Hasbro Transformers Generations Titans Return Optimus Prime Hasbro, 2016
Day #1,579: November 22, 2016
Optimus Prime G2 Redux
Transformers Generations Titans Return Voyager
Item No.: Asst. B7769 No. C0276 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Diac, cannon, sword, card Action Feature:Transforms from head to robot, also robot to train to space ship Retail:$24.99 Availability: November 2016 Other: Laser Rods
The original Laser Optimus Prime [FOTD #219] came out nearly 20 years ago - and was arguably the high point of the line for a decade. We've since had remakes and reissues, the latest of which is the Titans ReturnOptimus Prime with Diac. Diac is named for Diaclone drivers - and was sculpted accordingly. Optimus Prime seems to be a pretool for Octane, a.k.a. Tall Tankor - so keep an eye open for that. This toy delivers you a pretty great Optimus Prime robot with two alt modes I don't much care for and find frustrating and overly fiddly. If you're old enough to remember Energon Slugslinger, it's kind of like that.
This 1.5-inch robot Titan Master Diac is a molde debut and it retains elements of Diaclone drivers like the chest and head. It's a clever nod to a piece of toy history, and is quite surprising given most Americans don't know about or care to learn what that other toy line was in the first place. It's there for the toy dorks and both of Japan's remaining adult collectors. It has no problems functioning as a driver or a head, but I should note that it doesn't go where you'd want it to go. A yellow driver's station exists on top of both vehicle modes - but you can't put it in the driver's seat of either the jet or the tanker truck. It does a good job doing its job. You won't be disappointed.
Optimus Prime is a fine robot - I like it a lot. I'm not smart enough to skip Generations Optimus Prime toys, so I'll likely buy them all - even the South American/Chinese ones, because they're fun and my parents didn't let me have a real Optimus toy as a child. This is what happens. This new one is sturdy and once you shove the leg assembly forward in its gappy crotch assembly, it's a pretty stable robot. Big feet keep him upright and 19 points of articulation make for a lovely desk toy. His sword and double-barrel blaster are modeled after my beloved 1995 original toy, although the shapes and colors are tweaked a bit because that's how these things work. There are some interesting bits of fake kibble - the chest and shoulders, for example - that exist to replicate elements of the original toy. The original G2 Laser Optimus Prime also had fake chest kibble.
Detailing is about as good as you might expect, with a little blue and silver keeping things real. The original had a light-up feature (this does not) and the gaudiest trailer you'd ever hope to see. The most outrageous element of this toy is the day-glow yellowish green sword which reacts spectacularly to black light, and I enjoy that a great deal. The head looks good, and pop-up "helmet antenna" rise out of the torso if you want to use those. I think they're a little silly, but it's a clever mechanism and it works when you push the fake grille in his chest. When it comes to the robot, everything just works - I have nothing really bad to say here.
If you asked me if I wanted to ever transform this toy again or accept an accelerated boot to the area 'twixt my thighs, I'd have to give it some thought. The experience of trying to go from robot to truck was so unpleasant I gave up and just tried the jet first - and immediately took photos so I wouldn't be forced to do it again in the near future. It's very specific, and I'm not completely sure I got either mode completely right thanks to the many, many pieces of plane wing kibble. Did I fold it up right? Did I fold it out right? I think so - but the truck doesn't fit together as perfectly as I would prefer.
Both modes look like they are partially stuck in the other mode. The truck looks like a tanker, with shiny silver labels that aren't nearly as gaudy as the original toy. You can mount the gun or sword on the sides, and it's perfectly nice - but there are some gaps in it that aren't fantastic. Under the container is one such place, but the cab area doesn't fit together quite perfectly either. It's more or less stable once you get it where it needs to go... but it feels a little undercooked.
The jet mode is easier to deal with, but it looks really weird. I don't know if that alone is reason enough to say it's not great, but basically it looks like a truck is flying backward and had some plane kibble stapled to it. It's clever in how they managed to get it all to work, but I would be lying if I described the process or enjoyable or the results as attractive. The robot mode is definitely king here, as all you can really do with either mode of the vehicle is cram Diac in the yellow bubble on top. If you like complicated puzzles, boy howdy, is this a toy for you.
I have had many people tell me how much they were not looking forward to this toy. I can't say they're wrong. If you're a fiend for Optimus, you'll want it - or if you just want a nice robot, this is a good one. I wouldn't fret over finding one - particularly since I assume a Scourge black redeco must be coming - but it's good enough that I'd say it's a figure you should buy after you run out of other Transformers you just have to buy. Despite my disdain with the transformation process, I am enjoying futzing with the robot enough that I would say I got my money's worth. It's interesting, but I would strongly advise you to purchase the G2 original or a reissue (or Scourge/Black Convoy from Robots in Disguise/Car Robots) toys before sinking a penny higher than retail price on this one.
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