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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Box Art:
Technical Specifications:

Kenori's review: Optimus Prime (Premium)

Name: Optimus Prime
Function: Leader of Autobots (and being a badass)
Sub-Group: Leader Class

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."

The most expensive transformer I've bought so far. I picked this bad boy up just as they were putting the new transformers out. I had just cashed my paycheck and I KNEW I needed him. After playing with him and letting the glow kinda subside, here is my honest take on the figure.

Robot Mode
We will start with this today, because this is the mode that he comes packaged in. And I would also like to say that whoever come up with the idea for plastic ties to hold the figures in place needs to be shot. Repeatedly. Once he's out of the box, the first thing you notice is how tall he is. This guy is probably one of the biggest TF I've ever owned.

The second thing you notice is the detail. Everything is very well detailed, all the way down to the rivets under the windshield and on the sun shield as well.

The paint scheme, as always with good ole O.P., is red and blue: in this case an normal red and darker, navy blue. There are is also a shot of orange-gold on the legs. Of course, with this being a premium figure, there is some slight repaint here and there. The legs right at the joint to the waist do not have the blue application that the did originally, nor do the little nodules right above the knee joint have the gold paint they had on the original, instead, Hasbro chose silver all the way down the leg. While I can understand the blue missing (it didn't really fit where it was) I don't understand taking out the gold, as it would've been a good complement to the gold lining they put on the shoulders, instead of the red and silver they originally had. The head is the usual blue with silver trim on the mouth, cheeks, and around the eyes, but also there are some gold dots on the "ears" that bring them out a little more. While the head looks really good this way, I am a little puzzled as to why they didn't paint the forehead groove silver like every other version of Prime I've ever seen. It would just make since to do so.

Now as far as playability and posing goes....meh not so much. He does have various points of articulation, don't get me wrong, but definitely not enough of them. Nearly every joint in the arms and legs is a ratchet joint, and while the noise can be a little bit grating at times, I will say that it does keep the figure good and sturdy. There are no wrist joints at all, and that is a bit irksome. Also with his big blocky forearms and odd, blue rectangle shoulder pads, it can be a chore putting him in any cool poses other than "Stand Completely Still Like A Robot" mode (which, considering that he is a robot, is kinda ironic). The hands themselves open and close, but the thumb is almost completely useless. I can't even give a thumbs-up for crying out loud!

The head, though with a pretty new sculpt, has no new joints and therefore cannot move except left and right, which is fine i suppose, considering there aren't any poses the arms are going to be able to do that the head won't be able to follow more or less.

The legs are about the same as the arms, but offer even less articulation. Basically about all you can do with the legs is put him in the "One Step Forward" pose. The hips are a big disappointment, but since it is an integral part of the transformation process, its not too bad. Bottom Line: This is a toy built for showing off, not for playing with.

Now as far as kibble goes, well there is some that is annoying, while nearly everything seems to fit into place very tightly, there is a small exception with the two back fins that become the sides of the hood in alt mode. They just will not stay in place when being played with. At all. Whatsoever. The tabs that they are inserted into just do nothing to hold them on. Other than this and the big honking attachments on the bottom of the hands, though, the kibble pretty much stays out of the way. It was a genius idea to have the back wheels which connect to the legs split apart horizontally.

Other than the paint applications mentioned above, the only other change to the actual Prime mould is the resculpted head. I definitely like it more than the original head. It looks more inline with the movie, if a little Batman-ish.

The other change to the original Prime was the inclusion of a cybertron blade instead of a gun. I honestly like the blade way more than the gun. The blade is fully painted, and looks really really cool when put on his hand. It has little engravings in what appears to be Cybertronian on the blade. A small lever on the top opens the blade, and a socket on the side connects it to the tab on Prime's right arm.

While I love the blade itself, the way the blade goes onto the arm is not my favorite thing. Instead of coming around over the arm like the gun, you have to fold the hand back up, put the blade back onto the tab, and THEN you can slide the lever to put it into place. Honestly, itís a little redundant, but the end result is worth it. Prime definitely looks all the badass he's supposed to be when he has his blade equipped. Also, the two cannons that come out of the bottom of the arm are still there, and they are still grey, which really puts them out of place with the blade.

Overall. I'd say that that the Robot Mode of Prime, although really cool to put on your shelf to display, really isnt all that fun to play with.

The transformation is where the toy really shines. I love transforming this thing back and forth, but the first time I did it, it took me a little while. Almost every piece goes together beautifully (more on that in a bit), and itís really clever how they got everything to fold down. The only problems I found with the transformation is the hood. Because of so many pieces that have to come together to form the hood, any one wrong move will mean that you're going to have a very odd looking hood. It usually takes me about 3 or 4 minutes just to get the hood to come together, and almost every time, I have a little gap between the top and right side of the hood. I just canít figure out if itís the design or me.

The automorph gimmicks here are the same as the original, and work the exact same. The first is with the head. Pushing a release switch right next to Prime's crotch (!) will cause his head to shoot up and make the transformation sound effect, with lights in the windshield and in Prime's eyes. These lights are oddly yellow, while Prime's eyes and the windshield are both blue.

The other involves the feet. By pushing diagonally on the little tab underneath he grill, then pulling that tab ninety degrees. Two pieces of the grill flip up to form toes. Awesome.

Vehicle Mode
Personally my favorite mode. Prime looks really good as a Peterbuilt Truck. He even has rubber tires! A great little addition.

There is much less silver on the truck, with more red and blue flames. The orange appears more between the Red and Blue, most notably on the hood. Overall, Primes vehicle mode, when properly put together, looks really, really good. When a button on the top of the truck is pressed, a sound effect of a horn blowing is played, and the cab lights up again in that yellow color.

There is only one, very minor, change as far as I can tell. The Autobot symbol on the grill (which as far as I can tell is the only one on Prime's whole body.) is silver instead of red. I actually prefer it silver, because I donít think I've ever seen a colored hood ornament, especially not on a truck.

Transformation: 9/10. Seriously, it's that hard. And the instructions are the worst I've ever read, ever.
Durability: 10/10. Very stable, haven't had any problems with anything breaking or wearing. I dropped it off my work desk and it bounced off of a wood floor. Not so much as a scratch.
Fun: 5/10. Posing is a problem. Playing is a problem. Honestly, I'd just stick this guy on your shelf and look at him. Though I would have given him lower if transforming him wasnt so much fun after getting the hang of it.
Price: 8/10. 40 bucks ainít cheap. Especially with as little fun as you'll get out of this guy. I'd say, unless you're a diehard Prime fan, or a collector, wait to see if he'll go on sale.
Overall: 7/10. Honestly, after the glow faded, he just sorta sits there now, looking cool, but thatís about it. I'll pick him up every now and again to transform, but for the most part he's just a pretty paperweight.
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