When I was at Toy Fair this year, I was looking forward to seeing some finished, not-prototype Bot Shots in person and had already been searching stores for early leaked samples to get one or two. As luck would have it Hasbro had a bin of free Optimus Prime figures from the line, effectively identical as the basic $5 or so release except for a couple of stickers. See below, but all that's different is a sticker burst and a "NOT FOR RESALE" label over the barcode.
If you read the review I wrote earlier-- and I hope you did-- you already know these things are pretty fun. There's a convoluted game thing with a fist, sword, and gun that work in some sort of rock/paper/scissors variation that really shows the designers had a meeting that ran too long and someone said "Screw it. I know it doesn't make a lick of sense, but the fist has to beat something!" Right now, it's fist beats gun (WHAT), gun beats sword (OK), and sword beats fist (again, OK). Smarter people than I pointed out that the order of winning is RGB, which is easier to remember. Colors make sense. Fists beating guns? No.
In robot mode, it's a fat little Optimus Prime that's just shorter than a Battle Beasts figure and significantly taller than Star Wars Fighter Pods. Now that Hasbro is trying to cash in on Bakugan, Squinkies, and the like, it's nice to see that something that came out of the treadmill that is catching up to trends yielded something genuinely neat. The arms pop out to the sides, but don't rotate and can't grip a weapon. What you see is what you get-- he can't be posed, other than to be a truck or a robot. I'm OK with that. I've bought so many overpriced, complicated Autobots and Decepticons that it's refreshing to have one that converts in about two seconds.
The squat little truck seems similar to the Armada cab, and if you look at the back there are some tabs. These combine with the (sold separately) so that the toy can effectively drag along a container-shaped . The wheels roll freely, and the bumper acts as the transforming trigger. So if you crash it into a wall, it'll flip up and be a robot, ready to "fight." It's so damn simple that it's genius, and fun. After Wreck-Gar and Kup and other Deluxe figures that require massaging and have pieces that never quite go where they should, this is a breath of fresh air. I barely even want new Generations toys. If Hasbro keeps making these, I think the regular line of toys is pretty much done as my toy box goes.
Troubleshooting Note: There are two screws on each figure's chest. If you tighten these, the trigger is a little jumpier. If you loosen it, it weakens it a bit. Depending on how well the figures do (or don't) spring up, you may want to keep a screwdriver around to adjust them to your liking.
Deco Note: The Optimus Prime has different deco than the single, basic Optimus Prime as well as different stats on his "attack strength." The Optimus has brighter, richer blue and red paint, while this one is much paler with an almost faded red and a softer, almost sparkly blue. Between the two, the one looks a little better, but this is cheap and when will you ever get a transforming Optimus Prime toy for four bucks again?
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