Thursday, August 4, 2011

SDCC exclusive TF Prime- Optimus Prime Deluxe review

Haven't done a transformers figure review before and wasn't originally planning to, but these arrived at work earlier this week(benefits of working in a comic shop??) and I figured I should jump at an opportunity to get my hands on some SDCC exclusives. We'll be looking at the SDCC exclusive- Transformers Prime: first edition optimus prime deluxe figure. A few things to cover about packaging, and very cool packaging it is.
The packaging is large and would take up 2 units of space on a store peg. Quite the large box for only a deluxe figure. What else could possibly be in there...
Binding our main means of access to the inner package is a very nice and large magnet with the autobot emblem centered, along with the show name and Optimus prime printed on it as well. The silver embossed letters are a nice touch. Very eye-catching. Background is what seems to be a blue energy covered spread with lightning on the sides. Its not necessary, but its a nice little extra.
With the magnet now out of the way, we see the box front is actually optimus prime's chest windows. Just what is in there??
Of course, you gotta have you exclusive SDCC sticker somewhere to officialize it.
The back of the box packaging is prime posed with a stylized matrix not yet seen before. Prime's shown with the matrix held above himself similar to how Hot Rod did in the 1987 animated film. The quote above prime is also from the 1987 film as well. NOW, onto the inside!
Inside of Prime's "window" package is none other than the matrix! HOLY...if that's not some attention to design and detail for just the packaging, I don't know what is(we haven't even got to the figure and something this cool already??)
Now that the dramatic reveal is done, lets take a look at inside some more. Here, we see more of that blue energy with lightning background on the inside as well. My guess is that its energon or something along those lines that this design is supposed to represent. Very cool and very fitting if it is.
On the left inner tab, we see a spread with our main autobot cast with the decepticons in the back, looking ominous and sinister as always. Here on this tab, we get the setup for the story thus far and essentially the setup for the series itself. With the inclusion of dark energon from war from Cybertron, it seems TF: prime has influences from G1, Michael Bay's Transformers, and War from Cybertron. Certainly plenty of material to use for a robust story to enjoy, isn't it?
On the right inner tab, we see the same used pic of prime from the back of the box packaging once again, this time with a quick bio print about Optimus Prime and how he came to possess the matrix.
Onto the "second" phase of packaging, we have the deluxe prime figure in a plastic clam shell designed as the matrix. It also has Velcro straps so you can wear the matrix around your neck.
Or you can of course, remove the straps so you can display your prime figure on your shelf still in its display-friendly matrix, completely able to stand upright on its own. Nice touch.
The back of the "matrix" shows the same reused prime image once again and what seems to be a gunmetal rear insert.
Prime is on a separate tray held by the new Hasbro eco friendly cardboard twisty ties. the clam shell only has a few plastic tabs and sections taped so removing the tray is quick and painless. It also means that you can also reseal the clam shell easily for a sorta wannabe matrix replica. Without the prime figure, you can see the energy core inside the matrix which gives off a nice effect. The front inserts include multiple inserts for gold trims as well as more gunmetal pieces.

Even if this is just hollow packaging and cardboard inserts, this is a pretty nice and cool looking matrix. you can hold the handles, you wear in on your person if you reattach the straps. The only thing that could have been done left is to include even more specific plastic tray construction for a 2 piece splitting outer matrix to access the prime figure inside. If that happened, I would probably have a TF fanatical meltdown or something, followed by instant plans to fabricate an LED matrix core to turn it all into a real functioning replica. Anyways, enough of my delusions of packaging grandeur, onto the figure!
Optimus normally comes already in his robot mode, but for the review- we'll start with his vehicle mode first. No longer the old mac 10 box cab design of G1, Optimus takes on his usual truck form, but more closer to the design of Bayformers Optimus instead. Though, technically- Bay wasn't the first to put prime in this particular truck design. Optimus had this form for his G2 design, aka Laser Optimus Prime and in later redeco/incarnations in other media, Scourage, aka Nemesis Prime. Despite the design choice, this is definitely and instantly recognized as a G1 inspired paint scheme.

The molding has lots of little details without being overbearing, such as rivets, diamond cross paneling,etc. due to the mold and since this was a first edition prime, I kinda hoped for a more extravagant paint scheme. There's silver paint on this figure, but there's also lots of bare grey plastic. Tsk tsk, Hasbro. Silver on hubcaps, fender panels, headlights, and above the windshield. That's it. Grill and smokestacks are bare grey along with other little spots. Asides from that, not much to say about this vehicle mode, its straight to point, rolls well, could have more paint apps, and looks overall like a good representation of the CG model.
For size comparisons, we'll use the War for Cybertron Optimus deluxe figure.
Both have a nice metallic red on both figures, while the blues on WFC prime appears to be darker. TF Prime- Optimus is taller in vehicle mode, despite Hasbro cutting back on plastic costs and making their figures smaller these days.
However, it seems that WFC optimus has a bit more length on the TF prime Optimus. Not sure how in scale these figures are so these figures could be accurate to their proper sizes or be off as they are from 2 separate continuities. With that done, onto Robot mode.
In robot mode, Optimus has a tall and lean composure, showing G1 colors, with hints of Bayformers Optimus design throughout the figure from the head sculpt to how similar his backpack appears to look similar to Bayformers Optimus(at least to the toy model, not so much for the actual TF Prime CG model).With much more exposed grey, this is where I would've preferred more paint work on the figure. Like the Vehicle mode, detailed, but still streamlined as not to clutter the "flow" of the overall design.
Nothing too notable about Optimus' articulation. Pretty standard stuff.
Optimus doesn't have many joints, but most of them work well for him. Note that I said most, not all. His shoulder joints has great range and motion and even has a secondary swivel joint in the actual shoulder armor for transformation/range, BUT the base of the shoulder to torso joint is not centered. Whats that mean? It means Optimus looks great standing in a calm static pose with his arms to his side. Rotating the arm up for any pose(shooting,etc) leaves Optimus looking like he has a broken shoulder or very bad drooping shoulders. Hardly fitting for the leader of the Autobots, right?
That said, Optimus is still very capable of accomplishing some poses and his legs have a great balance to them, especially the foot/ankle joints. they're able to allow wide leg poses and give enough support for even one legged poses. If only the arms were this awesome...
Optimus doesn't come with many accessories, just one. His buster cannon. It doesn't shoot, or have any gimmicks.
This isn't a bad thing though. Accessories don't have to have gimmicks; they just have to enhance the figure and the buster cannon does just that.
Even with Optimus' shoulder "problems", he's able to still look cool and impressive with the addition of his trusty buster cannon. I would've loved 2 cannons, and include a blade(or 2), or even a photon rifle, but this IS a deluxe so one accessory can be acceptable. I suppose...
That said, since the cannon is essentially just a piece of molded plastic, I would've like to have seen more paint apps on here as well. The cannon is bare gray plastic with some energon blue and gunmetal.
For size comparisons, we see Optimus is tauting Bucky Capt. with a high five and Bucky doesn't seem to be havin it. Prime in his Robot mode seems to fall closer to the 7 and a half inch height, so he's a bit taller than some 6 inch scale transformers.
So Overall, how does this Optimus stack up? Is he "prime?" In my honest opinion-I've seen better prime figures. Not to say that this figure is crap or anything, but the cons against it are kinda important.


-For figures, using less plastic and made smaller, you would think some sort compensation would counter balance the quality. Like paint apps. Overall, this figure feels like its been cheated out of some much warranted paint work, even for a deluxe.

- The shoulder joint issue really kills the pose options and look.

- since a non-gimmick accessory was included, another inclusion would have been nice considering the usage of weapons shown in source material.


- for a deluxe, it does well to represent the CG model in a small scale

- Has all the usual staple of joints most figures these day, should have.

-transformation is fun,simple, with a bit of precision needed to not mess things up.

-Packaging is simply amazing. Any TF fan could appreciate the work put into such a nice little presentation.


A decent figure. Not horrid, but definitely not a must pick up. It feels as if this figure's been cheated out of something. more paint. more weapons. better joint placement. SOMETHING. ANYTHING. The biggest and quickest fix would be the shoulders. That's definitely a buy killer. SDCC packaging is great, but unless you really dig that packaging and will be satisfied with paying essentially for just that, I say pass or wait on this figure. That, or wait on the voyager mold which looks to potentially be simply amazing. That's been my thoughts on it at least. Thanks for viewing.