Cliffbee.com: Movie Protoform Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Protoform

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Optimus Prime, making this review possible (I have since acquired Optimus Prime).



PROTOFORM MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 18cm Width: 5cm

   Optimus Prime is a silver rock, basically. He's a teardrop sort of shape, or to get slightly more astronomical, similar to the shape of a comet, without the tail length. The tip of the relatively short tail is transparent orange plastic with a gold wash of paint on the very tip. There are black patches on the front, which are meant to suggest truck windows, yellow patches under these, suggesting headlights and black circles on the sides which loosely look like wheels. There are some painted silver patches here and there, and an Autobot logo on the front, raised and painted red. It's a silver lump, really.

   As ill-defined as this thing is, it is meant to be a protoform. The sculpt is pretty good, with generic mechanical detailing all over. He's meant to vaguely resemble a shortnose truck, which he does, although there's more Rock Lord here than Optimus Prime. I can't say I like the concept here, but it does actually appear in the film and the detailing is good, if non-descript.

   There's not a lot of play value here, which is to be expected really. He rolls along on small black wheels hidden underneath the toy, one at the front and two at the back. He has a tendency to tip back.

   While the execution is fairly good here, the fact is that this is a pretty uninspiring alternate mode. It's meant to be something of a blank slate, and well, the result of that is a generic silver Rock Lord. The wheels underneath provide some play to a mode that really can't offer much, and the sculpt is good. The idea sucks, but the designer did try here, at least.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   I'm not going to go step by step since everything's generic. Essentially the underside folds down to form legs, the sides fold out to form arms, the head flips up while the top folds down as a backplate. As you open the this mode up, the gun will fall out from it's cavity inside. The orange piece becomes a flame on his gun-flamethrower. The gun itself actually unfolds.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 8cm

   A silver robot with extensive minor black elements, including the window patches on his chest and his hands. The head is silver with brown eyes, but still looks like Prime. The eyes are actually composed of transparent orange plastic, with a patch at the back for a lightpipe, but the lightpipe is completely ineffective. There are a few small red painted elements, I guess trying to help this silver and black figure look more like Optimus Prime. There are no Autobot logos visible now. The colour scheme is actually pretty good, but again this thing just looks so generic.

   As generic as he us, this robot mode is a fairly attractive one. The silver paint is concentrated on the upper half of this robot and with such a generic alternate mode, Prime's robot mode has a lot of toy to play with. So the robot shape is excellent, and the sculpt again quite complex. There is some kibble, mind you - two panels behind his hips and the big backplate, which reaches down to his knees. The kibble plates don't detract visually, mind you, but there are some posing restrictions, affecting his arms.

   There are no gimmicks here and the gun isn't really anything more than a long flamethrower - it doesn't shoot anything. You can leave the flame off for a more conventional gun, if you prefer. Optimus Prime does have good articulation, which is I guess the most playable aspect of this toy. The head turns and his waist is a ball joint, while the shoulders swing and lift out to the sides. The elbows bend while there are rotators in the upper arms and on his wrists. Optimus Prime has ball jointed hips and ankles, while his knees are hinged. While the poseability isn't fantastic, it is very good, and his heelspurs help Optimus Prime stand in a variety of action poses. His hands are open, but hold his gun firmly.

   This is easily his better mode, partly because it actually looks like something. Whilst it doesn't really look that much like the character, there are hints and the colour scheme is quite nice. The play value is fairly good here, with some cool action poses visible. A good robot mode, really, considering how limited the concept is.

VARIATIONS

   There is a more colourful convention exclusive, which was released in Japan.

OVERALL

   The idea sucks, quite frankly, but the designer has done a good job of trying to make a nice figure. The protoform mode is really quite pointless and the transformation is by the numbers, but the robot mode is pretty good. Whilst it's not enough to save the idea, I do appreciate the effort put into this toy - 6/10

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