Of all the crappy design work on the Transformers and Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen movies, the bot I’m most happy with is Optimus Prime. Do I need to see flames on his cab? No. Do I need to see Optimus lips? No. But I can live with it. They did a fine job on him.
I got a chance to get a closer look at the Leader Class Optimus Prime (that’s the top ranked “4” on the complexity scale). I took out my old original Optimus Prime for kicks. “Dude! What kind of comparison is that?” It’s worth noting, primarily because I never snagged the 20th anniversary Optimus Prime. The anniversary Prime is one of the best re-releases ever and I want one and I’m totally still bitter about not having one. But hey, it’s okay. At least I have my health.
The first thing I noticed about the Revenge of the Fallen Leader Class Prime (let’s call him T2 Prime so my fingers don’t fall off from typing) was the size. This is a big robot. It’s just as impressive at the T1 Prime. The original Prime never conveyed this level of grandiosity. You’d notice this too had I bothered to shoot them standing next to each other, which I haven’t. I’ll draw you a mental picture: imagine two Optimus Primes standing next to each other. One is bigger. There. Now you’ve got it.
I don’t know about you, but I like my transformable robots to be able to articulate at the knees, ankles, elbows, head and shoulders. And also to have the financial savvy not to overextend themselves on credit. I’m not sure how fiscally responsible Prime is. He seems pretty tight in the wallet, so kudos on that point. He’s also well articulated. Sure he speaks well. He’s articulate, but he’s also articulated, as in jointed limbs and such. Because of his articulated ankles, you can pose him and he will still be able to stand on his own.
The figure also has these moving chest gears…um, in his chest. They’re kind of exposed: his chest armor doesn’t completely cover them. On first glance they look cool. On second glance you try to get them to do stuff. On third glance you realize they don’t do much. On fourth glance you ignore them.
The trouble began when I wanted to transform Optimus into a truck. As a kid, I transformed umpteen Autobots and Decepticons from memory. Never had a problem. This was a problem. Mostly I blame the instructions. The diagrams are small and some intermediary steps are glossed over. It’s all pictures, no text. To be considered thorough for as complex a toy as this, you need a before/after of every step. Plus, what’s with the diagrams? Does no one at Hasbro own a camera? The whole process consumed more than an hour, not counting the half-hour break I took to debate tossing the mid-transformation mess into a busy intersection.
Truck mode looks good. The seams are tight. I’m not thrilled the way they handled the front wheels. Those feel loose, as if a pot hole will dislodge them so they splay outward from the chassis.
Many of the parts have a snap-off design, i.e. they’re designed to come off when too much pressure is exerted. They snap back on. Nevertheless, many parts felt breakable to me while I was exerting normal transformation-style pressure. It felt delicate.
Bottom line: The robot mode is impressive. Dude needs a gun, but he’s at least got room in his hand if you have one that fits.
- Great size.
- Looks amazing in both robot and vehicle modes.
- Good articulation.
- Possibly conservative in matters of finance?
- Long time to transform.
- Parts feel ‘stressed’ when transforming.
- No gun.
- Light up and sound features feel tacked on.
Leader Class Optimus Prime (Autobot) by Hasbro.