Cliffbee.com: Legends Nightwatch Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Longnose Truck Cab



TRUCK MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 6.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A small dark navy blue longnose truck with a black nose, grey hitch area and six grey tyres. The front bumper and grille are painted silver along with the sunvisor above the black windshield. There are silver flames on the nose and black flames on the doors - this is a straight repaint of Legends Prime, rather than a Legends version of Nightwatch Prime. This is a lazy, dark and ultimately unsuccessful repaint - the straight repaint just doesn't work.

   The fueltanks are vastly reduced and unpainted here while there's an exhaust pipe only on the right side - which is unpainted. The little Autobot logo hood ornament isn't here - but it would have been close to impossible at this scale anyway. There is a silver Autobot logo on the left side of the truck. I don't understand why there's only one smokestack - there's no asymmetry in the transformation or anything - it was simply left out. I'm not sure that the tanks needed to be reduced as much as they have been, either, but at least that was done evenly. The hitch area is a bit of a mess, and while the original hid this with black plastic, it really stands out since the grey here is the lightest plastic colour on this truck. The front and middle sets of tyres roll, the last pair are false - in fact they're socket for ball joints which is clever. The grey tyres look... bad - as I said, the straight repaint just doesn't work.

   As with a lot of Legends toys, this vehicle mode is vastly simplified. Considering how large the full sized toy is, I think they've done a fairly good job of retaining the same feel at this scale, aside from the omission of one smokestack - which just seems pointless. In the case of this repaint, however, the colour scheme just flops - the placement is based on making the repaint easy, and the end result is a dark truck with grey plastic in the wrong places and a missing smokestack.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the front fenders, fold up the hitch which swings the fenders down underneath, forming legs. Swing the nose halves up to form boots. Split the cabin and swing down to the sides to form his arms. The transformation is at once simple and clever. While it's not that similar to the original, the basic layout is similar and they're both innovative.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7.5cm Width: 5cm

   A blue robot above the waist, Optimus Prime's groin and thighs are grey while his boots are black. The chest has some silver details along with a tiny false windshield, sadly it's unpaited. His face is painted silver with mid blue eyes. The colour scheme is far simpler than it should be, which isn't all that surprising since Optimus Prime's colour map is very complex and Legends toys are generally very simple. Of course, this dark toy really needs colour and has very little - the robot mode is even less reminiscent of the Nightwatch Prime toy than the truck mode.

   The unusual transformation gives us an unusual layout, which is to be expected really. The boots are the underside of the nose, and while there are simulated feet, they don't look too much like Prime's boots. The arms are the insides of the cabin halves, with only rudimentary detailing. The chest and head are simply the underside of the cabin, while the windshield ends up being his wrists. Aside from the protruding boots the bodyshape ends up being pretty good here. The hips and shoulders are ball jointed, allowing for relaxed poses.

   A limited robot mode that tries to reconstruct the robot mode of the full sized Prime after a different transformation. While the end poseability is pleasing, this mode falls down thanks largely to colour. It's not awful, and as Legends go it's fairly well engineered, but it just doesn't feel like Nightwatch Prime - and just feels unfinished in general.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A clever transformation is the best thing going for this toy, but both modes fail, thanks largely to a very lazy repaint which makes this toy both too dark and unlike the larger Nightwatch Prime toy. While many legends toys have paintjobs which sell them sort, this one really needed a complete remapping of colours to work, but instead just got a colourswap - 3/10

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