I wanted to get these Transformers figures for years but never did. The Titan Guardians Optimus Prime was at San Diego Comic-Con a few years ago, and then we sold it at work, and then it showed up at Walmart a couple of times (mixed in with Prime figures, too!) He has no weapons and stands a hair over 6-inches tall - just between the current Siege Deluxe and Voyager sized toys at a fraction of the price.
This lightly-decorated figure has 4 points of articulation and stands as a brilliant testament as to what the future of toys could be - virtually no plastic packaging save for a sock tie and a tag. Durable. No accessories to lose. Cheap. "Sofubi" soft vinyl figures are somehow both the cheapo toys of the past and the high-end collector toys of the future, and Hasbro did a bang-up job delivering sentai's favorite figure format to US markets. I just wish we'd see more of this kind of thing, from other brands too.
The figure looks mostly like the cartoon version of Optimus, with the unfortunate G1 details that have come up in recent years. The shoulders have smoke stacks, but they're the truncated-for-safety short stacks we've seen on American Optimus Prime G1 and Masterpiece reissues since the early 2000s. The tail light toes are here - that's a toy element more recently added to drawings - and the forearm patterns are pretty consistent with the old cartoon. If they cleaned up the logo, fixed the smokestacks, and added some white paint to the lower waist and legs this would be a pretty spiffy cartoon figure. He doesn't transform but for $5, a swiveling neck, waist, and arms make for a pretty good figure.
With fuss being made about the future of packaging alongside tariffs and rising materials costs and all the other stuff, figures like this should evolve into a new norm. This is what we probably should be seeing more of - cheap, simple, soft vinyl figures with tags. Walmart can sell $1 dinosaurs too - Hasbro could probably deliver some decent Star Wars figures like this, and has done some nice Marvel guys in the past. I hope they keep at it, because not every figure needs to be $10-$20.
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