Almost every year we get a new Optimus Prime, if not several. When it's repetitive, fans don't care - but as Hasbro does something interesting, it sells. The Siege incarnation was met with eye-rolls, but its super articulation, complex transformation, amazing sculpting, creative kibble positioning, and general sense of awesome made people significantly overpay on the secondary market for a while after its release. The same was true of the Power of the Primes Leader-class toy, the Titans Return toys, and shockingly even the Combiner Wars toys. Roll your eyes all you want, Hasbro prints money with each Generations release. After hearing that the forthcoming reissue of the 1984 G1 toy - sans trailer - would be $50, I looked to see what previous issues were selling for on eBay. Even the knockoffs were $100 - there's real, unmet, perhaps infinite demand for new toys of classic Optimus Prime. This one does a good job of scratching the itch.
The robot has a good silhouette with strange but brilliant kibble relocation. The Classics 2006 Optimus Prime had ugly chunks hanging off his fists, and this one carefully tucks them behind the arm - so you probably won't see them. The legs have lots of twists and panels to hide the wheels, and the top of the cab's roof folds back to be a sort of a jetpack. Optimus has little greeblies all over, plus some silver "damage" here and there. It's kind of inconsistent, and I assume something we'll see dropped from a future redeco. I love how it looks sort of like the cartoon, sort of like the toy, and sort of like the comics. It's supposed to be War for Cybertron, but it's just as easily a reimagined 1984 version of the character on Earth. He has at least 26 points of articulation, and while he doesn't have bend-and-swivel wrists like your typical Hasbro figure he does have rocker ankles. I'll take it. The figure also has 3mm pegs on parts of his body so you can connect fire blasts from Battle Masters toys.
Optimus is covered in 5mm holes too - this allows you to plug in weapons or a dismembered Cog or Sixgun as an upgrade. You can use them as shields, weapons, armor, backpacks, even elevator lifts for their shoes. They're surprisingly unobtrusive, which is a nice touch.
The Optimus Prime transformation demands your patience and instructions. Things have to be done in a certain order, as there are lots of specialized bits needing to be tucked just-so. The wheels on the torso are particularly tough to reposition properly, so be sure you're doing things right and not about to snap things off. If you passed on Generations for Masterpiece because you like a challenge, I would dare say this is a pretty challenging transformation.
The truck itself is nothing remarkable - it's sized similarly to the original toy. It's rather small and has no action features. You can mount the axe or blaster on it, and the wheels turn. It doesn't do much special other than that, with the blaster just sitting there and the axe actually having a little more play value. The axe can fold up and become a shield, too, which is really clever. You can have him hold it in his hand, or mount it on any of the 5mm holes in the truck or robot modes.
A box note - my Megatron and Optimus lacked the extra printing with the black light highlights. I think this might just be a special weird one-off thing with the run we got at work, but we'll see! Keep an eye open, variant fanatics.
Good Optimus toys are hard to find, and I've seen some that are really good (Cyber Battalion! Power of the Primes! Fall of Cybertron!) and some that are perfectly OK (Titans Return, Voyager and Leader.) This one may have one of the very best robots, with one of the more boring truck modes. Most truck modes aren't much to look at, and while this one isn't as hideous as the cab of Power of the Primes it doesn't do much. It's boxy but good. I think you'll like this figure a lot if you get it, particularly if it's your one-and-only Optimus and even more so if you don't transform it much. I love posing the figure and like last year's Power of the Primes toy, I've been keeping it on my coffee table for months. It's wonderfully fun and if you don't like this deco, definitely buy a repaint if they make one you like.
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