Cliffbee.com: Movie Legends Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Longnose Truck Cab



TRUCK MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 6.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A small dark blue longnose truck with a red nose, black hitch area and six black tyres. The front bumper and grille are painted silver along with the sunvisor above the metallic blue windshield. There are blue flames on the nose and red flames on the doors, so while this truck is a vast simplification of the Leader sized Optimus Prime. The fueltanks are vastly reduced and unpainted here while there's an exhaust pipe only on the right side - which is unpainted. The little Autobot logo hood ornament isn't here - but it would have been close to impossible at this scale anyway. The blue is a shade or two darker than it should be, but the basic colour scheme works. The lack of silver details (tanks, exhausts) on the sides do hold the colour scheme back.

   I don't understand why there's only one smokestack - there's no asymmetry in the transformation or anything - it was simply left out. I'm not sure that the tanks needed to be reduced as much as they have been, either, but at least that was done evenly. The hitch area is a bit of a mess, but it's black so you don't notice unless you specifically look. The front and middle sets of tyres roll, the last pair are false - in fact they're socket for ball joints which is clever.

   As with a lot of Legends toys, this vehicle mode is vastly simplified. Considering how large the full sized toy is, I think they've done a fairly good job of retaining the same feel at this scale, aside from the omission of one smokestack - which just seems pointless. This bothers me because of how much it stands out, more than because of the loss. I still believe this truck mode works well enough at this scale, but the notable and avoidable flaw holds it back.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the front fenders, fold up the hitch which swings the fenders down underneath, forming legs. Swing the nose halves up to form boots. Split the cabin and swing down to the sides to form his arms. The transformation is at once simple and clever. While it's not that similar to the original, the basic layout is similar and they're both innovative.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7.5cm Width: 5cm

   A blue robot above the waist, Optimus Prime's groin and thighs are black while his boots are red. The chest has some red and silver details along with a tiny false windshield, painted metallic blue. His face is painted silver but the eyes are an unpainted blue. The colour scheme is far simpler than it should be, which isn't all that surprising since Optimus Prime's colour map is very complex and Legends toys are generally very simple. Having said that, I would have liked to see some paint on the arms, which are entirely blue. This wouldn't impact on the truck mode, since the front of the arms ends up inside the cabin. All told the colours aren't that well done - the upper half is too dark for these colours to work as Optimus Prime as seen in the movie.

   The unusual transformation gives us an unusual layout, which is to be expected really. The boots are the underside of the nose, and while there are simulated feet, they don't look too much like Prime's boots. The arms are the insides of the cabin halves, with only rudimentary detailing. The chest and head are simply the underside of the cabin, while the windshield ends up being his wrists. Aside from the protruding boots the bodyshape ends up being pretty good here. The hips and shoulders are ball jointed, allowing for relaxed poses.

   A limited robot mode that tries to reconstruct the robot mode of the full sized Prime after a different transformation. While the end poseability is pleasing, this mode falls down thanks largely to colour. It's not awful, and as Legends go it's fairly well engineered, but it just doesn't quite feel like the Prime in the film.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although there is a blue Nightwatch Optimus Prime Legends toy, which is a repaint of this figure.

OVERALL

   With a fairly good truck mode, a creative transformation and a good layout in robot mode, Optimus Prime has the foundations of a really good Legends toy. The dearth of painted details on the arms and one missing exhaust really hold this toy back, they keep it from properly representing the character. A little too much simplification rather than any killer flaws, but it's enough to leave me feeling largely unimpressed - 6/10

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