Cliffbee.com: Actionmaster Optimus Prime Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Autobot Commander
Alt Mode: None (was a truck cab)

Thanks to kup for loaning me Optimus Prime for this review (I have since acquired Optimus Prime)



ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 4.5cm

   A red and blue robot based on the cartoon version of Optimus Prime, albeit with some changes. The head, forearms and legs are blue while his torso and upper arms are red. Prime has a silver painted groin, silver waist and silver mouthplate. There are the distinct blue windows on his chest and the standard yellow details on his groin - although they're actually painted orange - a colour far too common on Actionmasters. His eyes are also orange, along with the crest on his head. I don't like the orange - especially on his eyes - and the blue thighs don't quite work. Still, the colours are quite obviously Optimus Prime. Unusually for an Actionmaster, Optimus Prime sports _two_ faction symbol stickers, one on either shoulder.

   Some of the distinctive Optimus Prime features are compromised here, which annoys me. The fueltanks are present but unpainted - as are the smokestacks on his shoulders. Yet they bothered to put grey paint on his back, which seems pointless. The tyres on the outsides of his boots are painted black, which is easy to miss. The sculpt generally follows that of the original toy, although it's simpler. His head looks like the typical Optimus Prime, but the big antennae make it look too big.

   Prime's poseability is the same as every other Actionmaster - his head turns, arms rotate and legs have G.I. Joe poseability (fully poseable hips, knees bend 90 degrees). He can wield one of the truck's orange guns, although it clashes with his red and blue colours. Sadly, this mismatched gun is in keeping with the slightly cheesy feel of this Actionmasters. From the orange eyes to a dearth of paint on iconic Prime features to the big antennae, this figure almost feels like a caricature.

ARMORED CONVOY

   A red and silver semi trailer with an array of black and orange guns on it - and a lot of orange stickers. It's a longnose cab, unlike the original alternate mode of Optimus Prime himself. It seems redundant removing Prime's transformation and selling him with a truck accessory. Anyway, the colours are cheesy thanks to all that bright orange, and while the other supporting colours - blue and black - are good, the orange ruins what should have been a colour set that lined up with the character.

   The play value of this truck is pretty good compared to most Actionmaster vehicles. The hitch turns (in fact, the cab and trailer detach) while ten of the twelve wheels spin - all six wheels on the cab roll while the middle pair on the trailer are fixed. There are two targetable orange guns on top of the trailer - complete with seats for Actionmaster figures to man them. While these are intended for the battle station mode, it's perfectly accessible here. The four black guns on the top edges of the trailer - also for the battle station mode - are targetable here. The cabin itself opens and Optimus Prime can drive the truck, which is a nice touch, if silly considering he used to _be_ a truck.

   The cabin transforms into an open-cockpit plane, and it's a pretty decent attack vehicle as Actionmaster vehicles go. The roof folds back which essentially means two Actionmasters can ride in the plane, and you can attach two of the three detachable orange guns in front of the front and back cockpits (although to add two you'll have to pinch one from the battle station). Okay, so it's a fairly rudimentary plane which doesn't look much like an actual plane. And while there's more than a hint of M.A.S.K. in the overall feel of this vehicle, it's still one of the better Actionmaster attack vehicles.

   The trailer folds out to form a battle station which has a very distinct 1980s feel to it. The sides swing forward, forming a defensive wall with four black guns on top while the dual gunmount at the back lifts up and a blue twin-cannon unfolds in the middle. This gives a total of _seven_ guns which can be manned by your Actionmasters, although the platform behind the wall is fairly narrow and lacks posts for to anchor the figures (the others have seats behind them). There are actually blue platforms on the outside of the back section, but the posts on them are too large for any Actionmaster other than Optimus Prime which is very disappointing. While the orange largely disappears when you transform the cab, it doesn't fade away here.

   The battle station is kind of cheesy, but the play value it offers is still very impressive. Sure, it unfolds more than anything else, but the resultant size is impressive nonetheless and catering for up to seven figures is impressive for a Transformers base station.

   Overall the Armored Convoy is a worthwhile component of the flagship toy in the Actionmasters line. Despite the cheesy colours and simple transformation, the play value is great and it scales well with any other Actionmasters you might have. I do wish the blue platforms on the trailer had standard pegs, but this is a fairly minor issue. The jet is good even if it feels like it belongs in the M.A.S.K. line.

VARIATIONS

   A repainted version of the Actionmaster figure itself was included in the New Year Convoy reissue of Optimus Prime, released in Japan in 2002. While this figure lost the Armored Convoy, it gained grey paint on the thighs, fuel tanks and smokestacks. It also gained red paint on the forearms (the hands are still blue) and - thankfully - it shed the orange paint.

OVERALL

   I'm not that keen on this set overall even though I appreciate the Armored Convoy and its battle modes. There's a cheesiness here which bugs me and the figure itself is the main culprit - to the point where I dislike it. The jet and battle station modes are pretty good and the overall play value is excellent, and I do appreciate that. I probably will end up getting this set as a result, but mainly for the truck rather than for Optimus Prime himself - 6.5/10

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