Release Date: May 2023
Price Point: $34.97 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (International), Walmart Exclusive (United States)
Official images and text below in italics are from Walmart.com
Imagine charging into battle as your favorite characters from Transformers: Rise of the Beasts with this Voyager Class Optimus Prime action figure! Figures are articulated for posing and come with cool weapon accessories. (Each sold separately, subject to availability.) Transformers toys for 6 year old boy and girl and up make great gifts for kids. The battle on Earth is no longer between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts introduces mysterious factions, the Maximals, the Predacons, and the Terrorcons, in an epic 90s globetrotting adventure. Buzzworthy Bumblebee action figures feature special Buzzworthy Bumblebee collectible packaging. Includes figure, accessory, and instructions.
- VOYAGER CLASS OPTIMUS PRIME TOY: Voyager Class Transformers action figures stand at 6 inches tall and are articulated for cool battle poses. Great robot toys for 6 year old boys and girls!
- 2 MODES: This kids Transformers toy Optimus Prime action figure converts from robot to truck mode in 20 steps
- BATTLE ACCESSORIES: This Transformers Optimus Prime toy includes a blaster accessory that attaches to the figure in both modes
- Transformers: Rise OF THE BEASTS: Featuring robot and beast characters inspired by the epic Transformers movie, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts! Makes a great superhero action figure gift for boys and girls
- LOOK FOR MORE TRANSFORMERS MOVIE TOYS: Collect other Transformers: Rise of the Beasts movie toys (Each sold separately, subject to availability)
The Rise of the Beasts toy line began trickling into Target stores in March of 2023, but it would bein April 2023 that the line would take over shelves in a full blown launch at Walmart stores (Target stores appear to be catching up). Many of the figures released in the Rise of the Beasts toy line featured scales and play patterns clearly aimed at younger fans including the simplified transformations of the "Beast Alliance" figures. However, a small subset of the line were Voyager Class figures much more akin to figures from the Generations line of figures. However, at no time were these figures marked as Generations figures on the packaging. These were also separate from the eventual Studio Series versions of the characters.
This Voyager Class Optimus Prime should not be confused with the Studio Series Voyager Class Optimus Prime which is due out July 30, 2023. The two are separate toys.
The Rise of the Beasts Voyager Class figures were mass releases outside of the United States and were found at various stores including Toys 'R' Us. Inside the United States however the Voyagers had a very strange release. As of June 2023 the figures have only been spotted at Walmart stores. Even then, distribution has been spotty at best. Some stores have almost never had any of these in stock. At the same time I have seen fans claim that their shelves are flooded with Optimus Prime and Rhinox figures. Optimus Primal however is fairly rare because he (apparently) only shipped in the first wave of these figures. This is why I have listed these as Walmart exclusives in the United States. If these appear in other stores later in the U.S. I will edit this review accordingly.
Optimus Prime is packaged in a rectangular box, similar in shape to a Studio Series box, lacking the angles used on boxes for Legacy. The packaging uses the green background found on other packaging in the line. A large Transformers logo is set vertically on the right side with a small Autobot symbol above it. The top half has an open window that shows off the top half of the figure without a plastic window. Below that is stock art of Optimus Prime in robot mode pointing. Below the art is the name Optimus Prime with the Autobot symbol. The Rise of the Beasts logo is set below that.
The back of the box shows off Rhinox in both modes calling out a 20 step transformation. A symbol that looks like it is from an ancient temple featuring the Autobot symbol is in the upper right hand corner. The green background features fauna in a jungle, calling back to one of the settings in the film.
Optimus Prime includes a rifle. The design has some lines that call back to G1 Optimus Prime's weapon. This includes a raised section in the back and an ammunition "magazine" in front of the handle. This weapon is black plastic with no paint applications. It features a 5mm peg on the bottom.
This accessory is an interesting design choice as Optimus does not carry this weapon in the film. Instead, his arm transforms into a blaster weapon. It is likely this figure was designed early on in the development of the film so the designers had to come up with a weapon, even if it was not screen accurate.
One of the biggest concerns Transformers fans have had over the past decade or so is the slow shrinking of action figures as time has gone along. Compare a Deluxe Class figure from 2007 to one from 2023 and the modern day ones are much smaller than their past counterparts. Transformers rarely have action features anymore such as missile launchers or electronics, all due to cost cutting. However, Hasbro has tried to stem the tide of this shrinkage as best they can (with varied results). Unfortunately, this action figure is one of the most egregious examples of this issue to date.
According to this figure's Walmart listing the figure is priced at $33.97 and the figure is even labeled as a Voyager Class on the product page. However, from a pure size and weight standpoint, this figure is barely above a Deluxe. Comparing him to Deluxe Class Legacy Crosscut (who I recently acquired), Crosscut weighs in at 3.3 ounces while this figure weighs in at 3.8! Also size-wise, this figure is nowhere near as large as his casemate Rhinox.
Now, there is a case to be made for a Deluxe Class figure set at a Voyager price point if it has enough accessories and complex enough of a transformation. Studio Series 86 Hot Rod is a perfect example of this. However, that figure came with six accessories while this figure only comes with one. There are some interesting bits of this figure's transform (more on that below), but it does not quite "feel" as justified at this price point in the same way Hot Rod was.
It is also important to keep in mind that there is a slightly larger Studio Series Optimus Prime being released later this year and that one seems more like a traditional Voyager Class figure. I am not going to condemn this figure solely on this issue, but it is important context as I write (and you read) this review.
Optimus Prime appeared briefly at the beginning and end of the Bumblebee movie but in this film he is front and center as one of the primary Cybertronians in the movie. The good thing is that means we see him a lot, giving us good reference points to compare this figure to. This sculpt features a lot of the details seen on the CG model from the film including:
- The head sculpt is based on Optimus' "battle mode" head where his mouthplate mask is deployed, covering his mouth. It is basically a traditional Optimus Prime head complete with a center crest, antennae sticking up on the sides and narrow eyes but with tons of greebles on the "helmet" and face areas.
- The chest features the windshield windows from the vehicle mode but they are split, with a gab in the middle. Also, each window has a panel over the top edge.
- The shoulders each feature smokestacks on the sides and two circles next to each other on the lower half.
- The mid-body area has a ton of mechanical detailing that evokes G1 Optimus Prime's grille in robot mode. Some of the more distinctive details include two horizontal rectangular patterns with circles on them and four angled bars.
- The forearms have some distinct mechanical details including a large circle near where it meets the elbow and a tube on the side leading to the wrist area.
- Each leg features two circles (likely lights of some sort) on the knee armor and a series of lines on the front of the lower legs calling back to G1 Prime's design.
There is at least one detail which differs from the CG model seen on screen: the top of the shoulders. In the film there are a couple points that stick out and that's about it. On this figure there are small extensions that look like they could be weapon pods. My guess would be perhaps that this comes from a scene that did not make it into the movie (or I'm forgetting about them).
Optimus is made up of red, silver, black and translucent blue plastic. Paint colors on the figure include silver, white, blue, black and red. The deco on the figure is what I would define as a "good start", but after seeing the film it is hard to look at certain parts of the figure and not think "It could have used a wash here." or some silver colored "distressing" here and there. Optimus just looks too clean for my tastes compared to the film's CG model. I also wish more blue had been applied to the legs. From the front they look great but from the back he looks a bit unfinished. That said, the deco features very traditional "Optimus Prime" colors and they do look good for what they are, I just want more detail and deco.
There are twenty five points of articulation on this figure. That includes five in each arm, six in each leg and even an ab crunch, which is quite unusual on a Transformers figure. The waist articulation is somewhat hampered by the piece with the wheels on the back, but if you lift it, the waist can turn all the way. Thanks to the way the various articulation points are designed, you get quite a range of articulation out of this figure. Each fist has a 5mm opening for his rifle and there is a 5mm port on his back for weapons storage.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the feet up and push them against the lower legs. The middle of the lower legs will rotate back in the process.
- Push the two lower legs together.
- On the right leg flip over the black trailer hitch piece.
- Push the robot head into the chest.
- Swing the back panel up.
- Push the windshield sections in.
- Rotate the chest and arms around.
- Swing the front bumper section down and swing the wheels out.
- Swing the rear of the vehicle (made up by the waist and legs) back.
- Clip the wheels to the hip area.
- Swing the smokestack sections on the shoulders out, then forward.
- Swing the panels on the sides of the forearms forward.
- Swing each fist down.
- Swing the arms back at the shoulders.
- Swing the forearms back at the elbows, then swing them forward.
- The panels from the sides of the forearms clip into the sides of the vehicle while tabs on the elbow area connect to the thighs.
- On each thigh section, swing up the storage tank panels.
- The blaster can be stored on the trailer hitch.
Transformers films are action packed affairs and often make it difficult to get a really good look at the Transformers themselves in any of their modes. Optimus Prime does have a couple great truck mode shots in this film, but the best look fans have had at the trucks used in the film are from the folks at Twin Custom Trucks and Hot Rods who customized the trucks used as Optimus Prime in Rise of the Beasts. Comparing their photos to this vehicle mode, it becomes apparent very quickly that the Hasbro designers probably only had early concept art of this vehicle before creating this figure. There are many details that approximate details on the real life truck, but they largely do not look like what we see on the big screen. Here are some examples:
- In the film, the front of the truck has a cage-like attachment that gives the truck an extra aggressive appearnce. This is largely absent on this figure though some raised areas around the grille may be references to that attachment.
- The smokestacks have large panels on the sides but in the film these panels were much smaller.
- The top of the vehicle mode has five lights but they are arranged differently than those on the vehicle used in the film.
- The real life vehicle has two pairs of handle grips on the sides for a passenger to climb in. On this figure, there are raised details that look like they are meant to be those grips, but there is only one pair on each side.
- Both the real life vehicle and this figure have "storage tanks" on the sides of the truck, but in the film they are cylinders while here they are rectangular.
There are other differences but I only want to nitpick so much. After reviewing Rhinox from the same assortment, it is clear these figures were intended to be "screen inspired" but not necesarily with the same level of detail as Studio Series figures and that's fine. The vehicle mode looks good and there's no mistaking just which Autobot this is meant to represent.
This mode shows off a lot more silver plastic from the front to the back of the vehicle. The front is mostly red and a bit of blue peeks out in the back. Silver paint is used on key areas such as the back of the side view mirrors. Again, this deco is not terrible, but it looks a bit unfinished.
All six wheels roll in this mode and the weapon can be stored in the back.
This figure leaves me feeling very conflicted. It is not a bad toy. It looks good in both modes, it has a fun transformation and the robot mode articulation is really nice. However, for what you're paying I'm not sure you're getting your money's worth. This is especially true if you are in the United States where this figure is very hard to find in some parts. I would say if you can get this figure at some type of discount say, around $25(ish) USD then it is absolutely worth it (and then some). However at the full $35 USD price point, you may want to save your cash for the upcoming Studio Series Optimus Prime instead. This is not a bad figure. It is a good figure that is badly priced.
- Nice sculpt in both modes (even if it's not super screen accurate).
- Intuitive and fun transformation.
- Nice articulation in robot mode.
- Small for the price point.
- Needs more paint.