When some art for a white combiner with Optimus Prime features got out, a lot of people screamed "Ultra Magnus!" The reality was that Magnus got his own, real toy while Battle Core Optimus Prime is an actual white Optimus Prime. He's pretty much the same as the red and blue Optimus Prime released very late in 2014, with a few nifty changes. I'd be lying to you if I said it was the must-buy repaint of the season, but it's charming and dang if I can decide if I like White or Red Optimus best as a combiner.
His head is inspired by Japan's Star Convoy - a late-era Optimus toy - while the colors are closer to Ultra Magnus than anything else - but it's not that close. Sure, it's a white Optimus repaint, but the gold stripes and grey pants aren't all that far off from Nova Prime, either. I appreciate the new noggin, although I must say I wish the Star Convoy head was used with those colors - this is nice, though. The grey on his chest looks darker, and the gold deco adds some character to an otherwise bland robot. There are some minor deco differences - while Red Optimus' combiner chest was painted red, Battle Core White's are molded in white like the rest of the body. Some flaps on his thighs are painted silver, though, so they don't quite match the grey plastic of the robot thighs.
The robot mode stands 7 1/2-inches tall and has 18 points of articulation, with 5mm fists can hold the guns you got with the last one. A key difference, though, is that the red Optimus' guns were molded in red and painted silver - these are are completely painted in silver, so there's no visible red pegs. This means the fit is a bit tighter, but the look is sharper. They're nice guns - the big one looks like the classic G1 Optimus Prime gun, and the other one is just a gun that looks vaguely like car parts. Each has a 5mm hole on top, so you can merge them in sinful ways or add other 5mm gear to build them out.
The sturdy robot is about on par with other releases - not too much detail, but not bland. He has stickers on his shoulders and lacks the gold detailing around the waist as his predecessor. He does, however, have nifty gold detail on his arms and shins. Admittedly he's a little bland, especially since silver + white = zzzzz. But he's distinctive, you probably don't have too many white Optimus Prime toys unless you bought them in the 2000s, so it may be new to you. After all, the trend for many years was to make Ultra Magnus as a white Optimus Prime. It was not a wonderful time to be alive, you kids have it much better now.
Transformation is identical to the other one. Let's not even go over it, you know the score - it's easy, and it works well. Form fit seems slightly better this time around.
As a truck, the detail is quite nice. The dark grey elements are a little overpowering and awkward, but the gold stripes are really nice. The truck lacks any Autobot markings - the red one had a symbol on top of his cab - and white Optimus loses the painted windows on the sides. The gold stripes were no doubt a better use of the paint budget. It's not going to impress anyone, but it's different enough to be interesting and just over 6-inches long. The wheels roll nicely and lack painted detail. You could ask for a better toy, but you aren't going to get it.
Battle Core Optimus Prime makes for a distinctive combiner robot, but the head is just the previous head in white. Again, it's not bad, but it's not impressive - it doesn't make a statement other than bleached robot. The white coloring works well with his team, as the bright Sunstreaker, Prowl, Mirage, and Ironhide seem to work with the more muted stylings of this particular torso. It looks pretty cool, and has had some hidden changes added to its mighty frame. The combiner hips were redone to allow for easier posing of the combiner robot mode, whereas you had to futz with the hips before to get straight legs for the jumbo toy. The big robot also has connection points for Rodimus, a little ornament on his chest. Since the chest can close, he's totally optional. While he does seem to connect slightly better than the same toy on Optimus Prime or Motormaster, I wouldn't say it's a particularly snug fit - he'll still fall off if you're not careful. It's just not as likely he'll fall off while you sneeze or leave the room for a minute. (This happened with my Menasor.) In terms of execution it's better than regular Optimus, and it's also different enough where I do find myself wishing I had more and different limbs to add to the mix. So far there are 4.5 sets of Deluxe limbs, but 6 Voyager combiner torsos. This will not do.
Were I not sort of in a buy-all-combiners fugue state I'd probably pass on this one. I really do want all the configurations, even though this one is sort of a drag. I appreciate how every mass-retail Combiner Wars limb or torso has some change to it so far, a new head usually, so that I feel like I'm getting something different. If you display some of your Combiners as a big robot and some as singles, it's worth your while to get both flavors of Optimus - and if you missed the red one, this one is nice, too. In the comics, the Optimus Maximus combiner was a mix of both toys - in one appearance he uses the red toy, and in the next it was a mix of Battle Core and the red toy parts. Given the inconsistencies between fiction and toys, it's par for the course - it's not bad and it's not correct. It's its own thing, and it's pretty good. Grab it if you need another torso combiner, especially since it functions better than his truck predecessors.
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