Kamen's review: Optimus Prime (voyager)
Movie Voyager Figures
Optimus Prime is defined by his optimistic outlook and the care he feels for his comrades and those they protect. Though he may seem grim when contemplating the battle ahead, he looks always ahead to victory, refusing to contemplate the slightest chance of defeat. This attitude informs all that he does, and infects the other Autobots as well, leading them all to approach each fight with absolute confidence in their ability to win. It is , in turn, this that proves to be their advantage in each and every engagement against the Decepticons, for in the face of superior numbers and fearsome weaponry the Autobots never back down , never bend, and never break.
Optimus Prime appears in the movie as a red and blue long-nose Peterbilt trailer cab. Red most prominently colours the hood and step-ups of the cab, while blue fills in the driver's area and rear of the truck. The grill, smokestacks, and fuel cylinders are grey, and light translucent blue appears on the headlights and wind shield. As did the movie version, flames, which are blue on the red sections and red on the blue sections, are painted on the truck. Although not as prominent as on the Leader version of the character, the flames look nice and actually add a bit of personality to the truck to distinguish it from Primes of previous lines.
As with the rest of the Movie line, Prime’s truck mode is sculpted to be as realistic as possible, a feat that is accomplished with attention to detail. The truck has plenty of grooves and cuts on its surface to give a realistic impression, and the rear platform has a trailer connection point sculpted. On pleasing addition is the inclusion of a driver inside the cabin. Although unpainted the grey figure adds quite a bit of realism simply by existing.
Prime has two gimmicks in this mode. The first is very simple. If you open the driver’s side door, the figure in the seat will flip backward out of sight. This gimmick doesn’t have a whole lot of point or play value, but it is a great addition to add some realism to the figure. The second gimmick is slightly more complicated. Start by removing the gas-tank/smokestack unit on both sides, flip the step-up platforms forward. Take the smokestacks and rotate them down and then toward the round end of the fuel unit. Place them back on the step-up platforms (there are some pegs), and Optimus Prime is now a semi with firepower! Okay, it’s not a huge deal and does look slightly silly, but this does make Prime one of the only Autobots to have a weapon in his alternate mode. This feature is also some what reminiscent of the G2 re-release of the original Prime figure that had a place to mount missile launchers on his trailer (well, on the sound box, but the effect was the same). The end of gas tanks can be fired by pressing the tab.
Honestly, there aren’t any glaring flaws that jump out in this mode. It’s well detailed and painted, though there are some odd places, like the rear tail lights, that lack paint. The truck feels very solid, and no robot kibble shows through at all. Really, the only thing that I think would have made this figure better would have been the inclusion of a trailer, just for old time’s sake. But since Prime didn’t have one in the movie and this is only a Voyager class figure (not that size stopped them before...) the lack of a trailer can be overlooked.
If the long nose on the truck threw you off, your first look at the robot mode should put any doubts to rest. This IS Optimus Prime. Like pretty much every Prime since G1, Movie Prime has the windshields on his chest, wheels on his thighs, and a plate over his mouth. His upper body is mostly red, and his legs are blue. Throw in some grey to mix things up and you’re left with a spiffy paint job. Actually, the paint job is very well done, unlike quite a few of the movie figures. My figure has a slight bit of chipping on the left side of his mouth plate, but that is likely limited to a few figures, and it really can’t be seen except by close examination.
Besides the good paint job, the figure also excels in the amount of details. I don’t think anyone can argue that the movie designs are simple, so it’s to Hasbro’s credit that they are able to make a toy so close to the character’s movie appearance. Largely, they’ve achieved that look by making either the reality or the appearance of layers. Some places like the lower legs have several overlapping parts and panels as a result of the automorph; other parts like the chest and hands have sculpting details that only give the illusion of multiple layers. Either way, the effect is impressive.
Prime has about twenty points of articulation in this mode, one of which is actually a ball joint for each wrist. His transformation loses Prime waist articulation, something sorely missed in the movie line, but he can still manage some interesting poses.
The only gimmick he has in this mode are the same guns he had in truck mode. Here they can be mounted either on his shoulders, or on his forearms (rather than his hands, which are sculpted in an opened position). The missiles still fire, so everything is fine there.
The only real problem Prime has in this mode has to do with his shoulders. They form during transformation by swinging the sides of the rear cab out, and then swinging separate pieces down. However, none of these pieces lock in any way (a la Classic Grimlock). Although the swivel points are tight enough to keep them in position for posing, they easily swing up and forward during posing. It’s annoying, but not altogether a huge deal.
Overall, Prime has a good robot mode. He has good sculpting and a good painted job, as well as decent articulation.
Simple compared to other figures of the line (Ironhide, I’m looking at you). His automorph works decently, though I usually have to fiddle with it manually to get it to actually work. 4/10
He seems pretty solid. I am concerned about the hinges in his arms and the panels on his legs, though. 7/10
I enjoy him. He's not as great as Prime's from other lines, but he's better than some of the other Voyagers from the Movie line, and his duel machine guns are damn cool. 9/10
I got him for $25, including shipping, from Hasbro Toyshop, slightly less than the cheapest options on E-Bay. This particular deco of the figure is soon to be replaced by the All Spark “First Strike” version, so the price may increase as it becomes harder to find. 5/10
If you don’t want to shell out for the Leader figure, but want a movie accurate figure (flames and all), this figure is definitely a decent substitute. 8/10