Transformers Movie (2007) Protoform Optimus Prime Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action<br />
Movie

General Information:
Release Year: April 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Flame, Gun

Images:

*Image from the official Transformers web site.

Tech Specs:
Summoned by a signal from one of his bravest warriors, Optimus Prime thunders down through the space above Earth and races into battle, his Protoform body tracing a feiry path across the sky. Most powerful among the Autobots, he is dedicated to the recoevery of the Allspark and the protection of both the humans on Earth and his own people back on Cybertron. Scanning an Earth truck, he morphs into a form that will allow him to hide until the time comes to enter battle against Megatron!

Strength: 10  Intelligence: 10  Speed:Endurance: 10
Rank: 10  Courage: 10  Firepower: 10  Skill: 9


Packaging:
Protoform Optimus Prime is blister carded. The design of the packaging is clearly meant to evoke the darker, more realistic look of the movie. Instead of bright colors and smooth graphics, the brushed steel Transformers logo from the movie is on top of a partial Autobot symbol with Allspark glyphs inside of it. There is no other sub-line such as "Robots in Disguise", the "Transformers" logo is supposed to say it all. Around the edges of the bubble on the inside is a strip of cardboard with tech details on it that evoke the "Entry Mode" of the Transformer inside. The back of the packaging has the character's tech spec and cosells Starscream's Protoform figure. The card is not just glued onto the front of the cardboard. The top edge is glued but then it wraps around to the back on the sides where it is taped to the card, similar to many Japanese style releases in Galaxy Force. Overall, it is very striking packaging and will definitely stand out in the toy aisles.

Robot Mode:
Since this is the general public's first look at the "new" Optimus Prime on toy store shelves, it is appropriate that we get to see him in his most "raw" form. Unlike Beast Wars or Robots in Disguise, Protoforms in the movie universe are functional robots with fully functional personalities. They simply lack a true disguise form. Instead, Prime's alternate mode is just an "Entry" mode, a comet form of sorts that allows him to enter the atmosphere of a planet unharmed. Essentially this makes him a type of shellformer, so the designers were free to throw a lot of details into the robot form.

There are several details on this figure that pay homage to the classic Optimus Prime image. The first is the robot head. Although it is extremely stylized, he has the familiar single crest shape with a mouth plate, a rim over the eyes and flaps on the side of his head (instead of the better known antennae). His chest has two angled details that look like truck windows, and in the very center of his chest is a round design with lines coming out the sides that evokes the Matrix of Leadership. The section right under the "truck windows" has a series of horizontal lines running in a rough U shape. These look like a stylized grille from a futuristic truck, again fitting with the Optimus theme.

All the other details on this figure are quite generic, and could go with any Transformer "Protoform" out there. The arms have a triangular, angled shape to them with line details and tube like sections running across them. His lower arms have armor over the forearms with some really nice layered detail. There are tubes, cut lines, angled sections and raised sections that really give a good idea of the aesthetic the movie is using for the Transformers. The legs are very humanoid looking, with curves even on the parts that have angled sections. On the lower parts are several layers of curved lines that look almost like muscle. His feet are rather interesting. They actually look like a monkey's foot, with four "toes" in front and a "thumb" in back. Each "toe" has details going from the center of the foot to the toe. This is unusual, but it does jive with the generic humanoid look of the Protoform robot form.

Optimus is mostly cast in silver and black plastic. Translucent orange plastic is used for the eyes. The silver is used for most of the body whereas the black makes up smaller parts such as his upper arms and hands. Silver paint is used on several sections including the head, shoulders, feet and chest to highlight sculpted details. Red paint is used on smaller details such as rounded light sections on his shoulders and rectangles on his legs. Black paint is used for sections on his waist and legs. The windows on his chest are painted blue. Combined with the silver and tiny red colors, he has the traditional Optimus Prime colors, albeit not in abundance.

Optimus Prime carries a rifle cast in black and silver. Its sculpt is similar to him, fluid with lots of curves along with angles. His "flame" can attach to the barrel to look like he is firing his weapon. The flame itself is cast in translucent orange plastic with gold paint at the end.

Optimus has seventeen points of articulation in this form. These are all in meaningful places too including waist, wrist and foot articulation. Thanks in part to his very humanoid form, he is able to strike a variety of poses with ease.

Transformation to Entry Mode:

  1. Detach his weapon and detach the flame. Fold the barrel and end in.
  2. Point the robot feet down, and turn them to the sides.
  3. Attach the two legs together at the lower legs and feet.
  4. Rotate the upper body around.
  5. Swing the panel on his back up, and then swing down the black panel in the middle.
  6. Swing the robot head down, and fold the flap with the Autobot symbol on top of it.
  7. Swing each arm up out to the sides, then rotate the shoulders forward and swing the arms back.
  8. Attach the gun to the underside of the flap that was on the back.
  9. Swing the leg sections up, connecting the section with the feet to the tab on the panel that forms the top of the entry mode.
  10. Swing the panels on the shoulders forward.
  11. Swing the panels on the robot legs forward, then swing the panels on the front back to connect to them.
  12. The flame piece can be attached to the "tail" for a "trail effect"

Entry Mode:
The Entry Mode is basically a comet shaped form that includes the tail as part of the overall body form. The front is rounded with the back coming to a point. While most of the details in this form can be seen in the robot mode (from a front and side view), seeing them all consolidated together like this really brings home how well sculpted this piece is. The only real "new" bunch of details revealed are on the top and front of the vehicle. The very front has a panel with a grille in the center and "headlights" on either side - again references to Optimus Prime's iconic truck mode. Other new details are found on the top section. At the front is a sculpted Autobot symbol which then leads back to several layers of detail running to the tail. Near the tail is a very intricately detailed section with tons of tiny triangles and shapes. On the side panels near the front there is a lot of cross hatching detail as well. Overall I love how intricate this looks even in such an unconventional form.

While essentially based on a comet, there are still strong "truck elements" on this mode. Aside from the aforementioned grille and headlights, the windows from Prime's robot chest are now right where windows would be on a truck towards the front. Also, the lower section on each side has two oval sections colored black that look like truck wheels (although in reality he rolls on three smaller wheels on the underside of the entry mode). This makes him look a lot less generic and adds a bit more "Optimus" character to him.

Final Thoughts:
It sounds like an odd comment, but this Protoform figure (to some degree) brings Transformers up to the Star Wars level of stature with toys. Often Star Wars figures get every last character a figure, even if they just appear in the background for a minute (or less). We know from the movie trailer that there will be one of these "Entry Modes" in the movie, so it's cool to have a chance to get this "version" of Optimus. It does lack the appeal of having a true vehicle/alternate mode, but the posability and detail level make up for that in my book. Recommended.