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Tahukanuva's Review: Generations Orion Pax

Name: Orion Pax
Function: Idealist, Super-cop
Subgroup: “Thrilling 30”
Size Class: Deluxe

Long before the burden of leadership was forced upon him, Orion Pax was a great thinker, an intellectual revolutionary. He spent his life plugged into a console, sorting, parsing, and filing historical data. As the world outside grew darker and more bleak, he saw hope for the future in his world’s past. He saw, when no one else would, that Cybertron could once again be free – and he has clung to that dream even through the dark times since.

You know something Dreamwave got right? Changing Optimus’ pre-Primehood name. ‘Orion Pax’ is a dumb name. It doesn’t sound a thing like ‘Optimus’ or even like a Transformer name. “Optronix” is… still pretty dumb actually. But it’s better. It still isn’t what Hasbro would’ve named him (Probably “Wheelwell” or something like that) but it fits in much better with the other nontoy guys like Straxus or Devcon or Jhiaxus. Point is, I don’t like the name. It’s pretty lame and Optimus deserves better.

Name aside, though, the idea of Pre-Optimus Prime is an intriguing one to me. We always see Optimus fully formed as a larger-than-life god-to-his-men. While that’s certainly inspiring and heroic and all, by design it lacks depth. Seeing our hero before all that lets us learn how he works; what makes him so driven, heroic, self-sacrificial? What sort of person is behind that emotion-concealing and totally badass faceplate? There’s a lot of dramatic potential there involving one of my favorite fictional characters, so whatever the name, an Optimus-before-he-was-Optimus toy was definitely something I’d be wanting.

Plus I own a lot of Optimus Primes by this point and sometimes you need some novelty to keep the spice in the relationship.

Alternate Mode:
It’s… almost a pick-up truck? Like, there’re a lot of features you’d expect from a normal Earth modern pick-up (the general silhouette, headlights, wheels-with-tires, truck grill) but they’re mixed in with a lot of Cybertronian elements (no doors, ‘techy’ details everywhere, engine in the passenger compartment, those weird-ass fins on the back). It’s a weird look, but I like it. It looks Optimus-y without just being a tiny big rig. (That’d be an oxymoron, you see.) The color arrangement also manages to feel like Optimus without just copying Optimus; there’s a lot more red, but now there’s some blue in the front, too. And those weird-ass grey fins suggest his eventual grey trailer. Kind of.

There's a neat little sculptural detail on the underside, (the soles of his feet to be precise) two pairs of tiny jets. That's a weird design decision, but it reminds me of his sweet take-on-all-comers charge in the 80s movie, so it's fine by me.

Anyway it rolls well and hides his robot bits for the most part. His forearms are pretty visible in the back, but since this isn’t technically a disguise at this point, that’s really better than we should expect. Also, due to construction, it looks like he has a rubsign on the roof. That’s neat.

Robot Mode:
I won’t spend a lot of space describing the conversion because why would you need that, but I will say that it bears a resemblance to the larger movie Prime figures with the way his arms sit parallel (behind the torso rather than in front of it) and the way his legs are made up from the entire bottom half of the vehicle folding in front to back. This engineering is pretty neat, albeit almost certainly unintentional.

Once Orion’s all converted, you’re left with a pretty small deluxe figure, as they all seem to be nowadays. Of course this works better for Captain Not-Important-Yet than it does for say, Megatron’s largest body yet. Though it should be noted just how small he is; he looks RtS Laser Optimus right in the mouthplate, or for a point of reference almost everyone will own, his eyes reach the collar of a Classics Seeker. So, pretty dang small. Also worth noting are his proportions. His head is pretty itty-bitty. Probably only barely out of proportion, but it does lead to an impression of him being smaller, which doesn't really work in his favor. His fist, by contrast, are pretty dang big. I kind of like the effect since two-fisted action hero super-cops tend to do a lot of punching and his giant mitts work great for that. But to each their own.

Aside from the size (which doesn’t bother me, though you may be more of a stickler), Orion’s a pretty fantastic little robot. His colors are bright but rich, with enough paint that none of him feels bare. And he looks like you think young Optimus would look. He’s got a less pointy helmet, no mouthplate, and a single unified window boob. A few of the other cosmetic details are different, but for the most part this is just a smaller, more expressive version of the guy that we all likely recognize pretty well by now.

Articulation-wise he’s pretty ace. I’d do a breakdown if I trusted myself not to miss anything, but just assume he’s got enough to get into any reasonable pose you’d want. Pax’s head sits on a really nice, expressive balljoint, his hips and knees bend pretty deeply, his ankles have enough movement to keep him stable, his arms have enough for a rad two-handed overhead axe swing, and he even has the often neglected waist joint.

For accessories he comes with a stubby version of his future Ion rifle, and a large Energon axe. They’re both sturdy and well-sculpted, and between them and the articulation you can get Orion Pax into some great two-fisted action hero poses.

Comic Book
We have a full review of this issue, written by Red Dave Prime, so I’ll be brief: it’s no “Spotlight: Megatron” (one of my favorite anythings ever) but it is a pretty fun little story featuring Orion Pax being a two-fisted action hero. It’s probably far more suitable as a toy pack-in than “Megatron” was. Also the drawing of Orion on the ‘Hasbro Exclusive Cover’ is creepy. as. balls.

Transformation Design: 8. It’s mostly pretty smooth and fun, but the truck side panels run all the way back to front, so they can be kinda tricky to get lined up completely and not press on the front wheels.
Durability: 8. He’s pretty dang solid. The axe is transparent plastic, but not particularly thin. Just don’t step on it.
Aesthetics: 9. His colors are really striking, and he face somehow conveys ‘youth’ so I’d say he’s earned this.
Articulation: 10. It’s really good, you guys. And he has a lot of it.
Value/Price: 9. Yeah, he’s tiny. But he’s well-made and comes with a comic book. And Transformers in general are pretty cheap. $13-15 won’t get you this much size and quality from any other toy-line.
Overall: 10 for me/8.5 for normal people. Admittedly, he has a lot of factors that endear him to my personal specific tastes. But he's still pretty friggin' great. If you can find room in your heart for one more Optimus, I recommend that you go for this guy. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
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