Hasbro Transformers Generations Titans Return Powermaster Optimus Prime Hasbro, 2016
Day #1,667: March 24, 2017
Powermaster Optimus Prime Tommy's Friend
Transformers Generations Titans Return Leader
Item No.: Asst. B4697 No. B6461 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Autobot Apex, 2 grey shoulder cannons, 2 black rifles Action Feature:Transforms from head to robot, also robot to truck to playset Retail:$44.99 Availability: June 2016 Other: Retooled from Ultra Magnus
When it comes to the big red bot, Hasbro doesn't shy from giving us new versions of our favorite trucker bot. They haven't made a new toy of Powermaster Optimus Prime until last year, though, and naturally they had to make it interesting in more ways than one. Japan's version of this toy is heavily remolded with different legs, a unique chest, and a toy that looks more like the original toy from the 1980s - Hasbro's is clearly inspired by the original, but it's also a new entity. A new entity made from recycled Ultra Magnus parts, which makes it all the more impressive.
If you can still find him at retail, you get a truck, a robot, and a base mode for under $50. If you can't, the exclusive Japanese version will be coming to the USA in a gift set with the likes of Tidal Wave, Metalhawk, Pounce, and Thunderwing - but note, he'll be called "Magnus Prime" just to confuse you. The boxed set will likely cost the same or less than just the single Japanese release, so keep that in mind when deciding where to dump your cashola. I prefer the overall look of the single US release for all its weirdness, not the least of which is the slightly intentionally pre-yellowed "grey" parts - the truck's container was clearly colored to match a yellowed G1 original photograph or toy.
This 1.5-inch robot Titan Master Autobot Apex is not Hi-Q, because trademark law says he isn't. The colors don't match the original Hi-Q, but you can see there are some similarities. He has 5 points of articulation and virtually no paint. The Optimus face on his back has silver and blue, though, but much of that will be covered up completely when you plug it in to the full-size Leader Robot mode. The big giant helmet covers almost the whole thing, and you can swap out Apex for Loudmouth to give the helmet the red eyes that more closely match the original vintag-era G1 Powermaster Optimus Prime toy.
The big robot is pretty fantastic, with articulation that matches Magnus exactly. Or closely. The feet are pretty much the same, the hands are virtually the same - Optimus has grooves in which to plug the grips of his weapons before his hands grip them - and he stands quite nicely. I like the sculpting a lot, the fact that the shoulder cannons are back with little places for Titan Masters to sit is just icing on the cake.
Articulation is good, but not spectacular- elbows are welcome, wrists are not present. Ankle joints provide limited mobility downstairs, but he's not going to be doing amazing, dynamic poses thanks to pants made partially out of a cargo container. The sticker-free design looks nice, even if the colors are inspired by time and abuse by our Sun.
The truck ain't bad - the cab is clearly drawn from the same sources as Ultra Magnus, but it's a new sculpt and a new mold with new parts and engineering. The helmet from Optimus' robot mode rotates down and tucks in nicely, forming a driver's seat for Autobot Apex inside the vehicle. The figure's shins fold down as ramps on the back of the truck, opening space to store Legends-class Autobot cars if you're so inclined. The wheels roll nicely and the panels all tab together perfectly. I usually expect more instability in my larger toys, but I was surprised to see this one just clicked. I mean that - the panels have little tabs and there's a very satisfying noise when getting it in the right mode.
The back of the truck is covered in tiny pegs which are designed for your Titan Masters figures. Why a robot would want to stand on the back of a moving truck, I'll never know, but you have this option. 5mm holes are there for your weapons or other accessories, so you can beef up the vehicle if you really wanted to do so. And I do.
There's a base mode! Do you need a base mode? Probably not - the original toy had one, but since I never had the original toy I had no awareness of this. You can connect it to other Leader-class toys or Fortress Maximus to build out a halfway decent micro world base for your Titan Masters, with little gunner stations and places to plug in your Titan Masters weapon modes. There aren't any really fun features on this toy because Hasbro had to ration those out during the war. Spring-loaded gimmicks or fun little levers or switches are completely absent because, in all seriousness, this is a line that skews older and Hasbro is trying to keep costs down.
It seems silly to have multiple versions of this toy in the market in such a short time, but it's a good toy. For those who've always wanted Powermaster Optimus Prime, this is a pretty nifty futuristic take on the boxy super-robot. A more retro take in the boxed set may or may not be more to your liking, although the boxed set may be the way to go since you'll probably want the other four figures in the set as much or more than Optimus - I'm sorry, Magnus Prime. I'm going to get both because I have to get those other characters, and the changes are significant enough to be worthwhile if you're a shameless buyer of all Autobot leaders you can get your mitts on.
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