Cliffbee.com: Combat Hero Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Generation 2
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Leader
Alternate Mode: Racing Truck



TANK MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 18cm Width: 6cm

   A red flatbed truck with a white longnose cab, Prime doesn't quite fit his traditional image, although there's still plenty of red. He also sports some blue, on the missile launcher base at the back of the flatbed. In front of this there's a yellow bellow while on the launcher he carries a long white missile with a soft red tip. The windows are transparent blue while Prime has ten black plastic tyres. There are chrome headlights, a chrome grille, blue exhaust pipes and some orange and yellow stripes across the nose, rounding out a bright colour scheme. While this truck is nowhere near the worst G2 has to offer, it is quite bright. Thankfully Optimus Prime is centred around red, white and blue.

   All ten wheels roll, although this isn't really anything special. The robot mode handgun can clip into the top of the launcher, as much for storage as decoration. As with Combat Hero Megatron Prime comes with three missiles - one to load on the launcher and two which slot into brackets on either side of the truck. The blue launcher can swing through 360, although the loaded missiles will get in the way of this. Assuming you have the extra missiles set aside and the pump detached (which you'll want to do so you have a clean shot at it), Prime can aim his missile in any direction, although the vertical range is only about 30. The hose connecting the pump is about 20cm long, and you'll probably want to step on or punch the bellows for maximum range. I just stepped on it and Prime's missile flew around 2 feet across the floor. This gimmick is kinda silly, I'll admit - but it's a lot of fun and works quite well. While it represents the focal point of this toy and dominates the play value, it's a good fit for a character like Optimus Prime, since he was released the previous year - and this gimmick allows another Optimus Prime toy while still offering something new.

   While he's slightly garish, this colour is in keeping with the fun theme of his gimmick. The detailing is fairly simple, but the designer still bothered to give Prime some chrome aspects and transparent windows, so this isn't a lazy design. The missile launcher makes this truck - and it succeeds with what it was trying to do. A good truck mode, despite the simplicity.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the stored missiles and handgun, detach the pump if you haven't already. Push in the centre of the front bumper, allowing the cab to fold out. As you fold the cab over, split it allowing the halves to form boots. Split the rear section, fold out to form his arms and reveal his head, stand Prime up. Rotate the shoulders and elbows, swing down the arms and slide out his fists. Re-attach the pump onto his back (bellows up), place the handgun in either hand and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 14cm

   While the transformation is nothing like the original Optimus Prime, this robot mode looks more like what we're used to. The upper body is red with a blue head, the lower body mainly white. There's a false grille on his waist (painted silver, but not chromed) and false windows on his chest - which sport blue stickers proudly carrying his name). The face is silver while his eyes are colourless with a lightpipe. The fists are black - I don't know why they're not blue, it should have been easy enough to do. The cabin forms his boots, with the roof as his feet (similar to those of Beachcomber). The colour scheme doesn't have much blue, but the red is now more dominant, making this both darker and more "traditional" compared to the truck mode. If only the hands were blue.

   This is a fairly nice looking robot mode, although the middle four wheels hang rather clumsily off his waist. The boots look pretty good, as does the giant missile launcher hanging off the outside of his right forearm. The false front is a nice touch - something which has since become fairly standard for Optimus Prime toys down the years. I'm not so keen on the printing of his name across the chest - but that's G2 for you.

   The poseability here is mixed. The head and waist both turn, the shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while his elbows bend. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees bend. While this level of articulation is pretty good for the time, there are some limitations. The missile launcher (along with hose and pump) rather limit the right arm - the missile itself is longer than Prime is tall, so he can't put that arm down to his side unless the missile launcher is pointing somewhere else. Optimus Prime has fairly large footprints, anchoring him quite well considering how the launcher shifts his centre of gravity. While the legs are quite flexible he lacks heelspurs so you'll have a tricky time finding stable action poses. Some action poses _are_ possible, but not as many as I'd like. This toy comes from an era when Transformers were only beginning to feature good articulation, so while by modern standards his poseability is limited, for the time this is a good effort.

   The launcher sits higher now, so the missile can fire further. I just tried and the missile fired a metre. Of course after that Prime fell backwards - oh for some heelspurs. The fall doesn't really bother me - a lot of Transformers will fall if you stomp next to them, very few will fire a missile as they fall. This gimmick is again a lot of fun, and the missile is big enough for Prime to knock over a similar sized Decepticon - if your aim is up to it.

   Again a fun mode, this time with slightly better colours. The false truck on his torso is a nice idea, even if the name on his chest and tyres on his waist work against him. There's a lot of articulation for the time, and while the actual poseability is constricted, Prime still comes out ahead of many Transformers of the same era.

VARIATIONS

   Released in Europe as "Sureshot", who lacked the name on the front sticker, for obvious reasons.

OVERALL

   A fun, creative toy. While the poseability doesn't quite work and the colours are less than perfect, this toy basically works as the designer intended. Both modes do the job well enough and support the missile launcher. While he's not quite as elegant as Combat Hero Megatron the colours are better and this is still a good toy - 7/10

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