While completely absent from the USA, Transformers Prime in Japan is jam-packed with Microns (our Mini-Cons) for whatever reason. What's particularly stunning is that some of them take the form of full-size characters like Optimus Prime. This teeny tiny 2 1/2-inch high robot is Optimus, as is the much larger toy. So Optimus can hold Optimus as a gun, which is nothing short of peculiar, but it is indeed fun. This figure is part of a six-piece capsule toy line called Transformers Prime Gacha Arms Micron, and as part of series 1 he's the winner. He's also the reason I ordered the set, as Bumblebee feels a little flimsy and the odd creatures (a gecko seemingly named Zad or Zard and a snake named Gob) each come in two unpainted colors. We'll get to them, let's just look at Optimus Prime.
The toy is molded in a dark blue color with minimal paint, a red chest and some silver with blue on his face. It really brings this cheap toy to life, and when I say cheap, I mean it. I've bought Kabaya Microns and these feel about as cheap. Interestingly made in Vietnam and not China (like many recent Transformers toys), the little guy has a spark crystal on his shoulder with an Autobot symbol inside. The streamlined design looks like a step or two beyond the current TV show, and almost feels like something out of the distant future of Beast Machines. And I mean that in the "I like these designs" kind of way. Little Optimus has no hands, but he does have jointed shoulders, hips, and knees with ball joints at the shoulders and knees. The range of movement is absolutely acceptable, but he does feel a little flimsier than earlier Mini-Cons but seems to have a stronger sculpt and paint job. The body has little detail outside the head, so in many ways it feels like a throwback.
Transforming him to a gun is a little tricky, getting the arms just right being the main problem. Once in gun mode, the hands become the barrel and the legs fold up to make the back half of the gun. His chest is clearly visible, but I gotta say it still looks pretty cool. There are no (intentionally) moving parts in gun mode, so he's just a nice accessory for your larger (and potentially cheaper) toys. If you're a sucker for this kind of gun-to-robot toy like I am, you know you should get one by now.
As a part of a series, you most likely will buy the set of 6 and not just Optimus. If you're at all on the fence, let me assure you: you're right. Just get Optimus. The others are goofy fun, but the big bot himself is the highlight of the set. Bumblebee has loose legs and a weak weapon mode, the snakes are basically cool put have no paint, and the lizards are delightfully weird... but the key thing is, they're weird. If you got these out of a gumball machine for $2 you might feel like you paid too much, but if you collect Japanese toys you understand why things cost more here. Even at $10, I'd be fine shelling out for Optimus in gun form. I love Targetmasters-esque toys. The others... maybe not quite that much. If released here as promotional gift-with-purchase items or some sort of bonus accessory, I'd probably shell out $10 or so for toys I didn't want just to get more of these in other colors or molds.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.