|Optimus Prime Review Capsule|
|Optimus Prime has taken numerous forms in plastic in all sorts of sizes and colors, and it was only a matter of time before he came out as a truck in a compact, Hot Wheels-size. The Spychangers Optimus Prime was created as a Kay-Bee exclusive but supposedly started showing up elsewhere. It's a tiny toy and a repaint of a Scourge toy from a few years ago, but as Scourge was he himself a repaint of an Optimus Prime toy, this newest release looks pretty great. $3.99 at Kay-Bee Toys, snag it if you see it.|
The most recognizable of the TransFormers, probably because of the name alone, has been Optimus Prime. He was the first Autobot Leader toy, and his name has been reused for newer toys and for different characters, like Optimus Primal and Nemesis Prime. There aren't many small sized versions of him that a kid could afford, so a release like this one is welcome indeed.
This version of Optimus Prime includes no parts beyond the toy itself.
The smaller the toy, the less complicated the transformation. There's really not too much you can do at this small size, but on the bright side, this means Hasbro and Takara spend time making a nicer robot, and this one turned out particularly well.
Aside from the odd blue-green color highlighting the figure, the coloration is all Optimus. The green is a holdout from Scourge, most likely, and it's a little baffling that Hasbro didn't decide to change it when they recolored the toy.
The genesis of this toyis as follows. In 1995, Hasbro released a large Generation 2 toy called Laser Optimus Prime. For Japan's Car Robots range, he was painted black and called Battle Convoy (or Black Battle Convoy). This toy was in America's Robots In Disguise range with a few alterations, and Hasbro also sold a smaller version for fans that wanted a version of the toy that wasn't a $30 Toys "R" Us exclusive. That smaller version was recolored in 2004 to bring you the toy we're reviewing today.
There's a nice amount of detail for a toy of this size, but it's nothing particualrly special. A few nice details are factored in, but on the whole it's a revised and reduced version of the aforementioned Laser Prime.
The figure is jointed at the elbows (sort of) and that's really about it. Every other moving piece moves as a result of the transformation process.
Returning to glory as a red, white, and blue truck, this vehicle should be recognizable by fans of all ages.
As a recolor, it works quite well. The colors remind the buyer of the now 20-year-old hero, and it really shines beyond the packaging. It doesn't do much other than roll, though, and the blue wheels are merely decorative.
He has no special weapons or spring-loaded pop-up gimmicks, so he's a little old fashioned. Still, that doesn't mean he isn't worth adding to a growing collection. As you can see, though, he does have a nice little Autobot symbol on his hood where Scourge had a Decepticon marking, which is a nice and important change to make for the creation of this toy.
Accessories & Gimmicks
Nothing. What you see is what you get.
This toy came packaged on a blister card based on the TransFormers Armada: The Unicron Battles packaging. The logo reads "TransFormers" and makes no mention of any other generation, and this is a real oddity in Hasbro's modern TransFormers toys.
You will probably never find a cheaper transforming toy with the name "Optimus Prime." It looks good, it's tiny, and it comes from a long line of repaints. If you're a fan of Optimus or nifty small impulse-buy priced toys, this is one worth snagging. If you already have the smaller Scourge toy from a few years ago, you know what to expect. Even still, it's a nice toy in its own right and as a fan, I'd have a hard time passing this one up.
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample purchased at a Phoenix area Kay-Bee Toys in early 2004
Reviewed on March 4, 2004.