Cliffbee.com: Supercon Prime Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Longnose Truck Cab



TRUCK MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 7.5cm

   Or taller if you attach a Minicon. Anyway, being an Optimus Prime, he's red with blue sides and a blue tail section. The front grill, headlights and such are silver with black paint sprayed on. The smokestacks are gun-like, similar to the original Armada Prime, except they can't become a handgun, despite being able to detach.

   Anyway, it's a pretty well done truck mode. The wheels are very large, but all roll freely. He has some troubles with all six wheels touching the ground, but this due to the poseability of the robot mode, and can be fixed.

   There's two hardpoints, one on the roof which is "live", but doesn't activate anything in this mode, and a dead one just behind the cabin. There's a hitch at the rear - and the big Prime's trailer does attach. There's also a socket just to the right of this hitch to attach Overrun to in gun mode. You can attach another Armada toy's hardpoint to it if you _really_ want. So you can mount two Minicons, as well as Overrun. I'd recommend against attaching Overrun to the hardpoints and keep him as a gun, since his socket is on top and you'll be attaching an upsidedown plane.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold down the feet, fold down the grill to form the chestplate (unlike big Prime, there's no moulded matrix hidden underneath). Split and fold down the engine halves to form the shoulders, the sides of the cab become the arms. Slide up the forearms to reveal the hands. The shoulder is transform is actually double jointed, and takes a bit of getting used to. Position the arms, feet and skirt (yes, the panels around his waist all can fold up to allow for movement). I actually prefer the sides staying down, but the back part is definitely better going up. Lastly, fold down Overrun's tail and wings to form the gun and place it in his hand. You can remove the smokestacks if you like, but since the only thing you can do with them is lose them, I'd leave them attached.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 10.5cm

   Looking a lot like the original Armada Prime, only smaller and more poseable. His head really resembles that of G1 Prime - moreso than the big Armada Prime. Anyway, he's got a silver & black chest, red shoulders & upper arms, blue & gold forearms, gold fists, silver feet & thighs, a blue groin and blue shins.

   I remember reading before this toy was released that it was meant to be a very poseable toy. For once, Hasbro have delivered. The shoulders have swivel joints, the knees double swivel joints, the elbows, feet, neck and hips are all ball joints. The hips are somewhat restricted by details on the front of the thighs (he can't sit down), but the panels on the side of the hips can swing up, which means his hips have more useful ball joints than his bigger incarnation. On closer inspection, his feet are actually on double swivel joints, but the effect is the same. You can put this guy in all sorts of poses. I've currently got him standing on one leg shooting at Demolishor.

   Gimmicks. I'm not a big fan of basing toys around stupid gimmicks, or gimmicks that don't come off well. This toy's two gimmicks don't ruin the toy, and both work. The first is his "double punch" action. Stick a Minicon on the live hardpoint on his back and jiggle it up and down and his shoulders move back and forward, allowing his forward-pointed arms to beat up the bad guys. While it's not the best gimmick ever, it works well. Mind you, I first tried it with Ransack (Adventure Team) stuck on there, who stuck right out the back and made moving the trigger a little difficult. The second gimmick is the Targetmaster-style gimmick of using Overrun as a gun. This is a gun that _looks_ like a gun. Not a "we need to stick this kibble somewhere - let's make it a gun" effort. Those who have Razorbeast will know what I mean.

   Aside from the moulded detailing interfering with the hips, the only other real shortcoming of this mode is the looseness of the smokestacks. Sure, they _look_ like guns, but they can't attach anywhere else than the wrists, so why make them detach? I can see these being some of the more desired Armada accessories in years to come.

Name: Overrun
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Jet Plane

PLANE MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 7cm Width: 6cm

   A silver jet with blue highlights and a painted black cockpit. He has rear wheels which spin and a moulded front one which doesn't. But it does retract. he has a powerlinx socket on the top and a gap in the middle (between the robot thighs, like a G1 Seeker). While it's clearly not any real Earthen jet, it's clearly a fighter. A tad long, I'd like this mode more if it looked like it _could_ be a real jet, not a generic that's clearly not any jet model in existance.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold up the wings, retract the front landing gear, fold out the arms (careful, though, they pop off easy). Fold down the nose and separate the legs.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 2.5cm

Even more silver in this mode, basically broken only by his yellow eyes. The nose of the jet points straight forward, an effect I don't like at all, since it sticks out so far. The cockpit is on the back of his head, but is too tall for this and so he has the world's biggest forehead which looks pretty bad.

VARIATIONS

   Available with different coloured headlights, and with or without an Autobot logo on his truck hood. There's also a limited transparent Japanese version. Nemesis Prime is a repaint of Optimus Prime. This figure was stripped of a Minicon, repainted slightly and repackaged in Cybertron

OVERALL

   So it took all of three waves of Armada for Hasbro to churn out a second Optimus Prime toy (but at least he's got a different Minicon). It's based on the same bodyplan, but is a new design, not a retool or scaling down. Sparkplug is better than Overrun, but better Overrun than the same Minicon twice. Anyway, the gun mode is good, so Overrun's worthwhile purely for the gun. It's clear that Hasbro put effort into this toy, since it's so posable, works with the big toy's trailer, and solves a couple of flaws the big toy has (restricted hips, lack of hardpoints on the cab). I don't know if I'd recommend getting it if you have the original, but if you don't, then I'd definitely recommend it. It's a very nice deluxe, regardless of the flaws of the Minicon, 8.5/10

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