Name: Optimus Prime
Alternate Mode: Fire Truck
Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Optimus Prime for this review.
FIRE TRUCK MODE
Height: 13cm Length: 30.5cm Width: 10cm
A red and blue fire truck, although this particular Optimus Prime toy is futuristic (or non Earthen). Most of the toy is red while there are blue accents here and there including transparent blue on the windows and strobes on the roof. There are some grey elements such as the watercannon and ladder - both on top - and some silver details such as the grille up front. There are Autobot logos stamped on either door while the headlights are transparent blue with painted orange indicators. There are eight black plastic tyres - four and the front and four at the back - with gunmetal paints hubcaps. While the colours are clearly Optimus Prime, there's not a lot of realistic fire truck in these colours.
The front is essentially similar to RiD Prime's modern fire truck look while the back end is a very Japanese looking affair - it looks like folded up power armour, with good reason. That's not to say it doesn't look like a fire truck, but the side panels are fairly easy to pick as wings and the cannon and ladder on top are very beefy, and look like the power-up weapons they are. The rear - along with side panels and overhead gear - detaches leaving a bare flatbed truck. Okay, you may have to remove some intermediate blue blocks. The bare truck is the basic robot (before powerup), and while it looks somewhat unfinished I'm glad that the basic robot has a functional alternate mode - unlike RiD Prime. While the rear four tyres detach as part of the rear section, there's another pair of tyres hidden underneath. They even ride on suspension so that the rear wheels roll in both configurations.
Aside from the detachable section there are a couple of gimmicks here. The water cannon - on the right - houses a single transparent blue missile at the front which can be fired easily. There's a slot on top of this cannon for his blue Planet Key (code: l8p3), plugging it in will release two more smaller launchers, which also fires blue missiles (the missiles are identical). There's a similar slot on the ladder, plugging the Planet Key in here causes the front section to open and reveal another cannon. There's a blue button on the inside of the ladder which light up a red LED at the tip and emit a firing sound. It probably goes without saying that the electronics prevent this ladder from extending.
There's a flight mode available. The side panels swing out as wings while the cannon and ladder pivot down on either side and grey guns fold down from within the now exposed core. At 40cm wide and around 35cm long it's visually impressive even it's very much an easy to achieve intermediate mode. Those hidden wheels are again in use for this mode. As intermediate modes go, this one's fairly good.
There's a lot of play value here - which isn't always the case with the larger toys of recent years. I would have liked an actual ladder to help sell the fire truck theme - he's more mech truck really - but there's enough play value for me to overlook that. The colours are clearly Optimus Prime, which is a good thing. I'm impressed that while cues have been taken from RiD Prime, lessons have also been learned - the bare robot can form a functional truck this time. If you're looking for realism this fire truck mode wont impress, which is the main shortcoming here.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Detach the rear section and set aside. Fold the rear section down, split to form legs and fold the end back as heelspurs. Fold down the groinplate and pivot the chestplates around to the back - forming the chest. Split the truck's front and swing the halves around to the sides, forming arms. Swing the forearms down into place, slide the head up using a black slider on his back.
Height: 21cm Width: 18cm
A red robot with blue forearms and boots, Optimus Prime has a grey groin with grey thighs and grey elbows. His head is blue with yellow eyes and silver detailing. He has a mouth similar to that of Optimus Primal in the Beast Wars cartoon. His feet and fingers are black while there's some yellow on his groin. The chest is assembled as a truck front, but it's all fake - down to the transparent blue windows. The red Autobot logos are on his shoulders, along with the actual front of the truck. The colour map is unmistakably Optimus Prime here, down to the yellow on his groin.
This is a fair stocky robot, especially around the shoulders. The chest protrudes notably, as well, although it doesn't so much look bad as distinct. There are tyres on his hips and outside his elbows. The head is large since it doubles as the head of the larger, powered up, robot. None of the proportions are bad, mind you - they've got the balance right.
While the play value here is essentially the powerup, there's still stuff going on here. His hands open up to grasp the handgun - which is actually the removable tip of the watercannon. The missile can still be fired from this gun, too. The chest panels open up to reveal a grey door, which folds down to reveal... a Matrix! It's a small grey affair with the centre painted metallic orange. Whilst the handles are too small for Prime's hands to grasp, he can hold it with either thumb. This is a great little accessory, and I love how the toy opens up just as we saw in [i]Transformers: The Movie[/i] (even if this isn't the same Optimus Prime). Prime's mouthplate can slide down to reveal a face, as well (thanks to Andrew Murchison for this info).
Poseability here is pretty good. His head turns while the waist is fixed. His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides a little - the chunky shoulderpads restrict this. The elbows bend and rotate while the fingers open as one. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while his knees bend and there are rotators in his thighs. The fee are fixed but have solid heelspurs so he anchors well. It's not the best poseability we've seen, but it's still good.
A fairly straightforward robot in many ways - the look is classic Optimus Prime and the layout isn't anything new, but the Matrix in his chest is great and everything works fairly well. The poseability is good if not great and the handgun is done very well.
TRANSFORMATION TO POWERED UP ROBOT MODE
Fold down the heelspurs to form larger feet, detach the blue blocks from within the rear assembly, plug them in as heelspurs. Okay, they're more counterbalance for his backpack but the end result is the same. Spread the wings and cannons, attach the remainder of the rear as a backpack - there are black loops which actually clip over his shoulders. The wings end up sloping down with the ladder and watercannon ending up as giant shoulder cannons. You're meant to swing out black antennae on the sides of his head, but this looks a little forced so you may want to leave those in.
POWERED UP ROBOT MODE
Height: 27.5cm Width: 40cm
This is essentially the same robot with armour. The legs are similar if longer and with larger, blue, feet. The wings sit behind his hips and slope down while the backpack looks like a strapped on jetpack. The weapons over his shoulders are huge grey things which dominate this robot mode. Visually the colours are much the same, aside from the change in foot colour and all that grey on his shoulder weaponry.
The key gimmicks and missile launchers are available again, along with the electronics. The pop out launchers on the watercannon are more useful now - they're really intended for this mode. You can swing up the grey blasters on those blue blocks as knee-mounted cannons, if you like. Again he can hold the missile launcher in his hand, although this makes one shoulder weapon notably longer than the other. The only real regression here is the loss of the Matrix gimmick - the straps block the chest panels now.
While there's not actually that much to this mode, the scale is impressive and he's armed to the teeth. It's a very typical Japanese heroic mecha - powered up to the maximum with lots of bulk. He doesn't lose any poseability, incidentally - although balancing is a little more precarious in some poses.
There is a "Galaxy Force" repaint which is fairly similar, but replaces much of the blue with black. The Japanese version, called Galaxy Convoy, has a few paint changes, most notably gold paint applications on the Planet Key.
A fun playset of a toy, thanks to the various modes and powerups, along with a bunch of weapon options. This particular Optimus Prime feels like a Japanese mecha with all the armour and powerups, which makes him quite imposing, but the flipside is a lack of realism in vehicle mode. The fire truck is very much a futuristic one, but the colours work and there's little doubt about the truck aspect. I'm happy that the designer learned from RiD Prime and ensured the base robot can transform into a vehicle without the extras, but I do wish the ladder was more ladderlike. A fun toy and a worthy leader - 8.5/10