Cliffbee.com: TFU Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Fire Truck



FIRE TRUCK MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 10cm Width: 3.5cm

   A rich yellow fire truck, which is a homage to the Sam's Club Prime. Since I don't have that toy, I'll be comparing this toy with RiD Spychanger Prime. Anyway, he's yellow with a silver ladder, silver painted windows and black plastic tyres. On either side, on the bottom, are stamped Autobot symbols. The strobes on his roof are painted red, and this shows up a lot better on the yellow plastic than it did on the red plastic of the RiD version. The yellow plastic looks to be of a better quality than the red of the original, which is unusual for a repaint.

   This truck lack the complexity of the big version, but at about 1/5 the size, that's understandable. There is no base mode, no electronics and no attack mode. The ladder lifts and it's base rotates 90 either way.

   Being a Spychanger, he rolls on axles, although unlike most Spychangers, the front wheels are on separate axles, rather than being on a single axle that runs right through. These front wheels are also significantly larger than the rear wheels. The middle set of wheels, which are at the rear, are false wheels, yellow plastic painted black. I could deal with this if it weren't for the fact that while the rear wheels have chromed silver hubcaps, the false ones are all black.

   The unpainted hubcaps are his only real flaw as a fire truck, and while it bothers me, this flaw isn't enough to bring down what's otherwise a fairly good truck mode. It looks better than the original, partly due to the better plastic, partly because you can now clearly _see_ the strobes.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remember how there's no base mode? Well there's also only one robot form, not a small and large robot form. So the transformation is totally different from the original. The robot mode is the larger of the big version's two robot modes.

   Extend the front to form the robot legs, stand him up. Rotate the ladder assembly to one side, fold back the rear of the truck and slide the ladder assembly "up" so he can stand up. Slide the arms out to the sides and position them.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9cm Width: 5cm

   Still largely yellow, but now with a silver torso, black painted feet, silver paint shins and feet and black forearms. The wheel assemblies on the shins have been preserved, although this is actually a facade - the front wheels are clearly visible on the sides of the shins. The chest has an orange painted section, with a moulded Autobot symbol, painted yellow, inside that, and this chest is a simplification of the chest of the larger one. The orange and yellow is identical to the previous version of the mould - it probably would have been better for the yellow to be red, since it's a lemon yellow on a rich yellow toy. The head is yellow with a silver crest and silver antennae. The mouthplate, which was painted silver on the original, is now unpainted. Considering that they left that yellow on his chest, I wonder why they removed the silver mouthplate - leaving a very yellow head behind. His eyes are still black. For some reason, the internal section of the groin, which is a silver piece of plastic, has been painted red - this is also unchanged from the original, You can only see this from the side, and it doesn't really make any difference from side angles. This colour scheme is slightly inferior to the original, but ends up being largely equal due to the better plastic.

   While very shrunken, this is a fairly good representation of RiD Optimus Prime for the size. The paint job has been over simplified, most likely for cost reasons - which makes me wonder about the waste of money that red groin paint is. The main difference in the shape of this robot is the big ladder on the side, as opposed to on the back of the original.

   The ladder, while not having any gimmick attached, makes a difference to the play value of this mode. He's rather back heavy with curved heels )the windscreen of the truck mode), so you have to position the ladder right for him to stand upright. In fact, if it's not right, he can actually topple over. While this is pretty easy to manage, it's annoying at times. The poseability is good for a Spychanger - his head rotates, his elbows swing and he can do the splits for some reason.

   Not as nice as the truck mode, this mode has a couple of flaws. The reliance on ladder position as well as some poor paint applications hurt this mode. It's still decent, but is the weaker of his two modes.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although it is a recolour.

OVERALL

   A mixture of good and bad features. I like the truck mode, but I'm not so keen on the robot mode. Neither an improvement or a step backwards, I wouldn't really recommend him over the original - he's decent, but the mould isn't good enough to justify getting two very similar toys. The reason I got him was because he comes packed with a very good Prowl Spychanger, but if you're not interested in Prowl, I'd only really recommend him if you missed the RiD version and want this mould - 5.5/10

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