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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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HotShot81's Review: Orion Pax

Name: Orion Pax
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Data Clerk
Accessories: Axe and Ion Blaster

There has been so much written about Optimus Prime, that I know if I did 50 pages on him, in 1 size font, with no spaces, I would fail to do him justice. However, Orion Pax is a different bot.

Before I got into the lore of Orion Pax, he's a rare bot in a sense, sort of a shadow bot. Where there are more Optimus Primes than you can shake a stick at. Orion Pax made an appearance early in Transformer history by appearing in the G1 Episode, War Dawn. After that there are references, notes, and fan fiction about him until the novel Exodus, which is connected to the Generations line.

As Orion Pax's bio reads off the box here, "Long before the burden of leadership was forced upon him, Orion Pax was a greater thinker, an intellectual revolutionary. 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."

Exodus took a very Taoist approach to turn Orion Pax, into the future Optimus Prime. He starts off as a nobody in the city of Iacon, categorizing data and organizing is for others to look up. While sorting through this information as the job of his task, he watches the illegal gladiator fights from Koan. There one Transformer grabs his attention, Megatronus. A Transformer who speaks of a second golden era for Cybertron, and for freedom from the caste system.

In a sense Megatronus (i.e Megatron) creates his own future rival for power by inspiring Orion Pax with these ideas. When the Great Council turns to a mere Data Clerk to light the next era of Cybertron by anoint Orion Pax as the next Prime of Cybetron, a war is born between his Autobots and the Decepiticons.

Robot Mode
Orion Pax comes fresh out of the box in robot mode. His face doesn't have the rounded look his box artwork has, more like Optimus without the mouth guard. He looks younger and softer than what you expect when you think of Optimus Prime, which is how it should be given how this is Orion Pax we have before us.

In a few ways Orion Pax has a lot of little details that really gives him life. Little yellow tabs here and there, arrows that are there for solely decorative purposes. In some ways the engine block you see inside his chest reminds me of how Prime's insides look in G1 whenever Ratchet or Wheeljack were doing life saving repairs on him. The only thing which throws me for a loop was the different shade of red plastic for the part that connects his arms to his main body.

Orion Pax has about 26 points of articulation, which means he has alot of different looks, from the heroic, I am going to slice off your head one to the kneeling being given the title of Prime one. I did find the knees on mine a bit stiff, but nothing that would impair transformation or posing of him.

Sadly Orion Pax's weapons don't transform, his axe is different from other melee weapons that have been included with past versions of Optimus Prime given how it can double as a Pike. His Ion Blaster resembles the gun that Prime uses in G1, but toned down. Now why does a mere Data Clerk have these cool weapons? My only guess is it has something to do with the Cybertronains wanting an armed and ready population in case the Quintessons come back.

Vehicle Mode
As anyone who knows Transformers knows that after a while you see ways to transform them while not following the manual *gasp*, and that gasp is for all the women out there realize that A) Guys follow manuals sometimes and B) We have something we don't need manuals for.

On the surface here Orion Pax looks like a Transformer who doesn't need a manual, until you actually try to do. First step is to remove his weapons, then flip his hands into his arms. For the record the thumbs need to be facing up towards the arrows on his arm to complete this flip motion.

Feel free to at this time to press the plastic tab behind Orion's head towards his chest. At this point the light red joiner unit should be lightly tugged away from his body on both his left and right side allowing his arms to move to the back. Press the lower part of the miscoloured plastic to the rear of Orion Pax, this will help keep the arms in place. Only do this after Pax's chest is separated from his lower torso. Don't worry it has a solid joiner to keep it in place. With this movement the wheels on his back can be flipped to the front and be locked into place.

Inside Orion's shoulder, there is a piece of plastic that needs to be moved around, and it's a pain to do since you need it make it form a 90 degree angle with one part, and a 90 degree angle with the shoulder joint. Once this is all done his top should be as smooth as a baby's bottom with a small up rise near the end.

At this point you need to twist Orion's lower torso, which should line all the wheels on the ground. Twist the feet 180 degrees on the ball joints, and slide them into the space nearer to the ground. Using the top so speak as reference you need to flip out and then extend the nose of Orion's truck form. You have several tabs and holes in the hood, legs which need to be joined. As a note of caution the ones connecting his arms to his legs are a bugger to work with. The weapons can be attached two holes near his rear wheels.

By now the transformation is complete, and we no longer have Orion Pax, Data Clerk before us, but instead Orion Pax, Utility truck. Both of these roles are less than what he is destine to become, but we all know that.

I've got to give Hasbro top marks for design and looks when it comes to Orion Pax's alternative form. Sometimes a Transformer looks great in one mode, and sucks in another, or there are extra pieces, and the list can go on as long as the Cubs streak for not winning the World Series on potential flaws a Transformer could have. The only "flaw" in Orion Pax is a hollow front end, and a rather tacked on weapon attachment system. However at least the later is explainable given how his primary function is in his humanoid form. I think most fans can live with the former.

When I look at Orion Pax in his Utility truck form, he looks like he fits the bill so to speak, the other form he takes when he drives home for the day after a long day working as a Data Clerk in one of the library's of Iacon. His feet fit neatly under body so you could imagine him jumping and transform into his humanoid form at the end of a drive. I've got to give Hasbro their dues because they incorporated something as small as side mirrors from his vehicle mode into his humanoid form. I could see him being painted green, and some other tweaks to be made into Kup.

Final Call Time!

Transformation 8/10 Hasbro says Orion Pax is an Intermediate level Transformer, so not too easy, not super hard. For the most part this is on the money except for the bugger of a job of moving his shoulders and arms as you transform him. To make a great looking Transformer, who appears easy to transform at first glance, and then make it as hard as he is. It speaks of a level ingenuity that you don't usually see in toys. I am definitely pleased with this surprise in regards to Orion Pax!

Durability 7/10 Orion Pax does have some small parts like his side mirrors and if those go, then yeah he does die in a way. However where in earlier Generation era Transformers you'd see a small hole, a small plug, they made them bigger. I can't help but feel this increase in size will greatly help increase his durability. I even tried dropping him from highs of 6 to 12 inches onto my desk. He breaks open at certain points, but nothing breaks off. I am actually surprised at his durability give how he weights 0.2 lbs.

Fun 8/10 Orion Pax has the odd position of being an unknown, but a known character. I can see a kid grabbing Orion and say 2-4 other Autobots and making him Prime, or dreaming only childhood dreams as he plays with him. Thanks to all his joints he can take a lot of different positions so collectors want him. His front wheels turn a bit which increased the fun factor.

Price 10/10 I seem to get lucky with Generation era Transformers. I paid $9 for Orion Pax, and I feel I ripped off the store on it. He's a solid Transformer who doesn't have any obvious *warnings do not buy* attached to him.

Final Call 9/10 Yes Orion Pax has his flaws, an unexplained black square on the roof of his cab, the Autobot symbol in his chest when the movement hasn't been founded yet. At best these are cosmetic errors. For the most part he is a fun, well built toy, for both collectors and kids. If tomorrow morning, as I was working, a parent asked me if this was a great toy for a kid, I wouldn't have a problem saying yes!
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