Roller who has no appearances anywhere except back in the 1980s in Optimus's trailer. Optimus Prime Legend size measures in at a meek, 3.5 inches. Roller measures in at a 1.3 inches tall. I guess which you shrink one, you need to shrink them both.

I could write a 50 page biography on Optimus Prime and the history of him. I know if I did, I wouldn't do him justice. However, that goes without saying. Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots. When the chips are down, he doesn't ask any more of his people then he is willing to do himself. If to destroy the Decepitcons, he must die, then he will. His thirst for freedom for others is only matched by his courage.

Autobot Roller, he's an Autobot who was lost to Transformer lore years ago. He started off as one of Prime's 3 components. Since the 1980s he hasn't been heard from or seen from. It's a good thing in a sense the material on the box for them is solely for Roller. "Autobot Roller has been a constant companion of Optimus Prime for all the countless years of war. Silently, patiently, he has stood by the Autobot commander, supporting him as a leader, and serving him as a warrior. "

As you can see from the box picture, and Optimus and Autobot Roller start off in two different Transformation stages. I had to sync them up so to speak outside the box for your reading pleasure.

Autobot Roller (Robot Mode)

Autobot Roller's robot form reminds me a lot of the smaller Transformers from years past. That a lot of short cuts are taken generally in the humanoid form part of the Transformer. His arms come out from the sides of body. They have 180 degrees of motion. I hate to sound degrading, but it's typical of Transformers this size. He has pair of implied legs, a head, but nothing really going for him. His "feet" if you would, are where his rear exhaust pipes are. He can hold Optimus Prime's gun, despite the fact it's taller than him.

Alt Mode 1 (Tripod)

According to the manual, Autobot Roller has 2 alt modes, as a gun, and as a vehicle. I found a third one, and that's the first one I am going to give to you. Fold his arms toward his back. You will find that the blue half of him is very easy to move, so flip it up. Flip the gray tab down towards his legs. Put Optimus's gun in the hole next to the tab you just moved, and hey presto! Optimus Prime has a mount for his gun so he can take sniper shots at Decepticons!

Alt Mode 2 (Gun)

Take Optimus's gun out of where you just placed it. Flip it over and insert it into correct hole which is in the middle of his chest as a robot. Hey, he's done. He's now ready to be placed in Optimus Prime's hands as a charged up super gun.

Does he look good like this? He looks decent. From the side you can see he lacks right angles, and it's due to how he transforms into a gun. From above they tried to hide his humanoid part, but you can still see his hands. From the front thought, the part those pesky cons see, he looks bad ass! Three barrels on one gun kind of bad.

Alt Mode 3 (Support Vehicle)

Yup, Autobot Roller does have a third and final stage. Remove Prime's stand alone gun. Just pull on the tab Prime has been holding onto towards the barrels of the gun. Then flip that tab up. Autobot Roller now rolls! It is optional to put Prime's gun on him. If you do so, use the hole that you did when Roller was a sniper post.

Let's remember we're dealing with a 1.3 inches long vehicle here. He looks cute in this stage, and I suspect the gun add-on was a homage to the original Roller. He does have 3 wheels on each side, but he doesn't roll that well. They tried to raise the fake wheels, but that and the fact that the rear wheels are of the barbell variety means that while Autobot Roller looks good, he doesn't roll good.

Optimus Prime (Robot Mode)

Optimus Prime comes out of the box showing an Autobot logo with pride, and looking ready for action after taking a gun or two from Autobot Roller. It's rare as a reviewer I feel to mention this, but because of the way this Prime was made you might want to keep a piece of plastic that's in there with him so you can display him while he shows his Autobot brand proudly.

Now he's clearly not the rich dark red usually associated with Optimus Prime, just a softer shade. Given his rather small size, I am impressed with all the detail work that went into him. He has several lights on top of his cab. His head actually reminds me of a very anime style of Optimus's face over the usual North American style. All along his arms and legs have detail I honestly didn't think was possible on a figure this small. I could see this being brought up to scale to a Deluxe, or Voyage class figure and people still loving it.

Despite his rather diminutive size, Prime has 6 ball joints which is good since while transforming him these were places that did break off a lot. I love this standardized hole idea for him and all legend figures, since he was able to hold Scamper's weapon, and Scamper can hold his. In some ways it's an improvement I find. However, with every piece of good news there is some bad. I did try to play with Optimus on Metroplex, and there is a problem. He can't reach, or properly sit behind most of the guns in robot mode. The grill for Optimus tends to hang around his rear, and his head tends to flop down.

Truck Mode

Remove all the weapons, just be a good chap. Stretch his arms out so you can flip his head down, and now close the chest up again. Twist him so his legs are in the back, and his grill is aligned with his chest. Fold the arms back, close the top of the shoulders down. At this point you will see that it isn't all closing up, that is because you haven't flipped the legs, and the hips up which will provide the space to allow you to close him up. There is a hole in the back of Prime's head that either his gun (or Autobot Roller) can fit in while in he's in vehicle mode.

He reminds me a lot of how the original Optimus looked like when he's in this form. The feet are a bit off, the smoke stacks are missing, but there is no doubt there is a family resemblance. Yes if you poke around him he looks cheesy, but he looks solid. Now another hidden feature is there are slots in his feet that are a perfect fit for the slots on Autobot Roller's front end, so they can merge in another way.

Final Call!

Transformation Design 8/10 I hate it when I need to judge two bots under one score card. I have got to give Hasbro full credit, they took 3.5 inches, and made him into a full Prime. While I feel with Autobot Roller a lot is left on the cutting room floor so to speak. Too simple a design to merit even a 5/10. I do agree with Hasbro rating them as easy to transform.

Durability 10/10 I don't see either one of them falling apart. Hasbro had the wisdom to make Prime's ball joints where they knew there would be potential breaks. Roller is built like a little SUV brick. Not much to break off of him.

Fun 11/10 I can see your logical boards frying. How do two small figures get an 11/10 fun factor! Let's forget logic for a moment of being unable to bring 110% to any given situation. What earned these marks are all the hidden transformations these two have possible.

Aesthetics 7/10 Prime looks great in all his forms. He's the tough guy who can kick cans and lead the war in either form. His only weak point is being unable to show the Autobot logo well in either of his forms. While Autobot Roller looks great in vehicle mode, but tacky in his other two states.

Articulation 7/10 Autobot Roller doesn't have any, simple as that. Prime is on par with Deluxe class figures when it comes to how he can move around and pose in humanoid form. He makes me wonder if the scrambler city bots I have from back in the day aren't stick men, and I am too blind to not see them made of wood.

Value 8/10 It cost me $12 for them, so $6 per bot. While I feel openly Autobot Roller isn't worth $3, Prime and the fact they have hidden transformations definitely up the value they offer to both kids, and collectors.

Overall 9/10 I am not someone who liked the Legend concept until I had them in my hands. Something that sometimes everyone forgets is how to discover things, and these two offer that fun factor. They are cheaper (excluding sales) than Deluxe and Voyager class figures. I could see them as a great intro figure to kids to see if they like Transformers. If you have Metroplex, then there is no second thought. You need these two for your collection.
 
 
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