Dark of the Moon Robo Power Fighter Optimus Prime

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Revenge of the Fallen, Robo Fighter, Robo Power

Dark of the Moon

Robo Power

General Information:
Release Date: May 2011
Price Point: $9.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text in italics from The Official Transformers web site:
OPTIMUS PRIME is the mighty leader of the AUTOBOTS. With his powerful weapons and invincible armor, not even the toughest DECEPTICONS can defeat him! With that unflinching glare and steely determination, this bot is ready to obliterate the enemy DECEPTICONS.

This most revered AUTOBOT hero is always primed for battle –and armed for DECEPTICON destruction! Your OPTIMUS PRIME figure has hidden weapons that appear with a simple shift of his armor! As you slide his shield into place, canons pop up from his shoulders. Product does not convert. Ages 4 and up.

Recent Transfoers lines have been released with sub-lines of figures targeted at much younger audiences. The idea is to create figures that kids who may not be 100% ready for transfoation play, but still want representations of their favorite cartoon or movie characters that have some action feature. The last couple of Transfoers lines have created non-transfoing figures on large scales that had a variety of features including lights and sounds. The "Robot Power Fighters" is a scaled down version of this play pattern. Instead of lights and sounds, pulling on a part of the figure reveals weaponry, resulting in a partial transfoation. Keep in mind as you read this review that it's very much being reviewed on its own merits and not being compared to figures such as Topspin or even Commander Class Megatron.

Optimus Prime is generally trotted out as one of the headline characters for any sub-line of Transfoers, and this figure represents Optimus Prime in all his movie glory. Before I come off sounding like any sort of hater (which long time readers will know I'm virtually the opposite of) I'm going to chat a bit about what I do like about this figure. First, the sculpt is fantastic. There is a ton of detail on this figure. I could bore you for paragraphs about it, but suffice it to say that details large and small are covered here. You have his chest with its overlapping windows on top but smaller tube shaped details all coming together underneath. His hip area has aor panels and tubes galore and his as have the layered musculature look from the films. Even the blade deployed on his right a is huge (reaching down to his ankle) with several layers of designs sculpted into it. His head sculpt is also nicely done with the battle mask up (thank goodness) and a very sleek design with his antennae set back at a slight angle.

Optimus is cast in silver and red plastic. The silver plastic makes up most of the figure, which surprised me at first, but later it made sense (more on that in a bit). The red plastic is used for his chest panel that slides down to reveal his additional weaponry. Everything else is painted using a combination of red, blue, orange, black and silver plastic. In this sense I'm impressed as the paint job is very thorough, painting details such as the wheels on his legs and feet and recreating the flames on key parts such as his chest and legs. His eyes are painted light blue, but what impresses me is that only the center is painted, and these are the sections that represent the "eyeballs". His blade is colored orange (as are some of the weapons revealed later).

The primary bit of functionality on this figure is on the chest. Slide the Autobot symbol panel down and the tubes on either side of his head lift up along with the panels on the sides. The chest panel also opens up. This reveals twenty eight tubes of weaponry (be they rockets, missiles or blasters, you decide). This is very cool and I think it looks fantastic (and would certainly look cool on the big screen). In many ways, it mimics the way Transfoers in the movie universe are seemingly able to turn several parts of their body into weapons.

So, what's not so great? Well, pretty much everything else. Prime basically has four points of articulation: his as, which can move up and down and joints at the hips, that's it. By today's toy standards, he's basically a statue. With the larger Robo Power toys this was a bit more acceptable as they had a bevy of other features to make up for the lack of articulation including lights, sounds, extending fists etc. Here we have one gimmick with weapons appearing and that's pretty much it. I think part of me is just bothered that he doesn't even have head articulation (which I've noticed some of the other Robo Power Fighters do). If he had that, I think I'd be feeling a lot more satisfied with the figure, it just feels like a corner that was cut unnecessarily.

Final Thoughts:
With Robo Power Optimus Prime, you're essentially getting a semi-articulated statue with one gimmick. I grant that actually beats out some figures from say, Generation One, but Transformers have come a long way and past toys have proven they can do more than this. I think I'd be a bit less harsh on this figure if it was a lower price point, but at $9.99 I would have hoped for more than this figure offers. Not recommended.