Transformers Prime Dark Energon Optimus Prime Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Bigbadtoystore, Prime, Voyager, Dark Energon

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: January 2013
Price Point: $29.99
Retailer: Bigbadtoystore & Toys R Us Asia exclusives
Accessories: Blaster, Sword


Dark Energon Summary and official pictures above from Bigbadtoystore:
Each of these translucent figures is the result of exposure to Dark Energon, which twists the mind and powers the body, eventually corrupting and destroying the user. With the Decepticons trying to use the Dark Energon to take over earth, Optimus Prime and the other Autobots are forced to expose themselves to it, so that they are able to take on the Decepticons on their own terms. Will they be able to defeat Megatron and his crew in time for Ratchet to reverse the process, flush the Dark Energon from their systems and save them from a horrid fate?

Optimus PrimeThe "Dark Energon" exclusive line of figures began with Deluxe sized figures, but two Voyager Class figures were released as well. One of these was Optimus Prime, which not only featured a redeco of the character like the other "Dark Energon" figures but also a retool! This figure is based on the "Powerizer" Voyager Class version of the character. Check that review out to see a more detailed look of the base figure itself. This review will focus on the changes made for this release.

Robot Mode:
From my previous reviews of this "sub-line", you'll see that the designers have done a nice job of taking colors not necesarily found on the original figure and mixing it up with translucent plastic to create visually striking decos. Optimus Prime is no exception. His new plastic colors are black, metallic blue, translucent orange and translucent red. This may not seem like the most obvious of color combinations, but for the most part these are variants on colors often associated with Optimus Prime. The orange is more often associated with the character of Rodimus Prime, but here it works brilliantly. The translucent colors make up most of the arms, chest and back armor. The orange color practically glows against the red. It looks fantastic and I confess it does evoke the "Rodimus Prime" vibe a bit.

The rest of the figure is made up of the metallic blue and black colors, which look great. The black makes up a good portion of the section from under his chest down to the thighs. It's also found on his arms and fists. Interestingly much of the black plastic has a "matte" finish to it that gives it some really nice texture. This is a nice contrast against the smooth translucent and metallic blue plastics. There was some real nice thought given to the plastic colors and distribution.

Paint colors on this figure include silver, dark blue, gold, silver and red. It's actually quite surprising how little deco there is on the figure, yet somehow it looks great. The silver is used on his mid-body area, the outline of his chest and the face. The dark blue is used on lines on the top of the "helmet" section. The other colors are all in the same spot: his left shoulder armor. There you'll find the Autobot "Dark Energon" shield symbol with a gold shield and an Autobot symbol in red and silver on top. That's it for the decos, but there's so much prettiness to look at I think he looks great as is.

Optimus Prime features a new head sculpt. It's basically the same as the previous head, but instead of his "mouthplate", it shows his mouth set in a grim expression. This is often shown on the television show so it's great to have a figure that features the design. It looks great and the use of translucent orange plastic for light piping on the eyes gives him a particularly fierce appearance!

Optimus has the same weapons as the first release of this figure. The sword is cast in metallic blue and it's basically a shrunken down version of the Star Saber. His other weapon is a blaster which "transforms" similar to a Mech Tech weapon. Push the top tab back and the barrel extends out. Sadly it doesn't lock in place. It's a cool looking weapon when transformed, just not bundled up like a big block of parts.

All of Optimus' parts are nice and tight except his right elbow hinge, which is looser than the left. It can still hold weapons and stay up, but you can feel the difference. I'm not sure if this is just my copy of the toy or a line wide issue. The blaster weapon still works nicely with the light activating once transformed. All the various pegs and holes for 5mm post weapons hold weapons securely so no issues there at all.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Pull the chest panel out and swing it down.
  2. Swing the robot head down, revealing the vehicle mode grille.
  3. Move the robot feet into the insides of the lower legs.
  4. Connect the two legs together.
  5. Swing the armor piece over each lower leg up.
  6. Swing each fist up.
  7. Swing each arm back at the shoulder joint.
  8. Adjust the forearms so they form the front of the vehicle.
  9. Move the front wheel wells on the sides up, this allows the clearance for the arms in the last step to fully come together.
  10. On each shoulder armor piece, swing the small crescent shaped piece down, then connect the two together to form the wind vane.
  11. Swing the wind vane down over the top of the chest piece.
  12. Swing up the side sections that have smokestacks on them.
  13. Swing the robot legs up to form the rear of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
In this form Optimus Prime shows off a much more traditional color breakdown for the character. Much of the translucent red plastic winds up in the front and middle of the vehicle. The metallic blue forms the back and smokestacks. Black is found on the top of the windshield, the wheels, the sides and the back. Overall the three colors work together well. The translucent colors add a really nice other-worldly appearance to the vehicle while the metallic colors just draw the eyes in. The black serves as a bold contrast against all the other colors and really grounds the whole thing visually. I also love the way the translucent red allows you to see a lot of the lines sculpted into the plastic, making it look like you're getting a look into Optimus Prime's internal systems.

This mode features four key paint deco areas. The first is the area around the windshield windows which are painted silver. This includes his sideview mirrors. Then the headlights are painted yellow, which is a great color to go with the translucent red. The middle of the grille section has a small red Autobot symbol, but perhaps the biggest detail on the whole figure is an Autobot "Dark Energon" shield design on the hood. This design has a huge gold shield design with a big Autobot symbol on top done in red with a white outline. It's very striking and really grabs your attention. The only one wish I had (and you know I was going to say this) is that the wheels had been painted along the sides. Without decos, not only do some of the sculpted details get lost, but also it looks "unfinished". That however is my biggest criticism of the colors.

All of the vehicle's functionality is intact including the holes on the back that allows you to attach the weapons. They still fit snug without a problem.

Final Thoughts:
I really like the deco on this figure. Add to that the new face sculpt and you have a figure that's more than worthy of being added to any Transformers collection. It's not a perfect figure. I wish there were a couple more decos and that the blaster weapon could lock in blaster mode, but otherwise this figure is recommended!