"The Last Knight" Legion Class Optimus Prime Toy Review
Release Date: April 28, 2017 (Official Street Date)
Price Point: $6.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official photos above and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
The explosive Transformers saga continues with Transformers: The Last Knight. With the fate of Earth at stake, new heroes must rise in an epic struggle to forge a future for all. Transformers: The Last Knight Legion Class figures are smaller-scale figures that feature classic Transformers conversion. Change this Legion Class Optimus Prime figure between robot and truck mode in 5 steps. Collect other Legion Class figures and unite with the most powerful Transformers warriors. (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.) Optimus Prime fights for the freedom of all sentient beings. With a mighty sword and superior battle skills, he valiantly confronts Decepticons who dare to attack Earth. Now he must travel to deep space on a quest that will put him to the ultimate test. Join the mission and imagine battling treacherous forces with the legendary Autobot leader. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
Once upon a time the Legion Class was a very robust part of the movie toy lines. However over the years it has largely been relegated to the "Robots in Disguise" line. "Age of Extinction" only had a few Legion Class figures, a couple of which were exclusive to Wal-Mart. This time out, Hasbro has made the Legion Class a part of the regular toy line.
Optimus Prime is a key figure in "The Last Knight", but this figure is actually a blast from the past (and does not actually represent Optimus as he appears in "The Last Knight". In what I interpret as a money saving move, this figure is a redeco of the Legends Class Optimus Prime "Revenge of the Fallen". It was used a few more times after that release as recently as 2014 for "Age of Extinction" as a Walmart exclusive. Check out my "Revenge of the Fallen" review for a detailed look at the figure. This review will cover the changes made to the figure for this release.
The Legion Class packaging for "The Last Knight" is different than the Legion Class packaging for "Robots in Disguise". Instead of the figure being set on a plastic tray against a card, this is more traditional. The figure is inside a bubble glued to a card. The insert features the logo for "The Last Knight" with the character name and Class above it. The insert also features a photo of the figure in its alt form. The figure itself is in robot mode. The card has the vertical Transformers logo on the right side (if you are facing it) with artwork of the character. Interestingly the card features Optimus Prime's "Age of Extinction" and "The Last Knight" CG model even though the figure itself represents the form he had from the 2007 movie through "Dark of the Moon". The back of the card shows the toy in both modes along with lots of safety and legal information under it.
Optimus Prime is cast in metallic blue and black plastic in this form. Those colors work as a good base, but the problem here is the lack of deco on this figure. Silver is used on the face and eyes and the chest. A red Autobot symbol is painted onto the left knee and...that's it. Contrast that with the original version of this figure which featured three distinct colors (red, silver and blue) and had paint applications on most of the figure, not just the face, chest and one leg. Keep in mind that this figure is from a tool that has been used several times over the years. It has paid for itself several times over and required no retooling (though there is some, more on that below) so cutting back on the deco to such a degree is really terrible. He even lacks any flame pattern deco, which is what "Age of Extinction"/"The Last Knight" Optimus Prime is known for in his robot and vehicle forms. This is one of the most disappointing decos I have seen in ages.
On a positive note, the joints of this figure are still nice and tight after many uses of the tooling. He does not have 3mm ports for Cyberverse weapons as the creation of this figure pre-dated the Cyberverse era.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the robot feet up.
- Push the legs together.
- Swing the chest up.
- Rotate the lower half of the body around.
- Push the robot head down.
- Swing the robot legs up to the chest to form the front of the vehicle.
- Swing the arms back, bend them at the elbows and connect them together.
So it was disappointing enough that this figure seemed to aim for as little deco as possible in robot mode, but some retooling done in vehicle mode really makes things worse. If you compare the wheels on this figure to its predecessors they have all been changed to plastic clip on wheels. Now, I get that in the era of modern day cost cutting and tight budgets this is necessary (and can be done right such as with "Titans Return" Kup) but this is not such an example. All previous releases of this figure (even the "Age of Extinction" one) had pins holding the wheels in place. Not only did this look good because the pins were silver and metallic but they also implied a level of investment the designers had in the design to make even such a tiny figure a solid one. Now, the wheels in the back are okay as you cannot really see the clips and they sculpted new rim details for them. However, the wheels in front are clearly on huge clips and it just looks cheap. Given that these figures are averaging $5-6.99 at the cheapest I do not think it was asking much to keep the pins.
This mode carries over the silver details from the robot mode chest to form the windshield and the panels above it. Red is used for flame details on the sides and hood area. Silver is also used on the front of the vehicle. This looks good, but it really does not make up for the lack of deco in robot mode.
Considering the entire first wave of "The Last Knight" Legion Class figures are redecos/retools of existing sculpts it was very disappointing to not see a better deco on this figure. I can accept using this figure to reduce costs for this first wave but such a sad deco and the use of cheap clip on wheels where they did not exist before is a real disappointment. Not recommended.
- Some nice sculpted details.
- Joints are still tight.
- The metallic blue plastic is a really nice color.
- After so many releases the deco should have been better.
- Swapping out the wheels for "clip ons" is cheap and unnecessary.