Cybertron Toy Reviews: Optimus Prime (Deluxe)

in 2006, Action Figure Review, Armada, Autobot, Cybertron

General Information:
Release Year: August 2006
Retailer: General US (Toys R Us, Target etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Accessories: Cyber Planet Key, Wrist guns x 2

Optimus Prime Packaging art

Images:

Tech Specs:
Fearless leader of the AUTOBOTS for as long as most can remember, OPTIMUS PRIME is a wise commander, as well as a fearsome warrior. Despite his power, he prefers to resolve conflicts without violence, believing that even the most dedicated criminal can be redeemed. Many unfortunate villains have mistaken his compassion for weakness, and paid the price of evil at his mighty hands.

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

Each Cybertron Transformer comes with a Planet Key with a code printed on it. Prime's code is d56b. Unlocking this at transformers.com gives nothing at the time of this review. However, inputing Demolishor's code (who is in the same assortment) dt67 gives you a picture of the figure's color chart and the following text:

During a short time on Gigantion, the giant planet, Optimus prime needed to investigate a long-forgotten stronghold in the depths of one of the largest, and oldest abandoned cities. Unfortunately, the city was also the most dangerous to explore with it's windy roads, tiny spaces and precarious balanced machinery. Metroplex and his crew created a new body for Optimus Prime to make his way through the jagged metal of the ancient ruins. With his smaller form, Optimus was able to get down, grab the info and back again without even scratching a fender!

This figure is a redeco of Armada Supercon Optimus Prime. It was later used for Armada Nemesis Prime. The sculpt was later ported over to the Transformers Universe line as Ultra Magnus. Check out those reviews for details on the sculpt. This review will cover changes made to the figure for this release.

Cyber Key:
Optimus Prime does not include the Mini-Con Overrun included with the original version of this sculpt. Instead, to fit him in with the primary gimmick of the Cybertron line, he comes with a Cyber Key. The Key is the same one included with Galaxy Force Starscream but modified. The front is smooth with an Autobot symbol tampographed on. The symbol is printed in red with white borders. The outer edge of the key is painted red. The key has been modified to include a Mini-Con port on the back, right above the flat portion that would attach to a Cyber Key insertion port.

Vehicle Mode:
Once a sculpt has been given three decos already (five if you count variations on the previous releases) it is fairly difficult to come up with a new scheme, especially one as iconic as Optimus Prime's. The designers decided to base the deco of this figure on the upcoming Galaxy Force Optimus Prime repaint. About half of the vehicle is red, but brighter than the Armada figure. However, the parts you would expect to be blue are charcoal colored (a very dark grey). Some parts are silver as well. The Mini-Con peg on the top of the vehicle, the smokestacks and the front grille are all cast in silver. The wheels are cast in black. These plastic colors are consistant with the ones used on the upcoming Cybertron Galaxy Force Optimus Prime figure.

While his plastic colors definitely make him "Prime-like" in appearance, paint decos complete the picture. The edges of the front grille are painted red, matching the red plastic. The hood has an Autobot symbol tampographed on the center. The bars of the front bumper are painted silver and black is used on the edges of the headlights. The headlights themselves (along with the row of lights along the top of the vehicle) are a dark shade of yellow. The windows are painted black with the edges around each one painted white. The four Planet Key symbols are painted onto the red section of the vehicle. On the sides towards the front are the Speed Planet and Jungle Planet symbols (on the right and left respectively). On the top of the vehicle by the smokestacks are the Earth symbol and Giant Planet symbol (on the right and left sides respectively). It is interesting to note that the earlier version of this figure had no Planet symbols and the arms were assembled improperly (more on that in the robot mode review).

The Cyber Key doesn't activate anything in this form, but it can be stored by attaching it to either of the two Mini-Con pegs. However, it can't really rest flat on the one at the rear because it winds up partially resting against the peg that is meant to connect Prime to the larger Optimus Prime Armada trailer. You can still attach this sculpt to the larger Armada Prime trailer. If you have Overrun, you can also attach him to the hole on the right hand side towards the back in weapon mode. Of course, you can also attach Energon weapons to the pegs as well.

Robot Mode:
As with the vehicle mode, the designers took time to plan out a different deco pattern from this sculpt's predecessors. The head is painted in the usual places such as the eyes and crest (both in yellow) and the mouthplate (in silver). However, they added on another deco on the brow piece leading to the "V" shaped pieces on either side of his crest. This makes him look more like his larger counterpart who has a similar angled, silver piece on his head as seen in this photo. His shoulders have blue and white details on them, adding more classic Prime colors into the mix. The chest is prevented from looking plain thanks to the red edges on the grille and the black and red details on either side. A ring of silver can be found around each elbow section and blue is painted onto both the lower arms and lower legs.

If you take a look at the Ultra Magnus release of this sculpt you'll see that it suffered from an assembly problem during production. Specifically the arms were assembled incorrectly, limiting the elbow articulation and to a degree you could reveal the fists. Early versions of this Optimus Prime figure (as far as I've been told, the ones without the Planet symbols) have this error. The version I have does not have this problem. On another note, the problem with the head ball joint on Armada Nemesis Prime doesn't exist on this figure. The head is very tight on the ball joint, but it can move up and down and side to side properly.

All of Optimus Prime's joints are tight in this form. Rather than mold degradation, it seems that this tooling is as fit as ever. You can still use his punching gimmick, but now you have the option of using his Cyber Key or a Mini-Con.

Final Thoughts:
I'm a really big fan of this sculpt. It's a really fun toy, however it does feel a cheat to substitute a Cyber Key for a Mini-Con. I would say if you could get a previous version of this figure for a fair price (around $10-15 in package) go for those. If not, this is a good substitute.