GEN Optimus Prime (Legends Class, Hasbro)

Name: Optimus Prime

Line: Transformers

Series: Generations

Size Class: Legends

Producer: Hasbro

Year of release: 2013

I am Optimus Prime!, proclaimed proudly my favorite Transformers toy, which was (can you guess??)… Optimus Prime, namely G2 version. And at this moment I really wish I hadn’t sold him as he would be perfect for comparisons for this particular review due to obvious inspiration drawn from the old Opie that influenced this modern guy’s design. But don’t worry, since my old red and blue pal is long gone living with someone else, I have found a decent replacement. Before we get to that let’s take a look at the hero of the day – Generations Optimus Prime.

I’ll start with his vehicle form.

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Now tell me this doesn’t bring instant memories of the G1/G2 design. Even the Optimus’es rifle is there, with the option to mount it on the roof, just like I remember.

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I amused myself lately with an online guide giving advice on how to write a successful toy review and it was strongly stressed there not to describe what the readers can see on the picture. So… Generations Prime uses an alt form of the very classic truck with a flat engine compartment, red cab, blue back and nice silver paints apps, which all can be seen here, BUT what you don’t know is that the wheels are perfectly functional so the truck rolls just fine (whew, close save!).

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The overall shape and details like front grill or side… barrel-like silver thingies (Ok, I will come clean: I don’t know a thing about trucks! I’m sorry!! I guess those are fuel tanks but in case they are the Obvious-Truck-Technology-Components-Shaped-Like-Cylinders-That-Do-Things and the Everybody-Knows-What-Those-Are-I-Can’t-Believe-You-Don’t rule is in force here – I choose to go with ‘thingies’) all scream ‘G1 Optimus!’ and only the dual headlights and the aero-dynamic fairing element bring the taste of a more modern design to the table. So what IS the big difference here? Coz surely Hasbro didn’t just release almost the same old toy again, right? Now THEY wouldn’t do something like THAT, now would they? Actually they would and did many times but the factor here is… size.

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Oh great Primus, he is so SMALL!! Not sure if you shouted that (in my imagination) while seeing the photo or if it was me remembering my first reaction to this guy, but yeah: HE IS SMALL.

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Here is a comparison with Optimus from the Classics line, a replacement for the G2 one that I mentioned. Since the Classics Optimus is a re-imagination and a modern-figure-technology retooling of the old Opie himself, we can use him to kinda complete the circle of classical Primes. A bit scary how it all adds up, isn’t it?

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The vehicle modes together form a cute truck and truckling family – so similar you can almost feel their Sparks pounding with need to transform and roll out! Or just roll out since they are in the vehicle modes already… I didn’t choose the best moment to use that classic line, now did I?

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The cabs feature a number of similar elements, yet here you can see why Classics Optimus isn’t just the G1 one with new articulation and transformation. Ironically the small freshly released guy is the more old-fashioned one of the duo.

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Checkin’ the rears of those puppies proves that scaling down the size didn’t involve making the back of the new Optimus’es cab look much worse. No robot parts are showing and even if it doesn’t exactly mimic a truck’s back to the perfect degree, the thing is – neither does the Classics one. The one thing the Generations Prime is lacking is swivel joints in the feet that could make him stretch them out in truck mode, like his bigger pal does here. And his legs could click together so the truck would retain more stability. Instead they only have these tiny molded edgings that guide the parts together but don’t lock them in one position. But it’s no biggie, really.

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It’s funny how they even both share the same imperfection: the visible blue back of robot’s head in the roof, which the larger Prime usually camouflages with his own truck fairing attached on top of the vehicle mode. Man, this is a bit like watching the toy-making technology take yet another step. First we get the Classics version which fixes a number of the original G1’s flaws and now a much smaller Transformer pulls off almost the same look! But hey, we’ve all seen this before: a fantastic vehicle mode, even of a small scale toy, and then the robot mode tries to convince us a sew-random-looking-parts-in-random-places-together look is the new thing. No, it’s not and that is what made me hate so many movie Transformers designs. Aaanyway, this guy. Robot mode!

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Here he is. In all his glory. And I’m not being sarcastic – I really like this look, especially considering his size. You can instantly identify him as THE Optimus Prime – the colors, the shapes, the head sculpt – it’s all there. Even the rifle looks familiar.

The chest is another spot where lack of one set position that the parts could click into is a bit of an issue – the pieces tend to move further away from and closer towards each other to some extent when you fiddle with the figure.

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I would say that in robot mode he reminds me more of modern designs. The chest seems to have this Classics version’s fake truck front thing going on, with painted ‘headlights’ and some faint sculpting around the stomach area that MIGHT be a hint of the fake grill element. And his split chest immediately makes me think of the Prime version of… Prime (yes, fishing for easy and pathetic jokes here but I also deem the show’s title really low in creativity department).

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One thing that differentiates those two Opimuses the most is the Autobot emblem placed between the small guy’s chest pieces. However, if you wish to mend that for some reason, you can push his head just a bit forward and down, as if he is nodding (a joint resulting from the transformation), and then it’s possible to form what looks like a full chest.

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Ok, let the big Opie put the lil one down so we can assess his size by comparing the two in robot modes.

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Pals for life! And now a comparison with a modern G.I. Joe figure.

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Not that much of a difference any more! Also, Optimus is quite posable. He can pull off action poses…

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…high-kick thanks to ball-jointed hips…

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…swivel his chest area thanks to a transformation joint there to… walk like an Egyptian, I suppose..?

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And he can sit down, which isn’t that obvious for many Transformers. So you can start preparing a sitting place on your desk for the leader of Autobots! Don’t worry, he doesn’t take much. Also, he uses ball joints everywhere but none popped out in my figure yet so here’s hoping that they do and will fit tight enough. The leg joints can be a bit loose when trying to pull a pose that depends on some more extravagant balancing, though.

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A quick look at the robot’s back as the infamous ‘kibble’ effect (parts left from transformation forming a huge ‘backpack’) often ruins that section of Transformers.

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Luckily everything is in order here. Yes, there is a small hunch but it doesn’t do the overall silhouette much wrong. You can also leave that cab’s front part hanging down instead but that makes Optimus sport a kind of partial skirt which I don’t like so I prefer to follow the official  instructions on this one.

A look back at Classics’… back shows more similarities in design – they both carry an extra baggage on their back but it’s really nothing to write Cybertron about.

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Soo… we can move on to the conclusion section, right? … What’s that? He came with an accessory? One apart from his rifle? Oh, slag, right, THAT thing. I almost forgot about it following taking it out of the packaging and putting aside. All right then. Here comes… Roller.

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Yup, THE Roller, the scout vehicle that Optimus used to drag around in his trailer and almost never let out to, you know, scout things because he had Bumblebee for that. Well, I guess if you’re a wise leader of giant space robots then you just gotta be extra prepared. Even if you’re not so giant in this incarnation.

Roller traditionally has six wheels and is blue. Yes, I stated the obvious there, this review is now officially doomed.

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The most important question, that you are undoubtedly asking, is: Does Roller roll? If you mean the sheer movement – yes it does, even if somewhat reluctantly due to middle wheels being sculpted on fakes. If, however, you mean his overall coolness, awesomeness level and wow factor… well, read on.

You see, Roller is more than meets the eye (see what I did there?? not too obvious? well timed? booyah!). It… or more appropriately (?) he… transforms.

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I know it’s not the first transforming Roller out there but I’m still not sure how to handle that idea. Is it…he a sentient robot now? Or a drone? And why am I even pondering – just look at him! If you think that his transformation process didn’t do much and that his robot form is just the vehicle standing on the rear and that it totally sucks then… well, then you are not alone. Hasbro, come on! I mean, come on! Really?? In 2013 you give us a tiny Optimus that is almost a scaled down Classics and THIS?? You couldn’t even make his legs extend?! Oh yeah, as for his articulation (can’t believe I actually used that word concerning this thingie) he can raise his arms. Sigh. Could someone just please put the poor thing down?

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Oh and if you’re desperately out of action toys or REALLY miss the late 80s, then you can have Roller be your retro Micromaster and wield Optimus’es rifle… coz why not, right?

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But wait, there’s more! The excitement continues because Roller has an alternate transformation mode! It’s a… just look at it…

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A GIANT rifle. I…I got nothing. A giant rifle. There you have it.

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Sure, Optimus can wield it…a little. Finding poses involving Da R(ev)oll(v)er that don’t make Opie fall is challenging but possible. The question is: what for? Seeing this in package I hoped for a new scaled down version of a Targetmaster set but it hardly works. Maybe as some Desperate-Measures-Last-Resort-Doomsday-Gun to face the most powerful opponents? But only if you’re willing to far-fetch it A LOT.

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But you know what? There is one use that good old-new Roller here can be put to and I mean besides following Prime in that oh-so-exciting vehicle mode. Thanks to the universal peg being used as the handle you can give him to the big guys.

When I was a kid and the chance to acquire any Transformers -master toy around here was exactly 0.00% I dreamed of having a Headmaster or a Targetmaster and trust me, I would have been ecstatic to have this little guy around then. And even nowadays Hasbro is for some reason excessively economical on -masters Transformers so one may consider overlooking Roller’s obvious flaws if one wants Cyclonus to have other Targetmaster pals or foes.

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So, to sum up, how does Generations Optimus Prime of Legends size class stand? In my opinion he is great – with certain uses in mind. He rocks as a tiny Transformers figure that you put on your desk (and that’s exactly what I bought him for). He can be a funny OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAaddition to your Transformers shelf standing next to a larger Optimus or perhaps punching big Megatron’s leg. You can use him as a small and mobile toy to entertain your kid while on a car trip or during a prolonging wait at the doctor’s. Or you could buy him as a perfect little gift for your cousin’s son if you want something of good quality and moderate price. As a Tranformers toy on his own, one to play with etc – well, he can work depending on your preferences and standards. He IS small and a bit fragile (just a bit, really) and his articulation is ok but not fantastic compared to larger modern Transformers. Still, he does transform to a nice looking truck and is fun to handle, to put it a bit awkward. You’ll understand if you choose to get him, trust me. He just has that… fun factor to him. And he is a tiny mighty Autobot Leader, there’s always that. I am really happy that I bought him but I can see reasons why he is not the perfect choice for everybody.

 

Summary

Strong and weak points:

+ very neat looking vehicle mode

+ slick robot mode with good articulation (for that size)

+ small size enabling a number of various mobile uses

+ opportunity for great comedic uses

+ the overall ‘fun factor’ (a tiny transformable Optimus Prime!)

+ Roller works as a Targetmaster companion for larger robots

– lack of parts clicking into set positions causes some instability (legs/back in truck mode and chest pieces in robot mode)

– articulation depends solely on ball joints so is as limited as can be expected

– leg joints are already a bit loose on some poses so that might become a problem later on

– Roller is rather meh in vehicle mode, is ridiculously ugly and limited in ‘robot mode’ (!), its gun mode looks merely ok (and not from every angle) and its addition to the set undoubtedly boosts up the price

Who will like it:

those looking for a typical parody-toy or a desk-toy; those looking for a small Transformer with a nice looking alt mode and good robot quality and articulation (considering the size); those who would use Roller as an old-style Targetmaster companion

Who won’t like it:

those expecting a superb-articulated and fully posable Transformer

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