Transformers Classics (Pepsi Optimus Prime Review)

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Botcon, Classics, Generation One

Classics

General Information:
Release Year: June 2007
Retailer: Hasbrotoyshop and Botcon 2007 exclusive
Price: $24.99
Accessories: Fists x 2, Rifle, Trailer

Images:

Tech Specs:
Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
It is of paramount importance to OPTIMUS PRIME that his mission and the presence of the AUTOBOTS on Earth remain a secret. Part of maintaining that secret is changing his disguise from time to time, though never so drastically that he has to get used to a whole new vehicle mode. This new disguise helps keep him incognito, hiding his presence from the DECEPTICONS and allowing him to plan their defeat without interruption. As an added bonus, this disguise, like some of his past ones, lets him hook up his fellow AUTOBOTS with some free Earth delicacies they rarely get to enjoy.

Strength: 10 Intelligence: 10 Speed: 6 Endurance: 10 Rank: 10 Courage: 10 Fireblast: 8 Skill: 10

2007 is a huge year for the Transformers. The feature film has opened up the Transformers to tons of cross promotion with various products including GM motor vehicles, Burger King meals and Pepsi company soft drinks. Pepsi and Transformers actually have a long history. During the Generation One era, Optimus Prime was released in a limited edition with an additional Pepsi logo sticker that could be put on his trailer. This "Pepsi" Prime has been known to command well over $350 on the secondary market over the years and it has become increasingly difficult to find. In 2005, Takara created a new Pepsi Optimus Prime (aka Pepsi Convoy) that was released in a limited edition. Now two years later Hasbro has decided to issue their own release of this cross promotional Transformer.

This Pepsi Optimus Prime is not a reissue of that original figure, but rather it is a 21st century update in the spirit of that figure. The base figure for this release is the 2002 Commemorative Edition Optimus Prime originally released as a Toys R Us exclusive. Check out that review (and the other Prime/Convoy reviews on this site) for a detailed look at the figure. This will cover the changes made to the figure for this release. *Note: as this site is restored the G1 Optimus Prime reviews will be added back on.

Packaging:
While technically a Generation One figure, Pepsi Optimus Prime's palcement in the Classics section primarily comes from the look of his packaging (and lack of any other label). The packaging utilizes the orange/red shading of the Classics packaging along with the squared off "Transformers" logo that harkens back to the logo of the original series of figures. The figure is packaged in vehicle mode in a window box. There are some G1 elements on the packaging as well in the form of a blue grid against a dark blue background with light blue stars. Running along the bottom of the packaging is a prominant Pepsi logo with original artwork above it depicting Optimus Prime with a look that crosses his animated series look and toy form along with Pepsi details such as the logo on his left shoulder. The back shows the figure in both forms and has a tech spec also formatted in the "Classics" style format.

Pepsi Optimus Prime includes instructions and a sticker sheet. The sticker sheet includes two stickers for his arms (see robot mode section below), two large Pepsi logo stickers (similar to the ones from the original Pepsi Optimus Prime) and a large Autobot symbol sticker. There really isn't a place for the others although I would conjecture the idea is to give you stickers to use on any original Primes you may have to create a "G1 Pepsi Prime".

Vehicle Mode:
The front cab is the primary piece used from the Commemorative edition Optimus Prime. The primary distinction from any other release of this figure are the shortened smokestacks, a step taken to facilitate the release of this figure with today's modern day safety standards. All the die cast metal and rubber wheels have been kept intact. This makes sense since creating plastic versions of the die cast metal parts would actually require creation of all new tools to accomodate the plastic in place of die cast. You will also find the middle of the front wheels extends out a bit further than the original G1 Optimus Prime's did. This is a hold over from the reissue using the basic cab from the Ultra Magnus sculpt to allow the same front cab to be used for both Prime and Magnus reissues.

The primary plastic colors are red and blue. Several parts such as the front grille, smokestacks, fender and the fuel tanks on the sides are vacuum metallized silver. The red die cast piece is colored to match the red, a shade like the original figure and previous reissues. The blue that makes up the rear of the vehicle is different however, consisting of a metallic flake blue color that is lighter than the blue parts on previous releases of Prime. Paint details utilize the standard red, white and blue Pepsi colors. Simulating the silver stripes on the G1 Prime figure, there are white lines that start in the middle of the front of the vehicle and go to the side where they form the "wave" taken from the Pepsi logo. Underneath that is metallic blue paint that also starts in the front and leads to the back of the cab's front section. On the right side is an Autobot symbol painted onto the side, an interesting detail since this has traditionally been done with a sticker. I am happy they did this since the small circular bumps simulating bolts often made placement of a sticker look a bit ugly on the shoulder. With the thick white outline Autobot symbol, it looks a lot more natural. On the left side is a Pepsi logo with the Pepsi "globe" and the word Pepsi underneath. Looking at the cab from the front you'll find a Pepsi logo (sans globe) in the license plate area which is notable since that section is often left blank.

The trailer is almost a completely original piece. If you look at the underside it uses the base of the G1 trailer complete with the rubber tires and the two support base pieces that swing out to suppor the sides of the original base in its headquarters mode. The top section of the original trailer has been replaced with a light grey plastic piece that is basically a flat piece with four curved pylons (two on either side). That said, there is quite a bit of detail on the trailer. The pylons themselves have raised rectangular details horizontally placed on the base. The flatbed section itself has several circular details and an eight sided raised piece in the center. The idea of these sections are to allow you to place Pepsi products onto the trailer. If you want to lay a Pepsi bottle down, you can do this by putting it down horizontally. The four pylongs have plastic grips on the inside that grip onto the bottle tightly. Only have canned Pepsi product? No problem, the trailer accomodates three cans standing up on the trailer. In another feature that is not documented, the trailer can also store a series of special Transformers bottlecaps released in Japan in 2005. They would normally fit into the smaller circles on each of the three sections of the flatbed. Another nice sculpted detail can be found in the rear where there are two tail lights and a rectangle in the middle for a license plate (it isn't painted or tampographed).

The trailer is cast in grey plastic for the flatbed section and metallic blue and flat black for the underside. The outer edge of each pylon has a sticker with a white background, the Pepsi logo running vertically with the Pepsi globe on top.

The trailer is of course half the fun of this figure and I have to admit it is really neat how the trailer serves a dual (technically three) purpose while still looking somewhat "tech" and not completely ridiculous. The amount of detail worked into the trailer's sculpt is very much appreciated and shows some care was put into this somewhat off beat product. I think it's also great that three holes were put onto the underside of the trailer to hold the accessories (the two fists and rifle) when Prime is in vehicle mode.

Robot Mode:
Optimus Prime's robot mode continues to use the "Pepsi wave" stylings. From the vehicle mode's front section, you'll find the wave going from his torso to the arms in an almost continuous wavy line that looks really cool. Two stickers were provided for the forearms, replacing the tech detail stickers from previous releases. This sticker is blue with two white streaks going across at angles, simulating the look of part of the Pepsi logo.

The legs also have more stylings from the Pepsi wve. The knees have red and white wavey lines going from left to right. Similar details can be found on the front of his feet as well. The detail that surprised me the most is found on Optimus' head. On either side are circles that lead to his antennae. I really have to admit I laughed (and was impressed) by this all at the same time.

The blue parts on this mode are cast in the same metallic blue color as the rear of the cab's vehicle mode. These parts include the fists, the robot head and the legs. Silver paint is used for the crest, mouthplate and the horizontal vent patterns on the legs (notable as this is not a detail often painted in on past G1 Prime toys). Yellow paint is used for the eyes, keeping in line with the look of the G1 figure.

For those curious, the robot fists are the same tooling from the Commemorative edition with the raised sections in the holes lower than those found on the Japanese releases. Originally these parts were raised to accomodate the rather short post on the rifle included with most Convoy releases. However, some hard core fans will remember that once upon a time, the Diaclone figure Optimus Prime was based on actually came with a different rifle that had a thicker end and a longer post. Instead of the standard rifle included with the Commemorative edition, this Prime includes the rifle with the longer post/handle, allowing the fists to hold it without a problem. I think it was a very smart choice to include this rifle since it fits better and it was not released in the US in the previous release.

Final Thoughts:
Pepsi Prime is a wonderfully ridiculous Transformers toy. It's an unexpected release and its initial price was more than reasonable for an exclusive. The thing to note is that as of roughly a month after its release at Botcon this item is sold out on Hasbrotoyshop.com and is going for roughly $40 or so on ebay (average). If you dig the concept of this piece enough to spend that money, I definitely recommend it, but it's not for everyone. I personally love it and think it's a really nice looking piece to boot.