Cliffbee.com: Infra Red Movie Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Movie tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Peterbilt 379 Truck

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Optimus Prime for this review



TRUCK MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 7cm Width: 3cm

   A blue and red longnose truck cab, Prime has a red nose with blue flames while the cabin is blue with red flames, the hitch area is blue while the rear fenders are red with blue flames. The front bumper, headlights, windows, rooflights, tanks, exhausts, hubcaps and hitch are all painted silver while the tyres and grille are black. There's a blue lump with a black IR receiver sticking out in front of the hitch, which is visible without being an eyesore. At this scale, Prime has a very impressive paint job even if some details are lost compared to the leader toy.

   As with a few of the smaller Optimus Prime toys, he's flatter than he should be, but not by much. And while slightly smaller than a GoBot/SpyChanger, there's a higher level of detail here. The false wheels are fairly easy to pick, but at least they're painted. There are visible heelspurs at the very back of the truck, but they don't really ruin the overall look here.

   The remote is a big gun-shaped affair, roughly 17cm long and 9 tall. It's red with some painted blue detailing (and just a hint of silver) and has "Optimus Prime" with an Autobot logo on either side. The remote mould is identical for all three IR movie toys, although Barricade & Bumblebee get their own paint maps and the names are in different fonts. Optimus Prime, in truck mode, can clip onto the top for storage/transport.

   The gimmick is... reasonable. The performance is what you'd expect of an IR remote controlled car, with range of a metre or so. He travels is a straight line forward and curves left backward, allowing you to turn, which is typical of the lowest end remote control cars. What disappoints me is how slow the truck moves - it really takes the fun out of the concept, especially when you consider how far and fast a SpyChanger will go on a flat surface (albeit with a push off).

   This is a pretty good truck mode for the size, with a great paint job. If Optimus Prime were priced as a SpyChanger he'd be a must have. While the IR mechanism obviously adds to the production costs, as a Transformer I don't think this vehicle is worth the price (3 times that of a Spychanger, at least in Australia). I'm not disappointed, but I just don't think the gimmick justifies the price.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Essentially based on SpyChanger Optimus Prime, which is derived from Laser Rod Prime. Extend the rear to form boots, stand him up, split the nose and pull out to the sides to form shoulder pylons and reveal the head, lift up the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8cm Width: 3.5cm

   A red and blue robot that's effectively a fusion of Movie Optimus Prime and Laser Rod Optimus Prime. The torso is red, with the false truck front of Laser Prime while the shoulder pylons, head and legs are blue. His forearms are the silver gas tanks, without moulded fists. There's some silver on his head, but not enough - it's just too dark. The false windows and grille are painted silver along with his kneecaps while the false headlights are painted amber. While it's not quite Movie Prime, this robot is clearly an Optimus Prime of some sort. The red is really bright and blue dark, which makes for an interesting contrast.

   The arms are terrible and the bright red does look a little cheap, but this is the best robot mode of the three Infra Red toys. The robot shape is well defined, even if his thighs are a single piece. It's below the standard of SpyChanger Prime, but about on par with most SpyChangers. I'm not thrilled with this robot mode overall, but it beats out Bumblebee and Barricade for shape, at least.

   Play value is minimal - the elbows swing, albeit very loosely. The gimmick is not available in this mode. Unlike some SpyChangers, Optimus Prime does not come with a gun and cannot hold one.

   A fairly simple robot mode, and not a great one, but at least it's unmistakably an Optimus Prime of some sort. It's the strongest of the IR Transformers, despite little play value and a poorly painted head. The emphasis is on the truck mode (which is understandable considering the nature of the gimmick), and this is the weaker mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   While the idea has merit, this is a very simple Transformer. The truck mode looks really good, with an excellent paint job, so while the gimmick is fairly underwhelming, there's something nice here at least. The robot mode is passable at best, but it is the best in this line. The gimmick isn't great, but so I'm not that keen on Optimus Prime, but he is the best of this group, so if you're after one for the novelty - and the idea is kind of cool - then he's the one to grab - 5/10

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