Cliffbee.com: Classics Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Classics
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Commander
Alternate Mode: Semi Trailer Cab



TRUCK MODE
Height: 8.5cm Length: 16cm Width: 6cm

   A red and blue truck with black plastic tyres and transparent blue windows. This truck is typically Optimus Prime in colour and shape, even if the truck is a little more aerodynamic than Prime toys are in general. The cab section is red with silver around the base, on the smokestacks and on the windvane. The bumper and grille are grey while The base of the truck - including the hitch section - is blue. The hubcaps are painted silver, and while for the most part I like this colour scheme, I would have liked to see silver paint on his grille.

   It's a fairly solid shortnose truck, unlike the various longnose cabs we've see a few times in recent years. There's a windvane on top, and most likely a sleeping area behind the side windows. The angular silver stripes on the bottom match those on the windvane. The moulded detail is perhaps a little disappointing for a Classics toy, although it's by no means poor. Still, the paint job is generally a good one, including yellow indicators on the front and yellow rooflights.

   We don't get a lot of play value. The wheels all roll of course, and this really represents the play value here. While there are two different weapons available to the robot mode, both are integral for now - the smokestacks and windvane become handheld accessories later but can't simply convert now - both actually transform. There's no actual hitch, although Prime does carry a small block near the back which is a pseudo-hitch. Of course Optimus Prime doesn't come with a trailer anyway, so for the moment a hitch is a moot point.

   While it doesn't do too much other than sit around being a truck, for the most part this is a good truck mode. There are some nice details here such as the indicators and the windvane, making this truck solid if not spectacular.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the windvane and exhaust stacks. swing out the stock of the gun from the lower strut of the exhausts, flip out the trigger section, fold the exhaust together to form a handgun. Fold the sides of the windvane down, swing back the crest and fold out the barrel. You now have a silver & black handgun and a red & silver windvane-like blaster cannon. Set the weapons aside.

   Swing the rear section down, fold down the side panels, lift up the kneecaps, swing up the feet and split the boots. Swing the side windows right out to the sides, taking the sides of the cabin with them. Stow the bumper behind the grille and rotate the top of the cabin around to form the chest. Lift up the head and rotate to reveal the face. Rotate the shoulders into position, flip up the hands, fold the side panels onto the outside of the forearms, facing up. Lastly, give Optimus Prime his two hand weapons. Incidentally, the windvane _can_ actually stay attached to the truck - its attachment point is on a neck which can fold down into his back, and the windvane will sit flush on his back.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 13cm

   Just like the truck mode, Prime is red on top and blue on the bottom - more accurately the upper body is red while his boots are blue. The thighs, upper arms and waist are grey and there are pseudo headlights on the waist, resembling those on the G1 cartoon portrayal of Prime. The truck windows on his chest are transparent along with the eyes. There's a false grille on his waist - a common feature on recent Optimus Prime moulds - which is painted silver, unlike the actual grille. The mouthplate is also painted silver while there a quite a few minor yellow touches of paint fleshing out a great colour scheme.

   This robot mode is littered with typical Optimus Prime features, which is to be expected. There's actually very little of the truck mode visible here, although there's not much kibble either. The windshield forms the chest while the false grille sits just below this, with the false bumper on the groin. The boots are formed from the hitch section, but there are no visible tyres - they're hidden underneath the side panels. The windvane and chest are the only significant truck elements visible now - and that's if you have the windvane in his hand. While the front tyres sit behind the waist, the panels on his forearms are all we really have for kibble. On the whole it's a well laid out, attractive, robot mode.

   The poseability is quite good, and the lack of kibble makes Prime stable in a variety of poses. The head turns as does the waist - although only if the windvane isn't flush against his back. There's another pivot between the chest and waist anyway, which can substitute. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend and there are rotators in his upper arms. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees rotate and bend. The feet, which incorporate heelspurs, fold down and anchor a wide array of poses with a little work. The exhausts form a really nice double-barrelled gun and the windvane a bulkier gun - but one that looks like part of the truck with a barrel on the end. At any rate, Prime has enough articulation to allow for some fun double-gun poses.

   A solid robot mode which doesn't really have any flaws. The colour scheme works really well thanks to some clever detailing. The poseability and weaponry give Optimus Prime both play _and_ display value. This is a good robot mode that doesn't have - or need - any gimmicks.

VARIATIONS

   Takara's Henkai version features a closer match to the G1 colour map, especially in truck mode. Classics Ultra Magnus and Shattered Glass Optimus Prime are repaints of Optimus Prime.

OVERALL

   I actually prefer Ultra Magnus to Optimus Prime, since that toy is a little more inventive, but this is still a strong Optimus Prime toy. Both modes are well laid out and the colours work well. The robot mode is stronger and I do wish they'd painted the grille. Surprisingly, there are no Autobot symbols on this toy at all (they were added to Magnus, incidentally). These are still minor flaws on a good solid toy with great poseability and clever weapons - 8/10

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