Posts tagged with "optimus prime" - 2
Posted July 1, 2014 at 1:30 am

This BotCon's set had a few things I wouldn't have thought I wanted but once presented with them I was all OH YEAH.  Like, say, "Hey, do you want another Classics Optimus Prime redeco?"  If that was said to me?  Naw.  No thanks.  I've got like four versions of that guy already, and one of them from BotCon.  But no no no let them clarify:  "Hey, do you want Classics Optimus Prime in FRIGGIN' SUNSTORM ORANGE as FIRE GUTS GINRAI?"

Oh, yes.  Yes, I do.

I've said before that Powermaster Optimus Prime is still probably up there at the top of my list of favorite Optimus Prime toys.  Yeah, it's a placement fueled in nonnegligible amounts of nostalgia.  It was my first Optimus Prime toy as a kid.  It combines with its trailer to make a bigger robot.  It's a cool toy.  Well, once Japan did that sucker up in friggin' orange (and red) and that was their Fire Guts God Ginrai toy.  (Powermaster Prime was a human trucker named Ginrai in a mech suit in Japan, not Optimus Prime.)  I own this, because it's friggin' Powermaster Prime in orange.  It's beautiful.

Well, BotCon apparently decided to homage that version of that guy as a redeco of Classics Optimus Prime, for reasons I can't imagine other than to please specifically me.  Let me tell you about this guy.  The photography is worthless.  Whatever color orange he is (same goes with the original), it doesn't photograph.  It's close to that creamsicle Sunstorm orange I love the best, but I can't get Photoshop to make my photos approximate it.  Regardless, it's astoundingly pretty.  There's some chrome involved too, on the truck grill.  It's a fantastic-looking thing.

Ginrai is supposed to be a Knight Commander.  He comes with two guns!  So apparently BotCon wants you to use one of his guns, untransformed, as a shield.  You half-transform his arm so it can peg into the handhole, and then the "shield" points forward from his wrist.  It's clever, and makes him feel a little more Knightish.  Albeit, y'know, a knight with a giant rifle.  

I just want it to be on the record: BotCon, you can redeco anything in these colors and I will buy it.

Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I have finally forced myself to talk about this toy.  I bought First Edition Age of Extinction Optimus Prime more than a month ago, maybe two, and owning it put me into a deep depression.  I'm not being hyperbolic.  This thing made me feel sad inside.  For a few days I had trouble getting things accomplished.  I considered punting it out the front door, but then someone neighbor kid might try to have fun with it and that would be too cruel.  

It's not that the thing is simple and meant for younger children.  That would be fine!  A large simple toy for kids that has a quick-and-easy transformation would be a fun toy, even to me as an adult.  Yeah, you wrap the truck parts around the robot to make the truck.  Yeah, you close the lid on him when you're done like he's sitting inside.  Ha ha, big deal.  No, that's not what made me sad.

What made me sad was that the toy failed at being fun and simple.  It's definitely not complex, it succeeded at that -- but it in no way fits together in truck mode in a way that is intuitive or in a way that doesn't try to break physics.  It wants you to fold both his arms behind his chest.  You can't.  They don't both fit.  You have to use some sort of magic to get them to occupy the same space before you start closing the truck parts around him.  It's not fun.  It's anti-fun.  I check the instructions, I tried the toy again, I check the instructions again to see if I'm missing anything... it was a chore.  It took me 45 minutes to figure it out.  And for a toy that's purposefully simple, that's just not good.  

It's also very large and takes up a lot of space, which is all the more aggravating when it doesn't do what it's supposed to do.  It's like a dishwasher that doesn't work, sitting in the middle of your living room.  It's just there, taunting you.  

Also I hate chrome, and this guy's covered in it.




Posted September 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Orion Pax toy Number Two!  The first one was a redeco of the original Kup, but this new one is his own mold.  It's based on a design for Orion Pax seen in the IDW comics.  It first appeared in just one story, Spotlight: Blurr, and it was designed by Guido Guidi though illustrated by Casey Coller.  However, subsequent appearances of Orion Pax used Optimus Prime's usual pre-Earth design, which is kind of annoying.  It's cool when Optimus Prime gets to have a separate Orion Pax body!  

And so when it came time to release this toy with a comic book, a new story was commissioned featuring Orion Pax receiving this body for a limited time for the sake of a specific mission.  It's kind of hamfisted, but at least some continuity was smoothed out, I guess.  In all honesty, I just wish he was always drawn with this Orion Pax body when he while he was Orion Pax to begin with.

The toy itself is fun -- as fun as an Optimus Prime toy gets to be, anyway.  The windows become the windows, the long-nose part of the cab is formed from somewhere else, this time piling up on his shins, and his arms sort of poke out the back, but are obscured enough that it doesn't look all Energon Optimus Primey.  He comes with both a giant axe and a gun, because why not.  They don't integrate into the vehicle mode, but instead peg in whichever 5mm peghole you choose.  

The toy has a different altmode than Guido originally designed for the robot mode, but that altmode didn't ever  feature in the comic, so I guess that's fine.  

The comic story included is the first of two of these new "Spotlight" issues that feature a very conspicuous Nightbeat.  PRETTY WEIRD HOW HE'S SHOWING UP IN A LOT OF THESE STORIES SUDDENLY, I WONDER ABOUT THAT

Posted February 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

It's just.... this guy is so toyetic, you know???

He's a giant red and blue and silver robot who has a big green translucent sword and like four wings and there are boosters back there too but they can be guns if you want and oh look he also transforms into a friggin' snarled monster of a semi with friggin' bumper claws.  It's the kind of Transformers stuff we'd get before the Movies, when it was decided that everything must look like realistic vehicles.  This toy says eff you, I'm gonna be a claw truck.  Oh, you don't like that my arms just fold behind the cab and are barely covered up by wings barely pretending to be the surface of a trailer?  Well, that's too bad, because I just impaled you.  Honey Optimus don't care.

I dunno.  He's just bulky and extravagant in all the ways I think I needed right now.  He looks like a toy, not carefully-maintained-flagship-character-for-a-toy-franchise-desperate-for-mainstream-legitimacy, and he doesn't apologize for it.  Screw you, my windows are friggin' green.  Yeah, that's right.  Take a picture, it'll last longer.  

(I took several.)

There's gonna be a bigger and more insane version coming out later this year, and we'll probably see photos of it today at Toy Fair if anyone can master the snow, but I couldn't wait.  I wanted this guy, this particular one.  I might want the bigger one, too, I dunno yet.  But I do know that this one was always meant to be mine, and finally is.  He is the one I have been waiting for.  Him and his Beast Wars Transmetally grimace.  He's mad as hell, and he's not gonna faceplate up anymore.

Beasts, you've been warned.
Posted January 20, 2013 at 5:37 pm
Hasbro is spreading their Beast Hunters stuff into the Kre-O line as well.  This set based around Optimus is the only set that's out so far, and it's only been spotted at Meijer.  But I had to have it for Reasons.

Well, Reason.  Finally Hasbro's started giving names to the little human dudes who come with the bigger sets.  Usually they're just "driver" or "pilot" or whatever, but this time the human's named and designed after the kid from Transformers: Energon, Chad "Kicker" Jones.  As were his toys in that toyline, his name is better trademarkable as "Energon Kicker," so there y'go.  Another set that's not out yet comes with "Col. Daniel Witwicky," which is Sparkplug Witwicky's full name and rank in IDW comics.  If they keep on throwing awesome pre-existing human dudes into these sets, I am going to be very pleased and also very poorer.

The rest of the set didn't disappoint, either.  I really feel like these later Kre-O sets are hitting a groove.  The sets from the first year annoyed me as they got more complex.  Even the mid-sized sets built its robots from many strata of thin tiles, and as a result they weren't that fun to put together.  This Beast Hunters Optimus Prime set avoids that without being a pile of specialized bricks.  It feels more efficient and creative.

There was another pleasant surprise: there are two different choices for hands on each wrist.  On older sets, there was just a generic fist-block for hands.  But here, we get slightly rubberized hands molded into various poses.  There's  a sword-holding hand and an open-palm-fingers-splayed hand for the right arm and a clenched fist and pointing finger for the left arm.  This is the damn coolest thing.  I was going to build the truck mode first (it looked cooler) until I saw I had all these hand options.

Even forgetting the hands, the robot mode is a satisfying completed build.  Lots of articulation is built into the robot mode, and not just on the limbs and ball-jointed waist.  Prime's knee-kibble points foward, you can play with his shoulder stuffs similarly, and the winged backpack with working missile launchers can raise up from his back to position over his shoulders.  There's a lot to do.  His sword doesn't come with a scabbard, but that's okay, because this is construction block stuff, so just peg it on his thigh.

His truck mode is neat-looking, too, but it sort of sits in the shadow of the awesome robot mode build.  It was interesting to discover that the trailer is actually mounted on an articulated ball-jointed arm that comes out of the hitch.  The roof is more lightly pegged-in so you can remove it easily to fit a Kreon inside.  And, again, missile launchers and deployable wings.

There's an unnamed dragon dude, too.  He looks kind of like Lazerback, but not quite.

The only thing that bugged me about the set was the stickers.  The sticker boundaries weren't cut very precisely, and so if you have two stickers which are supposed to have symmetric deco, one of them is sometimes a little offset.  It can be a little annoying, especially with the dragon's eyes.  You can line up the boundaries of the stickers themselves so they're symmetrical, but one eye will still look a little dippy as it's wandered across the surface of the sticker.
Posted December 14, 2012 at 12:45 am

Because I can't post about both War for Cybertron and Prime without the same ol' folks always flooding the same ol' stuff, let me quickly distract you with's Jetwing Prime.  I really wanted him just for the safety-orange barrel tips, but not for the $100 he was originally listed at.  But a few days ago Amazon did one of those "drop the price for an hour or two" specials and I got him for $25 off.  Well worth it at that price.  (They seem to have permanently dropped the price since then.)  This guy's a monster.  A monster with safety-orange barrel tips.

The packaging still uses photography of the original Japanese solid gray backpack-and-cannons version.  It looks so boring compared to this.

Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm

The original Masterpiece Optimus Prime is nearing a decade old, released in 2004 as "20th Anniversary Prime."  And since this is Optimus Prime, it's no surprise TakaraTomy's come back again after all this time to do it again.  .... but maybe a little smaller, yes?  The first MP Prime was... kind of huge.  He was clearly designed to be a stand-alone item, without thought to "oh hey i guess maybe we should do some other guys to go with him," forgetting, uh, maybe not everyone wants a range of folks-who-aren't-Optimus-Prime at that huge-ass scale.

So this new MP Prime is smaller, but not dinky by any rate.  He's got some die-cast in him, so he's got a good heft -- but not so much heft that he's constantly in danger of falling over, like the old one was.  The ankles on this guy don't have to support nearly as much.  And New MP Prime has a different transformation and some retooled proportions.  He makes the Old MP Prime look like My Buddy and/or Kid Sister.

(I really need to throw my old MP Prime up on eBay, but I can't find any accessories other than the Energon Axe.  No Matrix, no ion cannon, no nothin'.  Knew I shouldn't have let Zombie Tarantulas keep MP Prime's Matrix for eight years.  Dude totally ganked it.)

New MP Prime does some of the things the old one did, but not all.  His chest doors still open up to reveal the Matrix, of course, and you can still pry it out of there.  He doesn't have some of the smaller things, though.  There's no more wrist communicators in his arms, his mouthplate doesn't do the talky-talky thing, nor do the flaps on the fronts of his legs flare when he steps.  However, his transformation does make room for Spike Witwicky (who's included) to sit inside while Prime's in truck mode.  And, oh my lord,  his truck mode actually has side-view mirrors.  They managed a way to get those to exist.  It makes me happy.

I also like the new range of motion for his head.  It's articulated at the neck plus the neck itself can rotate back and forth, allowing Prime to look up into the air or into his own collarbone.  His fingers are articulated, with a joint at the knuckles for his pinky/ring/middle fingers and one at the knuckles and mid-finger for his index finger.  I do wish his elbows and knees were double-jointed so they could bend over on themselves.  He can't do the Kneeling Big Nooooooo!, which is a tragedy.

TakaraTomy also decided that his legs should awkwardly conceal his leg-wheels, since those disappeared during transformation in the cartoon.  Well, their execution looks dippy, and I like seeing his wheels there, so I've been leaving the concealing flap folded back against the rear of his legs.

Since this Prime is smaller, it's not nearly as incredible an ordeal to give him a trailer.   The Old MP Prime got a trailer (eventually) in Japan, and I bet that thing is stupidly huge.  This one is just small enough to survive the transition to American toy shelves.  Even so, the packaging is still pretty huge.  Grabbing it off the shelf and carrying it to the check-out counter is like toting a giant stereo boombox.  Also, hey, you're going to have to completely tear apart the packaging to get the instructions out.  They buried that sucker deep in the bowels of this thing.  Like the tell-tale heart, the instructions are hidden under the floorboards.

Generally I'm fine when Primes don't have trailers.  The original trailer is just a box.  A box that takes up space.  Looooots of space.  It's a waste of mass.  But I don't absolutely hate this trailer.  For one thing, it hides the back of Optimus Prime's truck mode, which is obviously a pair of robot legs and not the back of an actual truck.  It also does all of the things the original 1984 trailer did, like open into a battlestation or repair bay.  Roller is included, who can also tow the trailer himself if he wants to, while Spike drives.  Unlike the original trailer, this one has spots to stow all of Optimus Prime's extra stuff.  You can nestle his axe and gun in their intended spots.  (The gun also folds in half and stores in Optimus Prime's back as first seen in the Dreamwave comics.  Thanks, Pat Lee.)

If you like Optimus Prime, he's a pretty good thing to have.  He's exclusive to Toys"R"Us, though.  Hopefully his $100 price tag ('cuz of the huge trailer, you see) will mean he won't disappear off the shelves quicker-than-the-eye.

I have some additional photos on my Tumblr.
Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm
No, seriously, I have no idea where they are.  They were in an odd spot in the old house before the move, since they didn't really go with any existing display and there were just four of them, and so now I have no idea where in my basement of bins they would be.  Hrn.

This came up today because I got the new Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime today, and he's a replacement for my old War for Cybertron Prime.  I thought maybe I'd photograph them together or something.  Nope!

If I never find that WFC Prime, it's not a HUGE loss.  I mean, first of all, obviously, he's been replaced.  He's now nonessential.  And gaddangit, I prefer his replacement.  WFC Prime was a mess of parts and it always kinda annoyed me.  It wasn't nearly as aggravating as his contemporary WFC Bumblebee, but Jesus, man.  The new HOC Prime is delightfully simple.  I enjoy him.

He's pretty straightforward to transform.  Like a stereotypical Prime, he folds his arms up against the sides of his chest and his legs fold back behind him.  No surprises.

FOC Prime is the size of a modern Deluxe Class toy.  He's Prime RID Bumblebee's height.  Taller than Cliffjumper, shorter than Wheeljack.  (He's also the same height and mass as Beast Wars Dinobot, if we want a more historical comparison.) But those of you yearning for the sizes of Deluxes of Armada through Cybertron, I think oil prices have kind of ruined that for the mo'.

I'm bringing this guy with me to San Diego Comic-Con.  When I (god willing) get my Bruticus, he'll need someone to stomp into the ground.  At least then his relative smallness will be a feature.
Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:35 am

Man, I'm kind of annoyed with myself that I somehow saved the BotCon toys I like the least for last. I was on a pretty good roll of "Woo"s and "Yay"s, and now we're in this rut where it feels like I hate everything. That's not true! It's just that we're to the stuff I didn't want to talk about immediately.

Shattered Glass Ultra Magnus I'm not unkeen on.  He's a new character!  And he uses the mold's second head that Hasbro hadn't used yet.  It's a translucent skull, because, yo, bad ass.  Reportedly this is an "evil Optimus Prime" noggin that Hasbro would have attached to their eventual Nemesis Prime use of the mold.  It's a pretty villainous head, so it works well for SG Ultra Magnus.  The Diaclone Powered Convoy colors work well here, too.  Red and blue are usually heroic colors, but with their specific hues and with all the black and gray, it comes off as evil enough.

Guess SG Prime shrunk in the wash.

My only complaint is the relative tininess of the toy.  He's plumped up in the comic, because his opposite number is Treadshot, the huge Deluxe Jazz mold.  It feels  uneven.  The smallness is something I complained about with the original use of the mold, and it's relevant with Magnus, too.  But not as relevant as it is with BotCon's other use of this mold.

Geez, Shattered Glass Optimus Prime!  I dunno what BotCon's historical fascination is with upgrading their guys as less impressive toys, but yikes.  SG Prime used to be a Voyager.  A good Voyager!  One of my reluctant favorites of the 2008 set.  He was the centerpiece of my Shattered Glass Autobot shelf.  When I eventually put this new version of him in his old toy's place, you wouldn't even be able to see him.  Bumblebee can see over the top of his head.  It's just not a great upgrade.

Size aside, the toy is decoed marvelously.  There's paint washes everywhere.  But I'd rather his new toy had the presence of the old toy.

Now, Optimus Prime only appeared in the comic as a head on a screen, so my brain hasn't really registered yet that he's this body now.  So I'm probably good to keep the old one on the shelf until he eventually appears in a future story and reminds me.  Let's hope that's a long way off.
Posted February 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm
I didn't get to go to San Diego Comic-Con last year 'cuz I was Moving with a capital M, which was Terrible with a capital T, which meant I didn't get to see this toy for the first time in person. I only had photos to go off of. But I was in love from first sight all the same. And so I counted down the days.  I counted down the days until I'd receive my Transformers: Prime "First Edition" Optimus Prime.

And counted. And counted and counted and counted. And, oh, hey, I guess these aren't ever gonna show up in the United States! WONDERFUL. Well, I'm getting him, dammit, and thanks to Magnus from, I got one shipped from Canada at cost. That cost was still not a good one considering US retail, but I was not gonna not own this guy.

Sure, there's another Voyager ("Robots in Disguise") Optimus Prime in stores that I could readily grab out of the back of any of the fifty billion Targets in the Columbus area, but that's not the Optimus Prime I fell in love with. And I'm sure the RID one's better in some ways. The RID one is better in some ways, in fact! His shoulders actually become the air foil junk on top of the truck. The robot mode windows actually become the truck mode windows. And he's electronic. Those are all very good improvements over the more expensive one I chose. But--

I'd miss the very-important red on the chest. I'd miss the way the truck kibble folds up better on the robot mode back. I'd miss the sword and the gun that mount properly on the arms. I'd miss the general proportions. And I'd miss the toy I fell in love with.

So here I am with the "First Edition" Optimus Prime!  And I do love him.  I don't think I have any complaints.  He is at his core a sized-up version of the Deluxe, the one that came in a wearable Matrix at SDCC.  He transforms nigh-identically.  The hood of the truck folds up over the back of his arms.  His shoulders attach to a pair of fake windows that cover up the real windows.  The air foil splits up to become his heels and folds down over his legs.  Everything else crams onto his torso.  But the Voyager does it so much better, undoubtedly because of his size.  The front wheels don't have to hang uselessly off of his back, instead they fold into his shoulders snugly.  The leftover truck panels can collapse into a smaller space on his back.  The hood halves are more snug against his forearms.  Everything comes out looking way better at this scale.

I will probably put some silver paint on him, however.  Parts of him call out for it.

He comes with two weapons!  One is the gun from the show, but annoyingly in black.  Well, black with obvious silver specks all over it.  He also has his sword, which is equally important.  The sword is cast in very rubbery plastic.  I'm not used to 5mm pegs being so rubbery.  But oh well.  He has the sword, which, again, is important.  And they plug into his hands so they look like they popped out of his wrists, which is, again, important.  The toy readily available in stores just gives him a sword he holds like a sword.  I don't want that crap!

Anyway, now that I overspent on this guy, I fully expect him to show up in Marshall's and TJ Maxx everywhere tomorrow for $15.  Which, really, would be fine by me in the long run, because I want to be able to share my joy with others.

But with this guy, I was leaving nothing to chance.

And I still need to figure out what I'm gonna do about Bulkhead.
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