Cliffbee.com: Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime Toy Review

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

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime for this review



TRUCK MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 13cm Width: 6cm

   A red shortnose truck cab with a blue hitch area, but that's about where the similarity to the conventional Optimus Prime template ends. There are silver and yellow elements here, but few of these are truck elements perse - there's silver at the front but it's not really a bumper. There are yellow running lights on the roof, but then it's not really a roof - the transparent blue area extends up on top, so it's more like a cockpit's canopy. There's a silver Autobot logo behind the canopy, visible black front tyres with silver hubcaps and a small, difficult to see, front grille. The colours _are_ still Optimus Prime, but the truck itself isn't so much. Still, the colours work visually and ensure this vehicle is an Optimus Prime.

   This is I guess a stylised Cybertronian mode, which means little when "Cybertronian" gives designers a very wide berth anyway. Ironically it takes cues from an actual Earth vehicle - the concept Mitsubishi Fuso Hybrid (thanks to Edrazeba for this info) It's actually a halftrack - he has treads instead of rear wheels, and no hitch as such, just a (well) folded up axe back there. There are no doors or smokestacks, and lots of curves on oblique angles. Sadly, the sides of the cabin itself look like a mishmash of parts rather than anything coherent and the robot feet are too visible at the back. Which isn't to say that this is an awful vehicle mode, but it's indistinct and lacks the clean smoothness of many Animated toys.

   There's not much play value here, since truck cabs are generally fairly simple and there are no gimmicks. His front wheels roll nicely but the tiny blue wheels under the halftrack tend to slide. The "gimmick" of this toy is how well the axe folds away, and while that is impressive, while he's in truck mode this facet can't be appreciated.

   An interesting concept and one which provides a nice "Cybertronian" twist on the usual shortnose cab formula, but there's too many details which don't really do anything other than look messy, not a lot of play value (which you'd expect of an indistinct mode like this) and not enough of the smooth, stylised, curves that characterise this line. While I don't hate this vehicle mode, I can't help but feel like it should have been more.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the roof. Extend the hitch, fold down the legs, rotate the boots and flip up the feet. Unclip the axe and set aside. Fold the sides out, slide the waist back and up, pivot the windshield down to form his chest, clipping it onto the waist. Rotate the arms down into position, slide the left fist up. Unfold the axe and place into either hand, fold out a post inside the roof and plug into a fold-down hole on his left elbow to form a shield.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 11cm

   Red and blue, of course. The torso and upper arms are red while his head, waist, forearms and boots are blue. The waist is silver along with his thighs while the face is baby blue with transparent blue eyes that feature a weak lightpipe. Again there are some yellow hints here and there while the centre of his chest is a transparent blue shield-shaped affair. Optimus Prime sports a silver Autobot logo on his left shoulder. It's a good colour scheme which is both cartoony and in keeping with the character concept.

   As much as I dislike the stylised theme of Animated, I'll admit they got the proportions right here. His boots are big and taper out towards the feet while his forearms are also big and powerful. The large chin sits below his mouth but doesn't overwhelm the face. My main gripes are the face - it's not really Optimus Prime - and the feet which flip up a long way, so he has to lean forward. Sure these are stylistic choices, but they make this robot very... unrobotic.

   The poseability here is good. His head is on a restricted ball joint while his waist rotates. The shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed and he even scores an extra set of hinges in the elbows. His fists are fixed inwards while the knees feature hinges and rotators while his ankles are fixed into that leaning-forward position. The effective range of poses is reduced a little by the ankles, but a wide range of poses is possible.

   The axe is the main show here, playwise. It's red with a transparent blue handle featuring some silver painted details. The standard configuration is a single blade axe on a long handle. This blade can open and splay forming a double-bladed axe. You can split the shield and clip it over the double-blade forming a super sized double blade, but it looks like a panel on top of an axe handle, so I'd recommend against that one. Still, it's nice we get the option. The shield, by the way, cannot plug in anywhere other than the socket on his elbow (or the axe handle), which is a little disappointing - a handheld blocking pose would have been nice.

   A good robot mode despite some limitations in the feet and shield. It's very much in the Animated style, so you'd have to like that style to like what Hasbro have done visually here - he's just not that robotic - but the colours work and the stylised elements remain in proportion. The poseability is good and his axe is quite versatile, making this a fun robot mode, and easily the better mode here.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   An interesting idea and while the vehicle mode is a little bit of a mess the robot mode is well executed with an excellent weapon that provides good play value without limiting the robot itself. The colours work and while the gentle curves of Animated fail in vehicle mode, the robot mode displays well. The ankles annoy me, but there's still a lot of play value in the robot mode's poseability and axe options. Recommended if you like Animated, mainly on the strength of his robot mode - 7/10

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