Cliffbee.com: War Within Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Optimus Prime
Series: 6" Titaniums
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Truck

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me War Within Prime, making this review possible.



TRUCK MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 7cm

   A very heavy red and blue truck, whose colours follow the basic pattern of the original, Earthbound, Optimus Prime. This time around he's largely composed of die-cast metal - more than on the original, and the design is very different, however the colours really nail down the character. The front is red, the rear blue while the windows are a lighter metallic blue, there are some very light grey mid section pieces which hold his exhaust pipes. There are six large black plastic tyres - two bigger ones at the front and four smaller ones at the back. Even the wheel configuration matches the original! Lastly there's a backwards facing silver cannon on the flatter rear section. The colour scheme is well thought out, since it not only suits Optimus Prime very well, but the layout makes sense and it's an attractive colour scheme anyway.

   However... the paint job here is atrocious. The red paint on the front of the truck is very poorly applied - we're talking careless amateur hobbyist level. The blue is significantly better, the light grey and metallic blue are generally fine, but it's the red at the front that you really notice, and you'll see it at a glance, so there's no escape. Along with the metallic paint, the silver bumper and yellow headlights are okay, so I suspect that either they should have used an undercoat of prime and didn't, or chose a paint that's not really meant for metal - since other metal areas have come off better. Either way, the red paint is swirly, inconsistent and darker in some areas than others as a result.

   The truck itself is essentially a single central cabin affair, the front slopes down and the back is more or less a hitch area. The grey pieces behind the cabin slope upwards, so the exhausts point up and back - they're not quite smokestacks but close. His robot fists are clearly visible on the back ends of the grey blocks since they're blue and have distinctly moulded fingers. The silver gun is notably modelled on that of the original, which is nice. Overall the sculpt here is good, and there's some nice attention to detail in his gun, the deliberate selection of colours chosen to mimic the animated Optimus Prime (via the War Within comics) and a detailed front section, including an Autobot logo stamped on the front left fender (which manages to be well painted).

   There's little play value, but then the Titaniums don't focus on that so much. He's too heavy to roll on his six wheels, although they will all roll fairly smoothly if you use your fingers underneath. The gun can't aim or really attach anywhere else - other than the fists if you slide them out, but I'm happy enough that it integrates.

   It's obvious this is an early example of the 6" Titanium line, because quite frankly the paint job is unacceptable. Which is a real shame because he hold together reasonably well and the colour scheme is - in theory - really good. This Cybertronian truck is clearly Optimus Prime, which is a distinct plus, and the detailing is quite good. If only the good things weren't completely overshadowed by the paint application.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove his gun, fold down the rear and rotate to form his lower body. Extend the legs, split the boots, fold up his feet and heelspurs. Unclip and swing the grey blocks out to the sides to form his arms, rotate the blocks themselves and slide out the fists, pivot the red covers on his upper arms to form shoulderpads. Give him his gun, fold back the canopy to reveal his head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 10cm

   Again Prime is red, blue and grey. The red forms most of his torso along with the shoulderpads while the grey is present on his hips, thighs and forearms. His head, boots, upper arms and fists are blue. The waist and groin and painted, with a lot of not-so-well-applied silver, and some badly done blue. Again the idea is great but the execution is... not so great. The silver mouthplate is well applied, and he has a good metallic blue on his eyes. While there are some changes to the paint mask compared with the G1 cartoon model, this colour scheme is against distinctly Optimus Prime, which I appreciate - even if the application isn't befitting the most iconic of Transformers characters.

   Now that everything is unfolded and revealed, I'll cover exactly what is die-cast. The chest, waist, shoulderpads, forearms, boots (but not feet) are all metal along with the canopy section residing on his back. That piece is the only kibble here which is testament to the comic people who conceived this model. There are still visible truck features, and they do look good, paint issues aside. The front wheels anchor the arms, the grille and headlights are central on his chest, the exhausts sit on the outside of his forearms (ala Hot Rod, and the rear wheels sit on the outside of his boots. The latter are held within half-covers, which are also a carry over from the vehicle mode, so they're not as prevalent.

   It's a well mapped robot mode with some wonderful aspects such as the painted detailing on the torso (if not the paint application), the shoulderpads and of course the G1 semblance in his head. The colour layout works, also - although there's an argument that could be made about the colour of his gun. He's not the first G1 based Optimus Prime with an other-than-black gun, so I'll accept it.

   Poseability is pretty good, as is usually the case in this line. The head turns, the shoulders swing, the elbows bend and rotate, the hips are ball jointed with rotators below the. His knees are hinged along with the feet and heelspurs. The lower half of his torso doesn't actually clip into the bottom of his chest, and this joint has a tendency to loosen when you pick him up, which is annoying. The arms clip into the sides of his torso, but quite loosely, and they can unclip as well - although they're along better than the torso which relies purely on the weight of his upper body to maintain its shape. One really cool aspect of his articulation is that as you swing the arms, the tyres to which they're anchored move also. There are effectively two rotations - one for the arms and one purely for the wheels to spin - the former is tight the latter loose. For all of the engineering problems that have plagued this line, this is a cool feature on the first - some would say experimental - toy.

   Again, what should have been a good figure is held back by a paint job that's amazingly poor. The colours _are_ good but the paint application steps up and strikes out. He still manages to look reasonably good, which is testament to the designer's ideas - it's just a shame the quality control guys were out the back playing cards. The poseability is good - although not excellent - and there are some great aspects such as the shoulders and the hips. Like all Titaniums he comes with a stand.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Hasbro trotted out the usual white Ultra Magnus repaint.

OVERALL

   Oh what could have been. The basic design is good in both mode - the colour map works well visually and really fits the character, while the robot mode has some nice engineering and the truck mode some decent features. It's unusual for paint issues to make or break a toy, but sadly, in the case of War Within Optimus Prime, the paint spoils the deal. This is likely to be the only time we see a figure of this particular concept, which makes the unacceptably poor paint quality even more frustrating. If you liked War Within, I'll still recommend him, despite his problems. If not - even if you're a fan of the Titaniums, then I'd say give him a miss - 5/10

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