Growing up in the 1980s, if you wanted a Transformers character, you had one choice. Some would get a second or third toy as time went on, but when I was a kid the one Optimus Prime wasn't as cheap as this one. Since 2010 they seem to be increasingly mindful of the fact that some people want an Optimus Prime toy and don't want to pay $30 or more for it and/or also want one to be scale with their Titan-class giant robots. Sensible! But not necessarily exciting.
As of my writing this, Hasbro has an "Authentics" line with some pretty sizable $10 toys. You can get a good, chunky Optimus that stands about 7-inches tall for $10, or you can get this little guy for $10. Each has its pros and cons, and with a couple of minor engineering tweaks (or sculpt choices) that $10 bigger toy might be a more sensible purchase. There was also a 4-inch "Thrilling 30" figure a few years ago with a sidekick Micromasters buddy, and that was $10. $5-$7 Legions/Legends class Optimus toys stood around 3-inches tall and have only vanished in the last year or two since their debut in 2011. Hasbro had plenty of toys they could have reissued, and you have plenty of options. So should you buy this one? ...maybe.
It's the natural evolution of the $10 collector line Optimus. It does not surprise. It does not disappoint. He now has ball-jointed elbows and knees, also shoulders and hips. The wrists tuck in this time, and there's some wacky kibble. It's almost impossible to see at a distance, but the lower part of the torso has red sculpted tires on the sides. The real tires are hanging off the back, and without paint, the chest tires are somewhat worthless. But at least you get ample silver detail on the front, plus painted smokestacks, also silver grille bits. The yellow crotch spatula is absent.
Unsurprisingly, they kept the 3mm C.O.M.B.A.T. peg on the blaster, so you can plug in a blast effect if you like. It's a neat little blaster, an while at first glance it looks like the upper hips also have blast effects pegs, that's not what they're for. They're too small for the blast pieces, but they do plug in the cab of the truck during transformation. They seem more than a bit of an eyesore here.
The transformation process is a little different than what I might consider ideal - in many respects it's a lot like the 1984 toy, or the Robot Masters G1 Convoy, or any of the other toys to carry the name. The head tucks down, a flap covers it, and there's a rotating bit of truck kibble on the butt that becomes the truck grille. I did not find all the tabs and slots to fit together perfectly, but that happens with some of the smaller toys. It's not terribly complex.
The truck is no better or worse than a typical Optimus truck toy. The wheels don't roll too well. There's no action feature. You can mount the blaster on the back. It's a nice little desk toy. It's no secret Hasbro has been struggling to change up the $6 (RIP) and $10 price points in Generations, and this incarnation may be the most interesting in quite some time. If it sticks, I assume this mold will stay in circulation for a few years.
If you picked up 2020's exceptional Leader-Class Optimus Prime in some form or another, this little guy does not impress. Compared to other 3 3/4-inch action figures, it's pretty amazing - $10 gets you a 5-jointed Star Wars figure. To get a Joe or a Star Wars guy with equal or greater articulation than Optimus will set you back at least $13. It's not bad in the slightest, but it's a good example of what inflation has done to our toys - they get smaller, they get more expensive, and they may not look or play as nicely as something that's only a little bit more expensive. The main reason to get this toy is for the scale (or because you just want something cheap,) I would encourage you to get the $50 Leader-class toy if your budget allows.
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