Release Date: March 2014
Price Point: $6.50
Retailer: Family Dollar
For many years now, stores such as "Family Dollar" and "Dollar General" have been carrying exclusive lines of "Transformers" action figures. Often these are just repackaged or straight re-releases of pre-existing figures. Examples of these figures include Mini-Con Brake Neck and Backstop. In recent time, many Legends Class figures have been used for this same purpose. Now in 2014, these Legends figures have appeared again in new packaging.
The packaging for Optimus Prime is based on the new look of the "Transformers" toy line starting with the "Age of Extinction" (you can see an example of this packaging in my First Edition Optimus Prime review). This includes a white, vertical strip on the right with the "Transformers" logo in thinner letters than the traditional logo. The other side of the card has package art while a red section on the bttom features a red background with the character name and age group the toy is intended for (5+ in this case).
This packaging reuses the artwork from the set of Optimus Prime with Roller. However, since that Optimus is the "IDW Publishing" version while the figure itself is more G1, the artwork is zoomed in really only showing Optimus from the chest area up - so it manages to "cheat" a bit, utilizing pre-existing artwork for another figure. This is nothing new and has been done many times over the course of the toy line's history. Behind Optimus' artwork is a faded pattern featuring Autobot symbols and Optimus Prime and Bumblebee from the movies in grey and white.
The back of the packaging has Optimus Prime's name and tech spec numbers along with his nine step transformation instructions. The weird part? The packaging uses the photography from the "Reveal the Shield" Optimus Prime figure while the actual figure in the package is the "Generations" Legends Class Optimus Prime figure sans the sword that was included with that release. Even stranger? The packaging uses the "Reveal the Shield" logo (hence its placement in this section of BWTF) but there is no actual heat sensitive rub symbol on the figure!
If you've collected the various incarnations of this figure as I have, this release will be a bit disappointing. The packaging is gorgeous and really catches the eye for sure. I am also very happy with the way the "Transformers" toy line is aligning all its packaging so it will stand out on the shelves. However, it's quite a blunder to advertise the "Reveal the Shield" gimmick (even pointing to the symbol on the stock photography) but not having that actually exist on the figure.
I will admit I am only looking at the figure inside the package, but the symbol should be plainly visible on an arm and it's not. I was also disappointed the sword included with the "Generations" version was left out.
I still dig this toy quite a bit, but if you already have previous versions of this figure, you can skip it unless (like me) you want to be a completist and buy it for the packaging.