Cliffbee.com: Machine Wars Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Machine Wars
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Leader
Alternate Mode: Semi Trailer



SEMI TRAILER MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 28cm Width: 9.5cm

   A trailer truck similar to the original Optimus Prime, this Prime is a mixture of colours, with a grey facade on the cab, blue windows and a predominantly grey trailer. The back of the cab is red while the hitch is navy. Prime's a more unified repaint of Thunderclash, with some retooling I'll come back to later. There's some army green on top of the trailer along with twin black missile launchers (and green missiles). All ten wheels are black plastic - six on the cab and four on the trailer. There's white here and there on the trailer along with stickers running along the sides that mimic those found on the original trailer - complete with Autobot logos. The colours are an obvious improvement over Thunderclash's, but there's a trade off - which I'll come to.

   The Optimus Prime parallels in the mould are quite obvious, so I guess it makes sense that Optimus Prime was the obvious choice for a repaint. Having said that, it doesn't quite feel like Optimus Prime, mainly because there's a lot more grey than red on the cabin. Still, this has an Autobot leader feel about it. There's an eagle-like sticker on the roof of the cabin (a hangover from "Commander in Chief" Thunderclash), with an Autobot logo on it. The roof of the trailer is covered in various armaments. At the front there's a black gun, just behind this to either side are the black missile launchers with green missiles, behind these is a stowed missile rack and there's a black sight at the back with a blue window.

   The gun can swivel from side to side while the launchers can be fired via buttons on their outsides. There's a white button behind the gun which will cause the launchers to swing down to the sides, adding some more play value here. The truck can detach, the hitch holds loosely using the weight of the trailer to anchor. The trailer can only turn about 15 on the hitch, which has a slot if you want to stow the handgun rather than mount it on the trailer.

   The launchers have been changed, which is all we really see in terms of remoulding in this mode. While I wouldn't say the launchers are any better or worse in truck mode, the impact of the changes is greatest in base mode.

   A rather uninspiring truck, despite an improved colour scheme. It just doesn't quite live up to the character, even if it's a nice enough truck. The real action in this mould is the base mode, the trailer isn't more than a block at the moment.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the truck itself, fold the hitch section down to form the legs, flip up the feet. Fold down a white panel on the back to reveal the head, flip the head _halfway_ up, which will unlock the front, that unfolds to become his arms. Once you've swung out the arms you can fold the head right up and fold the panel up again. Fold down the roof to become the chest, extend his hands and give him the black gun as a handgun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 11cm

   The colours feel more like Optimus Prime now. He has a grey chest, navy legs, red groin and upper chest, green forearms, white fists and upper arms while his head is blue with a silver face and transparent blue eyes. The feel are black along with the six visible wheels, and I'm happy to report that Optimus Prime lacks the gold plastic Thunderclash has. The eagle sticker is now on his chest, along with its Autobot symbol, a feature reminiscent of Rodimus Prime rather than Optimus, but the colours make this a pretty obvious character homage. The eyes have a lightpipe, and it's good without being great. All told this is a pretty good translation from the wildly colourful Thunderclash to Optimus Prime, with plastic colours not always changing together (eg the red groin was teal while the red on his chest was blue on Thunderclash).

   There's not a lot of movement here - the elbows lift up 90 (actually they swing down, since they're up in truck mode), and that's about it. The hips swing as one but he's unable to sit down. The chest lifts up to reveal a Matrix cavity, which is kinda cool, if unintentional. Optimus Prime can man the base mode of the trailer (which I'll come to soon), which largely makes up for him being a brick.

   The detailing here ranges from good to poor, depending where you look. The facial sculpt is impressive and the head has an Autobot leader feel to it, but the arms and feet are low detail. The six wheels hang off his legs which do get some detailing, and the blue front window panels sit behind his arms, not quite forming wings.

   This was the flagship of the shortlived Machine Wars line, but then it was a rather stunted line of repaints. The repaint does a pretty good job of making this figure look like a cheapish Optimus Prime, -+

TRANSFORMATION TO BASE MODE

   Detach the white back door of the trailer and set aside. Lift the missilerack up 90, flip up the sight at the top of the tower. Swing the sides out and forward to form two legs of a tripod, open the green cover that's now visible, revealing a black cannon. Rotate the tower, attach the door as a platform, pull down the white base of the truck as the third leg of the tripod. Fold down the feet of the rear legs and stand the tripod up. Place Optimus Prime on his platform and you're done.

BASE MODE
Height: 30cm Depth: 36cm Width: 35cm

   An impressively large tripod, with a white front leg and two grey legs pushing back to the sides. The black cannon sits on the front while the multi-coloured tower, which includes the missile launchers, missile racks and the viewing platform. The legs are stable enough to support the weight of this gun emplacement _and_ the weight of Optimus Prime himself, which makes this mode a success.

   The missile racks aren't much use this time around - on Thunderclash they opened up to create a rapid-fire gimmick. The launchers operate as they do in truck mode, and while the missile racks can still open, the launchers will no longer accommodate the missiles, and the smaller missiles aren't included anyway. The launchers and tower can rotate right around, which is good, while the black cannon will stay in its forward position. The sight is at the right height for Optimus Prime to look through.

   The static robot can now man this base mode, which is fairly cool, but lives in the shadow of Thunderclash. The tripod itself is expansive enough to be impressive, and stability makes it better. The launchers are okay, but nothing on those of Thunderclash. It's still a cool base, just not kickass cool.

VARIATIONS

   None as such although Optimus Prime is a repaint of Thunderclash, as mentioned.

OVERALL

   A decent attempt at an Optimus Prime Turbomaster repaint, with much nicer colours than his Turbomaster predecessor. The robot and truck modes are average, but the cool base mode makes this a fun toy. Inevitably this toy lives in the shadow of its predecessor, which wasn't restricted by US safety laws, and despite the better colours I'd recommend Thunderclash over Optimus Prime (if you can get a Thunderclash). Still, this toy is cool on its own - 6.5/10

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