While the first real Orion Pax toy sold in the USA (and the first to get his own mold), toys with this name have shown up in Japan a couple of times - one was a Kup redeco, the other an Optimus Prime redeco.
Can you believe the last waves of deluxe Generations toys hit last December prior to this wave and the Wrecker just hitting around July? It has been a long time, so new plastic is pretty exciting to see. Orion Pax is about the same size as other recently released toys, except the plastic is a little richer in feel with more moving parts and points of articulation. The price has also dropped by $3 at most stores since the last wave, which is a welcome change seeing as the toys also included a bonus comic book which is about a $4 value.
As robot action figures go, he's excellent - as transforming toys go, I don't much care for him. The figure is loaded with detail and wonderful gear, but the truck mode is pretty weak and getting him into truck mode is a frustrating experience. I miss when these were packed out in vehicle mode - it was much easier to go from truck to robot than vice-versa.
As a truck, the wheels don't roll well and the axles don't seem to go quite into place. There are no action features, and there's a little bit of paint slop on mine. The truck mode doesn't really lend itself to carrying items or rolling around nicely, so I guess it's OK that transformation is an unpleasant experience - I don't think I want it to go into truck mode again. For those of you just buying this toy, the chest is held in place by a tab right under the Autobot symbol. It makes a loud crack/pop sound when you free it, and it may take some brute force to do so. (Then again, it might not, I might just be a weakling.)
The robot mode is great - it's about the same size as most recent deluxe toys at just over 5-inches tall, and has about 20 useful points of articulation. Most of these are in the arms, but you still get ball-jointed feet, double-hip joints, and enough movement that you can have him hold the axe with two hands if you really want to, and odds are you do really want to. His gun can be held with one hand and may be the best smaller scale recreation of the classic Optimus Ion Blaster in years. I could see people buying this figure just to swipe the weapons, especially in this era of third-party guns for $10-$20 a pop. They might not be as fancy, but they're certainly quite good.
I can see kids being frustrated with this, as some of the toys (particularly in this wave) feel more complex than fun. The robot mode is great, the weapons are good, and the sculpting is wonderful. The truck mode isn't all that hot, and transforming the toy - particularly the first time - is a frustrating chore. I hate asking "Am I going to break this?" on a toy I just bought, and I felt that way a few times while trying to pop apart the chest. It's odd to think that Transformers' strongest feature is getting in the way of enjoying the toy. Conversion is a big part of the fun of these things as playthings, and Orion Pax comes up a little short there. For those of you over 20 who are just going to pose him on your desk, he's great, and you're going to go bonkers over this one.
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