Saturday, 23 February 2008
REVIEW: Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime, (Transformers Animated)
Retail: $9.99 - £10
Accessories: Sunroof Shield, Interchangeable Energy Axe
One word to describe this figure: WOW!
During my 20+ year run of collecting Transformers I've seen many different Optimus Prime figures, some good and some really bad. Fortunately this first Optimus Prime offering from the Transformers: Animated toy line is one of the best I have handled.
Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime is presented as part of the deluxe assortment and glows brightly as an affordable, colourful Autobot leader for kid fans to own in their Autobot army and collectors to display proudly on their stands.
The vehicle form is odd to describe, it is like a futuristic cyber scooter / truck cab hybrid with a large windscreen panel at the front and tank treads at the back. The vehicle doesn’t do a lot except for act as a toy car; there are no weapons or added gimmicks except for room on the back for possibly another figure to take a ride. This interpretation of Optimus Prime is meant to be one of the younger characters on the show, so in all fairness having a small underdog-like mode compliments this characteristic rather well.
Transforming this toy into robot form is where the magic really begins. Like with previous Optimus Prime figures the front of the truck is the robots chest and the back wheel area of the cab transform into legs. Aside from the transformation cliché the best part is the arms which fold out from the back of the scooter/cab are already holding the axe and shield accessories making a nice transition.
As for the accessories, the shield fits nicely on Prime's left forearm via a poseable notch there, this notch also holds down the shield in vehicle form as a sunroof. The shield comes into play again by splitting in two and becoming a larger attachable blade for the axe. As well as the optional shield add on, the axe has two other modes where the main blade can split in two or stay together as one. There is also an added peg on this axe which sticks out in vehicle mode as a possible trailer peg but its use for anything yet is uncertain. The idea of individualised combat weapons for this toy line (i.e. Prowl and his shuriken, Bulkhead and his wrecking ball etc) is just brilliant and certainly makes a change from the average gun and occasional sword that a TF figure is usually bundled with.
Seeing the finished robot mode is so rewarding since Optimus Prime is so articulated. The solid, strong and simple use of red and blue colours really makes this figure pleasing to the eye. The robot head is expressive as this 'young' Optimus Prime gladly embraces the omission of a faceplate and brandishes a friendly smile and a large chin in such heroic-like gesture.
I've seen this figure faced with earlier criticism in that there isn't a lot of detail in places; I actually like it that way! This Prime is NOT a Bayformer after all. There is actually some good detailing around the figure especially for example the chest panel which seen up close shows Autobot insignia markings. Since this is very cartoony the demand for great detail isn't there and TFA Prime is the kind of simplistic model for kid artists to draw from.
TFA Optimus Prime (Cybertron Mode) is a great start to what will be a very successful Transformers incarnation. This toy is a great purchase for young and old fans alike and as a deluxe size figure is also reasonably affordable. The design of Optimus Prime is impressive and well thought with the result being an attractive first buy character in the Transformers Animated range. Definitely one to start the Animated collection with.