Cliffbee.com: Orion Pax Toy Review

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Name: Orion Pax
Series: e-Hobby exclusives
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Freight Handler
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 13cm Width: 6cm

   A red and light grey truck that could described as a dump truck, pick up truck or cargo truck, and while Kup seems to be called a dump truck most frequently, this repaint is most suited to being a cargo truck, when you consider his function. Basically, this is meant to be a nine million year old Cybertronian transport truck, the precursor to Optimus Prime. The metal front of the truck is red with white front and side windows while the rear two thirds is a light grey plastic. The rear section sports a navy blue tray, while the sides and front sport Autobot logos. The colours work well and are vaguely reminiscent of Optimus Prime's - enough that you see the link without this toy _being_ another Optimus Prime.

   Orion Pax's front tyres are black rubber with light grey hubcaps. The hubcaps don't actually spin as he rolls, since they're the anchors for the shoulders in robot mode. His rear wheels are hidden inside the rear fenders, and are a dark die cast metal. There's a rubsign indent on the forward sloping roof, behind the windshield. There's a mount in the blue tray into which you can plug his Targetmaster, Barrelroller in weapon mode.

   While realism is pretty much irrelevant for a Cybertronian vehicle, there's a slightly awkward gap below the front facade, inside which his arms are stowed. While it's low enough to not ruin this truck mode, it does rob him of headlights. There are various spots where his seams don't quite line up, too, although I can believe that these are simply features of the truck. As for show accuracy, Orion Pax never actually transforms in War Dawn, so that's not an issue. This toy defines the alt mode for the first time.

   Orion Pax rolls as well as any other G1 toy, but at least he has rubber tyres. Barrelroller can swing through about 280, the gap being the forward direction - he'll point backwards, sideways but not directly forward.

   I actually prefer Orion Pax's vehicle mode to Kup's, mainly because I find the colours a little more inspiring. The Targetmaster adds some play value (versus the more common version of Kup, anyway) and of course without a pre-existing vehicle mode there are no accuracy issues.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the arms down from inside the cabin and rotate them out, which will stow his front tyre. Flip up the entire front half, push in the rear fenders (legs) to form his groin. Flip back the light aqua roof to reveal his head, position his arms, slide down his feet and give him gun if you wish.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 7cm

   Still red and grey, with a layout inspires by the Orion Pax we saw in War Dawn. The Optimus Prime link is now more apparent, as the colours line up to the cartoon - which took cues from Optimus Prime. The torso is red with the white windows his chest and a grey buckle area. The head and boots are navy blue while his face is white with light blue eyes. The shoulders and forearms are navy blue while the upper arms are grey - the arms depart from both the cartoon and Optimus Prime's red arms, which I suspect has to do with Kup's mould. Despite the changes in the arms there are quite a few minor changes made to make this work as Orion Pax - the windows are have some white removed (compared to Kup), Kup's wraparound is now a front and side windows, there's an indent on top of the front window which matches the show, and there's a yellow patch painted on the waist that Kup lacks. There are a few sticker changes, most notable stickers moved from his groin to waist to mimic yellow patches on the cartoon Orion Pax.

   The headshape doesn't really match the animated version, and while it's not a terrible match, the aged look has been inherited from Kup, which is a little awkward for a youthful Optimus Prime. The paintmask on his legs has been redone, Kup's all grey legs are now split between blue and grey, and along with the torso modifications this helps anchor the toy as Orion Pax, while moving it away from Kup slightly.

   His proportions are fairly good, and for a G1 mould so is his poseability. The legs don't move at all, but the shoulders rotate and he has hinges at the shoulders and elbows giving him sideways movement. His wrists also rotate, so the arm articulation is great for a G1 cartoon era toy. His head can wiggle backwards and forwards a little, although I'm not sure why they went with this joint since it doesn't really achieve much and isn't part of the transform.

   This was Kup's better mode, and while it's the natural focal point of this repaint it's weighed down a little by expectation - it can never be 100% faithful considering it's an adaptation of another character. Taking that in to account, the designer has done a pretty good job of making this a believable Orion Pax. With good play value and _two_ handheld weapons - the grey pistol and Barrelroller - I'm happy with this robot mode.

Roller

   A small light grey figure with charcoal legs and yellow eyes. He's fairly detailed although the grey plastic doesn't really bring this out. The colours are Recoil's colours reversed, while the name is nice tip of the hat to Optimus Prime's little droid car. For some reason eHobby calls this figure "Barrelroller" in their English blurbs, but the tech spec card refers to it as Roller (in Japanese).

   The Targetmaster mode is a dual barrelled cannon, the cannons and post are on his back. It's a pretty decent gun mode, which works well when held by Orion Pax. The tech spec card calls this a welding tool rather than a gun - which makes sense for the character.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, but as mentioned this is a repaint of the Targetmaster version of Kup. Orion Pax was an eHobby exclusive sold with Dion, a Wheelie repaint.

OVERALL

   Considering that the designer had to fit the animated robot to Kup, this is a pretty good repaint. It's believable as the Optimus Prime precursor we saw in the cartoon and works as a repaint in it's own right. The brighter colour scheme brings something new to the mould, although some of the colour map changes only really work in the context of the character. While he comes packaged with the awful Dion, Orion Pax is still worth picking up if you can get at close to retail price, simply for the novelty of having a credible Orion Pax toy - 7/10

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