Cliffbee.com: Animated Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Truck

Thanks to Pulse for loaning me Optimus Prime for this review



TRUCK MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A red, blue and grey truck cab that loosely fits the formula with some heavy stylistic changes. Instead of the usual red front with a silver stripe, this one is red with the silver stripe and black below the stripe. The back is largely blue, but instead of a hitch the black section and the stripe extend along the sides - although the stripe notably becomes grey quite suddenly. There are transparent blue windows on the front along with twin blue strobes on his roof while the front bumper is grey. Prime has four black plastic tyres with silver pant hubcaps. There are no Autobot logos on this truck, which is quiet surprising, although I'm happy to report that the painted red over transparent blue plastic is a good match for the red plastics - something Hasbro has been getting wrong lately.

   I'm not too impressed with this truck mode, because Prime doesn't seem to know what he's meant to be. Yes, there's a clear cab, but there's no hitch, only a backwards-facing grey and blue cannon. The strobes on top would suggest he's a police vehicle - I don't know about blue on a tow truck, but the shape actually matches a tow truck fairly well. The back is a bit of a mess, actually, with the feet clearly visible, sticking up at the back along with that cannon that doesn't seem to have any purpose. If anything, he's close to a fire truck, but isn't really shaped like one. I'm not a fan of the design theme here, which has angles and lines in all directions - but that's the way Animated does things.

   There's not a whole lot of play value here, and surprisingly for a boxed Transformer, there's no electronic gimmick. The gun is actually a water squirter, although it doesn't really look like a water cannon. It can be rotated to fire forward, but he'll just drench his windshield. The method of firing is less than ideal - you push the tip of the squirter in, meaning you have to pull back on the notch on top. Not good if you have larger, adult, fingers. The four wheels roll, and Prime rolls very well.

   A somewhat underwhelming truck mode, Prime's basic colours are right and the two reds line up well, but it's awfully indistinct. There's a bunch of... stuff... on the back, a bad transition between silver and grey on the stripe, feet which are too visible and not enough wheels. I just feel that whoever designed this mode doesn't know much about trucks at all. The play value is okay, but not really enough to justify a slightly messy truck mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the gun and then its base, which unfolds to become an axe. Fold away the rear wheels, split the bumper and fold the front wheels back where the rear ones were. Split and extend the rear to form boots, flip up his feet, fold down the legs and rotate the waist. Flip up the stroberack, lift out and rotate the head. Pull the arms out from the sides, fold out his fists and place the weapons in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18.5cm Width: 11cm

   The colour scheme is very much that of G1 Prime now, with red chest and shoulders, blue boots, head, groin and forearms, silver on his waist and mouth, grey thighs and and a light blue face with transparent blue eyes. There's a silver mouthplate which can slide over his mouth, or down as a giant chin. There are yellow highlights here and there, including on the groin, simulating the headlights on the original Optimus Prime. The colours scheme is quite focused and attractive, although the lightpipe in his eyes is poor. There is no Autobot logo here, either!

   As with all Animated toys, Prime has a very stylised shape, with a narrow waist and groin, small thighs and large, spread, tapering, boots. The chest slopes slopes down to a point at his sternum. These proportions are better than on many Animated toys, although I don't like the build of his legs, which means Prime leans forward. The chin isn't quite as silly as on some Animated toys - when the faceplate is down it's a relatively small chin, and normal when the faceplate is up.

   The axe is... crap. It's a large grey kibbly thing, which looks unwieldy. And is far too big for this robot. The gun is short and stubbly, but looks much better in hand than the axe. Prime's articulation is quite good, although that lean limits the effectively poseability. His head turns, the shoulders rotate and lift out to the sides. His elbows are hinged with rotators while the wrists are fixed. His waist turns - actually it spins, with no ratchetting or notches to keep it steady. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged, but only bend to about 45. They actually bend as far forward, which is completely useless on a toy that already leans forward. The knees rotate, the feet are fixed and have good heelspurs.

   A fairly attractive robot mode, thanks mainly to the colours and nice details such as the mouth and yellow highlights on his groin. Okay, I hate the weird proportions, but that's standard for this line so I'm not holding it against him. The weaponry isn't very spectacular and the poseability has issues which were avoidable. This is his better mode, but it's not really anything special.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although there is a smaller 2 Pack version.

OVERALL

   A decent toy within the context of the Animated line, but this is far from a memorable Optimus Prime toy. His truck mode has a lot of junk on the back, and doesn't quite know what sort of truck it wants to be. The weapons are uninspiring and there are some easily avoidable issues with the robot mode's poseability, but the colours on the robot look good and the mouthplate is really well done. I'd easily recommend this one over the deluxe, but he's only really one for fans of the Animated series, because there are just too many little things getting in the way of making this toy memorable - 5.5/10

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