Cliffbee.com: CyberSlammer Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Peterbilt 379 Truck

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Optimus Prime for this review



TRUCK MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 13cm Width: 7cm

   A brick red longnose truck cab with some blue flames at the front of the engineblock an d a blue sleeper area, Optimus Prime is a vastly simpler version of the leader sized Prime. While the flames are a lot simpler, much of the paint mask is well done - the grille, headlights, bumper, fuel tanks, exhausts, sunvisor and rooflights are all silver, as are the hubcaps on his six black tyres. There's even the little red Autobot logo on top of the grille, although it's fairly crudely painted at this scale. The windows are a metallic blue while the hitch section is unpainted red. It's a pretty good paint job, really, which helps to lessen the impact of the cutesy shape here. That shape means that Optimus Prime isn't a realistic truck, but the character semblance is great, at least.

   The play value really relates to the gimmick, which is accessible in robot mode. He rolls very well and there are rubber belts on the middle tyres to assist the gimmick. He has a middle axle so he rolls quite straight, which is nice. There's a switch underneath but it doesn't do anything in this mode, except to transform it. The rear pair of tyres are false, but I'm glad they're fully painted - something Hasbro has often ducked out on in the past.

   While there's some simplification in the sculpt and the shape is bad, this is a pretty impressive truck mode considering the age group it's aimed at. The paint job is great and I'm glad Hasbro are starting to paint false wheels these days. While I can't say I prefer this truck to the larger versions, I'm happy with the paint job and for a toy aimed at toddlers this is a good truck mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Slide the white switch underneath back and the cabin pops up, revealing the robot. The front slides back slightly.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 7cm

   A red robot with a blue head and silver on his chest, fists and mouthplate while the eyes are light blue and black. There are metallic blue false windows on the chest, which is fairly simple, but there's enough detail for it to look like the front-window based chest we saw in the film. There's not enough blue on this robot mode, but the head and chest are enough to anchor the character. The paint job may be fairly sparse, but at least we get enough for the defining features, which isn't the case on some CyberSlammers.

   Of course, it's a very limited robot mode. There are no legs, which means that the front of the vehicle doesn't really look like feet. The red brings out the slender gap between his chest and arms better than on any other CyberSlammer, so while there's too much red, it does help in this regard, giving Optimus Prime one of the better robot shapes amongst the Slammers. I've seen some fans compare the CyberSlammers to the Throttlebots - but they latter have legs, and while they're short, they ensure that the Throttlebot robot forms are robots - despite the bad proportions. The shape here is not too humanoid, although the upper body is well defined. The arms do still sit closer to the torso than I'd like with big plates on the outsides, and unlike the G1 equivalents (Throttlebots, Battlechargers), they don't lift out to the sides at all. The arms do lift up, springs ensure they spring back down. The elbows are sculpted bent anyway, so with the arms down he's pointing his fist forward.

   The gimmick doesn't really justify the poor robot shape. The idea is that you push down the robot onto the base and it'll roll forward. In the case of Tiby's Optimus Prime at least, he rolls about a foot - which is very underwhelming. The gimmick is dumbed right down for a young audience (we're talking 3 year olds), but I still don't see why such a poor gimmick was implemented when a better gimmick such as a pullback motor would have worked better, and allowed a better robot mode.

   A simple robot mode, but Optimus Prime is slightly better than most of the CyberSlammers, with a fairly well defined upper body and the character is again easy to see. The gimmick isn't impressive - I can see kids becoming bored with it awfully quickly, even when it does work. Judging by the slow movement of CyberSlammers in stores around here, I don't think they've been that successful. Prime is one of the better ones, but this robot mode is still quite limited.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A complex character model like Optimus Prime was always risky at this level, and the vehicle mode's paint job is better than you'd expect - especially compared to some of the other CyberSlammers. Both modes capture the character well, but the robot mode is severely limited by the gimmick. It's one of the better Slammer robot modes because the red helps define the robot shape, but I'm still not that impressed - the gimmick still sucks and dominates the toy. If you're after an Optimus Prime toy for a kid, I'd recommend FAB Prime instead, simply because such a detailed character needs more than this concept can offer. Having said that, Optimus Prime is one of the better CyberSlammers - 4.5/10

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