Transformers Prime Voyager Class Optimus Prime Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Prime, Robots in Disguise, Voyager

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: February 2012
Price Point: $22.99 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Sword, Blaster

Images:

*Images with asterisks* and text in italics below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
It took long years of patient training, battlefield experience, and constant modifications for OPTIMUS PRIME to achieve the raw might with which he combats MEGATRON and the DECEPTICONS. Now, he is a perfect warrior and a courageous leader, against whom evil can never stand.

No DECEPTICON enemy in his right mind will want to mess with this incredible OPTIMUS PRIME figure! This robot-to-vehicle warrior figure has the strength and weapons to prevail in all of your adventures. His glowing battle blaster converts to a cannon in truck mode, so he always has the firepower he needs. Keep converting him from robot mode to truck mode and back, so he can handle whatever his DECEPTICON opponents dish out!

Figure comes with accessory. Includes 2 button-cell batteries. Voyager Class Series 1: 001 OPTIMUS PRIME. Ages 5 and up.

Optimus PrimeFollowing the controversial "First Edition" releases, fans were finally able to get a Voyager Class Optimus Prime figure from "Transformers Prime". This Optimus was not quite as large as the "First Edition" Voyager class Optimus Prime figure, but it was widely available and as part of the "Powerizer" sub-division of Transformers, he includes a light up feature not found on the previous version.

Robot Mode:
Since the comparisons will be inevitable, it's only fair to give some notes on how this version of Prime compares to the "First Edition" version. The Powerizer version is smaller than the "First Edition" figure. Height wise we're talking about a head shorter. If you take into account the proportions, he's also not as bulky as the "First Edition" version. He also does not include the more show accurate weapons included with the "First Edition" version but rather has weapons inspired by the weapons shown on the television show (more details on that in a bit). On this alone I don't think the figure should be dismissed outright just because of these facts. Sadly the reality is now that costs have driven the size of Transformers down overall, but I think given economic realities, what matters more is the quality of the toy design itself.

Optimus Prime's design has all the main design elements fans of "Transformers Prime" have become familiar with. This includes his head design with a long central crest and antennae on the sides. His shoulder armor is curved on top and his chest is wide, leaing to a relatively narrow waist area that then leads to angular, thick lower legs. Smaller details are also seen in this form including smokestacks on his back, layered line and armor designs on his waist and line details sculpted into the panels behind his chest windows. It's a fantastic sculpt I have to say. It isn't as large as the "First Edition", but it looks great and there's a lot of fun detail to look at (including those found on his neck area and forearms). This is definitely not a simple sculpt.

Optimus is cast in red, blue, silver, translucent blue and black plastic. Matching up nicely with the CGI model, the red is largely focused on his upper body while the blue is found on his lower legs and head. The silver plastic forms parts that wind up in between these sections such as his thighs and waist area. The translucent blue plastic comes into play on his chest but also on his forearms. This is tied into his light up gimmick, which involves light from his weapon moving along the forearm to make it look like there is "power" moving through his arm and weapon at the same time. Black is used for the wheels attached to his lower legs. The paint colors used on Prime include silver, black, blue and yellow. Silver is used the most, providing detail to everything for his head to the chest and the lower legs. The black color is mosetly found on his feet, which are cast in silver but painted black. The blue and yellow can be found in his waist area, painting in small details to break up the silver plastic color. Overall it's a fantastic color scheme that looks really nice and pops well. The colors are brighter than the darker "First Edition" figure but it still looks cool. I like the use of translucent colors even though they're not 100% show accurate, but I'm a fan of translucent plastic on figures so your mileage will vary.

There are seventeen points of articulation on this figure. This includes four on each arm and leg. The joints are a combination of ball joints and swivel joints, allowing him a good range of motion. Optimus has six connection points on him that you can attach 5mm weapon pegs to. Two are in front of his head on top of his chest. Another two are found on his forearms and then of course ther eare his hands, which are cast in a semi-open position but still allow you to attach weapons.

Optimus' primary gimmick involves his blaster weapon. It begins curled up, looking almost like a block and then you push the trigger mechanism and it extends with a translucent barrel out in front, bearing a slight resemblance to the blaster he used on the television show. As the weapon transforms, a red light shines from it, moving from the back to the front. At the same time the light tracks along the translucent forearms, simulating the look of power moving along the arm. Conceptually I'm totally behind the idea of power connecting the figure and the weapon. Unfortunately, the actual excecution of this is pretty ugly. The weapon looks like Prime is holding a thin box on his arm and the weapon cannot be locked in its blaster form (which looks good on its own). The result is a pretty useless looking accessory most of the time unless you hold the weapon's trigger down. This was a complaint of mine with many of the "Mech Tech" weapons, but at least they looked like a real weapon in either mode. This just looks like...a really complex, detail filled box. Optimus' other accssory is a sword, inspired by his arm blade weapon seen in the television show. Unlike that sword, this one has two pegs that allow hiim to attach it to his forearm pointing forward or held in his fist like a regular sword. This weapon isn't super exciting but it is successful in evoking the arm weapon.

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:
The robot mode of this figure was pretty accurate to the television show model, so it's no surprise the vehicle mode does a good job of following the CGI model as well. In this form, Optimus is a long nose tractor trailer cab, inspired by the Peterbilt truck used on the live action Transformers films. It's a really sleek dsign thanks to the curves and angles on the front end and wind vane. To borrow a phrase, he looks like was poured, not built in this form. Even better, he is full of sculpted detail from his front grille (which includes a spot for a small Autobot symbol) to the sides, which feature details ranging from windows, to raised circles representing bolts to raised cross hatch patterns. Even his rear section (often neglected on many figures) has some great detailing. Look inside the wheel well and you'll see tubes and pump details and the top of the back section has a hitch complete with a hole in it that could accomodate a trailer should the powers that be ever decide to make one.

All the same plastic colors seen in robot mode appear here, with most of the red parts consolidating in the front and the blue in the back. His wheels are black and many of the smaller details such as the outline around his windshield and the smokestacks are silver. Translucent blue fills in for the windows, but also for his side view mirrors as well, something I thought was a fantastic touch. Surprisingly, while his smokestacks are a softer plastic for safety reasons, they're not the kind of plastic that easily warps, something that will come as a relief to fans who want to store this guy in a bin with other figures.

Silver once again plays a big part in the paint applications, appearing on the front grille in a beautiful brushed metal pattern as well as the windshield area, the sides of the truck and an Autobot symbol on the top of the wind vane. You'll also find silver on the back, coloring the trailer hitch. Offering some brightness in the front is yellow, used to paint the headlights. Overall, it's a very strong but clean paint job. Could there have been more deco? Absolutely. For instance, I'm starting to get bothered a bit by the lack of deco on the wheels (which in the past almost always had some type of silver deco on the sides). However, it looks very clean and not plain at all.

Both of Prime's weapons can be stored in this mode on the back of the cab. There you'll find two holes that fit his weapons on the left and right above the rear wheel wells. His blaster weapon can fit into the hole in the trailer hitch as a sort of rear turret, but it fits more loosely than the other holes. What is nice however is that the blaster has a hole on its side that allows you to attach an additional weapon. The sword also has such a hole, so potentially you could really load up Prime with weapons back there!

Final Thoughts:
Powerizer Optimus Prime himself is a cool toy. He's well sculpted, brightly colored, looks strong and imposing in both forms and has cool posability. The primary problem with the figure is in its gimmick. The whole point of the "Powerizer" is the light source moving across a translucent part of the figure into a stunning weapon. It succeeds on the first point, but falls completely flat on the second. The sword weapon is nicely sculpted, but not the most exciting thing in the world. I'd say if you can get this guy for about $20 and don't intend to get any other larger scale "Transformers Prime" Optimus figure, then this is the guy for you. However some stores began selling this guy at $26.99 when he was first released and I really don't think he's worth that! Recommended but with reservations.